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Tools needed for network printer?

Discussion in 'Networking' started by pl130, Apr 19, 2010.

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  1. pl130

    pl130 Thread Starter

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    I'm setting up a network printer in a home office. I was reading the printer instruction manual, and it said I needed something called a "network box". What exactly is this (or the correct term for it)? Also, what other tools (cables, cords, etc.) would I need to set up the printer on a network?

    Don't know of this helps, but the computers that are intended for connection are a Dell XPS 400 (windows xp) and Power Mac G5. The printer is an HP Officehet (can't recall the actual model number).

    Thanks!
     
  2. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Does your particular printer have a built-in wired or wireless network interface? Some HP printers come with built-in networking or have the option of adding a network interface. You can usually also attach the printer directly to a networked computer and then have that computer share the printer with other computers on the same network. The computer would need to be running in order for other computers to be able use the attached printer.

    Do you know if HP offers Apple compatible drivers for your printer?

    Are both computers all ready connected to some type of network?
     
  3. Bernardo

    Bernardo

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    I'm going to follow this thread. I have a network printer setup and one Mac user who has never been able to use it. I might learn something :D
     
  4. pl130

    pl130 Thread Starter

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    Hmmm...those are good questions. Bear with me.

    I don't believe the printer has a wireless option. Although, even if it does, I set it up on a wired connection, anyway.

    What exactly is a "networked computer"? How would I be able to check this on the pc or Mac?

    HP might offer Apple compatible drivers, although I'm not sure about this either. Is there usually a problem connecting a pc and a Mac to one printer?
     
  5. Bernardo

    Bernardo

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    Do you plan on having the printer always connected to one computer? If so, that computer would have to be on and available when anyone wanted to print anything.

    I had no problem finding drivers for the Mac system (I have an HP officjet) --- I think my issue is more on the Mac side in not knowing HOW to set it up.

    A networked computer is just a way of describing more than one computer that can share things between them.

    It involves setting up the network via the control panel, network settings. It's a pretty straight forward process that will walk you through it. The computers must have the same network name. The default name is WORKGROUP for the Windows machine. Not sure about the Mac.
     
  6. pl130

    pl130 Thread Starter

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    Not sure I get your first question. I plan on having the printer connected to both computers, not just one.

    In that case, no, it's not a networked computer. So, what you're saying is, I would need to set up the network connection (via Control Panel > Network Connection, etc.) first?
     
  7. Bernardo

    Bernardo

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    Ok, you might be thinking of connecting this printer to a print server, then. That way it wouldn't matter if either computer were on or off. Some routers have built in print servers. If yours doesn't, then you'd need to purchase a print server that is compatible with that printer. That is a problem I've had in the past, as the officejet is a multi function machine, and many print servers do not support multi function machines.

    Am I with you so far?
     
  8. pl130

    pl130 Thread Starter

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    Yes, a print server! I'm pretty sure that's exactly what I need.

    I guess I'll need to do some research on print servers that do support multifuntion machines.

    Thank you for clearing that up.
     
  9. Bernardo

    Bernardo

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    You're welcome :) I'm waiting to see if your Mac will be able to print :D at which point you can help me :D
     
  10. pl130

    pl130 Thread Starter

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    Will let you know. Hopefully, I'll be able to do this asap.
     
  11. badness

    badness

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    To rephrase the point: Physically take the USB cable that plugs into your computer. Choose one specific computer to tether it to and get it working. The next step will be to identify the computer with the printer attached on your wireless network. Whether you print from mac to pc or pc to mac, there are easy instructions for making this happen. It does take a little bit of tinkering, but no more so than setting up a print server, and it will be cheaper to boot.
    badness
     
  12. cwwozniak

    cwwozniak Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    You may have a tough search ahead of you. You may be able to find a print server that supports a basic printer or maybe the printer portion of a multifunction printer. The only way to access the scanner and other features on a multi-function device may be with a direct USB connection from the multifunction printer to the computer. Even then, the scanner section might only be usable from that one computer.
     
  13. pl130

    pl130 Thread Starter

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    To Badness and Cwwozniak: Thank you for that. I think I'll do that and just order a USB cable.

    Let me just see if I have this right: Hook up the USB to one of the computers (probably the pc) from the printer. Then,, I'll insert the disc that came with the Officejet and program it on to the pc (using the network installation option.) From there, I would try to search/identify the printer on the Mac?

    By the way, the internet connection (for both computers) is wired.
     
  14. badness

    badness

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    Did your printer come with a usb cable or not? You can probably use one from an old printer, if you still have one laying about. And also, exactly what kind of printer is it (make and model number), as well as version of mac osx (likely either tiger or leopard?)
     
  15. pl130

    pl130 Thread Starter

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    Honestly, this is for my boss's home office, so I'm not really sure of anything. I didn't really make a note of what exact model it was when I was there (all I know is that it's an HP OfficeJet multifunction printer). I didn't really anticipate it being this complicated. Well...complicated for me.

    And I don't know what version on the Mac.
     
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