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Do we know of any free printers? November 14, 2007

Posted by emiaukea in Uncategorized.
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I came across this sidebar in the November 2007 issue of PC World (here’s where they talk about an earlier version on their blog) about a site/service that HP set up.  CloudPrint is an internet-based service that you can use to store print jobs for later printing.  The idea is that you may be at home or a coffee shop (or in your hotel room) — somewhere you don’t have access to a ‘free’ printer (or USB drive, etc).  It works like this:  upload your document from your laptop while sipping your favorite coffee drink at the lcoal cafe, they assign you a code, and later when you reach a place with a printer (I’m thinking library here in case you aren’t so good at guessing games), you can access and print your document from the CloudPrint site using the code they gave you earlier.  In the process of uploading and downloading-to-print it gets converted to a PDF so you don’t need to worry about the computer you’re using to print from having the right software.

There are drawbacks certainly (you can’t edit a pdf so when you access it from the library and suddenly notice you have misspelled your own name on that copy of your resume; you’re out of luck, and computers on both ends must have Internet access) and I’m not sure how many people need this service, but it’s such a simple thing for libraries to do that could potentially increase their visibility.

Oh, yeah.  The visibility part (i.e. the punchline):  you can enter a zip code at the CloudPrint website and see a list of free printers in your area.  When I tried this there were none within a 50 mile radius of Olympia, or changing locations, within 50 miles of Seattle either.  Sad, so very sad.

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