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Category Archives: General
PaperCut 13.2 release we go off topic with a behind-the-scenes story on the PaperCut team and their coffee obsession.On the back of the
It is no secret that coffee is a part of daily life here at PaperCut. Along with drinking and appreciating coffee we can’t help but mention it in blog posts, job ads, when talking about ourselves and even demonstrating product features.
In fact, the entire PaperCut team are trained coffee baristas!
We recently sent another 9 team members along for their barista induction, some of whom you may be familiar with. During the day we learnt about different roasts, pulling perfect espresso shots, frothing milk (a lot of milk!), tried our hand at latte art and produced many variants of coffees. Some were great and required immediate consumption, others were awful and went straight in the slop bucket
By the end of the day we had 9 more confident baristas for the team and a new qualification to add to our resumes in case the the world ever goes paperless
We have announced the winners of the Edugeek competition; a competition to come up with the most creative use of PaperCut’s print scripting.
I have not seen a more comprehensive winner since the All Blacks won the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Much like the final, there were only two major players; one of them had to win. Jack from Melbourne did an amazing job at making a script, even included a JSON Library!
Jack even commented “It’s a bit over engineered, but it wanted to play with JSON”. With the geekiest script I’ve seen in a while, it had to be the Edugeek winner.
Michael on the other hand, had a rather devious script that was used on unsuspecting students which made students guess a number out of 10. If they get the wrong number, their print job is redirected to a random printer in the school and they’re told to go find it…Evil person…I wonder what he could do with Raspberry Pi….
Now the next problem is what we’re going to do with our third Raspberry Pi!…After carefully consideration, we’ve decided to give it away to a good cause. We found a group in Sydney that is looking at educating students on the uses of Raspberry Pis. Feel free to have a look at their website here: OzBerryPi. It looks like it will make it to a good home.
1st place: Jack
2nd place: Michael
3rd place: OzBerryPi
Thanks for all the fun. We would like to thank the Edugeek community and sorry about the Rugby World Cup joke, I’m sure England will do better in 2015
A key feature of PaperCut is the charging model applied to print usage, generally defined on a per page basis. This feature had its ten year birthday last October without much fanfare. When you think about how much PaperCut has changed in the last ten years, it’s fairly amazing that the Charging Model hasn’t been altered. Therefore it is with ten years of experience that we have decided to make an addition to the model in the form of a new “Standard charge type”.
What we have found is that anything past the Simple Charging Model could be a bit confusing at first glance. With the Standard Charging Model, administrators will now be able to set the color and grayscale cost explicitly, as opposed to working with percentages. The new “Standard” charge type will hopefully bridge the gap between “Simple” and the many Advanced Charging Modes available.
In the theme of improving already evolved PaperCut features, we’ve also improved the way Web Print handles PDF documents. Previously Windows administrators would have to install and configure Adobe Reader to run Web Print. Now, PaperCut’s Web Print feature works out of the box with built-in PDF support. Check out the manual for all the gritty details.
Web Print has proven to be a very popular feature, particularly in large education environments. Many system administrators have come to us with interesting stories of how Web Print has been working hard overnight processing 100’s of jobs from students printing in their dorms, all while the sysadmins are fast asleep (but actually wide awake playing Minecraft). With that in mind, we’ve implemented many improvements to the robustness of Web Print.
Only months since my arrival at PaperCut and we’ve expanded our ever growing list of characters by adding two more personalities to the cauldron, Josh Hancox and Dan Quest. Be assured, we will force them to put pen to pad and write a blog telling us their story – a sort of initiation here at PaperCut, along with mini-golf and go-karts.
Supporting our resellers through email, phone and web chat has proved to be so beneficial that it made business sense to bring another system administrator into the support team. We are fully aware that as our customer base grows, we will need to invest more into support staff, however, for now we are very excited at having another talented system administrator in the office to help share the load.
As the feedback continues to come in from our resellers, the realization has been that our Marketing team have been making great progress. We need to make sure that we keep fueling this asset and we’ve got hold of a personality that we are looking forward to having in the office. Letting Dan loose into our Marketing team appears to be the logical decision.
We have been very lucky in the last few weeks to come across these two individuals. We are always looking at adding new people into the company and when the right person comes to our attention we make sure they know the door is open for them – luckily for us they are keen to walk in.
It is this ethos that has kept PaperCut a vibrant company with big personalities and bigger plans. We’ve maintained our start-up feel where everyone knows what everyone else is doing and opinions are equally shared. It is with this mentality that we head into 2013, with more ranks in our army and a bigger Christmas party than ever.
I’ve heard it said that great technology is a simple solution to a complex problem. That statement sounds compelling, but I think it actually sells technology short. So much of the technology that we use every day and even take for granted is in fact extremely complex and clever – but is successful because it comes with a user interface that we find simple and natural to use. Our smart phones for example, are much richer and more capable than the old generation phones they replace but we actually find them easier to use. But the evolution in user interface that has made this possible has not simplified the underlying technology – quite the opposite.
When it comes to print management, PaperCut NG makes it all appear simple. Installation and configuration is straightforward and intuitive. In minutes you can have a PaperCut NG solution up and running, delivering benefits. But let me tell you, as a newcomer to PaperCut, there is a great deal more to print management than I ever thought possible!
My name is Geoff Smith and I’ve just recently joined the PaperCut team as a senior developer and team leader. I’ve worked for many years in the complex field of Internet Communications and print management is something I’ve always just taken for granted. But after delving into the code behind the tranquil green user interface it is clear that the PaperCut user experience has only been achieved through a sustained and committed effort by some very clever people. The complexities are numerous and the solutions are well thought out and robust. The previous blog on EMF page level color control gives one small example – the painstaking and detailed work that must be done to bring you a feature you may not even notice but which helps make the overall solution run more smoothly and effectively.
I joined PaperCut because they are good at what they do. Each member of the team has something to teach me and it is a privilege to work with them. I’m looking forward to a great future.
This week we unwrap PaperCut version 13.1! Following on from 13.0’s massive release, including the headline Print Archiving feature, 13.1 delivers dozens of improvements across the entire product.
Page-level Color Detection is an important part of PaperCut. Counting the color pages is a simple concept to understand, but you may be surprised by the complexity under the hood faced by the PaperCut engineers who bring you this functionality. To count the color pages, PaperCut must read the print spool files and there are many printer languages that must be supported. Prior to release 13.1, PaperCut supported the PCL, PostScript and XPS printer languages (PDLs) for color detection. With release 13.1 we’ve added the Windows EMF (Enhanced MetaFile) print language.
Why EMF? Even if you already have PostScript or PCL capable printers, a driver-level configuration change was necessary to ensure spool files did not render in EMF, which is the Windows default spool file format. To make this change users were referred to the manual. Our goal is that all mainstream features work “out of the box” without complex configuration or making it necessary to consult the manual. As software developers we also don’t like reading manuals!
We’ve found that this driver configuration step is an often forgotten task. Now that we have EMF support there is less need for driver configuration. We feel we are now one step closer to our ultimate goal of having Page Level Color Detection the default option for new printers.
Adding EMF support was a major challenge for our engineer Peter. EMF is an internal, undocumented Windows format. Many hours have been spent wrestling with the Windows API, GDI and font anti-aliasing to ensure accurate color page counts. We’ve tested with many real-world documents as well as contrived samples to verify the feature. We even held an internal competition to see who could “trick the logic”. None could. A sign of a good development team is that the challenging projects like this one are also the fun ones!
Image: cc-by-ca by Siri Hardeland
PaperCut Software welcomes you to 2013 with the release of PaperCut 13.0! We are proud to reveal new features and functionality, and have added one of your most requested features of last year – Print Archiving.
Print Archiving allows approved administrators to review printed jobs interactively in the browser.
This feature is ideal for a variety of scenarios including information security, audit processes and validating refund requests. Many organisations have data retention and distribution policies, whether they be requirements to archive e-mail or restrictions on USB storage devices and cloud services. Printing has traditionally presented an auditing difficulty, and PaperCut’s Print Archiving adds to the auditing tool belt.
One for the Hotshots
One of the hottest features in PaperCut is advanced print scripting, which is being leveraged by more and more power administrators. We have listened to the feedback and added the following:
- Scripts can now be previewed, allowing you to quickly cut and paste example code into your own scripts.
- Common functions that are shared between individual printer scripts can now be stored in, and referenced from, a master include script.
As you know we are passionate about technology and supporting all platforms; whether that be Linux operating systems, Novell clustering solutions or iPads. The same applies to our off-the-glass tracking solution (PaperCut MF) and its support for a diverse range of manufacturers. We are proud to announce our support for additional industry-leading manufacturers:
We would like to thank these vendors for their support in bringing PaperCut solutions to these devices.
The Fine Print: If you have a current subscription to Premium Upgrade Assurance you may upgrade to version 13 at no additional cost. For our other customers please see our upgrade policy to determine if you are eligible for a free upgrade. One-time upgrades may be purchased via our online order system. Upgrading now will entitle you to all the releases in the 13.x series throughout the year.
Please refer to the relevant release history for full details.
It might be eye-opening for some of you to hear what goes on behind the scenes at PaperCut Software. My name is Mathew Buttrey and I have joined the PaperCut team as Channel Manager.
In particular you might like to know what it’s like to start employment at PaperCut. Coming from large organizations with strong corporate culture (most recently the worlds largest consumer electronics company) this was sure to be a shock to the system… Here’s what I’ve learned so far……
Lesson 1 – No suits!
Even in the interview a comment was made “thanks for dressing up” (even though I’d taken my tie off to feel a little more at home).
Lesson 2 – Drink coffee…..
Although not a mandate, coffee culture is strong within the team and with 2 free rounds per day, there are good savings to be had for a 2 latte per day person like yours truly.
Lesson 3 – Leave your pride at the door…..
PaperCut operates with a flat management structure which allows for fast paced and collaborative planning/execution of tasks. Being part of a team that has input (and believe it, there is a lot of input) on your content creation is certainly an adjustment for the pride department!
Lesson 4 – Get FIT!
Don’t be fooled, the people you see on our about page look harmless enough, but commute to work with them and an underbelly of pushbike heros surface! 3 days after the first commute and one can still barely sit down.
Lesson 5 – Brush up on geography!
If you didn’t know the world before, you sure will. Google maps is a requirement most days due to our far reaching partner network (Hi to everyone in Rancho Cucumonga!!).
Lastly – Have fun!
A good sense of humour is mostly required – even if the jokes about code tend to fly over one’s head.
Feel free to keep this list on hand if you ever have the opportunity to spend some time with the PaperCut team – In summary, remember to brush up on your coding jokes, check your pride at the front door but remember to bring your bike shorts!!
It’s been less than two years since we released scripting as a PaperCut feature, and since then it has proven to be one of our geekiest and most powerful features. We here at PaperCut Software have seen some very clever print scripts used by system administrators, some of which have hit our funny bone.
One of our favorites saw the junior system administrator add a script that redirected every fifth job from the IT department to the Principal’s personal printer. This lead to the Director of Technology’s Lady Gaga tickets being snapped up by the Principal’s personal assistant.
It is because of such excellent script-writing potential that we are excited to announce a creative script-writing competition for the EduGeek community! While this is awesome enough, we accidentally ordered too many Raspberry Pi units recently, so we actually have some decent prizes!
Up for grabs; one Raspberry Pi with all the bells and whistles, two standard Raspberry Pi units with cases, and a few extra goodies to give away. The winners will be decided based on simply how creative you can get with the functionality available to you in the PaperCut scripting API (manual here). Bonus consideration for making us laugh.
Have you ever printed something confidential then raced to the printer to collect it before someone else does? Secure Print Release is an increasingly important requirement in most organizations. Traditionally this has been accomplished with embedded MFD software, dedicated release stations or specialist hardware.
PaperCut 12.5 introduces a new option for print release that can be used by any organization. It’s quick, easy, cost effective and doesn’t require a hardware investment. This is made possible by the touch screen device almost everyone carries in their pocket – the mobile phone.
With Mobile Print Release you’ll no longer have to worry about others picking up that confidential job. Simply print to a hold/release queue and when you’re at the printer, release the job using PaperCut’s Mobile Print Release app. This new feature will work with any printer, and most modern mobile phones.
Recently we’ve assisted with some very large deployments, some of which have had more printers than we ever expected to see at a single site. One in particular had over 9,000! As a result of these projects we have made a number of “under the hood” performance improvements which sites of all sizes will benefit from! Check out the release history for the nitty gritty tech details.
Windows 8 is now officially released. With 50,000 sites running PaperCut it’s not surprising that we already have a few organizations with rollout plans. PaperCut 12.5 is our first release to leverage new Windows 8 features. The PaperCut User Client software now has notifications that are prominent on the Windows 8 Start Screen (“Metro”).