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Printer Sharing

Posted on 1998-11-06
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Last Modified: 2013-11-13
How do you share printers connected directly to a Mac computer over a network?  Is there a special program you use, like QuickDraw?
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Question by:crumblord
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 1536950
well it depends on the printer.

If the printer is network capable (most laser printers) then you can hook it up to either ethernet or localtalk and access it via the laserwriter 8 printer in your chooser. All computers can access it.

If your printer is NOT network capable (low end epsons and apple printers) then you have some more limiting options. You can get network cards for some of the epsons. You can get Birmy Power Rip for the epsons which provides postscript and network printing off a server computer. If you own a StyleWriter theres an extension that provides for printer sharing.

For the specifics on your printer (networkable or not) look in the documentation. You may be able to do it out of the box or have to purchase a network card for it.
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Expert Comment

by:hansriet
ID: 1536951
Make sure our Mac's our network via Ethernet. Than even your localtalk printers (for example Stylewriters) can be shared by all printers. Just hook up the printer to the printerport of one of the Mac's. In the chooser you select this printer and click on the options button. Assign a name and a password to the printer. All other Mac on the (ethernet) network  can now access this printer if the use the correct password.

However make sure the extensions "Printer Share" is present in the extension folders in the System folder.
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Author Comment

by:crumblord
ID: 1536952
No, I knew that.  I have a few printers that need to be directly on the network, but they don't have an ethernet card.  They have to be seen by both PC's and macs, which is the real limiting factor...  I need some way that the printers can be seen by all.

I also have a color printer on a PC that I would like the macs to see.  The PCs _can_ talk to the macs, that is not a problem.  I just would like them to talk directly.

Actually, I have been considering getting a linux box and just sharing printers from that.  It might be easier than trying to share printers between mac and windows... mortal enemies usually get along better with a neutral party involved, right?  =)

Thanks...
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KevSpencer earned 50 total points
ID: 1536953
Hi, crumblord.

For printers that do not have an Ethernet card, you can buy one of several models of Ethernet-to-LocalTalk bridges for AppleTalk-only printers. If the printers are PC-based with parallel ports such as some Hewlitt-Packard printers, you can buy a JetDirect EX bridge box from H-P, which connects it to an Ethernet network.

Now, PCs cannot print or see to *AppleTalk-based* Mac printers on a network without some software help. For that, you might want to invest in AppleShare network client software for PCs such as COPSTalk, or PCMacLan. These programs will allow a PC to see the AppleTalk network, including all printers and Macs on the network.

If the printers you want to share are PostScript-based, both Macs and PCs can print to it if the printer is attached directly to your network and AppleTalk and appropriate PC protocols are enabled in the printer. The Macs need the LaserWriter software and the PCs need the appropriate drivers installed.

You cannot realistically share a printer directly connected to a networked Mac to a networked PC or vise versa without using at least one of these options, since you are not using any servers. Good luck. --KS
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