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Old 2007-11-20, 19:23   Link #1
teachopvutru
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Need help buying printer

I'm thinking of buying this laser printer:

http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/sh...ABA&catLevel=4

My first question is if it would be compatible with Linux Ubuntu and Windows Vista... Otherwise, I welcome and would appreciate any suggestion on a better quality laser printer that's about the same price, or a printer about the same quality but cheaper.


I also need a suggestion on a cheap and good All-In-One non-laser printer. It's mainly there for a need of color printing, copying, and scanning (maybe faxing as well), so it's sort of a backup. Of course, still need it to be compatible with Ubuntu and Vista.
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Old 2007-11-20, 19:38   Link #2
WanderingKnight
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I only found one isolated bug related to that printer in Ubuntu, but it seems to work for the most part (or at least I can't find many complaints about it). According to what I could dig up, drivers for the printer were integrated in the 7.04 release.

According to this, that model is supported via UPD in Vista.

PD: Google is your friend
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Old 2007-11-20, 21:20   Link #3
teachopvutru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
I only found one isolated bug related to that printer in Ubuntu, but it seems to work for the most part (or at least I can't find many complaints about it). According to what I could dig up, drivers for the printer were integrated in the 7.04 release.

According to this, that model is supported via UPD in Vista.

PD: Google is your friend
Sorry, got into a slightly bad mood by not being able to search what "effective output" I see in some printer spec suppose to be. Anyway, though, what word search did you use to search for the information about that printer's compatibility?

Regarding that bug, I don't understand what it's suppose to be. But is it fixed yet? Or is the link posted at the bottom of the page suppose to be the fix?

In any case, I think this printer can be connected wirelessly, just hope it won't be too difficult.
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Old 2007-11-20, 21:54   Link #4
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiachopvutru View Post
In any case, I think this printer can be connected wirelessly, just hope it won't be too difficult.
You should be able to use either HP's own JetDirect technology to talk to the printer or use the "Internet Printing Protocol" with CUPS. CUPS defaults to IPP, so if the printer supports IPP (as most modern printers do), Linux should be able to talk to the printer as long as it's visible on the wireless network. JetDirect is also well supported.
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Old 2007-11-20, 21:59   Link #5
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Quote:
Anyway, though, what word search did you use to search for the information about that printer's compatibility?
Umm, just Google'd the model + Ubuntu/Vista, and looked up the results... it's not that difficult

Quote:
Regarding that bug, I don't understand what it's suppose to be. But is it fixed yet? Or is the link posted at the bottom of the page suppose to be the fix?
Apparently not, but it's an old bug and it's likely not a common one (or it would have a higher priority).
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Old 2007-11-20, 22:48   Link #6
teachopvutru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
You should be able to use either HP's own JetDirect technology to talk to the printer or use the "Internet Printing Protocol" with CUPS. CUPS defaults to IPP, so if the printer supports IPP (as most modern printers do), Linux should be able to talk to the printer as long as it's visible on the wireless network. JetDirect is also well supported.
Ugh.. had to search those new terms like CUPS, IPP and JetDirect. Googled JetDirect and I saw cables of print server and stuff although those look quite expensive. IPP looks like some technology that allows wireless (well, dunno what protocol is suppose to be so I use the word "wireless" instead) connectivity for printing. And CUPS (does it have anything to do with the default installed program on Ubuntu that manages print job?) stands for Common UNIX Printing System, which is a program could use IPP.

Correct me if I'm wrong in any of the above.

In any case, I don't have to plug the printer into a certain computer to use CUPS right? If that's the case, I don't have to buy the Printer Cable which somehow is sold separately, but maybe I should get one after all just to be on the safe side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
Umm, just Google'd the model + Ubuntu/Vista, and looked up the results... it's not that difficult

Apparently not, but it's an old bug and it's likely not a common one (or it would have a higher priority).
Alright, hopefully I won't be the oh-so-lucky-one catching that bug. About the googling, I guess I shouldn't have expected results like "OH this WORK!! YAY!!" but base my conclusion on if there're any issues with it yet, since the printer isn't exactly new either.
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Old 2007-11-21, 00:16   Link #7
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CUPS = Common Unix Printing System
Pretty much the default for Linux and many other *nix systems these days. CUPS has public-domain drivers for hundreds of printers. In some cases, HP is one, the drivers are written by the printer manufacturers themselves.

IPP - Internet Printing Protocol
A network service that enables machines to send jobs to a printer using a variant of the web's HTTP protocol. If you can set up the printer to run an IPP server, that's probably your best choice. Any other Linux or Windows machine should be able to print to it using IPP (Macs, too?).

JetDirect
An older, proprietary HP protocol used to submit jobs to a printer over a network. Most network-capable HP printers support JetDirect even if they don't support anything else.

Now to the matter at hand. I looked at the page you posted. As far as I can tell, you'll need to connect this printer to a computer or print server with a USB cable in order to use it. If you have a desktop computer that can be connected to the printer all the time, then that's your path. If you run Windows on that computer, just share the printer with Windows networking. The Linux box should be able to detect and use a Windows printer without much trouble. If you run Linux on that computer, you'll probably be using CUPS and IPP. Windows also supports IPP, I believe.

If you don't have a spare computer, but you want to make the printer available over the network, you can buy a small "print server" box from companies like Linksys and Netgear. They have a USB port to connect to the printer and Ethernet and/or wireless connections for the network. I have a Netgear version; it supports IPP and JetDirect.
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Old 2007-11-21, 02:16   Link #8
teachopvutru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
CUPS = Common Unix Printing System
Pretty much the default for Linux and many other *nix systems these days. CUPS has public-domain drivers for hundreds of printers. In some cases, HP is one, the drivers are written by the printer manufacturers themselves.

IPP - Internet Printing Protocol
A network service that enables machines to send jobs to a printer using a variant of the web's HTTP protocol. If you can set up the printer to run an IPP server, that's probably your best choice. Any other Linux or Windows machine should be able to print to it using IPP (Macs, too?).

JetDirect
An older, proprietary HP protocol used to submit jobs to a printer over a network. Most network-capable HP printers support JetDirect even if they don't support anything else.

Now to the matter at hand. I looked at the page you posted. As far as I can tell, you'll need to connect this printer to a computer or print server with a USB cable in order to use it. If you have a desktop computer that can be connected to the printer all the time, then that's your path. If you run Windows on that computer, just share the printer with Windows networking. The Linux box should be able to detect and use a Windows printer without much trouble. If you run Linux on that computer, you'll probably be using CUPS and IPP. Windows also supports IPP, I believe.

If you don't have a spare computer, but you want to make the printer available over the network, you can buy a small "print server" box from companies like Linksys and Netgear. They have a USB port to connect to the printer and Ethernet and/or wireless connections for the network. I have a Netgear version; it supports IPP and JetDirect.
The desktop I'm using now is dual-boot with Windows XP and Ubuntu. I can plug the printer when I buy it to this computer... the only problem is that this room where I have my desktop (and the only other desktop as well but a really old one) has quite limited space and the printer I'm about to buy isn't exactly small either.

The reason why I want it to be have wireless connectivity in the first place is because my sister uses laptop for her college work, and she wants to print directly from there rather then sending the file to this computer to do the task. (plus I would rather not to get interrupted either)

Looks like my choices would either be 1) find some space in this room 2)buy the print server box 3) find a smaller laser printer. (now that I think about it, most she would probably do on black involves text-only printing anyway)

In any case, thanks to both of you for your helps. My issues are pretty much solved although unless you may want to elaborate about something.


Actually, I haven't got my suggestion for a All-In-One non-laser printer yet. But that barely is the priority anyway.
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Old 2007-11-23, 04:50   Link #9
teachopvutru
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Pardon for double post but I need reply quick...

On this page of HPLIP driver supported device, the LaserJet P2015 shows there but under the Network column, it says "No." So here I'm wondering what that may means... Well, I'm not quite sure about any of this stuff, just asking to be on the safe side. Will I still be able to do wireless for printer if I go with the CUPS and IPP thingys?

http://hplip.sourceforge.net/support...ces/laser.html

1. Network support indicates built-in ethernet and/or wireless networking. Alternatively, many devices may be operated on the network using an external JetDirect print server. Not all network configurations are supported. Please refer to the HPLIP FAQs for more information.
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Old 2007-11-23, 16:46   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiachopvutru View Post
Pardon for double post but I need reply quick...

On this page of HPLIP driver supported device, the LaserJet P2015 shows there but under the Network column, it says "No." So here I'm wondering what that may means... Well, I'm not quite sure about any of this stuff, just asking to be on the safe side. Will I still be able to do wireless for printer if I go with the CUPS and IPP thingys?
If it says that there's no network support, it means that the printer doesn't have an ethernet port. I've never heard of a printer that had wireless support, but I'd say it's safe to assume that it doesn't have that, either.

You can still do what you want to do, but you'll need something extra. There are wireless USB hubs made for printer sharing wirelessly, which essentially turns a regular printer into a network printer. I know that Linksys sells them, and I'd imagine that some other companies do, too. I don't know how difficult it is to set them up. With that sort of a setup, you won't be configuring the printer itself, but that little wireless hub. The printer will treat the hub as if it were a regular computer.
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Old 2007-11-24, 01:19   Link #11
teachopvutru
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So I guess I can still configure to work on wireless?

Well, I'm delaying buying the printer since I think I'll try to configure my current printer first to see how it's done for now....
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Old 2007-11-24, 15:46   Link #12
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by tiachopvutru View Post
So I guess I can still configure to work on wireless?
Yes - check some of Newegg's listings for these types of products. Note that not all of those are wireless - some of them will let you use the printer through regular ethernet. You want wireless, so make sure that you're examining the wireless models. The prices vary, the Linksys ones seem to be in the $60 range.

But what's the reason for this, again? You mentioned that your sister doesn't want to have to send the file to you to be printed, but have you tried enabling printer sharing? I've never actually done this myself so I can't guide you exactly, but the way it's supposed to work is no different than buying one of those products I linked to you. The difference is that instead of having a wireless hub that your printer plugs into, your computer acts as the hub. It receives print requests and passes them on to the printer. It doesn't require any interaction on your part, and it'd save you the cost of one of those print hubs.
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Old 2007-11-24, 17:26   Link #13
teachopvutru
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
But what's the reason for this, again? You mentioned that your sister doesn't want to have to send the file to you to be printed, but have you tried enabling printer sharing? I've never actually done this myself so I can't guide you exactly, but the way it's supposed to work is no different than buying one of those products I linked to you. The difference is that instead of having a wireless hub that your printer plugs into, your computer acts as the hub. It receives print requests and passes them on to the printer. It doesn't require any interaction on your part, and it'd save you the cost of one of those print hubs.
Apparently, I haven't tried that
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Old 2007-11-24, 20:34   Link #14
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Well, I'll expand on it further. The basic way to set this up is that you'd need to enable printer sharing from your own computer, and then your sister (and anyone else in your family) would likely need to re-add the printer to their printer list, possibly as an IP printer and directed at your computer (not positive about this one). Google for "setting up printer sharing" or something like that, and you should be able to find a few guides that'll help you to get it done.

The advantage to doing this is that you'll accomplish what you wanted, without having to buy anything. The only downside is that once your computer turns off, nobody will be able to print. If you bought one of those network printer hubs, it'd be on all the time (unless you unplugged it, of course). That may or may not be an issue, depending on your circumstances.
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Old 2007-11-24, 21:15   Link #15
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It's not a network printer. As I said before, the link you posted indicated the printer has only a USB port that can be connected to a computer or to a print server device as both I and Ledgem described.

If you expect to be dual-booting the machine to which the printer is connected back and forth between Windows and Linux, you'll need to configure both sides to share the printer over the network. If your sister is using Windows, you'll want to use Windows protocols to share the printer. On the Windows side, install the printer, then right-click the printer's icon in the Control Panel > Printers dialog and choose the Sharing option. The instructions are pretty straightforward.

The Linux side is more complicated. Again you'll be installing the printer to that machine, but you have options for sharing it. If your sister's computer can use IPP, then that's the simplest thing since it's the native method CUPS uses. If not, you'll have to look into installing and configuring a program called "Samba" which emulates Windows networking.

It may just be easier to buy a standalone print server device since it'll support most any common printing options on Windows and Linux. If you buy a wireless server, you can put the printer anywhere in your house.

@Ledgem: There are now printers with built-in wireless cards. for instance this $100 HP model
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Old 2007-11-24, 22:44   Link #16
teachopvutru
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Since my computer is on most of the time, I don't think I have the issue on that part. I can also treat this as a good learning experience as well (and save some money =P), I guess...

Regarding Samba, beside printing, it also can also be used to share files among computers, right? The FTP, thing, I think.

For printers with built-in wireless cards, does that mean that they do not require plugging into computer or a print server to print wirelessly?
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Old 2007-11-25, 02:48   Link #17
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Actually, the HP LaserJet P2015 has optional networking and tray 3 support. For example: P2015tn, P2015t, P2015n, P2015dtn. D = Duplexing (Double-sided printing), T = Tray 3, N = Networking. From the price on the link, it looks like it's just a base model, so chances are, it has no networking support.

Now, for the drivers for both Vista and Ubuntu Linux, you can find out if it's available through http://www.hp.com/. There's a tab on the left that says "Software and Driver Downloads". You just need to write down "LaserJet P2015" in the search parameters, and it should give you options of which operating system you want the driver for, then it'll tell you if it's available for that operating system. This is the easiest and most efficient way of finding out if it's compatible with any operating system, let alone grabbing the appropriate drivers for each OS.

How do I know this? The company I used to work for was partnered with HP, so we dealt with computers and printers alike for that manufacturer. I actually still get tech e-mail from HP for updates on their system and how their things work now.
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Old 2007-11-27, 11:53   Link #18
SeijiSensei
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Originally Posted by tiachopvutru View Post
Regarding Samba, beside printing, it also can also be used to share files among computers, right? The FTP, thing, I think.
Yes, and no. Samba enables Linux computers to share files with Windows machines using the same method ("protocol" in networking speak) that Windows computers themselves use. If you start up Samba on most common Linux distributions, you'll share the users' home directories and any connected printers by default. If you've never used Windows networking, I suggest you first try an experiment with your sister. See if you can activate Windows file sharing on both computers, then see if you can find and open any shared folders on the other's computer. If you can do that in Windows, you can use Samba to do the same thing if one of the machines is running Linux.

FTP is an entirely different protocol. It's the original method used to transfer files over the Internet. An FTP client logs into an FTP server and issues commands to upload or download files. Because FTP is "session" based, you stay connected to the server for a time after a download completes. (In contrast, the HTTP protocol used on the Web is "stateless;" once you download something you're disconnected.) FTP also allows you to specify filenames with "wildcards" so you can download multiple files or even entire directories with one command.

Many Linux sites have FTP as well as HTTP access. Being in the US, I tend to use ftp://ftp.riken.jp/ and ftp://ftp.jaist.ac.jp/ quite often because of the timezone difference. (It's night in Japan when I'm downloading here, so the Japanese servers have fairly light loads.) Most Linux distros have graphical FTP clients by default, or you can use a browser. My favorite command-line client is "ncftp" which should be available for most common distributions.
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Old 2007-11-28, 01:06   Link #19
teachopvutru
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Yes, and no. Samba enables Linux computers to share files with Windows machines using the same method ("protocol" in networking speak) that Windows computers themselves use. If you start up Samba on most common Linux distributions, you'll share the users' home directories and any connected printers by default. If you've never used Windows networking, I suggest you first try an experiment with your sister. See if you can activate Windows file sharing on both computers, then see if you can find and open any shared folders on the other's computer. If you can do that in Windows, you can use Samba to do the same thing if one of the machines is running Linux.
Does that mean only one computer need to activate the Samba thing? (and yep, I've never tried Windows networking before..)

Quote:
FTP is an entirely different protocol. It's the original method used to transfer files over the Internet. An FTP client logs into an FTP server and issues commands to upload or download files. Because FTP is "session" based, you stay connected to the server for a time after a download completes. (In contrast, the HTTP protocol used on the Web is "stateless;" once you download something you're disconnected.) FTP also allows you to specify filenames with "wildcards" so you can download multiple files or even entire directories with one command.
Hmmm... Can't say I necessary understand what those "state" and "stateless" things are... It doesn't matter right now, though. (I enjoyed the read but I admit I didn't quite understand the whole thing )

Quote:
Most Linux distros have graphical FTP clients by default, or you can use a browser. My favorite command-line client is "ncftp" which should be available for most common distributions.
Hmmm, may the default graphical FTP clients is Places > Connect to Server... ?

Yes, I realize I've gone way off-topic and should have let this thread die...

Back on topic (I think): If a printer doesn't have Vista as its supported operating system, it's best not to buy it, right? My sister's laptop runs Vista. Well, I also see one with "Certified for Windows Vista(TM)"
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Last edited by teachopvutru; 2007-11-28 at 01:17.
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Old 2007-11-28, 13:47   Link #20
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by tiachopvutru View Post
Back on topic (I think): If a printer doesn't have Vista as its supported operating system, it's best not to buy it, right? My sister's laptop runs Vista. Well, I also see one with "Certified for Windows Vista(TM)"
I don't really trust those things too much, especially given all of Windows Vista's blunders. If it has the certified sticker on it, then it likely means that it's been tested and/or there should be drivers available for it.

Unless it's some amazingly complex printer, it should work even if it isn't certified for Vista. Your sister may need to tell her computer to use generic print drivers instead of HP's fancy ones, but that only makes a big difference if you're printing pictures and want a lot of control over how the printer handles the colors and such. I'd guess that not too many people use those functions. Additionally, it's likely that the printer will have Vista drivers developed for it some time in the near future.
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