Browse Prior Art Database

ENHANCED CUSTOMER SUPPORT USING A VIRTUAL PRINTER

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013407D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
Document File: 2 page(s) / 58K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for simulating additional devices in a high volume print environment. This simulation enables a technician to diagnose errors within a customer environment, and enables a salesman to demonstrate capabilities of new hardware within a customer environment, neither of which was feasible previously without intrusive hardware. Sales demonstrations and fixes to printer management software can be performed without any disruption of workflow, and without consuming customers resources such as space and paper.

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ENHANCED CUSTOMER SUPPORT USING A VIRTUAL PRINTER

   Disclosed is a method for simulating additional devices in a high volume print
environment. This simulation enables a technician to diagnose errors within a
customer environment, and enables a salesman to demonstrate capabilities of new
hardware within a customer environment, neither of which was feasible previously
without intrusive hardware. Sales demonstrations and fixes to printer management
software can be performed without any disruption of workflow, and without
consuming customers resources such as space and paper.

   A typical embodiment is depicted in Figure 1. Printer management system 100
transforms a variety of formats into Mixed Object Document Content Architecture
(MODCA) [1], which supports sophisticated manipulations. Printer management
system 100 converts MODCA into Intelligent Printer Data Stream (IPDS) [2], which
provides page level recovery. Printer management system 100 sends IPDS to
physical production printers and "virtual" printer 101. Each printer rasterizes
data contained in the IPDS to create a bitmap; virtual printer 101 does not use
the bitmap to fuse toner on paper but sends the bitmap to image viewer 102.
Viewed images can be part of a demonstration or can be used to verify that a
suspected defect in the printer management system has been reproduced or
corrected. Virtual printer 101 is the novel element in the system which allows
bitmaps to be conveyed electronically. Absence of physical media or printer
hardware dramatically reduces the logistical requirements of adding a temporary
printer. Previously a remote laboratory may attempt to recreate the customer
environment. In this embodiment the additional device becomes part of the
customer environment. Adding additional devices prevents impacts on existing
devices used for production.

   Details of the virtual printer are depicted in Figure...