Appendix A

Newsletter Article

PAWS Makes Weekend Printing Possible

Imagine being set up for a weekend of fun in the computer lab, and finding at 2:00AM on Saturday that you're out of print quota. You have to wait until 7:30AM Monday morning to print again, or try to convince another user that printing your documents is a worthy cause. That's a reality that many students face at NCSU, and Computer Engineering Seniors Kent Voorhees and Sean Korb have implemented a more convenient method for printer quota payment. Their design, based on earlier work by Derek Creech & Ryan Wigley, was sponsored by David Smith and under the advisement of Dr. Dorothy Strickland. The system, named PAWS (Print quota Access With Speed), was demonstrated at the ECE Poster Day on April 25th, 1996.

PAWS vending machines deliver increased print quota to users, and will be available in 24 hour computer labs for convenience and practicality. Students may identify their accounts to the machine by typing in their student ID number. PAWS looks up their name and account from the campus network, and displays the students account information. The student then inserts a five dollar bill, after which PAWS instantly increases their printer quota.

The PAWS machine is similar in design to copy card dispensers located around campus, but with an inviting liquid crystal display and numeric keypad. These devices are interfaced to a Motorola 68HC711E9 micro-controller that is in communication with a server on the network. The server program is written in PERL to facilitate maintenance and cross-platform usability.

Certain security issues must still be resolved, but the designers hope to have the PAWS system installed by the beginning of the Summer of 1996.