WIMS> When are counters reset, if ever?

WIMS> When are counters reset, if ever?

WIMS> When are counters reset, if ever?

wamwagner at comcast.net wamwagner at comcast.net
Wed Aug 15 15:09:34 EDT 2007

A few observations.

When the printer MIB was first worked on, there was some concern about lifetime persistance because of the cost, limited capacity, and limited write cycles of persisent memory. This is less significant now.

In some cases, there is still a problem of how often the persistent counters  (like sheet count) are updated from the dynamic counters which accumulate the values.

The printers I am aware of have a way of clearing persistent memory, which would include the persistent counters. The method is "secret" , or at least well hidden, so it would be an authorized maintenance operation (in theory) perhaps best corresponding to board installation. This generally clears all persistent values. This method does not allow setting or clearing individual counters. This does inherently a full reset to factory; but is more extensive than an operator accessible "reset to factory" function, which does not affect "lifetime" counters.

Some printers with specific "accounting packages" do allow a password authenticated adinistrator to set or clear specific counters which might be considerd lifetime counters..

I  think that there will be a range of actual implementations relative to clearing a"lifetime" counter, but they should at least have in common that it is not a readily accessible user function.

I recall a situation where copier counters were being read remotely (and they could be reset); the application always checked a reading less than the previous one for counter wrap, and if it was not, flagged this for human check. 

Bill Wagner

-------------- Original message -------------- 
From: <Richard_Landau at Dell.com> 

Actually, the Counter spec goes beyond the definitions of the levels of persistence.  It states (in Section 5.1.3)
Conforming Imaging Systems MUST implement System Totals counters with Lifetime persistence. Conforming Imaging Systems SHOULD implement specific Service counters with Lifetime persistence.
I agree that "since installation" covers the case of board replacment.  And "Reset" does specifically mention "administrative reset of imaging counter (e.g., a software reset by an accounting application)" so that includes the more serious case of restoring factory defaults.  But not for lifetime.  

So we have an idea what future devices should do, sort of.  I was hoping to get a read of what known devices actually do.  The "lifetime" counters in printers were defined and implemented long before the Counter spec was drafted,    Are these "lifetime" counters reset ever, for instance when factory defaults are restored?  Does anyone have experience with this, even by spec, for existing devices?  

For some of the counters, such as overall age of the device, number of power-on cycles, and like that, I would prefer to specify the persistence rather than leave it up to the manufacturer.  

Thanks, all, for the hints and any additional guidance you can give.


From: McDonald, Ira [mailto:imcdonald at sharplabs.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2007 14:45
To: Landau, Richard; wims at pwg.org
Cc: blueroofmusic at gmail.com
Subject: RE: WIMS> When are counters reset, if ever?

Hi Rick,

The Counter MIB (and Abstract Spec) define the persistence of counters
as lifetime(3), powerOn(4), or reset(5).  But it does not further qualify the
flavor of reset (factory defaults, service/accounting, board replacement).
Note that the 'lifetime' comment says 'since last install' (board replacement).

I personally believe that counters should have a REQUIRED persistence 
of lifetime and that it should be permitted (as in Counter MIB) to have a
second instance of the counters that has a 'reset' persistence (especially
for accounting applications).

So my answer to your question below is B/C/D and your missing 'powerOn'.

My two cents - give the customers whatever they want.

- Ira
Ira McDonald (Musician / Software Architect)
Chair - Linux Foundation Open Printing WG
Blue Roof Music / High North Inc
PO Box 221  Grand Marais, MI  49839
phone: +1-906-494-2434
email: imcdonald at sharplabs.com 
-----Original Message-----
From: owner-wims at pwg.org [mailto:owner-wims at pwg.org]On Behalf Of Richard_Landau at Dell.com
Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2007 2:14 PM
To: wims at pwg.org
Cc: blueroofmusic at gmail.com
Subject: WIMS> When are counters reset, if ever?

General question for WIMS people.  A question has arisen in the PDM (projector mgt) group that I would like to hear opinions on.  
Question: When, if ever, are counters such as prtMarkerLifeCount and prtAlertAllEvents reset?  It has been proposed that similar counters in projectors and displays should be reset if the entire device is reset to factory defaults, such as might happen when a printer is redeployed; or when a service person decides that they ought to be reset.  
These suggestions are not exactly the same as the distinctions made in the Counter spec.  Personally, I think any such counters should be implemented with lifetime persistence.  It's an odometer; turning it backwards is at least nonsense if not fraud.  But I don't know what various existing devices might do, or what best current practice is, so that would be interesting to know, too.  
Opinions, please.  
Q: When should such so-called "life counters" be set to zero? 
A.  Never. 
B.  When the device is reset to factory defaults. 
C.  When an authorized service person says so. 
D.  When someone replaces the controller board. 
E.  Other (please specify) _________________ 
Thanks very much for your time and thoughtful answers.  
Richard_Landau(at)dell(dot)com, Stds & System Mgt Architecture, CTO Office 
+1-512-728-9023, One Dell Way, RR5-3, MS RR5-09, Round Rock, TX 78682 

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