Printing Worst Practices!

So what is a topic of Worst Practices doing in a section called Best Practices! Well we felt that a serious section like this needed to have some fun entertaining content too.

Side Note: This should be a section where we say “I want to grab a coffee to enjoy the read”, rather than “I need coffee to get through this!” :-)

Over time we’ll expand this section with more fun stories with a hidden learnings!

Story: Don’t use printing scripting for evil!

Print Scripting in PaperCut MF is super powerful. When we launched it back in 2009 we wanted to demonstrate this power with a competition - Who can write the geekiest print script. We opened up the competition to the SysAdmin community on EduGeek, our partners, and people inside the company. Our CEO and Co-founder even got into the mix! He submitted an entry that used print scripting to run a 100% illegal and clandestine gambling racket among students to raise money for the IT department.

Check out this demo video:

And you can view the script and Github repo if you’d like to give this a go for yourself (or not!).

The Learning: As Uncle Ben from Spiderman says, “With great power comes great responsibility!”

Story: Don’t guinea pig on your closest friends

Occasionally the power of a new shiney print management software can rush to your head. We had one SysAdmin tell us this amazing story on how they fell into this trap. They spent a whole week learning PaperCut MF and was amazed by all the powerful paper saving policies they could implement. He joined all the recipes together to make, as he put it, “One giant paper saving mega policy”. The system would:

  • nag users not to print email,
  • nag to double-side everything,
  • nag if an expensive inkjet was used,
  • nag… nag… nag! You get the point.

He was also a very systematic person too. He tested everything and knew not to deploy to everyone at once. He thought a great “test group” would be all the other staff at the school. He enabled the policy and then went on a day’s leave. He returned to find his name was mud!

The Learning: The “tech part” is often the easy bit. Change management and people can be hard! Don’t try and boil the ocean in one day.

Have you got an entertaining story to share? Please let us know.