Thursday, May 04, 2006

Printing over the Internet

I've just used EFI's PrintMe, in my Bay Area hotel, to (un)successfully print my Alaska Airlines boarding pass -- but I can't blame EFI for my lack of success!

After the airline's web check-in process led me to the boarding pass page, when I'd normally just click "print", I used the "Save Page" command. Then, I navigated to the PrintMe site, where the simple PrintMe instructions really worked, where a nice clean and simple web interface allowed me to enter the hotel's code, my email, and attach the saved file. I then clicked "print" and the PrintMe site brought up a "completed" page with a six-digit code that I could use to retrieve my print job.

I went to the hotel lobby where I'd already scoped out the printer (a snappy little LJ 1320, just like I have at home). I entered my code into the PrintMe access device attached at its side, and out came my print job, just like that! But alas, the page was devoid of its original graphics, which in the case of a boarding pass means a couple of unique bar codes that are really the essence of the whole thing. A little research afterwards led to a little disappointment -- my hands-down favorite browser, Firefox, lacks the ability to save the full and complete HTML page image in a single file, a feature which is included with Microsoft Internet Explorer. (Seems like I should know all this...)

Next time I'll use IE, I guess, but the real solution is to probably remove the save/attach steps and just somehow incorporate PrintMe into the normal print menu.

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