"Setting up printing under Linux is not a pleasant pastime. The
semi-automatic printer configurators shipped with Linux
distributions are unreliable, especially if you get a different
printer -- Heaven help you if it's a brand new one (most of which
are Winprinters, kind of like a toaster that prints, anyway) for
which there is no driver support yet -- but the big problem is that
the printing mechanism in Linux has always been a kind of
afterthought. And it shows."
"Linux distributions for the longest time used a BSD-style print
queue, which was a combination filter/spooler that through the
kindly offices of GhostScript would take the PostScript output of
most applications and convert it into something easily digested by
whatever was attached to the parallel port. It worked reliably once
it was set up, but setting it up was often maddening...."
"Email arrived a couple of weeks ago suggesting that I give CUPS
a try. CUPS is the Common Unix Printing System, and it solves a
multitude of problems. My guess is that it will become the Linux
standard before long. (Yes, I said standard. And I expect a few
dozen emails the gist of which are, 'we don't need no steenkin'
standards,' to which I respond in advance: You may avoid growing
up, but that doesn't mean Linux can't.)"
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