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Work around some bugs with managed printers
Authored by: jelockwood on Sep 29, '06 09:58:28AM

The whole aspect of managed printers in Mac OS X server is a disaster, and if anything Tiger server is worse at this than Panther server.

First to address your hint. If you do this, yes you will clean up the list of printers, but the process of deleting the printer also deletes any settings associated with that printer such as defining additional paper trays, memory, and duplex capabilities. If you subsequently print to that printer (when it is re-created by a different user) it will not let you access the extra capabilities and the "Auto" choice for paper tray will then default to the wrong paper tray.

Second, with Tiger server it is completely and utterly impossible to use managed preferences to add a print queue that points to a Mac OS X Tiger server spool queue. You can only add a managed preference pointing DIRECTLY to the printer (or possibly also a printer shared from a client machine). With Panther server this was possible.

Also with Tiger server, even though I have set (via managed preferences) a default printer, some users find that randomly a different one will become the default printer and then randomly revert back (it always goes to the same wrong one per user but not the same for ALL users). For example, my default is set to the IT Department printer, but sometimes BY ITSELF it will switch to defaulting to the Finance department printer.

The only improvement that Tiger server offers, is that it fixed the fact that although managed preferences in Panther server had a tick box to let users add local printers [and it would let you add them] IT WOULD NOT LET YOU USE THEM! (Unless your account had Administrator priviledges.) As I said this at least is fixed with Tiger server and client.

Finally for both Panther and Tiger, if you have printers setup by managed preferences and are using a mobile account (say on a laptop) and you bind to Open Directory by finding it via DHCP, then when out of the office (and unable to access the Open Directory) all (managed) printers will disappear from the printer menu (but not Printer Setup Utility). This you might think is no real issue since when off site you will not be able to access the printers anyway. Unfortunately Word and Excel when you open documents always try accessing the print driver (whether you want to or not) and find they cannot. Rather than catching the error gracefully they completely crash PREVENTING YOU OPENING AND USING ANY DOCUMENTS. Typical shoddy Microsoft (TextEdit for example does handle this gracefully). The workaround (as suggested by Apple) is to set Directory Access to not use DHCP to find the Open Directory server and instead set it to a manual entry.



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