Re: Printers Revisited

From: Ed Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Sun May 23 2004 - 23:23:26 CDT

Hello All:

Actually I'm printer agnostic. I would like to add two little bits of
information to the discussion that might be relevant.

    Power saving settings are adjustable on most laser printer. There is an
internal clock that kicks in after each print job is completed and if the
time between jobs exceeds the power saving settings, the heaters/fusers shut
off. The fusers actually melt the toner into the paper. Otherwise, the
toner just falls off. It is possible to change the economy or power saving
settings so the printers are 'hot' effectively all the time.

    I have not found any HP or Brother printers that don't send paper
through a U shaped or 180 degree path even if you use the sheet feeder.
Epson printers seem to put the paper through a 45 degree bend but very few
manufacturers discuss paper paths in their literature. It seems to be
necessary to wrap the paper around something to properly present it to the
printing apparatus. Even large format plotters do this. Although I think
someone may have already mentioned it, laser printer output usually comes
out face down basically to preserve page order. You have to tell ink jet
printers to print from the last page first to have them preserve page order.
BTW, for a different application, I'm looking for a more or less flat bed
printer that runs paper almost straight through a printer. My HP 932C Desk
Jet has problems handling card stock. If anyone has information on that,
please contact me privately.

Thanks, Ed Kennedy

----- Original Message -----
From: "Alan Dechert" <alan@openvotingconsortium.org>
To: <voting-project@lists.sonic.net>
Sent: Sunday, May 23, 2004 8:15 PM
Subject: Re: [voting-project] Printers Revisited

> Karl,
>
> > Right, which is why I think that ink jets should not be so automatically
> > dismissed.
> >
> I don't think I've dismissed inkjets. I've said,
>
> 1) Lasers are very unlikely to be used in our mobile system: Inkjets are
> very likely to be used in our mobile system
> 2) Both inkjets and lasers will be certified for use with our pollsite
> system
> 3) The real answer on who uses inkjets and who uses laserjets will be
> decided, most likely, locally.
>
> > As for the start up time issue - I believe that we are going to have an
> > issue in which a voter presses "print ballot" and then walks away.
> >
> That's an interesting conjecture.
>
> > Laser printers take several seconds even without warm-up (your example
of
> > 8 seconds is a long time - long enough for a voter to leave). I just
ran
> > a test in which I printed a web page from Windows to Linux/CUPs and then
> > to an ink-jet that had been sitting idle for a few hours. The printer
> > started working within 3 seconds.
> >
> But how long did it take to finish? How long will an inkjet take to
finish
> printing a really long ballot?
>
> > I ran the same test against a Lexmark 312 - because of warm-up time
> > it was 30 seconds before the paper even began to feed. ...
> >
> Maybe we won't try to get the Lexmark 312 certified for use with our
system.
> Other lasers for $300 and less take much less time.
>
> > On the second test, with the printer warmed, it was 8 seconds
> > before the paper feed (and significant noise) began.
> >
> OTOH, most ballots would be printed with the printer already warm, no?
>
> > That's probably true. However, we're not talking about situations in
> > which we run the printers efficiently - our goal is a problem free
> > election.
> >
> I'm not sure that's our goal. We want several things for sure:
>
> 1) Transparency -- everyone can see and understand how everything is
> supposed to work ("nothing up the sleeve"). It will be a system people
can
> trust.
> 2) Auditability -- in case of any questions/problems with tabulation, we
can
> go back and look at the comprehensive audit trail--electronic and
paper--and
> figure out where errors occurred so we can correct the problem(s) if
> necessary.
> 3) Affordability -- cheapness is important so we can preserve public money
> for other important uses, and also so democracy can flourish elsewhere in
> the world--few find $3,000 voting machines affordable.
> 4) Speed -- for the voters, time is money. If voting takes too much time
> and trouble, people will be discouraged from voting altogether. Steps
must
> be kept to an absolute minimum. Don't make the voter jump through a bunch
> of hoops. Have enough machines available so they don't have to wait in
> line. On the election administration side, speed is also very important.
> Develop standard ways of doing things and standard file formats to
minimize
> manual labor in counting votes. Get the results done and published before
> it becomes known that if a few hundred votes in Rebol County in FL could
be
> swung one way or the other, it could decide the outcome of the election.
If
> the count is slow, decisive counties surface and become points of attack
for
> people that want to manipulate the election result.
>
> There are other things we want but I'm pretty sure "problem free" is not
> high on the list. There will always be problems. We need clean, fair,
> accurate, and rational ways to recover from these problems.
>
> --Alan D.
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:59 2004

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