Re: Printers Revisited

From: Cory Hamma <cory_at_openvoting_dot_org>
Date: Sat May 22 2004 - 23:04:15 CDT


I agree with you in principle. The counties will need to make a choice
on which hardware to buy, and it doesn't make sense to lock them down to
one printer or one manufacturer. It is pretty obvious to me that
inkjets are completely out of the picture, for reasons of small ink
cartridges, potentially poor print quality, and the paper exiting the
printer printed-side-up. Plus, what county would want the huge expense
of ink cartridges and the likelihood that the printers won't work for
the next election after being stored for a year. Laser printer prices
have come down very close to the price of inkjets, plus they are more
economical for day-to-day use. Some small counties might even choose to
rip printers out of their offices and try to use them.

I believe lasers are the obvious choice. HP PCL is a good print
protocol to start with, as many printers support the protocol, and there
is adequate support in linux. Therefore, it seems like we should go
about it by providing the following information in a web accessible
printer list or database:

1. Provide requirements for resolution (DPI), printable page area, and
speed (PPM and warm-up).
2. Provide suggestions for paper stock to use.
3. Provide reports of smudged printing (immediately upon paper exiting
the printer) so ballots won't get smudged.
4. Provide paper-output information (face-up/face-towards or
3. Provide suggestions for current printers which meet 1, 2, 3 and 4

This will allow the counties who NEED card stock for whatever reason to
pick printers appropriately, and counties who just want good quality
paper (24+ lb) can pick whichever printer meets their financial needs.

The list can start out small and grow as time goes on. I am sure this
will be in the format of user submissions of test results from various
people who help with the project, as well as county employee test
results as the project gets underway. I volunteer to start a web page
version of this list (which can expand into a database as time goes by)
if we can agree on the printer details to be recorded.

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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:57 2004

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