Print Servers allow you to connect non-network printers as though they were network devices. This gives you much more flexibility as to physical location and even use.
The Intel NetportExpress 10/100 Print Server has 2 parallel ports and one serial. If you connect it up to a printer and wait a minute or so for it to wake up, pressing the Test button will print a configuration page. Almost all print servers do something similar to this. Among other data, the page that prints include the hardware MAC address of the card (they list it as "Network Address"). If you then go back to your Unix box, you can assign an ip address by adding "netport" to /etc/hosts with an appropriate IP address, and then simply doing something like:
arp -s netport 0:90:27:3c:65:dc
The 0:90:27 number is the MAC address. You won't see ":"'s, but you'll need them for arp. Of course you can call it whatever you like, it doesn't have to be "netport", and your MAC address will be different.
Once that is done, you can telnet to netport or use your browser: the use of web interfaces for this sort of configuration is becoming common, and is much easier than plodding through telnet menus.
You'll find that it is already set up for Microsoft printing with a default domain or workgroup name of WORKGROUP and all 3 ports already given share names, so if that's how you are going to be using it, you are done unless you need different names. Notice that it picked up its own ip address when you contacted it; that's a helpful touch.
For Unix printing, you could either print through Windows or Visionfs, or you could use the built-in ftp capabilities: if you ftp to this box, you can "put" files to any of the ports. You could automate that in an interface script, or you could use lpd style printing, but the included CDROM has a "proprint" utility for SCO and many other Unixes.
After installing the CD, you have "proinstall" in /usr/intl. That lets you configure a spooler to any of the ports, and that's all there is to it: you are ready to print- except that the permissions may be wrong on /usr/intl/sco/proprint. Either chown lp that file, or chmod 755 it. There's also Windows software on the CD, though I did not install that.
You can also use Netcat to print to port 3001 (first parallel), 3002 (second) or 2501 (serial port).
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More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2012-07-12 Tony Lawrence
What happens then? Is there a ticker tape parade and heartfelt thanks from the computer it has reached? No, my friends, there is not. The poor packet is immediately gutted, stripped of its protective layers and tossed into the hungry maw of whatever application (mail, a webserver, whatever) it belongs to. (Tony Lawrence)