As part of the GNOME desktop upgrade, a project has been initiated that is near and dear to my heart -- printing. There is a strong culture in many people to fight computerization and continue to work with 10 or 20 year old techniques. The amount of paper and ink used is tremendous and our printing costs are finally coming to light.
CUPs dumps flat files into /var/log/cups/page_log which contains lots of useful information, but is in no way in a format that can be researched. This is especially true when you have multiple servers and operating systems. We have always known that printers are heavily used, because they are a big draw on IT support. However, we have never been able to prove an exact dollar amount nor provide any specifics about poor techniques being used around the City. So I wrote some quick ksh scripts that scan through the page_log each night at midnight and dump the information into a sqlite database. This is yielding very interesting information.
I have done some SQL statements by hand to begin to look at the data, but obviously this isn't going to be the way that the IT Director or analysts will work. So I am writing a quick Glade/Python screen for running the various searches and the current shot is below. This won't be used by end users and won't get much more bling & art. It will serve the purpose of allowing our staff to select a date range, select departments and then include/exclude various desktop functions. The ink coverage is estimated per print job and we will be able punch in the per page cost for HP printers and it will give an estimated cost of the range selected. Initial estimates are that this cost might be north of 150K a year. :\
If we can use the new desktop, portrait LCD monitors and iPads to change peoples work habits, I believe we can increase efficiencies and reduce costs.