Bwog’s very own David Hu, SEAS ’13, recently created OwlPrinters.com, a site showing the availability of printers and public computers around Columbia’s campus. Bwog caught up with dear David outside our non-existent headquarters and forced him to answer some questions.
1. What does Owl Printers do for me, the clueless, printerless student?
Owl Printers lets you see what printers and computers are available (and more importantly, broken) around campus. What’s even better about it is that it was designed for the “mobile web,” meaning it’s meant to be viewed on smartphones while you’re running between classes and ignoring the world around you (lol, social experiment). You can still view it on a desktop browser though!
2. Where did you get the name from?
Who doesn’t know about the owl hidden in the statue of Alma? It’s obscure enough to not have everybody in the world can get it, but well known enough around Columbia to have a special meaning to people that care. Also, “Owl Printers” sounds like “our printers.” … Get it?
3. What was your inspiration?
The line for the printers in Butler 209 around 4pm is just so depressing sometimes. And it’s especially annoying when you’re running to class and have to basically guess where the free printers are.
4. Can you recall a particularly tragic printer experience?
… Yes! Running to class around 4pm and going to Butler 209, actually. I think one printer was jammed so there was a line of about 5 people for the other one. I went to 213 next but naturally all the computers were taken. I think I ended up printing on the 4th floor.
5. How did you create the website?
I actually created the site all over Thanksgiving break, when I probably should have been doing real school work instead. The site uses information that CUIT makes available. (I have to stress that the site has no official affiliation with CUIT though.) Owl Printers just takes this information and presents it in a way that is useful to people who need to find where free printers and computers are.