[NCSA-discuss] cautionary tail about installing a network printer on
Joseph Mack NA3T
jmack at wm7d.net
Sat Sep 9 11:56:18 EDT 2006
If you know a bit about windows or if you know how to
install a network printer on windows, you can skip to this
I have just installed a used network printer for my home
windows boxes. I bought a network printer as the current
parallel printer requires that the box the printer is
connected to is up just to print. With a netowrk printer I
could print from which ever box was up. Windows has a
"network printer" option in control panel/printers (which
I'd used to allow windows boxes to print to the parallel
printer on another windows box) and I thought I was home and
It turns out that the windows network printer is not a
network printer at all but a netbios printer, although it
took me most of last night to realise this.
My new network printer was sitting there on the network
listening on port 515 and none of the windows boxes could
find it, although they could see the shared "network
printer" attached to the parallel port on the windows box.
Eventually I found that the box sharing the printer wasn't
listening on port 515, but only had the netbios ports open,
and realised that windows and I had different ideas about
network printers. After much futile probing on the HP site
("jetdirect", "client", "admin") and downloading a bunch of
worthless programs from the "web jet admin" family, I found
a posting through google, telling me that the program I want
is called "Install Network Printer Wizard" (INPW).
This wonder from HP
o installs in the "Programs" tree of another user (not the
one you're doing the install as), so after the install, you
don't see it in "Programs" (happened with 3 windows
machines, w2k and wxp).
o can only find the printer by IP. I have the printer doing
dhcp (so I can move it from one network to another without
reconfiguring it). Even though INPW knows the MAC address
and the name of the printer, you don't get the option of
specifying the printer by the DNS/netbios name or MAC
address, only the IP. HP hasn't heard of DHCP.
The jetdirect card in the printer is itself a wonder.
o telnet is the simplest interface. However setting the
hostname (UC only, no lc chars allowed) doesn't stick. The
hostname reverts to the IP next time you view it.
o there is an interface on port 80. This requires java and
an enormous amount of CPU on the client. The latest
firefox/java/linux doesn't display the pages, you need
IE/windows. Even when you get to IE, after changing the
entries, and hitting APPLY, none of the entries change. So
you're back to telnet, which at least works (except for
setting the hostname).
Postings on the internet say to download the latest firmware
for the jetdirect card to fix these problems (it's well
known that jet direct cards have a hard time remembering
their hostname). However if HP released code like this after
all the years they've been making jetdirect cards, I'm not
hopeful that the problems have been fixed in firmware
Joseph Mack NA3T EME(B,D), FM05lw North Carolina
jmack (at) wm7d (dot) net - azimuthal equidistant map
generator at http://www.wm7d.net/azproj.shtml
Homepage http://www.austintek.com/ It's GNU/Linux!
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