Ready, get set, print . . .
For many of us, maybe most of us, our favorite computer display is a sheet
of paper. We would rather take what is on the screen, print it out and read
it. Hard copy weighs less, is more portable and has super sharp resolution.
So we want to print.
If a printer is connected to your desktop computer, printing should be easy.
However, most printers are located somewhere on the network, and you need
to get to them. How to do this? You should ask your local support person,
if they are available.
Most people don't know that you can also print on a remote printer in another
department. Of course, you should always get permission when attempting
to use another department's printer, but here are a few tips to help get
Printing is one of the few things that is still easier to do on a Mac. Just
pull down the Apple Menu, click on Chooser, select a Zone, click on the
icon for the type of printer you wish to print on (for example, LaserWriter)
and select one from the list of printers to the right, in the Chooser window.
Some printers may have very descriptive names like "Fourth Floor Candler
Library," and some may have very cryptic names like "Chewbacca."
People who use obscure names don't want just anyone to print on their printers.
Novell and Microsoft
If you have a Windows machine, you will generally have to connect to a server-either
a Novell NetWare server or a Windows server (e.g., NT). These servers could
be another workstation with a printer attached or even just a very smart
printer on the network. Since you actually have to log in, it is only possible
to use such printers if you have been authorized to.
If you have Windows 95 or NT on your desktop, double-click the My Computer
icon and then double-click to open the Printers folder within. If someone
has added them for you, you should then see icons for the printers you can
print to. You can right-click one of those printers and make it the default
printer. Most programs, such as Microsoft Word, will let you change printers
from the panel that pops up when you choose "Print" from the File
See your local support person about adding additional printers or accessing
UNIX systems can print to printers that are actually plugged into the UNIX
computer, to printers attached to other UNIX systems or to printers that
act like other UNIX systems.
To get an idea of what printers are available on some UNIX systems, look
at the file </etc/printcap>. On Dooley, you can get this listing by
typing the command <niscat printers.org_dir | more>. This listing
has an entry for each printer that is available. The first word of each
entry is the printer's UNIX name and typically it is followed by a more
lengthy, descriptive name such as "lab01 ... Lab LaserWriter 1."
Mix and Match
With the right software (frequently from a third party) it is possible to
print from any of the systems mentioned above to any network printer. The
system administrator for the server that you log on to must purchase, install
and configure such software and only they can tell you what printers are
From a Windows desktop system, you may be able to utilize specific Apple
On Dooley, it is possible to print to many of the Apple LaserWriters on
campus, including the Cox Hall Lab: "coxllw" (CoxLaser) and "coxrlw"
(CoxResume). Print a text file with "enscript -Pcoxllw" or a PostScript
file with "lpr -Pcoxllw". There is a charge of 10 cents per page
for printouts in the lab and they must be picked up within 30 minutes of
The situation is similar for the mainframe administrative systems.
For printing to specific printers, however, there has to be a cooperative
effort between the printer "owner," the manager of the local print
sharing environment and the computer user generating the output.
Keep in mind that as technology evolves, ITD is looking for opportunities
to simplify printing so that you really can print anything on that printer
right next to you.
Ken Guyton is a senior computer support
specialist in Computing Resource Services.