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Thread: Photoshop plugin or other software wanted to automate a small daily print order

  1. #1

    Photoshop plugin or other software wanted to automate a small daily print order

    All of us who produce museum quality photographic prints need a way to maintain our wide format printers when we are away on shooting trips. When these printers sit idle, their print heads dry up and eventually require costly replacement. They need to print daily to stay in good working order. Only a very small print using all colors is necessary.

    Does anyone know of a Photoshop plugin that can automate a small print order and send it to the printer every 24 hours? This would of course require first waking the computer from sleep mode, then sending the print order from Photoshop, via the Epson or Canon driver (also plugins).

    This is such a critical issue that I would even be willing to pay someone to write the necessary code to create such a plugin. I work on Mac OS with Epson printers.

    Here is an interesting excerpt from a review of the Epson 9000 printer in which the reviewer mentions a freeware he uses for this purpose. However the freeware is only written for Windows:

    "Despite what you might read elsewhere, this printer will not wake itself to do scheduled cleanings (confirmed with Epson). That's a huge drawback for a professional photographer like myself who is routinely gone for a month at a time. To prevent the print head from drying, I use the freeware Irfanview to do an automated small daily print that exercises the nozzles."

    Any referrals or ideas for how to automate a daily print using Mac OS would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Photoshop plugin or other software wanted to automate a small daily print order

    I retired years ago and have no access to my library of solutions, but I did have something that would do what you wish. I'm working through my 75 years-old memory - forgive.

    Tips: do not let your Mac sleep. I will not hurt anything. (system preferences, Screen Saver, 'never). Then in photoshop create an 'action' that does what you wish - print a small, full color image. Save it as a 'Droplet' named, for example, 'exercise_printer'.

    Then in Mac OS (terminal), create a chronx event to start the event, which is the droplet's name, scheduled for 24 hours, with the full path and name of the droplet.

    Sorry that I have not a printer here to test and give a full example. Maybe I can work it out with a NL device later.

    Jac

  3. #3

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    Re: Photoshop plugin or other software wanted to automate a small daily print order

    You can use Teamviewer to connect from from your phone/tablet and to control your computer, print, and check everything. You can also place a webcam in the Mac to see what printer is doing. You can use a task scheduler utility in the Mac to launch print jobs, and probably you can also print remotely sending files from your phone to the printer.

  4. #4

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    Re: Photoshop plugin or other software wanted to automate a small daily print order

    Given what minimal resources Irfanview needs, I wonder if the best route here might be to purchase a cheap PC, perhaps used, for $100 or so, leave it on all the time (no sleeping) and let it handle this job.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  5. #5

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    Re: Photoshop plugin or other software wanted to automate a small daily print order

    Let me preface this by saying I print on Canon printers which from a print head design are very different than Epson. That said I think one of the best things you can do is to never turn your printer off. What I do with my Canon printers (and hope you can do it with your Epson) is to tell the printer to never turn itself off, but let it go to sleep. Hopefully like my Canons your Epson in a sleep mode it will still wake itself up to do regular maintenance. That should help itself a lot with some of the print head issues you are having. A full color spectrum/greyscale test print is obviously the best option but must photographers (myself included) have a lot trouble making that work into their schedule. If your printer can be setup as I described it should hopefully alieviate the need for a daily test print. Not to mention saving a lot of ink and paper.

    Hope this helps.

    -Joshua

  6. #6

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    Re: Photoshop plugin or other software wanted to automate a small daily print order

    I am looking for a similar thing but for Windows 7. I did find that you don't have to print a full color image, just a nozzle check. Minimal ink usage.

  7. #7

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    Re: Photoshop plugin or other software wanted to automate a small daily print order

    What happens to it after a power outage? Battery backups don't last that long and the computer and printer turning back on after no power - would it work?
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  8. #8

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    Re: Photoshop plugin or other software wanted to automate a small daily print order

    Willie,

    I have both of my printers (and any other computer/electronics I care about) on battery backups. If they are in a sleep mode they use very little power, so a decent battery backup will last a long time. I live in an area that has lots of small brown outs (meaning you only lose power for a few seconds) and one or two good power outages a year. Using the battery backups has kept everything in good order.

    At least so far!

    -Joshua

  9. #9

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    Re: Photoshop plugin or other software wanted to automate a small daily print order

    nice info - print package is a feature of photoshop that really should have been included in a regular install of photoshop CS4. It shouldn’t be as difficult as it is to find and install.

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