Printing System Usability (or lack thereof)So, today I had an assignment to hand in (actually, two assignments, but the second may be submitted by email, fortunately).
First, an aside. I made a few changes to the doc on a Computer Science department computer running Windows. Word for Windows is much, much worse than Word for Mac. In particular, there is a horrible clipboard thing that pops up, and menu items seem to vanish randomly. Also, it tends to stall a lot.
Anyway, having edited the document to my satisfaction, I decided to print. As if! The Computer Science printer I normally use had decided it wasn't going to work today. So, off I went to the normal college computer room nearby. To print there, you need to put money in an account, using a funny, awkward box on the wall, which claims to take 50 cent coins. That is a lie, and I ended up putting in 2 euro.
Oh, the computer couldn't access my college file storage, for whatever reason. Grr. No wonder there are so many memory sticks about... I ended up putting it on a web server.
So, in Windows computer room. I check print preview before I print, and, although it looks fine in the WYSIWYG view, it looks mad in print preview. Some sort of font confusion. So, I fix that. Then I find that although everyone else in the room can print, I can't. I just get ominous errors. Possibly because my account is so old, it remembers the old printing system.
Next door, to Mac room. I launch Word... and wait. Then I notice the sign on the wall saying that due to the upgrade to MacOS 10.4, you must delete some random directories or Word will crash. Did so. Opened document and printed. Amazingly enough, entering codes and so forth for payment on printer worked. Five pages for 25 cent.
Total time taken: about 45 minutes. Quite frankly, I'm amazed anyone ever prints. It really shouldn't be this difficult. The sooner the lecturers get ebook readers the better :).