Mac printing inconvenience

by Austin Rexinger

Canisius College senior Tim Edwards is tired of being late to class. Students like Edwards with Mac laptops are unable to print wirelessly at Canisius due to compatibility issues between Macs and Xerox printers in the Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library.

“I waste at least five minutes logging into a computer every time I want to print,” said Edwards. “And I have been late to class before because I couldn’t print directly from my Mac.”

Edwards is not the only student in this boat. Based upon averages of Macs and PCs, about one thousand undergraduates at Canisius own Macs for schoolwork and are unable to use them to print wirelessly.

“I have to use the school computers all of the time, and it isn’t always convenient,” said Edwards. That being said, about a thousand students at Canisius College are currently being inconvenienced by the printers in the Bouwhuis Library at Old Main.

If a student at Canisius with a Mac wishes to print a document wirelessly, it is not currently possible due to a compatibility conflict between the Xerox printers in the library and Mac laptops. Alternate options such as emailing a document, using a flash drive, or Google Docs are the only solutions for students with Macs who wish to print a document on campus.

“The Apple 10.9 software for Mac laptops is too up to date for the printers,” said Cody Wallum, a student at Canisius who works at the ITS help desk in the Bouwhuis Library. At one point in time, the Xerox printers were compatible with Macs but after several Apple software updates, the printers have become useless to students wishing to print wirelessly from Macs.

“At this point in time, it’s a knowledge issue,” said Dr. Terri Mangione, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students. “This is the first time this has been brought to my attention,” said Mangione, who had no previous knowledge of this ongoing printing inconvenience until the first week of April.

This issue has been prevalent since the beginning of the school year, at least, and zero knowledge has been shared with anyone at Canisius with the authority to make effective changes.

“It’s not a good solution,” said Mangione when she learned that the only alternative for students with Mac’s is to use Google Docs or a flash drive. This issue has been put on the back burner for far too long and needs to be changed.

“Part of the student experience is trying to reduce frustration when we can,” said Mangione. Students at Canisius should be able to complete quality work without the added stress of not being able to print seamlessly and directly from their Mac laptop.

Xerox is not helping with this problem. ITS at Canisius contacted ComDoc, the company who provides the Xerox printers lost compatibility with Macs, and no immediate solution was given.

“ComDoc told us that they are working on an update for the Xerox printers,” said Wallum. “If an update is not made that would work with the Xerox printers in the library,” said Wallum, ‘we [Canisius] would have to get all new printers.” A logical solution at this point in time would be to purchase at least one new printer for the library that would be designated to work specifically with Mac laptops.

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