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Network Plotter/Printer Question

Network Plotter/Printer Question

Network Plotter/Printer Question

We recently had a network card installed on our OCE plotter. We have a small network with a server. The plotter is connected to the network via a "lpr" port and is a local printer on the server. The plotter is shared on the server and the other computers connect to it through the server as a network printer. My question is, is this the correct way to install a network printer? Should the plotter be set up as a local printer via a "lpr" port on all the computers? Any help would be appreciated, I am a civil engineer working for a small firm and somehow I have become responsible for the I.T. issues.

Also if someone could explain the difference between a lpr port and a tcp/ip port that would be even more helpfull.


RE: Network Plotter/Printer Question

Thanks Mikek10,

That's very helpful.

RE: Network Plotter/Printer Question

Installing the plotter as a local printer to a server and sharing it through the server is not wrong, but you shouldn't have needed a network card in the plotter to do it that way.

The network card in the plotter enables it to become its own server and connect to the network directly.

The phrase 'lpr port' is *nix geek-speak for a printer port.

The phrase 'tcpip port' is *nix geek-speak for a network port, so called because the *nix network protocol is TCP/IP.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Network Plotter/Printer Question

Thanks Mike,
That's exactly why I was asking this question. The plotter was physically connected to the server previously and shared to the other computers. We had the network card installed. The plotter was connected to the network, and set up as local printer on the server and again shared to the other computers. This made me wonder what's the point of installing the network card?

I'm going to set it up as a local printer on all the computers through the lpr port. I think I've got a pretty good idea of how to do it.

Thanks for you help

RE: Network Plotter/Printer Question

Networks blur the distinction between local and remote.

It may be that your plotter, now attached to the network by its own network card, is not capable of buffering big plot files by itself, so the _queue_ for the plotter must still be hosted on some server.  

Note that the server hosting the plotter's queue need not be in physical proximity to the plotter, and may not even be labeled as a server.  

{ A former employer's plotter was set up that way.  The queue was hosted on a workstation, and the guy who sat there didn't know it.  The plotter refused to work on Saturdays, unless he came in... or someone powered up his 'puter.  We wasted a lot of time figuring out what the IT Wizards didn't bother to share. }

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

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