Printing to non-TCP/IP printer:LAT,IPX,...

I have a linux 1.2.13 box on a thin ethernet with a couple
of HP LJ3, LJ4 printers.  The LJ's have been serving with
LAT for quite some time, but now we are trying to see how
well we can integrate a Linux box into this cluster.  The
NIC on these printers can talk LAT, and supposedly Appletalk and IPX too, but only LAT is used now and has been checked. The card is called an XJET III, from XCD.  Whatever.  I guess DEC is still closely guarding LAT.  STill true?  Are there any other alternatives for printing to a non-tcp/ip network printer?  Many thanks,
David Rovnyak
rovnyakAsked:
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jeffa072897Commented:
rovnyak;
DEC LAT still tight? - yes

There might be a couple of alternatives, which I'll describe, but
I think you may be stuck.

The only way I've been able to get Linux to print properly is via TCP. So, most of my answers are using TCP to print from the Linux box. I have not seen any LAT support for Linux.

To try these solutions I'd also recommend upgrading your Linux to
the 2.0.x kernel. Slackware 3.x or Red Hat 4.x.

There is a software package for Linux called mars. This allows
a Linux box to use Novell servers. This would give you IPX
capability. What I do not know is if it will make the Linux
box an IPX server. You need this because the XCD card in IPX mode
must attach to a Novell server. If mars allows you to make the
Linux box emulate a Novell print queue you're in.

Next, have you checked with XCD for an upgrade to add TCP to
these cards? This would really be the cleanest way to solve the
problem.

The only solution I know that will work will only work with the
LJ 4's. What you can do is set up an external IP printer interface (HP's JetDirect EX for example) and connect that box's
parallel port to the printer's parallel port. The LJ 4 can then
auto switch beteween the internal LAT network interface (MIO) and
the paralell port (connected to the external IP box) and you
can print from both worlds. A LJ 3 can't do this so you'll only
be able to print to the LJ 4's.

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rovnyakAuthor Commented:
jeffa,
      Thank you very much for your answer.  I was previously
unaware of mars and will attempt a thorough investigation.  Your
option is a new one.  The only other route I could think of
is rather indirect and not 100% satisfactory for a couple of
reasons:  

      We currently run Pathworks for Macintosh
on an OpenVMS system which serves the printers to our Macs.  I
can run Netatalk and then access the printers as served by Pathworks. If mars can provide a more direct route (not to mention more long-term as DEC does not show any enthusiasm for supporting Pathworks for Macs) then that will allow us to think about increasing our commitment to Linux.

      Thanks again,
      David Rovnyak  
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