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Linux Journal: Taming the Horrors of Printers and Printing, Part 1

Jan 28, 2000, 07:42 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Marcel Gagné)

"This week, I am going to wander into frightening territory. Over the years, I have seen several estimates regarding system administrators and printers. One figure (which had a fairly strong argument backing up the numbers) put printer administration at around 25 percent of a system administrator's time. If you think printers are fun, try wandering by your tech support people's cubicles (assuming you are not one yourself), and waiting for a printer call to come through. You shouldn't have to wait too long. Next, note the look on their faces when they're told it's a printer problem."

"I've sort of avoided dealing with printers myself (although some of you have sent me requests to cover the topic). The reason is that, like most system administrators, I also hate dealing with printers. In the next few columns, I will show how you can make printer hell closer to printer heaven. In doing this, I'll walk you through the basics of what really happens when you print. Armed with the nuts and bolts of printing, we will then look at some clever tools and techniques that add unprecedented flexibility to your everyday printing needs."

"Linux offers us a number of printing options. We can do text, Postscript, local printers as well as lpd remotes. If we want to, we can even create queues that direct printing to our co-workers' Windows 9x printers, or provide Windows 9x users with Linux print services (using Samba). One printer is mostly okay, but add a few more and you've got yourself a real handful. What Linux does do here is provide a wide range of options for dealing with all this diversity."

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