Printers in Astronomy

There have been changes to the departmental printing since UF went to the Xerox PrintSmart program.

Hardware Specific Questions

What public printers are available, and where are they?

The following printers are available to all users within the department. Some printers have special capabilities, such as duplex and color printing.

Printer NamePrinter TypeLocationSpecial Features
adminXerox Phaser 3610DNSSRB 211Black and White Duplex
mainXerox ColorQube 8900SSRB 226Black and White Duplex
mainsingXerox ColorQube 8900SSRB 226Single Sided
maincolorXerox ColorQube 8900SSRB 226Color, Duplex
maincolorsingXerox ColorQube 8900SSRB 226Color single sided
thirdfloorXerox Phaser 3610DNSSRB 309Black and White Duplex
gatirprintXerox Phaser 3635SSRB 426Inst Group, Black and White duplex

What about making copies?

The ColorQube 8900 in SSRB 226 is also a scanner and copier. You can use it to make copies and to scan in documents and email them.

What are the basic print commands on Linux machines?

From any of the Sun machines, the following commands are used for controlling print jobs.

From any of the Linux machines, the following commands are used for controlling print jobs.

To send a Postscript filelpr -P<printername> <>
To send a text fileenscript -P<printername> <filename.txt>
To check the queuelpq -P<printername>
To kill a print joblprm -P<printername> <jobid>

How do I print landscape? portrait? transparancies?

CUPS, the Common Unix Printing System, has some verbose options to change the way your jobs print.

The lpr command takes the -o flag, after which you can specify any number of options. Common ones include: To print transparencies, use the printer 'colort'.
Here are some example command lines to print the file paper.pdf:

lpr -Pmain -o sides=two-sided-long-edge paper.pdf
lpr -Pmain -o landscape media=letter paper.pdf
lpr -Pmain -o landscape sides=one-sided paper.pdf
More options can be found on this page.

To make things easier, we have created queues for both simplex and duplex modes for all of our duplex printers. The simplex queue is the queue name with the word "sing" appended, for example officesing is the simplex queue on the office printer.

I tried to print a PDF, and the printer says it printed, but nothing happened?

Unfortunately, the postscript interpreter in many Xerox printers is buggy. Because of this, it's possible for a poorly formatted PDF file to generate malformed postscript which the Xerox printers do not know how to properly handle. When this occurs, the Xerox printer will dump the print job, and act as if it was properly printed.

There are two things which cause this problem: 1. The buggy postscript interpreter on Xerox printers, and 2. A badly formed PDF document.

Although the following steps have worked for other people in the past, they may, or may not, work for you.

Why does this work?? pdf2ps appears to generate clean postscript, even when the source PDF is poorly formatted. The new postscript file should print on the department printers.

You can also try printing the initial pdf file to a postscript file, and then printing the postscript file from within Ghostview. However, the results of this technique are mixed.

Where can I get posters printed?

There is a much less expensive (~4'x3' = about $5), quicker (~30 minutes) option, in a computer science lab just a few minutes walk away from Bryant. Once there, you can ask of the CIRCA computer lab workers (the folks in the blue vests) for further assistance.

They do print up to A0 format on the fly for 5 USD. You only have to bring the pdf file. Oh- and you need your myUFL login. That's how they send you the bill. The quality is actually pretty good, if you can live with the fact that the paper is relatively thin and not glossy.

The library's CIRCA lab with the do-it-yourself plotters: The paper quality isn't great, but that's because you only pay $3 per printout.

Biomedical Medial Services:
When the CIRCA lab is closed, I like to go to Biomedical Media Services in the Communicore Building, in the Shands complex (C3-03 Communicore, 352-273-5044). They have a nominal one business day turnaround, but if they are not busy, I can give them a poster early in the morning and have it dried and trimmed by early afternoon. They make really good-looking posters on glossy paper, and you don't have to worry about any do-it-yourself fiddling- they make sure it comes out well. The cost is typically ~$50-60, but depends on how much paper you use.

There is a poster printing facility in the BMS building near Shands that I have found to be pretty efficient, glossier than CSE lab, reasonably priced, and good quality.

Evidently, UF has some deal with them to print posters for about $20. You may need an account number that is associated with UF. I have not tested this yet.

Credits: Dimitri Veras, Brian Lee, Tom Kehoe, Joern Rossa, Marcos Huerta, Maren Hempel, David Edmeades, Jorg Peters, Eric Ford

Last updated: 09/12/2014, Matt Glover