Bibliophile Lass (bibliogirl) wrote,
Bibliophile Lass

Does anyone have good current recommendations for (a) a widget to connect a parallel-interface printer to a network, (b) a widget to connect a USB-interface printer to a network? (a) and (b) need not be distinct; one box which will handle both would be fine.

At the moment we have a D-Link DP-301+ connecting a Laserjet to the network, which works fine except for one thing. The home network is mixed wireless and wired, and unless the DP box is connected onto the network with a wireless link, my laptop (also wireless) can't see it. The same applies to rotwang's laptop (wireless) except he can't seem to see it at all, or at least not consistently. Everything else on the network is wired, and can see the printer just fine, regardless of whether it is on a wired or wireless link. (His: WinXP; mine: Win98. Both laptops can see all of the wired stuff on the network perfectly well, and vice versa.) Unfortunately the printer is necessarily in a location where wireless connectivity isn't very good, so just leaving it on a wireless link isn't really an option.

About the only clue I have is that our router, which is in charge of handing out DHCP addresses on the local network, can be configured to give a specific IP address to a specified MAC address. This, however, doesn't work for the DP box; if you tell it to get its address via DHCP, it comes back with an IP other than the one the router has been told to give it. To see the DP print server from my laptop (over a wireless link), it's usually necessary to force-feed the route to the laptop (via arp -s). I wonder, therefore, if it's having trouble remembering what its MAC address actually is, and whether this is what's causing the confusion.

Similarly, ping from one of the wired boxes to the DP server works OK, but traceroute fails (this happens no matter which of the wired boxes is involved); ping/traceroute (also from any of the wired boxes) to anything else on the network both work (this includes to the laptops over the wireless link).

The DP box itself is, oh, perhaps three years old at this point; prior to my office move it was working mostly happily on an all-wired network.

A poke around on reveals that they have a print server which will handle both parallel port and USB printers, which sounds ideal except that it's another D-Link box. If this is a general issue somewhere in D-Link's local software then I'd be wary of getting another one of their boxes; on the other hand, if it's just this particular item aging disgracefully, then replacing it with a new one which works and can handle both local printers is obviously going to be the preferred option. Any thoughts?

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