Build a non p2p network

I've currently got three pcs connected to a netgear dg814 adsl router, running in a p2p setup (ie there is no server, all 3 computers can merely access each other's files via the router).
My dad keeps complaining about the rate at which ink on his printer gets used up (his computer has 2 printers connected to it and the other 2 computers can access these via the network), and so I found a program called papercut which can track print usage.
However, in order for this to work properly, I need the network to be set up in a server-client arrangement.  I need to know how to do this, so that my dad's computer is the server, and the other two can logon to the network.
There are, however, a few problems:
1. I don't know how to set up a server-client network.
2. My computer is running winxp pro, but my dad's computer is only using winxp home and the third computer is on win98se.
3. I would use my computer as the server as it is the fastest (p4 2.1ghz compared with p2 400mhz and an old amd k6-200mhz) and is running xp pro, but i can't have the printers attached to my computer as they need to be in the same room as my dad's.
Basically what I need to know is: is it possible to use an xp home pc as a server, and will running a slow server significantly slow down it or the other computers in the network?

Oh and if anyone knows of any other (free) print analysis type software i could use which might work better, that'd be a help too.
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Adrian DobrotaNetworking EngineerCommented:
a bug in the ground ......  :>)
1. You don't need to set a server on the network. Hmmm .... just analyzing the notion of "server", that means to serve. So, you can have a mail server, a ftp server, web, etc.
In this particular case, a client-server application will AUTOMATICALLY set as "server" the machine you install the "server" package on, and any other machine that has the client software installed will be "served" with data by the "server". So, basically the software is composed by two parts: the server application and the client application. All you have to do is install them on the machines you want, and don't worry about a "non p2p network". There's no other server you need than the one the application installs.
2. It shouldn't be a problem. Since it's for free, just install papercut and see if it works.
3. As already said, there's no need for a server to provided thousands of services, just the ones needed by papercut, so processing speed will not be an issue.

To find additional free software, do a google search with the string <<printing management software free>> and you'll find plenty

Hope this helps

Just for clarification, your father's PC is a print "server" by definition. The other two PC's are his "clients". A p2p network simply means that all systems are both client and server. Any system can "server" up file space or other local resources, and any other PC can use them as a "client".

These ar PaperCuts listed reqirements... it support XP on the server, but it loks like it has to be XP pro.  However, the wording may be misleading.  I would give the company a call to clarify.

Otherwise, either swap PCs with your dad, or instal Pro on his PC.

You might be able to get away with "sharing your network atached printer."

PaperCut Quota - Requirements
PaperCut Quota runs on Windows networks, and monitors printer queues & optional internet bandwith use.

Windows NT 4.0 / 2000 / 2003 / XP (workstation, professional, server and advanced server versions all supported)
At least 20 meg disk space, with more for log archives
PCL, Postscript, or ESC/P2 compatable printers
(Required for Internet charging) Microsoft ISA server or MS Proxy Server 2.0

Client workstations:
Windows 95 / 98 / ME / NT 4.0 / 2000 / XP
4 meg disk space
Windows 95 / 98 / ME machines should log on to a Windows Domain to ensure correct user identification


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Oh, and don't worry about the one win 98 PC.  While requirements talk about it logging into a domain for proper identification, you really have no issue.  Because anything that is not identified as your PC or your dad's PC will have to be the one 98 PC!
abuginthegroundAuthor Commented:
The problem I've been having is that in papercut the only option that seems to work is to get a list of "local users", when i do this the program just won't allow other computers to print to it at all.
When setting up papercut on my dad's computer, there is a point where it asks whether i want to "import user information from the network Domain" and doing this just gets local users.

The problem of papercut is a slight side-issue - i've been meaning to set up a proper network for some time.  I'd like to make it so that whatever computer anyone's on, they can log on as the same user and access files etc.
A client/server network is overkill when you're talking three PCs.

Your dad should just unshare his printer ;)
Or... you could stop printing photographic-quality images.  Change your print driver to "draft."  It will be readable but use much less ink.
On your dad's PC, set up an account (login ID) for each of the PCs.  Now, when one of the other PCs wants to connect to yoru Dad's printer, it will have to login using one of those IDs.

To create IDs:
Start menu
Click on teh icon at the top of the start menu
Click Home
Click Add User
abuginthegroundAuthor Commented:
1. I use the printer only for printing photographic-quality images.  My work needs to be a lot more than just readable..! Anything else would not do justice to my a-level artwork :) and he doesn't have a problem with me using it for art. ..he just wants to be able to keep track...

2. There are already user accounts set up on my dad's computer, but i don't seem to have to log in to these on my computer when i'm printing or whatnot.

Based on time value (depending on how you value your time) it may be better for you to get your own high-q printer and buy your own supplies than to try to track who's using how much of what on your Dad's printer...

I don't want to shortchange you or seem like I'm belittling your situation.  It's just that these print auditing packages you're talking about are made for mid-to-large scale LANs with multiple people doing printing to printers serviced on the network.  They aren't made for a 2-3 PC network.  You're talking about investing a lot of time, energy and money into a process that, although the concept is valid, is not likely to be worth what it costs you (dollars, time and effort.)

Sorry if  I seem rude - it's not intentional.

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abuginthegroundAuthor Commented:
Fair nuf.. I think that's what I might do - just get a seperate cartridge for his printer to use when i'm doing artwork and keep track of it that way.  Cheers for the help anyways.
#1) You will need to log in for the print software to track usage -- it tracks by login name.  Once you log in, you effectively have a server-type setup, even using XP home

#2) Do NOT just invest in your own cartridges.  You will end up with blotches or a worn out printer if you constantly change catridges.  And what happens if you forget to change them?  Just buy a printer already!   don't know if your Dad has an expensive one, but decent phot-printers can be had for $100-$150, and you probably spend that much in ink catridges in a month or two anyway.
abuginthegroundAuthor Commented:
I'm looking to buy my own printer anyway - my dad's is good enough (hp deskjet 940c) but being hp you can't get super-cheap replacement carts, and also it isn't 6 colour which I'd quite like.  Also, my school art department has just invested in a shiny new a3 printer which i'll be making ample use of i fear :)
Adrian DobrotaNetworking EngineerCommented:
abugintheground........please spare a moment and come back here to Experts-Exchange. We'd like to know if our answers helped you or not. If some answer helped you, please accept that as correct (or split points among experts that you consider helped you)  in order to reward the expert(s) and close the question. Also, if it's not too difficult, please make a brief of problem and solution. That will help others solve similar problems just doing a google search.
      If the problem wasn't solved please come back with questions or test results if you're still interested in that answer, and we'll try to figure it out; or post a 0 points question in community support asking for this Q to be deleted/PAQed.


Questioner got valid answer.  Points should not be refunded.
Shine on, ShineOn
That's what we crazy diamonds do...
Oh, you are Jewish, then?
No, I'm a fan of Pink Floyd.
Adrian DobrotaNetworking EngineerCommented:
This is not a Q to be deleted nor points refunded.
The Q has been answered by KronosTM and others beyond debate.

AnnieMod ... please read the Q and the answers provided and decide.
heh, forgot that reference.  Of course, I always did think it was a reference to a weird Jewish family 'round teh corner... :)
or expertS, I hope... :)
You be the judge... of course :)

I *did* tell him to do what he plans to do, if I read it right.  I think there were several valid recommendations, mine included..
Adrian DobrotaNetworking EngineerCommented:
Yeap ... there was a bunch of good recommendations
abuginthegroundAuthor Commented:
sorry i thought i'd already accepted an answer..
Oh and could you try to avoid chatting in my inbox is overflowing!
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