Print Job Analyzer/ Paper Saver
Original Publication Date: 2002-Oct-19
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-21
Disclosed is a system designed to conserve paper, toner and other resources commonly involved in print jobs. Also, the system is designed to organize print jobs in such a manner as to allow the user to specify an estimated time of pickup and to print accordingly. It is very common nowadays in a network print environment to have print jobs of different users separated by a cover sheet. This saves confusion and allows users to pick up their own print jobs. Many times, cover sheets can be of a different color so one does not have to search through a stack of papers to see where one print job ends and the other begins. Though this is a very useful feature, many times it is wasteful. Consider the situation where an individual sends a print job and then another print job right after. These adjacent jobs require the print of a separator sheet in between the jobs even though they are printed by the network printer right after one another. The disclosed system aims to allow one more versatility in their printing. When jobs are being printed an analysis will occur of who is sending the print jobs. If two (or more) adjacent print jobs are sent to the printer and these jobs will be printing one after the other, the network admin will be able to specify an option in their print manager that they do not want individual coversheets to be printed out for adjacent jobs of the same individual. Though this might not save too many sheets in a smaller network environment, in environments where users print a lot and print small jobs (frequently one after the other), the proposed invention can yield a serious savings of time, toner/ink, and paper. Functionality can be added to the printing program that prompts the user for the time that they will be picking up their print job. This is of course is for the case of the individual who needs to have something as a hard copy, but does not need it right away and plans on picking up the print job at a later time. Accordingly, the printer will analyze its queue, and group jobs together that can be grouped up until the time of pickup and defer the print job. In other words, the print manager will wait for a user specified pick up time (or actually a bit before to account for the time it will take to print) to group jobs associated to the same user and print them all at once. This will give priority to the order that a print job was submitted, but will also change the order that jobs will be printed based the time that the sender is planning on picking up the printout.