Yesterday I drove into Boston to see one of my love/hate customers. I love the people: great folks, easy to work with, pay their bills on time even though their customers do not, hard working, honest - I love these people. I hate going there because there never, ever is a place to park in their lot, and there's no street parking either. Yesterday I had to park at a nearby mall and hoof it over. If it had been raining hard, I wouldn't have gone!
I was called in to install two new printers. I thought that was a little odd - oh, sure I have customers who ask for simple things, but these folks have a "guy" and I thought he could have installed new printers. But maybe not, and money is money, so..
I got a good chuckle when he showed me the first printer. Only one network tap near where they put it so - he bought a router. Yeah, I've been down that road with other customers. As it happened, the router defaults to a 192.168.1.x network and the rest of his machines are 192.168.4.x, so it kinda/sorta worked - that is, it didn't instantly cause grief elsewhere and the one user plugged into the router could print. Nobody else could, and he no longer could get to the Internet, but he could get email and get to their local app server, so it wasn't completely broken. Just kinda/sorta.
I sent the "guy" out to get a couple of switches - I figured I'd find the same thing at the other new printer. But no, this wasn't a network printer at all. USB connect, hooked up to a new Vista Home machine. Oh, I just LOVE finding XP/Vista Home in businesses, don't I? They don't have a AD server, so it sort of doesn't matter, but they are bound to get forced down that road someday and in the meantime, well, in the meantime "Home" doesn't always play well with networks.
Which is exactly what this piece of $400 Microsoft junk was not doing - not playing well with the rest of the network. It had a DHCP address. It had the USB printer shared. It was even in the same workgroup as (most of) the other machines. TCP/IP was working because it could telnet to the app server and could fetch mail from the email server and could happily browse the internet. What it could not do was see other machines, in or out if its workgroup, and no other machine could see it.
Loverly, just loverly.
I tried everything I could think of but no luck, so I asked him to go buy a USB print server. I don't like shared printers anyway - unnecessary complication, especially with Home's quirkiness. It's cheaper to by a $50 USB print server than have me hack at the stupid Vista for an hour - a LOT cheaper, and of course that then gives them the flexibility to move the printer anywhere.
Though when they do that, they might dig up that router again...
If this page was useful to you, please help others find it:
More Articles by Anthony Lawrence
- Find me on Google+
This is a Unix/Linux resource website. It contains technical articles about Unix, Linux and general computing related subjects, opinion, news, help files, how-to's, tutorials and more. We appreciate comments and article submissions.
Jump to Comments
Many of the products and books I review are things I purchased for my own use. Some were given to me specifically for the purpose of reviewing them. I resell or can earn commissions from the sale of some of these items. Links within these pages may be affiliate links that pay me for referring you to them. That's mostly insignificant amounts of money; whenever it is not I have made my relationship plain. I also may own stock in companies mentioned here. If you have any question, please do feel free to contact me.
Specific links that take you to pages that allow you to purchase the item I reviewed are very likely to pay me a commission. Many of the books I review were given to me by the publishers specifically for the purpose of writing a review. These gifts and referral fees do not affect my opinions; I often give bad reviews anyway.
We use Google third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.