Connecting a printer to the Earth Sciences network
Last revision September 14, 2010
Virtually all printers in the School are connected to the computer network so they can be shared, rather than being connected directly to a single computer. Printers must be connected to the wired network. Some printers come with a wireless adapter as well. Because wireless service at Stanford always uses temporary IP addresses on a separate network that is not directly visible to probes from the wired network, a printer connected to the wireless network would never be found on the network, except by wireless computers in the same area using the "Rendezvous" (or "Bonjour") technology from Apple.
Laser and ink-jet printers from Hewlett Packard are the most common types of printers on our network. In almost all cases, these printers use the PostScript page description language and use a generic printer driver with a simple printer description file that comes pre-installed on many computers. Many printers also accept jobs formatted in the HP PCL language. A few (some Epson printers come to mind) have their own proprietary page description language and require that special drivers be installed on every computer that will print to them.
Modern network printers are usually multi-protocol. They can be assigned TCP/IP addresses to advertise themselves as a Windows printer share, accept LPR print jobs from Unix or MacOS X workstations, or accept print jobs over a special TCP port via their own printer drivers installed on your PC.