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Jafet’s Network Printers

Outlook Investigates

Khodor Abou Daya
Fouad Badaoui
Outlook Staff Writers

At the start of 2010-2011 year, network printers replaced the printing cards on campus, amid mixed opinions among students. Proponents of the network printers argue that they eliminate various technical mishaps and present a more advanced solution to the university’s printing needs. On the other hand, many students complain that the new system actually requires more effort since, for a period of time, they had to buy quota at the Cashier’s Office before registering on-line. To them, this presented a useless hassle since the buying of quota was limited to the cashier’s opening hours and to the availability of registration cards. In addition, color printing was, at first, only theoretically available.

  According to last year’s Vice President of the University Student Faculty Committee (VP of the USFC) Elias Ghanem, the USFC had forwarded the students’ complaints to Jafet Library and the Office of Student Affairs. The card system’s disadvantages included frequent crashes and jams, no color printing and insufficient printers. Another major problem was the fact that a printer would continue a previous job on a current card, thereby wasting that cardholder’s pages. Jafet automation librarian Mona Assi explained that “card reader printers malfunction more often and there [was] always a need for a technician.” Librarian Aristidi Abu Samra (Science and Agriculture Library) said that with the new printers, color cartridges could be used, but took time to become available. He added that “network printing solves the problem for printing jobs since everyone has his own account and printing jobs are private.”

  It was not until recently that students were able to buy quota on-line from any location. The quota fee is added to the web statement of fees. This allows students to pay the fees at their discretion. Prior to this, the students had to be physically present at the cashier, take a number, wait in line and purchase a registration ticket. After registration, a student could send a printing job from any computer in the library to a release station. At the release station, the student net ID and password must be provided in order to either accept or cancel the printing order. The advantage of the release station is that the student could review the number of pages printed and the total price of the printing order. Assi announced that Jafet staff is “working on having network photocopiers such that there is a panel where you could log in and photocopy.”

  In response to student dissatisfaction, the USFC under Nadine Hamdan lobbied for the implementation of a free 25 black and white page package to all students. Several students believed that the service had increased in price. Yet, Assi specified that “the cost of each paper is still 50LL but the extra 10LL is for the license of the software of the network printing.” Concerning the non-inclusion of the printing quota in the tuition, Nizameddin replied in an email that the “service is meant to be optional and […] was only recently introduced.” In conclusion, Assi commented that “students will always complain but rarely do they say thank you.”
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