Thursday, 27 September 2012

Google Cloud Print ...

I've previously written that I'd never found printer sharing apps on printers terribly useful, and the same held for Google cloud print. Great idea, but in practice not that useful.

Being able to print to any printer you've registered sounds great but the obvious use - printing when you're somewhere other than close to your computer. Sure I can print my boarding pass, but that's no bloody good when I'm in a hotel in Adelaide and my printer's in Canberra ...

That was until yesterday afternoon.

I was working on a document and had got to the stage where I really needed to print out a draft and scrawl all over it.

Except the office printer was down with a dead fuser unit.

To explain, we have a big shared multi function device.  I'm an 'eat our own dogfood guy', ie I believe that we should use our own services rather than bypass them by having a private correspondance printer. The confidentiality arguement doesn't applay to me so I've sent the last two printers that people tried to give me back.

The only downside with the big shared device is that supplies and maintenance are outsourced, and the printer is supposed to send status messages to the maintenance company who are then supposed to pre-emptively arrive with new bits before it goes offline. Most of the time this works pretty well, but sometimes just in time turns out to be just too late.

We do keep an old laserjet on the network as a standby, but rather than that ,I thought I'd just drop a copy in dropbox and print it at home.

Then I had a lateral thought - use Google's cloud print. So I downloaded the webabode cloud printer app of OS X, clicked on the printer I wanted to print to and clicked on the file to queue it, locked my computer and went home.

At home I powered up the printer and opened up my Dell laptop. I did have to restart chrome to get the printing to work, but sure enough, once I'd restarted chrome the printer whirred and out came my document.

Quietly impressive given it was an odt file created with Libre Office on OS X and printed via Chrome on a Windows 7 machine (which for historical reasons has Apache Open Office, not Libre Office installed)

No comments: