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Thought Experiments

Idea: Printing Via Email

I was doing some work, and went to print, and hit the “Send email as Attachment” button instead of the QuickPrint button in Excel.

Not only did I have to unblock Excel from the internet and wait for Outlook to load a message with the attachment, I had to close the windows and hit print again.

But what if you’re able to email your docs to a printer?

Say you’re up at the university in class, and it’s about to start. You have a project due, and it’s stored on your PDA or laptop. You can’t hook your laptop up to the printer that the teacher has at their podium. And you definitly can’t get your PDA on the network to print to it. And you don’t have time to run up to the 3rd floor to log in, open web browser, open the email, download it, open the program and print it, then go back to class. That’s a good 10 minutes, if you’re lucky enough to get a computer when you get there.

Instead, what if there was the technology to send an email from your laptop to the printer via your student account. I go to UT Arlington, and we have exchange.uta.edu email accounts. We also have to log in on our laptops/pda’s to get on to the internet, to go through their gateway.

So if there was software that was set up to receive emails from the uta email accounts, from a uta wireless connection (verified by source ip), then one could simply email the printer in the classroom, and get their project and not be late.

Software on the back end of the printer would receive incoming emails, verify the header information, scan the document for viruses and (if desired for document type) and print the document (if it’s of the allowed doc types).

You could do the same if someone emailed your corporate Blackberry device and you needed to print the document. Simply email it to the corporate printer. It’d recognize the sending address, scan the doc and print it.

Now, other than the known issues like mac-address spoofing, and ip spoofing…what other security risks would there be…or problems for this kind of setup.

By [[Neo]]

I am a web programmer, system integrator, and photographer. I have been writing code since high school, when I had only a TI-83 calculator. I enjoy getting different systems to talk to each other, coming up with ways to mimic human processes using technology, and explaining how complicated things work.

Of my many blogs, this one is purely about the technology projects, ideas, and solutions that I have come across in my internet travels. It's also the place for technical updates related to my other sites that are part of The-Spot.Network.

1 reply on “Idea: Printing Via Email”

I like this concept of e-mailng your docs to the printer. It takes away the hassle of setting up everything like you said which is time consuming. Now if only we can get a printer to do that, colleges would have better grades, possibly of course.

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