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Interact with the print spooler?


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Hi, I've got a couple of computer labs with printers that my clients' would like to restrict.

They've tried removing paper from the trays, yada yada, but once a legitimate print job needs to be done, the paper is taken up by the illegitimate ones.

I could remove the printers entirely, but then they'd have to login to another account or re-add the printer everytime they want to print something...

So the idea is to password protect the printers for any print job, with a copier this is built-in but not for little black and white consumer grade printers.

I found a program called PrintLock but it seems as though the test version they have doesn't install correctly, and my clients' don't want to spend several hundred dollars anyway...nonprofit organizations.

PrintLock seems to interface with the print spooler to monitor for a job and then prompt for a password before allowing it. Does anyone know how to begin with interfacing with the print spooler? I can build a GUI and all, I just have no idea where to begin with spooler monitoring/modification.

Even a point in the right direction would be appreciated, Thanks!

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I work at 2 schools amongst others and feel your pain. At one school they use a hardware/software solution which won't suit you. At the other it is chaos as the pc's and printers are all networked and visible.

This is not a software solution, but could you connect the printers to as many pc's as necessary locally then restrict access to them? If the documents were then dumped into a network share you could control to an extent which gets printed etc. With a number of shares dedicated to who can and cannot print you could perhaps then script the printing action.

Just a thought... maybe way off base for you.

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I am also looking for a solution, though I want something fairly involved and complex, but would be easy and near-effortless if it could be done.

1. Student / Employee / Inmate / Child prints document

2. Teacher / Manager / Supervisor / Boss / President / Parent gets an alert at their computer. They can click on the alert, or ignore it.

3. A confirmation window pops up, user "FooBar" wants to print. Allow?

4. If no action taken, print job is deleted in 15 minutes.

Bonus points: Show a preview of the pages to be printed. (Requires PCL/PS interpreter to render spooled pages into graphics, ala Ghostscript)

Also I'd like to see this done as an appliance next to the printer or next to the teacher's desk, with a touchscreen preview of the documents to be printed.

I'm not aware of anything like this.

Edited by Javik
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This may suit you: http://www.papercut.com/tour/print-release-stations/ It looks like a revamped version of software used at one of the schools I work at. Their version uses a plastic card similar to a credit card. The students pay for print credit and use that to pay for printouts. No job is printed until paid for. There's no preview though in the software I've seen.


There's also a free version for networks of 5 or less users.

Edited by 4Eyes
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