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Method for Determining Length of Time for a Printer to Process its Print Queue

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000018962D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Aug-22
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Aug-22
Document File: 2 page(s) / 8K

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When submitting a printer job to a local or (especially) a network printer, there is no way to determine the length of time before your submitted print job will be completed. The method described in this disclosure addresses how printers can, with good accuracy, calculate the length of time to complete your job based on the other jobs queued ahead of it.

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Method for Determining Length of Time for a Printer to Process its Print Queue

Most documents sent to printers today have a given "data type," such as a Microsoft Word document
(*.doc), a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (*.xls), a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation (*.ppt), etc. Our proposal is for the printer to track the type of document submitted, track how long it took to print that document, and then use that data to update the average time it takes the printer to print a document of type X of size Y. It's easiest to think in terms of a table that gets updated continually:

Average Time per 1K of Data

Printing in Color Printing in Black & White

In order to figure out how long a print queue will take to print becomes quite simple. Take a case where there is one document in the queue -- a Word document that is 65535 bytes in size. The user has requested the document be printed in color and in postscript mode. Simply take 65535, divide by 1024 (= 1K), to get 64. Now go into the table, look up ".doc," go across to the color/postscript cell, and get the 41ms time. Multiple 64 by 41ms and get an estimate of 2624ms or 2.624 seconds (your mileage may vary ;-) Repeat the process for multiple documents and add up the individual times for queue sizes greater than one.

Once the document is finished printing, the actual time to print the document is known. Now use this data to update the time shown in the .doc/color/postscript cell. By simply tracking the aggregate sizes of each type of document printed, the mode of print used, and the total time, updating each cell becomes quite elementary.

Obviously, the very first time a printer prints a new document type, there won't be any historical data. But this can be easily overcome by simply populating the table before the printer leaves the factory with data based on tests of that type of printer. Subsequent print jobs printed by the newly installed printer will enable the printer to update its table and become more accurate as time goes on.

If a print job is submitted with multiple print copies requested, then the size of the print job would simply be multiplied by the number of copies requested.

Also, there ar...