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Linux Journal: Taming the Horrors of Printers and Printing, Part 4

Feb 27, 2000, 16:26 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Marcel Gagné)

"For those who are new to Linux, one of the most difficult things to wrap your head around is the idea of choice. Oh, sure, you can get lots of different word processing packages for Windows and for Linux. The difference is that with Linux, doing things differently goes right down to the bone. I can rebuild my kernel to take advantage of little-known, super-cool performance enhancements. I can change the way I talk to every device hooked up to my system. I can even decide how I want to print. One gives you choices, the other gives you CHOICES! That's not always easy for the new Linux user to get used to."

"Printing is what we are talking about, and this is where I will turn this analogy. If you are running Windows, you simply do your Settings-Printers thing and away you go. Along comes Linux, which says, "Well, you could print using the standard lpd system, or LPRng, or IPP, or CUPS, or PDQ. Oh, and you can use Red Hat filters, and custom bash filters, and ghostscript filters, and..." Choice is a hard thing to get used to, but once you do get the hang of options, they become an addiction that's good for you and good for the software industry as a whole."

"Last week, I said I would re-visit filters one more time. That's only partly true, in that some of the things I want to talk about aren't specifically filters, and that whole choice thing has me rethinking things all the time. Some of you sent me thank-you e-mails for giving your HP 7xx series printers a second chance on your Linux server. A couple of people even said this "WinPrinter" problem was the last holdout to them switching entirely over to Linux. Hey, I'm just a force for good in my time...."

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