Re: Printers Revisited

From: Karl Auerbach <karl_at_cavebear_dot_com>
Date: Mon May 24 2004 - 13:17:03 CDT

On Mon, 24 May 2004, Edmund R. Kennedy wrote:

> ... I thought the batteries on UPS used a gel electrolyte and not a
> liquid.

Yes, they are generally sealed gel batteries. So they are safe most of
the time. It just that when they do get into a fire situation, then they
get bad. UPS fires are probably more rare today then they were five years
ago when the mongo refrigerator APCs we use at trade shows burned.

And yes, there are protective circuits. But a laser printer during warm
up or printing can draw a lot of power. This means more often than
burning that the UPS simply throws its own breaker. Which shuts down the
printer and the voting station.

Because the laser printers draw these big loads only intermittently it is
likely that there will be few problems with overloaded circuit breakers
until there are a lot of voters voting at the same time. Then it is
likely that there will be times when all the printers are drawing at the
same time. And if its a hot afternoon or evening then the poll workers
may have fans running on those same circuits. And if it is a cold morning
or evening, then there will often be space heaters. The situations are
ripe for circuit overloading.

> As I've previously mentioned, I've been looking at ink jet printers for
> other purposes and I haven't yet seen one that doesn't present the
> output face up. Also, if we're using partially preprinted ballots as
> some have discussed, that requires the voter to put the ballot in 'up
> side or face down' which would be even more confusing.

Are we really sure we want voters putting paper into printers? That seems
a recepie for paper jams due to everything from folded paper to chocolate
on the paper from the fingers of a voter eating a candy bar.

If the voter does put pre-printed paper into the printer that
pre-printing, if it is the security background stuff, can be printed on
both sides and have vertical symmetry so that no matter how the paper is
inserted it is valid.

                --karl--
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Received on Mon May 31 23:18:01 2004

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