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MIT Life Hacks: Pharos printing
November 29, 2016
Jess Archer
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Cartoon by Phil Johnson

Pharos is not just one of the seven wonders of the world, it’s also a free “hold-and-release” printing service at MIT. Available to all members of the community, Pharos reduces waste by eliminating unclaimed print jobs.

Note: Affiliates who wish to use Pharos printing must first link their MIT ID cards to the Pharos system.

How it works

Normally when you print, you send the job directly to a printer. With Pharos, you send the document to a general print queue. You can then release the job at any Pharos printer on campus with your MIT ID card.

You can send print jobs to Pharos printers from Athena clusters or personal computers. The Athena computers are already set up for Pharos, but you will need to install a client first on Macintosh, Windows, and Linux computers.

Most of the Pharos printers are in Athena clusters and dorms; some are available in the MIT Libraries and near Athena Quickstation kiosks. You can view a list of MIT printer locations online. The printers are black-ink laser printers, with the exception of the color printer in the Student Center (W20-575).

Quotas

The yearly allowance for Pharos printing is 3,000 pages per person per year; this quota is reset every June. While this page count is rarely surpassed, current students who need to print more than that may do so.

Community members can check their page count at techcash.mit.edu. While the quota is managed through TechCash, there are no charges associated with using Pharos.

Guidelines and support

There are printing terms of service to follow when using Pharos. The community may use printers for academic and personal documents, but are asked to use a copy machine to make copies of documents for personal use.

No Pharos print job should take longer than twenty minutes. It’s best to break big print jobs into smaller parts and print them over time.

For more details, visit the MIT Pharos Printing Landing Page in the Knowledge Base. IS&T’s Service Desk can also assist with installation and setup.