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printing from a notebook

Posted on 2003-03-24
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
We have one printer with one parallel port. We have two computers hooked up to this printer through a manual switch box. This all works fine for us since we actually don't do a lot of printing. Now, we recently acquired a notebook pc and would also like to occasionally print from that. I am looking for a fairly simple solution here that wouldn't recquire the novice notebook user to remove/reconnect cables. (It scares them.) The notebook has a USB port that could be used since this does not seem to put terror in the heart like those more intimidating larger cable ends.
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Question by:BobArnett
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Gtrist earned 2000 total points
ID: 8199578
One solution would be to purchase an auto printer switch box that will support more than two computers. Connect the printer and all three workstation printer cables to the switch box. The only thing that the user would have to do is plug in the parallel cable. That said, their are USB to parallel conversion cables out there that could be used to setup the notebook with a USB connection.
Perform a google search for "USB to parallel". You will get a number of hits for companies that make these cables. You will need to pay attention to the gender and connector type when thinking about the switch box and USB adapter cable. So far, the only adapters I have seen are a USB to Centronix type connector, which means that you may be limited to a switch box that has Centronix connectors. Or, you may have to get an additional adapter. If you have any doubts, call the company and discuss it with their technical staff.

Another solution would be to purchase a printer that does parallel and USB.

You could also network all of your workstations together and print to a shared printer via tcp/ip.

Examples of USB to Parallel links:

http://www.synchrotech.com/product-usb/usb-parallel_01.html

http://www.usbstuff.com/parallel.html

http://www.targus.com/product_details.asp?sku=PA096U
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by:BobArnett
ID: 8204635
Thanks for all the tips. I'll probably go with the switch box and a USB to Parallel adapter.
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