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Last post Author Topic: NANY 2010 Release: Page Countster  (Read 93802 times)

Stoic Joker

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NANY 2010 Release: Page Countster
« on: December 08, 2009, 06:40:34 PM »
NANY 2010 Entry Information

Application Name Page Countster
Version 1.0.0.195
Short Description Network Printer Scanner
Supported OSes Windows 2k/XP/Vista/7 (x86 & x64)
Web Page Currently non-Existent
Download Link Page Countster v1.0.0.195
System Requirements
  • Current Windows OS
  • A Network Printer
  • A Network :)
Version History
  • v1.0.0.195 Repaired Default SNMP Community bugg
  • v1.0.0.190 Repaired Reporting Function
  • v1.0.0.188 Added Save Default Network
  • v1.0.0.175 Added Drag-N-Drop
  • v1.0.0.163 Email Report Now HTML
  • v1.0.0.155 Email Report Working
  • v1.0.0.142 Change Display Text
  • v1.0.0.138 Driver-less Test Page Printing
  • v1.0.0.135 Toner Levels Working
  • v1.0.0.122 Added Toner Levels
  • v1.0.0.115 first rel
Author Stoic Joker
Screencast


Description
The company I work for re-manufactures laser printer toner cartridges as a primary (cost center) product. We needed a way to quickly find out how many printers were on a customers network, what model they were, their page counts, serial numbers, toner levels & etc. The application had to be small, portable, fast, & simple enough for the sales staff to operate... :)

Most of what I found back then was neither small nor portable, and cold network scanning speeds were slow. Most of the applications currently available are designed (primarily) to generate tons of pretty reports for the boardroom types, and leave the IT types to suffer with a bloatware mess.


Features
  • Quickly find printers on a network
  • Auto-detection of network address range
  • Send Printer Information Report to Email Address.
  • Option to save a default network configuration to Config.ini
  • Quickly reopen report(s) via Drag-N-Drop into program window.
  • Send a (Plain Text) test page to any network printer without needing a driver.
  • Quick & easy way to replace serial number (on HP printers) if formatter has been changed...HP's method takes, 10min, an Uber secret code, & an act of congress.
  • Quick & easy of changing the printer's (Ready State) Display Text to any 16 character (max) string. Granted this "feature" is primarily a toy that will be missused...But, I couldn't resist adding it.
  • Can also (quickly) change/update page counts & HOST Name.
  • Scan reports can be saved in either .csv or .tsv format for import into Excel, or reopened  to rescan a given group of printers. Emailed reports are in a printable HTML table format.
  • Portablility: requires no install or runtimes
  • Fast: Typically scans at a rate of 20 IPs per second
  • Small: Currently only 282KB

Planned Features
Open for Suggestions...

Screencast


Screenshots
Main Program Window
PC_Build_135.jpgNANY 2010 Release: Page Countster

  Start New Scan open a dialog that auto-populates with the first network address range it finds on the machine, and if crossing subnets the scan will automatically skip broadcast addresses.
NewScan.jpgNANY 2010 Release: Page Countster

  While the defaults were carefully selected, occasionally that will be to tight for network conditions or devices that don't respond quickly. There is an Administrative Options dialog (Access from scanning menu or with Ctrl + Alt + F8) that allows setting of a default IP Address range, alternate (default) SNMP Community name, and adjustment of the the wait times if you are (as an example) running the scan via VPN on a remote network etc. Clicking OK will save the changes for the current session only, and clicking save to .ini will save the settings to Config.ini in the local directory for future use. This is also where you configure the Email Report Options (if you wish to have the app Email the report).
Options.jpgNANY 2010 Release: Page Countster

 (by request) Emailed reports are now in a printable & presentable HTML table format.
Email_Report.jpgNANY 2010 Release: Page Countster

Usage
Installation
Double-Click to run & select Start New Scan from the Printer Scanning menu.

Using the Application
The application was designed from the ground up to be simple, straight forward, and self-explanitory.

Uninstallation
Simply delete it & the Config.ini file (if it was created)

Known Issues
  Due to the high level of packet crafting required to hit the target speed of approx 20 IPs per sec, the application uses RAW Sockets and therefore requires administrative rights to scan the network. e.g. UAC will require the program be run as administrator or the scan will fail. (I can see f0dder cringing now ... sorry man couldn't be helped).

  There is a handle leak that will cause the desktop to exhaust its default handle limit (crash) if a range of 8,000 or more addresses are scanned in a single session. So... if you happen to be scanning a hospital or university (I have) it's best to scan in 4,000 IP address blocks, save the report, restart the program, reopen the report and then continue scanning. While this bugg is at the top of the list, I'm currently tied up with a production inventory management system that has to be on-line by the end of the year.

  The scanner will detect and report any brand of network printers only, locally attached devices that require share access are outside the scope of the current version of the software.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2010, 06:54:43 PM by Stoic Joker »

mouser

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2009, 06:47:32 PM »
cool stuff!!! Worked here perfectly :up:

mouser

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2009, 06:50:21 PM »
haahahah!!!!
not only did it work, but when i right clicked on printer and selected "WebAccess" it took me to printer web server which i never knew existed!!

Screenshot - 12_8_2009 , 6_48_58 PM.png

Stoic Joker

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2009, 06:58:45 PM »
Side note: My boss doesn't quite share my rather cavalier sense of humor regarding application names ... So if anybody has a suggestion on what it could/should have been names I'm open. ;)

mouser

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2009, 07:04:44 PM »
I humbly suggest: "Findster and Countster Robot"

Rolls trippingly off the tongue doesn't it?

techidave

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2009, 07:26:13 PM »
Thanks SJ.  I cannot wait to try it tomorrow.  we had a snow day off today, but since I am only 2 blocks from school; I will go over tomorrow even if we don't have school.

I like the fact that it gives the page count too.  Could it also give the amount of toner left too? 

Stoic Joker

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2009, 07:29:58 PM »
I humbly suggest: "Findster and Countster Robot"

Rolls trippingly off the tongue doesn't it?

While it does seem to have a (rather familiar...) "ring" to it ...(LOL)... I did mention that my primary objective was to not get fired, Right..?

techidave

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2009, 07:40:11 PM »
or FARPI, Find and Run Printer Info   :D

Target

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2009, 07:46:56 PM »
I humbly suggest: "Findster and Countster Robot"

Rolls trippingly off the tongue doesn't it?

While it does seem to have a (rather familiar...) "ring" to it ...(LOL)... I did mention that my primary objective was to not get fired, Right..?

yeah, i was thinking that some potential pronunciations of the acronym (FACR) could be problematic (FAKeR, or maybe if it's not working as expected (HA!), F**KeR)

techidave

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2009, 07:55:24 PM »
 :greenclp: :harhar: :harhar:  thanks for the laugh Target.

Stoic Joker

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2009, 08:01:18 PM »
Thanks SJ.  I cannot wait to try it tomorrow.  we had a snow day off today, but since I am only 2 blocks from school; I will go over tomorrow even if we don't have school.
Cool, thanks!

Quote
I like the fact that it gives the page count too.  Could it also give the amount of toner left too? 
Reliably no, depending on the age & brand of printer. There is a small group of industry standard (RFC something or the other) SNMP OIDs but the toner level(s) ain't on that list. That and the printers ability to accurately sense its own toner levels has only recently become possible. The toner level in the cartridge is only calculated and not actually ever really measured. Some re-manufactured cartridges come without the chip required to calculate the toner levels, so the toner "Gauge" will simply "stick" at what ever the last reading it got was. While the calculations are getting better now that they are factoring the actual average page coverage instead of assuming 5%... it's still kind of a crap shoot.

Please understand I have spent hundreds of hours researching the relevant technologies & protocols used by/for printer management in the (roughly) 3 years this has been in development. So if I seem reluctant to try or implement something it's generally because I've already been burnt trying :)

Mouser did have a good point regarding the printer's on-board configuration & status web-server. All network printers have them so the more detailed info like toner levels can be gleaned from them via the context menu.

Shades

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2009, 08:03:08 PM »
Would the following suggestion help?

Page Teller

or

Print Teller

or

PrinTell

Stoic Joker

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2009, 08:03:48 PM »
if it's not working as expected (HA!), F**KeR)
That's already happened... ;)

Stoic Joker

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2009, 08:07:22 PM »
Would the following suggestion help?

Page Teller

or

Print Teller

or

PrinTell

But what if I get sued by Penn & Teller...

I'd like to work the word scan in there some how, but as usual most of the good names are already taken.

techidave

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2009, 08:08:05 PM »
thanks for the info, SJ.  I knew that the gauge was somewhat recent.

Not that I would ever want you to try anything that would crash your app.

I currently use the web interface to check toner levels and page counts.  And I was just looking for a way to get everything on "one page".  mac address, serial number, etc.

this is something I have desired for a while.  I just never thought to ask about it.  not that I ever did ask for it. :-[

Target

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2009, 08:09:09 PM »
here's another suggestion - Print NANY

techidave

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2009, 08:12:31 PM »
maybe PrintNany2010.  make it sound like its a new version. :-\

techidave

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2009, 08:15:53 PM »
InfoPrinter? ;D

cranioscopical

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2009, 08:33:37 PM »
Printer Peek?

Stoic Joker

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2009, 08:34:45 PM »
I currently use the web interface to check toner levels and page counts.  And I was just looking for a way to get everything on "one page".  mac address, serial number, etc.
Hm... (shit/me too) ...Here's the rub (outside of the obvious collection issue), Color Printers have four toner levels, so I either have to insert 3 additional "dead" lines, add four additional columns, or create a context item that pulls the info up in a seperate dialog.

The "dead" lines will totally hose the report open/save functions
The extra columns will (tend to) require side scrolling which irks me.
The seperate dialog completely defeats the purpose.

Side scrolling might just be the lessor of evils...

If I have time tomorrow I'll go through my notes and see if there is an at least semi-reliable way of doing this.



@Target - Print NANY  (or Printer NANY) does have some potential ... but I got a feeling the boss won't like it (I'll ask).

Target

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2009, 08:38:01 PM »
@Target - Print NANY  (or Printer NANY) does have some potential ... but I got a feeling the boss won't like it (I'll ask).

tell him there's a DC mug in it for him...

techidave

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2009, 08:41:08 PM »
not that big of a deal to me SJ.  My teachers are pretty conservative so they don't use a great amount of toner.  Besides as Mouser pointed out, you can right click the printer and choose webaccess.  edit: to check the toner amount that is.


Stoic Joker

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2009, 09:15:25 PM »
I do have another small tray utility (PrinStats), it's only for monitoring one monochrome printer but it does check the toner level.
PrinStats.jpg
You can either enter the printer's name/IP at runtime or add it to the shortcut:
PrinStats_ShortCut.jpg

Same RAW Socket/UAC/Admin issue applies, but if you want to check it out...
PrinStats v1.0.0.42

techidave

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2009, 09:20:56 PM »
very interesting joker.  another one to try out. :)

rgdot

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Re: NANY 2010 Pre-Release: Page Countster
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2009, 09:22:54 PM »
SMTP  ;)

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