Printing on Campus at RGU from your own laptops and tablets

In my previous post I explained how to connect your own device to our Wifi service and where to find further information and assistance. I hope that has helped you to get online. A common request from students once they are online is how to print from their own device. You’ll be pleased to know that our “Print@RGU” Service allows you to do this.

Full instructions on what to do can be found on the IT Help Desk pages.

We also have information on print charges and how to pay.

Just as a reminder, our print service is designed so that you send your print to one, single, University-wide print queue called ”Print@RGU.” Once your job is in the print queue, you can visit any printer on campus and use your ID card to log in to the printer and print off your print job. You can pay for your printing online, or by cash at one of the print kiosks you will find around the Campus.

The easiest way to print from your own device is by using the “MyApps” service. This gives you access to your core desktop applications including Microsoft Office. (For licensing reasons, Microsoft Office is only available to students when you are on Campus and connected over the University’s Wi-Fi system. For students who are off Campus, we provide Open Office through MyApps. This has similar features to Microsoft Office.) You can access MyApps easily from a web browser on your laptop by going to http://myapps.rgu.ac.uk – see also the IT Help Desk web site for information on how to use MyApps for the first time:

Enter your normal user name and password and you will be taken to a secure web page from which you can access your desktop applications and your “H:” drive. You can open your documents just as you normally would, and print them just as you normally would from a University desktop by using the “print” menu in the application.

On a mobile device such as an iPad or Android, instead of using a browser to access MyApps, you will need to download a free App. The App you need is called the “Citrix Receiver.” Once you have downloaded it, configure it to access the MyApps service by following the instructions on the Help Desk web site. When you have done that, you should be able to open the app and you will be able to access your desktop software directly from your mobile device and print as you normally would.

When you are on Campus, you can also print by using a simple web page to upload documents to print. Simply go to the “everyoneprint” web page, log in as normal with your username and password, and upload the document(s) you wish to print. It is also possible to use this service from a mobile device such as an iPad or Android. It’s a bit fiddly on an iPad or other IOS devices because they don’t have a file system and you cannot upload files from the normal browser. As ever, there are some apps that can come to the rescue. “iUploader” is one, which has a free version, and allows you to upload files to web sites.

You can if you wish to be more adventurous set up a print driver (“EveryonePrint Driver Print”) on your laptop so that you can print directly from software which you have on your laptop. Full instructions again can be found on the IT Help Desk pages. Note – this is only for setting up the print driver on your own laptop, not University desktops.

Paper

This is an update on the proposed arrangements for staff and student printing across the Campus from August. Some time ago, I wrote a post to outline our new strategy, and another one about the suggested choice of paper.

As a reminder, over the past couple of years we have been moving towards a new print strategy based around using the Canon multi function devices (MFD’s) across the Campus, and the “print@RGU” facility. By the end of August, we will also have moved all student printing across to Canon so that for the first time all staff and students are using the same print fleet.

As part of this move, we have been looking at the type of paper being used. Since staff and students are sharing the same print fleet and can print from any printer, we need to standardise on a single grade of paper to be used across the Campus to avoid confusion and additional costs. A recycled grade of paper has been trialled for a while and is currently in use by staff across a number of Schools and Departments. However, feedback from students was that for various (good) reasons they wished to have a grade of paper that was white and it is not therefore possible to use the current choice of recycled grade as standard grade of paper across the institution.

The Print Strategy Steering Group has considered this at length and has concluded that the best choice of paper in the first instance is not a recycled grade but a grade of “everyday” white paper which is sourced from sustainable forests. This still ensures that we are taking into account environmental considerations with regard to our paper choice, but will allow us to move to a shared fleet of staff and student printers without the added complications of trying to finalise a choice of recycled paper at the same time. It is also a grade of paper which can be used by the Gatehouse (our central printing department) and therefore means that all standard printing across the University will be using the same grade of paper.

Once the operation of the new print fleet has settled down, it will still be our intention to revisit the paper choice and evaluate in a more measured way the potential to use a recycled grade of paper as our core standard across the University.

A user group has been set up to look at the operation of the new print fleet, and arrangements for replenishment of toner and paper, and any updated guidance / procedures will be advised to staff as soon as they are finalised.

What kind of paper should we use in our printers?

Last summer, I wrote a post about our planned print strategy. This is now well underway – most staff areas now have multifunction devices (i.e. MFD’s, i.e. combined photocopiers/printers/scanners) which are networked and which they can now access using the “PrintAtRGU” print queue. Students at the moment use a separate fleet of printers, but largely the same system. Over the summer the University will move to a single fleet of printers for both staff and students – anyone will be able to print to any printer anywhere on the campus. We are just now at the point of looking at how this print fleet will be supported across the organisation.

One issue that has come up is our choice of paper. Throughout 2012 and into 2013 the Waste Management Group has worked with Departments to trial the use of 100% recycled paper.  As well as being 100% recycled, the paper is not bleached, nor does it contain optical brightening. This means that its natural colour is off-white (similar to paperback books) which makes a visual statement that the University is making a commitment to the environment.

This paper is being promoted throughout the public sector for its environmental credentials and other users include the NHS and some Scottish Government departments. Feedback during the trial was both positive and negative but in overall terms concluded that the grade of paper trialled was suitable for internal use but might not be suitable for official documents, some external correspondence, or colour prints where high quality colour definition is important. Documents printed on this paper are reported to be easier to read for those with, for example, Dyslexia.

Some of the feedback also raised interesting questions. One person observed that “Tipp-ex” correcting fluid showed up starkly on the off white paper. Others found that when photocopying the paper, because it is off-white the photocopier tries to copy the darker background copy of the paper as well as the text – using more toner. I have no idea why we are still using “Tipp-ex” or photocopying documents that can more easily be reprinted from the electronic original (or better, not printed at all!) but that’s for another day.

This recycled paper is already widely used across the University and as we are now moving to one shared printer fleet across all staff and students, it will be important to minimise the different types of paper in use across the organisation. At present, some staff areas use the recycled paper but student printers still use regular white paper. It will be confusing in future if staff or students have to think which printer or printer tray to use in order to get which type of paper. There will always be a need to keep stocks of regular white and headed paper, but it will be less confusing if other than that the paper choice can be standardised as much as possible across the University. That discussion is about to start and any comments or suggestions would be very welcome!

 

 

print@rgu

Over the past 12 months, and with significant preparation before that, the University has been putting in place a new Print Strategy. One of the core elements of this strategy has been to move printing away from desktop or local inkjet / laser printers and onto larger “multifunction devices” (MFDs) – i.e. photocopiers. Like most organisations we have photocopiers widely placed across the campus and today’s models are capable of acting as printers and scanners as well as traditional photocopiers. Hence the term “MFD”.

Desktop printing is really expensive. The cost per page is much higher than printing centrally or from MFD’s and we calculate that we will save a six figure some of money annually by shifting away from desktop printing. The print strategy is being rolled out stage by stage and already some Schools and Departments have moved across to using the new MFDs and have stopped using desktop printers.

As well as providing a more cost effective approach to printing, this new print strategy is also essential for our “future desktop” strategy. Leaving aside the cost, desktop printing is only useful if you have a desktop computer! As we move to a whole new world of IT running on mobile devices, shared workstations, from home etc we need to be able to print from any device to one of these shared MFDs. That’s where print@RGU comes in.

Traditionally, when you print from a PC you will specify the printer where you want your print to come out. With print@RGU, however, you send your print to a central queue. It sits there until you decide which printer (MFD) you wish to use. Once you are at the printer, you swipe your ID card through a special card reader (currently being installed on our MFD fleet) and a simple menu will pop up on a small screen attached to the printer. From there, you can see all the print jobs you have in the queue and you can choose which ones you want to print. If you’ve changed your mind, you can delete the print and save paper.

I was given a demonstration of the new system yesterday, and the rollout is going to start over the next few weeks. As it becomes available, you can use it on your main desktop computer to have more control over when your printouts come off the printer and the flexibility to choose any printer. If you have a laptop you will be able to use it to print to the nearest printer. This will work for staff and students. You will also be able to send your documents to the print@RGU queue from your home computer (to print off when you are next on Campus) or from your iPad, iPhone, Android etc.

There will be various ways to do this, and more detailed instructions will be issued in due course by IT Services as each stage becomes available- follow the “RGU_ITHelpdesk” on Twitter and /or check the web site if you want to get the latest info.