In this chapter, we learned that setting up a printer is often the first administrative task for the new computer user. But attaching a printer and getting it to produce a printed page is only the beginning. For most businesses and even individual households, setting up a printer for each and every computer is both cost-prohibitive and unnecessary. It is therefore a vital administrative task in modern computer environments to be able to make a single print device available to multiple computers.
But to successfully implement a network printing environment, you must first have an understanding of basic printing concepts. You must understand, for example, that a printer is a piece of software and that the hardware is actually the print device. You need to know that a network-interface print device is one attached directly to the network, not to a particular computer.
Furthermore, after a printer has been made available to multiple users and computers, it is then necessary, under most circumstances, to secure those printers by setting print permissions. Other administrative tasks that can lead to a more efficient printing environment include configuring printing pools and setting printing priority.
In this chapter, we also looked at how to take advantage of a network print environment by redirecting a print job from a non-working printer to one that is functioning as it should.
Most of the printing issues discussed here are predicated on an existing network. As you might already know, the network is an essential component of the Windows XP experience. Without some kind of network connection, for example, many of our most common computing taskschecking email, surfing the Net, and sending a print job to a network printerare impossible. Chapter 9, "Playing Nicely with Others," walks you through the setup of a network and helps you troubleshoot some of the many issues that may arise.