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College To Save Money By Switching Email Font

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the smallest-things dept.

Earth 306

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has come up with an unusual way of saving money: changing their email font. The school expects to use 30% less ink by switching from Arial to Century Gothic. From the article: "Diane Blohowiak is the school's director of computing. She says the new font uses about 30 percent less ink than the previous one. That could add up to real savings, since the cost of printer ink works out to about $10,000 per gallon. Blohowiak says the decision is part of the school's five-year plan to go green. She tells Wisconsin Public Radio it's great that a change that's eco-friendly also saves money."

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306 comments

email? (4, Insightful)

rwven (663186) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627744)

Only if people are printing emails...

Re:email? (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627836)

This feels .... so wrong.

Next up - saving electricity by using smaller fonts on the computer screens.

I have a bad feeling about this....

Re:email? (3, Interesting)

RIAAShill (1599481) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628248)

Next up - saving electricity by using smaller fonts on the computer screens.

...of course that wouldn't work given that smaller fonts would mean fewer dark foreground pixels and more bright background pixels. Switching from white backgrounds to gray backgrounds would be more likely to have any impact (assuming that modern monitors use more electricity when displaying bright images).

What no one seems to have brought up is that while Century Gothic uses less ink than Arial, it also takes up more space (unless the size is reduced). Try it out with some Lorem ipsum [lipsum.com] text. I found that five paragraphs Arial 12-pt with 1.25" margins on letter paper takes up about 11" vertically. Those same five paragraphs in Century Gothic 12-pt take up 12.75" vertically. That 15% increase in space could easily lead to savings in ink being offset by additional paper waste.

Re:email? (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628356)

Thanks for the technical help but ... I really hate it when people take a perfectly weak joke post and then try to make it sensible by adding some bit of erudition or a fact or two. It ruins whatever humorous implications that were originally present, minimal though they be.

In summary let me just say this one thing:

WHOOSH !

Re:email? (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628396)

http://3430.online.fr/computing/electricity_power_consumption.html [online.fr]

According to that, the negligible power difference is actually in favor of showing white images on LCDs in most cases. It makes sense that unless the screen dims when showing dark colors (as you see on some TVs), there is extra effort required to change the color from its natural state, light, to dark.

With CRTs, the opposite would be true. Black should require less power than white.

Re:email? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628516)

...of course that wouldn't work given that smaller fonts would mean fewer dark foreground pixels and more bright background pixels.

Actually, it will work because it takes more power to display black than white on a computer monitor.

You're probably thinking of CRTs, where the opposite is true, but these days, everyone uses LCDs, and with an LCD, it takes more power to block out the backlight with a pixel.

Of course, the power difference with different fonts is completely negligible.

Re:email? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31627878)

Same question here: I don't get the correlation between email font and saving printing money. I don't think I've ever printed my email as that kind of defeats the purpose. If they print all of there emails, they should have stuck with snail mail. Although I have printed sizeable manuals using the schools printers before, but again, the email font wouldn't have changed anything in my case.

Re:email? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31628042)

try working at a financial (or similar) institution where it is required by law to stay compliant for audits, etc.

Re:email? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31628056)

In a perfect world no one would print emails, but having worked at a place that printing emails was a common occurrence this could save real money. Just because something isn't the ideal doesn't mean it can't be better than the current reality.

Re:email? (3, Funny)

Drathos (1092) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628058)

I worked in a DoD office a few years ago that was run by a Colonel who had all of his emails printed out in triplicate (one for his office, one for home, and one to file) by his secretary. He never read any of his email on his computer.

Re:email? (5, Funny)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628178)

Since it is a smaller, lighter font, you can save a lot of money by not needing such large hard disks to store them.

Heres an idea... (3, Insightful)

epdp14 (1318641) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627746)

E-mail should stay on e-lectronic media! Unless there is a genuine purpose to have a printed copy of an email, don't print it. Digital archives are much more cost effective than that overflowing file cabinet anyway.

Re:Heres an idea... (3, Insightful)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628410)

There are lots of reason why I print e-mails. For example, if I intent to discuss it in a meeting and don't want to lug my laptop with me and fart about with a projector. Also, I personally find it easier to read from a printout for long e-mails especially when I want to highlight parts of it or have it handy while writing another e-mail and especially when we are forced to use the steaming pile of crap that is Lotus Notes as an e-mail client.

Re:Heres an idea... (0, Troll)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628760)

"Unless there is a genuine purpose to have a printed copy of an email, don't print it"

Excellent advice. Redundant, and reinforcing the college's solution, but excellent.

Just a quick question, are you a Linux user?

Another idea (0)

rschuetzler (1735324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627750)

You could also just tell people to stop printing out their emails.

Re:Another idea (4, Insightful)

rvw (755107) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627978)

You could also just tell people to stop printing out their emails.

Excellent!!! Can you also tell them to stop shouting, killing, being stupid, go to war?

Re:Another idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31628260)

Stop shouting!

Re:Another idea (1)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628414)

War it is!

Re:Another idea (1)

EvilNTUser (573674) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628788)

I tell users they're stupid all the time. Then they start shouting at me and I kill them.

Why not laser print? (5, Informative)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627756)

Who was the genius there that had them using ink jet printers instead of laser? Probably the same genius that thinks this will save them money?

Re:Why not laser print? (5, Insightful)

spinkham (56603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627862)

Seriously. If you're printing emails on the school's inkjet printers, your font is probably not the only change you need to make.

Re:Why not laser print? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627994)

when i did a year of consulting for a US Army agency years ago, it seemed like almost everyone wanted their own personal printer. most people thought they were too good to share a printer with the 50 other people on the floor. so they probably bought inkjets for all the cry babies who wanted their own printer

Re:Why not laser print? (1)

michrech (468134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628382)

It's even worse where I work. Most of the departments *have* workgroup-class laser printers (or huge copy machines with network print capability). Many of the staff just can't be bothered to get off their lazy asses to walk down a hall to their workroom to get their printouts. Yes, it's that simple... :(

Re:Why not laser print? (3, Interesting)

larkost (79011) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628444)

This is probably very close to the truth. The people in question are probably professors, and the way internal politics works in most Universities (I have worked for 3) the professors have most of the power. Since they all want a personal printer, they all get one, but they are the ones in charge of the budget and there is no way they are going to buy a laser printer when they could buy a cheaper inkjet (since "it is almost free"). Since the ink often comes out of a budget that is not theirs (at least not directly), they don't care about on-going costs (nor were they really going to think about them in the first place).

And the professors in question are often older (this affects both eyesight, and comfort with technology), and they are often getting email that needs to be marked up (notes on scientific papers, reviews of their post-doc's work, etc...), and you find that they get in the habit of printing out everything. There are some who are moving to a mostly-digital workflow, but the tools for this are still specialized or not well known in the community (they are just learning about how to use editing notes in Word).

In most Universities the local IT has no power to change any of these, and has to walk a lot of very fine lines politically (while being underpaid for even the normal job). Central IT often can put out edicts, since people there have the ear of the dean, but localized IT has both the responsibility to enforce these edicts, and none of the power to do so.

Re:Why not laser print? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31628872)

At my company, it basically became "Tough, too bad. We're not paying for inkjet ink any more without executive approval."

Re:Why not laser print? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628084)

This is perhaps where something like an iPad could help go towards paperless... but like in Avatar, where they uplink to the bodies for the first time, the scientist slides what he is interested in off his main computer onto a slate, there needs to be tech that facilitates the exchange of "papers" the same way between devices. Without thinking about it, mucking with file formats or email adresses.

Re:Why not laser print? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628458)

... the scientist slides what he is interested in off his main computer onto a slate, there needs to be tech that facilitates the exchange of "papers" the same way between devices

In fact, screw emails entirely. Want that. Want that. Want!

Re:Why not laser print? (1)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628482)

This is perhaps where something like an iPad could help go towards paperless.

When you consider the reasons people print their email, a trinket like the iPad is going completely the wrong direction. The people I've known that print their email usually do so for a few reasons:

- Easier for them to read on paper than a monitor
- They can easily annotate with corrective marks, shapes, arrows, comments
- Collate and file the message away with other paperwork
- Just don't like using computers for whatever reason and prefer a hard copy

Some of these are doable on a computer, but none are as easy on a computer. It's fairly short-sighted and selfish do immediately disregard everyone that prints email as "stupid" or "just stubborn" (as commenters have done in other threads).

Re:Why not laser print? (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628488)

For text based websites there's instapaper.com - you use a bookmarklet on the website you want to send to the device (it's even easier than del.icio.us - it doesn't ask you any questions, it just does it).

Re:Why not laser print? (3, Informative)

michrech (468134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628352)

It's not as simple as you'd think (though there is no good reason it shouldn't be simple!).

See -- I work in the ITS department in a college. We strongly discourage the individual departments from purchasing inkjet printers, however, because they're "cheap", and since we're facing huge budget reductions, the departments purchase them anyway. They're then upset at the ink costs, which we warned them about. They're even more pissed when they find out we can't obtain parts to fix their cheap pieces of garbage (let alone that, even if parts were available, our time spent fixing such a POS would make it too expensive). It all boils down to short-term thinking. They *never* take into account how long they'd like the printer to work, and it's total cost of operation. They only see the initial bottom-line.

It's the same genius... (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628672)

Who was the genius there that had them using ink jet printers instead of laser? Probably the same genius that thinks this will save them money?

It's the same genius that tells employees to save all their electronic documents using smaller fonts to save disk space...

Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31627760)

... you could stop printing emails?

Ikea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31627768)

Sounds like something Ikea might try

Printing email. (5, Insightful)

saintlupus (227599) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627786)

Or, you could stop printing out all of your emails.

Oh, who am I kidding. We've still got professors at my school lecturing with transparencies they produced on typewriters. It's going to be years before the entirety of the faculty is willing to handle paperless communication.

--saint

Re:Printing email. (1)

GasparGMSwordsman (753396) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628464)

There will always be times you will need to print an email.

A recent example came up at work recently. We had a design meeting between many people/departments at my work. I had pertinent notes in an email that needed to be at the meeting. The option was to setup a A/V system to display the email then forward copies to everyone, or I could print ten copies and hand them out.

The second option took me less than 10 seconds (including waiting for them to print and walking over to pick them up). During the meeting many of the emails became impromptu notebooks and are now covered with all kinds of additions or alterations to the design. (which was more useful to me to have the notes ON the design instead of on a blank piece of paper.)

On top of being less work, many employees have eye issues and may find it easier to read the paper document in front of them than what is a projected screen (our office manger is an example). Lastly there are many locations that you simply can't setup electronic displays (at a restaurant during a lunch time meeting for example).

Re:Printing email. (1)

davepermen (998198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628840)

there are always reasons, true. but when people would ONLY print stuff out when it really NEEDS to be on paper (like, if it would be a bad thing to do => only do it as a last option), the real problem would be solved. yes, we would still print stuff. no, it would not nearly be as much. it would not be a major cost, or environmental issue, or anything, anymore.

Ah (1)

moogied (1175879) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627800)

Ah the idiots of slashdot strike again!

Its a university.. where you *TURN IN* papers. Yes, you can email them, but professors think they are gods of there classrooms and can demand paper copies.

from a professor (5, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627828)

professors think they are gods of there classrooms and can demand paper copies.

We also think we can demand proper spelling. Now bow before me!

Re:from a professor (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31627926)

Show me a program that lets me physically markup an online document as it is to use a pen on paper and take it wherever I am and you'll save people from printing out documents.

Re:from a professor (2, Interesting)

andrea.sartori (1603543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628102)

you mean, like google docs and a netbook?

Re:from a professor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31628374)

Best reply i've read today

Re:from a professor (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31628228)

um... you mean the "Review" tab in the MS Office ribbon?

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word/HA012185621033.aspx

my office uses this feature for internal review of documents before we deliver them to the client. You can track changes, add comments, and a whole lot more. I'm typically not a fan of Microsoft, but when forced to use it, I take full advantage of its tools.

Re:from a professor (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628266)

The built-in PDF reader on my iLiad lets me do that. The device has a built-in Wacom tablet and you can use it to write on a any PDF. It weighs a lot less than a stack of papers too. I've left academia now, but I used it to annotate papers quite a lot while I was a PhD student.

Re:Ah (1)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627900)

ah, the real idiots of slashdot who try to attack commenters without even reading the fucking title, much less the summary or article.

Re:Ah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31627906)

Ah the idiots of slashdot strike again!

Its a university.. where you *TURN IN* papers. Yes, you can email them, but professors think they are gods of there classrooms and can demand paper copies.

Speaking of idiots on Slashdot...

You were SO CLOSE to the hat trick - all you would have needed is either a loose/lose swap or a "here comes an s" apostrophe. Try harder next time!

Re:Ah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31627920)

Ah the idiots of slashdot strike again!

Its a university.. where you *TURN IN* papers. Yes, you can email them, but professors think they are gods of there classrooms and can demand paper copies.

you turn in papers from a word processor, not plain text in email.

Re:Ah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31628014)

Really? I would have never guessed that you have to turn in papers at a university. Who knew?
Now if only I could figure out why I'm printing out EMAILS and how that relates a single bit to turning in these paper things you're banging on about.

Re:Ah (1)

Kielistic (1273232) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628160)

I'm trying very hard to understand what turning in papers has to do with email fonts. Have you confused your email client as a word processor?

Re:Ah (1)

Ksevio (865461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628308)

But they didn't mandate that all papers must use the new font, just the font in emails.

Re:Ah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31628594)

it's much faster to add notes/ corrections on a paper than trying to open .doc, .pdf, .odt file formats and try to type in your own annotations. It's the same reason why Kindle is great for reading books, shitty to write notes on ( textbooks).

Save more by not printing emails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31627806)

Why would someone be using ink for email. People still print emails?!?!

Printer Ink? (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627850)

Sounds like buying a couple of laser printers would save them more money. I wonder how much money they waste on email storage and bandwidth costs by sending HTML mail instead of plain text too.

disclaimer: in the industry (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31627852)

Firstly, train your students that printing up emails is stupid.

Secondly of all, give the students access to community laser printers. We're talking about pennies per page versus small fractions of pennies per page to print (i.e. 10 cents versus 0.001 cents)

Thirdly, switch over to re manufactured inks and toners. If the students are aware that they can buy aftermarket inks and toners, there's another 50% savings off the top (AND it's "green"). There are good companies and there are bad companies. Find someone local. Its supports the nearby economy. If you have problems, you don't have to ship something back to China.

[disclaimer: I work in the reman industry. I'm biased. Lasers tend to be more reliable than reman'd inks. With lasers, you can disassemble everything and replace the parts. With inkjets, it's more like an artform. If the electronics fail (which they often do), the cart is SOL]

Re:disclaimer: in the industry (1)

Yamata no Orochi (1626135) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628010)

Remanufactured toner cartridges are mostly garbage as well. Not sure what you're on about.

Re:disclaimer: in the industry (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31628206)

It's on topic, so I'll continue for a bit.

There are two ways to remanufacture the average laser.

1. The cheapest way: Drill and Fill. A company takes an empty laser cartridge and either splits it in half with a saw or drills a hole in it. They pour in toner, seal up the hole, and sell the cartridge. This produces a low cost, crappy cartridge. These will fail mid-stream, produce crap output, and possibly will leak.

2. The proper way: Disassemble, clean, re manufacture, reassemble, test. Most cartridges can be taken apart. Once apart, a tech can clean the entire cartridge. They can get rid of any old toner which is in the empty shell. Gears can be cleaned. Electrical connections can be primed with conductive material. Rollers can be replaced. Blades can be serviced. Chips can be replaced. The tech can reassemble the cartridge and test it. One can make a cartridge which performs just like an original. Parts are rated based on a certain amount of pages. When the proper parts are replaced, the cartridge will last as long as it is supposed to.

Don't get me wrong. It's manufacturing. It's hard. Just like with any manufacturing, there is a failure rate. But, trust me, with the majority of lasers and inks, one can produce an after market product which matches the OEM.

But in the same regard, someone can do a shit job on a cart and ruin your printer.

Make sure that if you go local, that they have some form of guarantee, and will go out of their way to fix your machine if something goes wrong (cleaning, replacing, etc). Most respectable remaners will do so.

Re:disclaimer: in the industry (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628694)

Just curious, how much does one of your re-manufactured cartridges cost?

I was looking for a toner cartridge recently (MLT-D108S specifically) and found out that the re-manufacturing service in my city were simply too expensive compared new cartridge. The cheapest quote I got was $60, which is significantly more than the $45 price of a brand new cartridge on eBay. Not to mentioned I would have spend the time to take two trips to the store versus waiting for the cartridge to arrive at my doorsteps.

Re:disclaimer: in the industry (1)

larkost (79011) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628518)

Student printing largely pays for itself through the printing fees charged to the students. I am sure the UWGB is advocating to their students to make the font change, but that is largely a secondary issue. What they are probably talking about here is printing done by faculty and staff, where the local IT department picks up the cost of ink/toner.

And I think your measurement of the cost for lasers is a couple of orders of magnitude off. It is still much cheaper than ink-jet, but not that much cheaper.

Re:disclaimer: in the industry (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628540)

Secondly of all, give the students access to community laser printers.

In the early to mid 2000s, the community laser printers were black and white.

Not a bad idea... (4, Informative)

eeg3 (785382) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627870)

...if only for the fact that Century Gothic looks better [imgur.com] than Arial.

Re:Not a bad idea... (2, Insightful)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628138)

Depends on your idea of 'better'. As a decorative header/ display/ advertising font, some could say it looks much nicer. However, as just a standard reading font it is very wide and hard to read. They will probably end up using more paper and reducing readability.

Re:Not a bad idea... (1)

punit_r (1080185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628224)

...if only for the fact that Century Gothic looks better [imgur.com] than Arial.

Thanks for the comparison. Now there is a new problem. The new font uses more space and hence resulting in more wastage of paper! Although there might be a valid argument saying 30% saving of ink is more desirable as compared to 1 extra line every 8 lines.

All of this even if we ignore the fact that people print so many emails that a change of font is going to result in tangible savings. The article mentions the cost of ink per gallon. It would have been interesting to know the total ink consumption in gallons irrespective of the matter printed.

As per my personal experience as a grad student. I have printed only 5-10 emails in many years as compared to many many technical papers.

Re:Not a bad idea... (2, Funny)

MaximumFrost (1156629) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628894)

I'm actually glad it fills up more space on the page, because it means I can write short papers again instead of having to drone on and on (or repeat myself) in the text to meet the length requirement after I met the requirements for the paper itself 4 pages ago.

Re:Not a bad idea... (1)

ClickOnThis (137803) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628604)

...if only for the fact that Century Gothic looks better [imgur.com] than Arial.

Uh...the link displays a 1x1-pixel png, and what's more, I think it's white. So they certainly would save ink using a font like this.

(Did something just go "whoosh" over my head?)

.sig files... (4, Insightful)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627936)

Another approach would be to ban ridiculous gigantic .sig files, complete with name, email address, snail-mail, address, three phone numbers, URL, twitter link, facebook link, linkedin link, blog link, some kind of logo and a giant block of text mandated by legal. Oh yeah, and coded in HTML so it matches corporate colours. Ugh.

Sometimes I get emails where the sig is longer than the body of the freakin' email.

Use semicolons instead of colons (2, Funny)

krnpimpsta (906084) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628222)

That's a good idea, but I think there's more money to be saved where people are using entire colons when semi-colons would suffice.

http://www.dilbert.com/strips/?F=1&CharIDs=&ViewType=Full&NoDateRange=1&SingleDate=08%2F20%2F1996&Order=s.DateStrip&PerPage=5&After=04%2F16%2F1989&Before=03%2F26%2F2010&CharFilter=Any [dilbert.com]

Re:Use semicolons instead of colons (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628582)

I've got a better idea - move all email to Twitter: You only get 140 characters. Period. The only other thing better would be to route all emails to /dev/null but I don't think you can do that on a Windows box.

Re:.sig files... (1)

Ksevio (865461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628392)

Don't forget the slew of meaningless titles for various committees or for students, clubs that many people feel it necessary to tell me for each email sent.

Re:.sig files... (5, Funny)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628474)

Agreed

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Please consider the environment before reading all this drivel.

Re:.sig files... (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628638)

Another approach would be to ban
  ridiculous gigantic .sig files, complete with
  name, email address, snail-mail, address,
  three phone numbers, URL, twitter link,
  facebook link, linkedin link, blog link,
  some kind of logo and a giant block of text
  mandated by legal. Oh yeah, and coded in
  HTML so it matches corporate colours. Ugh.

    Sometimes I get emails where the sig is longer than the body of the freakin' email.

Yes.
You're right.
It's also annoying when people quote without trimming. ;-)

- c64_love

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    FidoNet node 1:270/411
    UUCP: ...!eds1!devon
    !rhutch!Fred.Haddad
    Fred.Haddad
    @rhutch.FIDONET.ORG
.. . __
. . /// NOW PLAYING:
__ /// CD quality music
\\/// Over 1 million colors
.\X/ "Only Amiga makes it possible!"

(Yes these are my actual sigs from the 1980s, when I was young and stupid and made them ridiculously long.)

Re:.sig files... (1)

c++0xFF (1758032) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628804)

Yeah, I really hate that, too.

--
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: 2.6.3a
Charset: noconv

iQCVAwUBMXVGMFIa2NdXHZJZAQFe4AQAz0FZrHdH8o+zkIvcI/4ABg4gfE7cG0xE
Z2J9GVWD2zi4tG+s1+IWEY6Ae17kx925JKrzF4Ti2upAwTN2Pnb/x0G8WJQVKQzP
mZcD+XNnAaYCqFz8iIuAFVLchYeWj1Pqxxq0weGCtjQIrpzrmGxV7xXzK0jus+6V
rML3TxQSwdA=
=T9Mc
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

Why not use Ecofont? (5, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627944)

It has "holes" in the letters to save ink. So instead of 30% less ink usage this college would have about 45% less ink usage.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecofont [wikipedia.org]

Re:Why not use Ecofont? (1)

andrea.sartori (1603543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628122)

why not NOT printing everything? it saves up to 100% ink. or toner at that.

Re:Why not use Ecofont? (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628162)

Let's hope they're using a really small font size. Cause those holes are really distracting in the Wikipedia example. The main advantage to reading from paper is faster reading speed (and arguably, less eyestrain), but if you're constantly distracted by the weird font, you'll lose that. Of course, using a small font size in the first place would save more ink (and more paper, due to more words per page) than a gimmicky font.

Re:Why not use Ecofont? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31628398)

"In order to optimise the legibility of the printed text, we have set an Ecoprint range. Only text up to a particular point size – generally 11 points - is printed in the Ecofont font. Larger text is printed in the normal font."

Seems the examples are just maginified to prove the concept

Re:Why not use Ecofont? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628690)

>>>Cause those holes are really distracting in the Wikipedia example

Only because they are on a screen. When printed the Ecofont's holes disappear due to the way ink "flows" into the paper.

Re:Why not use Ecofont? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31628230)

Why not just print in gray instead of black?

Re:Why not use Ecofont? (1)

thenonoman (1050782) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628746)

I was going to suggest this. The example in wikipedia may be distracting, but then if you are printing your email in a 72pt font, you have issues anyways. I have used ecofont, and at the 12pt, you can not see the holes.

Re:Why not use Ecofont? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31628828)

There is a good posting explaining why Ecofont doesn't offer any advantage over a light serif on Fontblog [nyud.net] (only in German, here's an English summary [sitepoint.com] ). Fontblog is written by typography professionaly and can be trusted on these things.

Re:Why not use Ecofont? (3, Insightful)

dniesen (1368875) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628854)

Because they would actually need to install this font/software. They can easily switch fonts and assume that everybody has Century Gothic as it's already widely installed. The additional IT overhead probably don't justify the impact on savings.

Similar ideas (1)

crow (16139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627982)

While I agree that printing emails is stupid, the idea of changing defaults to reduce ink and toner usage is rather smart. At my company, they changed the default Powerpoint template to one that would save on printing costs. Again, people shouldn't be printing them out in the first place, but the fact is that they do, and this will save money.

Safe more. (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628022)

It is even very simple to sfe 20% more with a Eco font [techsweek.com]

Re:Safe more. (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628200)

As I noted above, that font is really distracting for the reader. I'd be happier with using slightly smaller font and possibly 80% black density to achieve a similar effect, while using less paper (smaller fonts mean more content per page) and not having the weird choppy contrast those dots create.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31628080)

If you really want to go green...

STOP PRINTING E-MAILS!!!!

ColorQube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31628148)

How about getting rid of the 200 individual inkjets and getting several centralized solid ink Xerox ColorQubes for example. Makes more "cents" if you ask me... might help cure a small percentage of over-weight people by forcing them to walk 5 doors down to pickup their printed pages too :)

Even Simpler Solution... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628180)

...charge the students the same as it costs the college to print each page - then see how much they *DO* actually print.

Well, idle is pants (1)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628296)

Google for Arial and Century Gothic. The former is clearl ment for reading, the latter for presentation. Arial is easy to read because it has enough "squiggles" for the brain to distinguish letters at rapid pace. Century gothic looks very nice and I would recommend it any day for BIG Headlines Buy This Car Now - type things, never for something you are supposed to be actually reading for prolonged time.

Then again, who the hell send an email over 50 words these days? So, *shrug*

Save even more (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628300)

Use 2pt white Arial Narrow, and you'll not only reduce your ink usage by nearly 100%, but you'll save on paper too.

Re:Save even more (1)

andrea.sartori (1603543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628366)

most people would try and print more copies of it just because "there must be something wrong with the printer" and finally file a printer maintenance request to sysadmin. on paper. in triplicate.

If you want to save money on printing... (1)

Balial (39889) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628302)

... just throw out some printers. You'll save electricity and paper bills, too. If your staff are printing that many pages, you've got something wrong.

Wait... (4, Insightful)

EEBaum (520514) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628368)

...email has fonts?

Re:Wait... (1)

iprefermuffins (1460233) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628504)

Well, it has at least font.

We've seen this before (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628404)

There was a /. a couple of years ago about a company that release "ink saving" fonts that had holes in them - micro-dots in the black area of each letter, designed to be invisible to the naked eye, yet indistinguishable from the regular fonts.

Save even more money... (1)

rugatero (1292060) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628450)

They could save even more by changing the font colour to white.

But then some bright spark will suggest they need to order black paper so the white ink will show up, and they'll be out of pocket again.

Dumb & Dumber in Wisconsin (1)

KJSwartz (254652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628462)

Where to start?

#1: The default font should be pushed into their printers, not email system, and printers protected against unauthorized configuration. Unspecified font types would then save serious money.

#2: Arial is better for numerical formatting. Who does accounting with Century Gothic?

#3: No HTML formatted emails should be allowed through their email filters - ever! This was not the point of the article, but worthy to repeat ad Infinitum.

#4: Others say use Laser, not Inkjet. True! Real easy to justify pawning off most of those costly Color printers for monochromatic B&W, and get cartridges with superior shelf life and faster print times.

Re:#3 (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628780)

Can I send drawings, images, graphed data or a complex formula (in an easily readable as hand-written format) as part of a text email. I don't think so. I use HTML email specifically because it allows all of the above to be embedded. Otherwise half the email I send would have to contain one or more attachments. So which do you prefer someone send: An attached Excel spreadsheet containing macros or an embedded graph of the data?

Another thought (1)

carlhaagen (1021273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628614)

They could go down a point (or pixel) in font size, too. Something else noteworthy is that most characters in Century Gothic, of same height as same character in Arial, is wider, thus requiring more paper per letter, per word, per sentence - their cost cutting might end up a null result.

or use lasers and use toner refills (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31628616)

... my P1005 cost $39. Cheaper than an inkjet and about 1/5 th the cost per page.

or... use a kodak printer and cut your costs in half instead of 30%. Do both and pay about 1/3 the cost.

or... don't print; make available on mobile platforms (BB, etc) and archive on disk. Cheapest solution yet.

$10,000.00 A GALLON? (1)

Higaran (835598) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628654)

Seriously, WTF? I knew printer ink was a rip off but I didn't think it was that bad, almost make me not so pissed off that that gas was only $3.19 a gallon by my house today.

or they could (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628808)

STOP PRINTING EVERY FUCKING THING THAT POPS UP ON THEIR SCREEN. Dear God, I hate this at school where every term each student gets a printed syllabus from every professor, and then also has to print every assignment before turning it it. Why can't that all be done electronically? And at work, we have a MS SQL Reporting Server where you can look at all the reports you want via a web browser and/or export to Excel. BUT NO! Everyone has to print everything to look at it, and then they throw it in the trash a few minutes later. Once I got an email from a user who had PRINTED an error message they were getting, scanned it back into their computer, and then emailed me the scanned image. WTH?

If I had it my way, there would be one printer/copier and you'd have to have a damned good reason to use it.

Paper usage (1)

SilentGhost (964190) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628886)

How much more paper will get wasted because of this?
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