[sf-lug] network laser printer
rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri May 21 16:10:55 PDT 2010
> Making the printer use a static IP (instead of DHCP), and having it
> publish printing services directly (instead of via a workstation's print
> server software) has the advantage of making its printing services be
> standalone, not dependent on anything else working properly. Which is
> A Good Thing.
Here's what I mean: Around 2006, I was helping out a small firm,
which, one day, had had a brief power outage right before business
hours. I came in just after 8 AM, and people all over the office,
especially Sales and executive staff, reported that they couldn't print.
First thing I did was print a test page from my Debian box to the nearby
networked HP printer: I'd of course just used the printer's fixed IP
address in CUPS as an LPD or IPP printer. The text page Just Worked<tm>.
So, what was wrong with printing? Executive A had configured WinXP to
use Executive B's workstation printer share for ExecPrinter onto Network
Neighbourhood. Apparently, Executive B had apparently set up that
share. Later, Executive A browsed Network Neighbourhood, saw an object
labelled 'ExecPrinter', and thought 'Ah, that's what I want. I'll make
that thing default' -- without bothering to notice that she wasn't
printing directly to ExecPrinter at all, but rather relaying all jobs
via a spool on someone's workstation.
Executive A was in her office. Executive B wasn't -- and his
workstation was switched off because of the power blip. So, his
printer shares weren't online.
All told, about 80% of the staff were going around saying 'My
department's printer's offline', while said printer was in all cases
happily functional and waiting for jobs -- because their workstations
were pointlessly trying to route printing via powered-down PCs.
It turned out that almost nobody in that office had bothered to ask IT help;
they'd done it themselves -- and XP's method for setting up printing
to JetDirect remote printers is so non-obvious they'd given up and used
other people's workstation shares instead.
Start -> Printers and Faxes -> Printer Tasks -> Add a Printer -> Local Printer.
That's right: To set up a remote networked JetDirect printer on XP, you
have to first select _local_ printers. The dialogue says:
Select the option that describes the printer you want to use:
(o) Local printer attached to this computer
[ ] Automatically detect and install my Plug and Play printer
( ) A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer
Create a new port -> Standard TCP/IP Port -> Enter IP address.
The driver queries the printer at this point across the network and
fills in a TCP port, usually 9100. -> Finish -> Install Printer
Software. Pick make/model to select driver. -> Name Your Printer ->
But (almost) nobody had done that, so (almost) everyone had broken
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