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Convert a USB printer to a fully networked printer Desktop
I have an iBook with an AirPort card which I use to surf the net via a Linksys cable modem / wireless router combo. I also have an HP 812C USB printer that is connected to a Win2000 Tower PC. I had no problems printing to the HP 812C via Windows 2000 printer sharing using SMB. The problem was that I had to boot the PC every time I wanted to print from the iBook. So I started looking for a print server solution that would be relatively cheap and work with both the PC and iBook.

The solution I found that works flawlessly is from Hawking Technology. They have a unit that has two USB ports and one Parallel port and costs around $70US (they have a single USB model in the works). The unit is very easy to install. The directions say you need a PC to run the provided application that allows you to set the IP address, after which you can use the built-in webserver to make additional configuration changes from any web browser. There may be ways to set the IP initially without a PC ... that's something I'm still looking at. You can also telnet into the unit to effect configuration changes.

Once you have the IP address, you can set up an IP printer in MacOS Print Center. You enter the IP address, and for the queue name you enter a value that depends on which of the three plugs you plugged the printer into (lp1 for the parallel port, lp2 and lp3 for USB ports).

Thats it! Now I can print to my HP 812C whenever I want over my home network without having to boot the PC. According to Hawking Technologies, the PS12U should be compatible with just about any USB printer.
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Convert a USB printer to a fully networked printer | 13 comments | Create New Account
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the link is no good
Authored by: macubergeek on Jan 10, '03 11:25:03AM

link to product page dosn't work



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the link is no good
Authored by: bucweat on Jan 10, '03 01:16:06PM

I just tried it...it works for me. Here is the link if you want to cut and paste...

http://www.hawkingtech.com/prodSpec.php?ProdID=89



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What about the driver?
Authored by: brianlees on Jan 10, '03 12:11:27PM

The biggest problem I have is selecting the right driver. I have an HP 980cse hooked up to an HP JetDirect300x. If I try to print to it via IP, I can't select the HP driver. HP's drivers do not support IP printing. I had to download the opensource Linux driver. Ugh..... I just want to print with an HP driver.



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What about the driver?
Authored by: bucweat on Jan 10, '03 01:20:15PM

I sorta left this out...sorry. I downloaded the Gimp-print/ghostscript drivers. There are Mac OSX installers so its really easy to install. THen you can pick your printer from the 300 or so that are supported. You can get the files you need from http://gimp-print.sourceforge.net/MacOSX.php3.



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What about the driver?
Authored by: CrazyDuke on Sep 03, '03 01:59:59PM

Gimp-Print doesn't have driver for the Canon i850 and using another driver is just a hack to print basic word documents or something. i cannot print advanced photos or edge-to-edge printing.

I have a Hawking Tech print server here and it's sitting here doing nothing at all. I wish Canon would simply get it's driver to work over IP.



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What about the driver?
Authored by: cbrock on Oct 22, '03 11:22:07PM

I just bought a Canon i960, so I know of the issue you face. I found a driver that supports the Canon printers at www.turboprint.de . It works great with over my PS12U. You can try out a demo version that prints their logo on every job you print, which is a good way to verify that the driver works before purchase. The purchase price is not bad and the web-based maintenance utility is nice.



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Can print, but no ink monitor
Authored by: EvilSuggestions on Jan 10, '03 01:03:54PM

I've been using a PS12U with an Epson C80. After some fumbling with CUPS upgrades I did get it printing well enough under OS X, but I found that there was no way, from any supported platform, to get the ink monitor to communicate with the printer over the PS12U. Since the ink monitor does work from a pc that's sharing the printer from another pc that's directly connected via usb, obviously the monitor does work over some arrangement of network printing protocols, just not the ones that the PC12U speaks.



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Can print, but no ink monitor
Authored by: caroscio on Feb 17, '03 04:53:20PM

Hi -- I am trying to connect a c80 on a MAC running OS10.2 over a
wireless airport network and appear to have the configuration of the
print server ok (can ping) but print jobs spool but never arrive at printer.
I am curious what CUPS version you selected for your C80? The tech
support at Hawking said it must be postscript (which i know it is not) but
some of you seem have had success. thanks in advance.



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Initial setup on Mac
Authored by: michaelholtzman on Jan 10, '03 03:22:41PM

You can set the print server's IP address in MacOSX by launching a Terminal session, and following the Linux instructions on Hawking's web site. Basically, you insert an IP address for the printer into the Mac's arp table, and then use the web interface.



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Initial setup on Mac
Authored by: bggale on Mar 01, '03 09:53:54PM

Every time I try to assign my PN7337P an IP address in the Terminal, I only get as far as tftp>get config.txt. I never get the file - it always times out.
I noticed on Hawking's web site they say to type get CONFIG.TXT, which I also tried even though it appeared to be a typo.
How did you manage to do this without a pc?



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hawking ps12u
Authored by: cbrock on Jan 16, '03 04:50:32PM

Why does Hawking say on the PS12U data sheet that it supports Macintosh only if the printer is a Postscript printer? Only the more expensive Laser printers come with Postscript. This is why I haven't bought it. However, if it can be confirmed that the PS12U will enable USB non-postscript printers to work with OSX, I'll go down to Fry's and buy it tonight.



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hawking ps12u
Authored by: macboyrules on Jan 16, '03 05:44:23PM

The reason why the description says it only supports Macintosh with Postscript printers is because, out of the box, this is correct. Apple's included drivers for USB printers do not provide support for IP printing. However, as has been described here and in other hints, CUPS with GIMP-Print works great and gives you the ability to print to non-Postscript printers via IP. Have fun at Fry's! :)



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hawking ps12u
Authored by: cbrock on Feb 04, '03 06:07:51PM

Update: thanks to the original poster of this thread on networking printers with OSX for responding to my inquiry directly. I now have the missing clue that makes the PS12U a wonderful solution for networking printers: "gimp-print"

http://gimp-print.sourceforge.net/MacOSX.php3

I learned the following :

1. Since OSX is a Unix computer, the Unix print function called LPR opens up a parallel body of solutions for printing. The freeware called "gimp-print" supports OSX and the fantastic part of this is that it supports printers that vendors seem uninterested in supporting for OSX. For instance, HP supports the Deskjet 870 only up to OS9. Using gimp-print and LPR, my 870 now works with OSX.

2. The Hawking Technology PS12U works with Unix LPR printing in OSX in addtion to Appletalk printing. The combination of gimp-print, OSX LPR print support and the PS12U makes it possible to network many printers that have only a parallel port, USB port. It also makes it possible to support printers that never have supported the Mac.

3. It's easy to find a Hawking PS12U for less than $100. Many printers offer networking options, however, infuriatingly, they're always overpriced, often higher than the printer itself. In one example, I know of $200 printer in which the networking card is priced at the outrageous price of $499!



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