With Windows XP Professional printing, you can share printing resources across an entire network and administer printing from a central location. You can easily set up printing on client computers running Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, Microsoft Windows NT 4, Microsoft Windows Me, Microsoft Windows 98, and Microsoft Windows 95.
After this lesson, you will be able to
- Define Microsoft Windows XP Professional printing terms
Estimated lesson time: 15 minutes
Before you set up printing, you should be familiar with Windows XP Professional printing terminology to understand how the different components fit together, as shown in Figure 6.1.
Figure 6.1 Printing terminology
The following list defines some Windows XP Professional printing terms:
- Printer. A hardware device that puts text or images on paper or on other print media.
Windows XP Professional supports the following print devices:
- Local printers, which are connected to a physical port on the print server.
- Network interface printers, which are connected to a print server through the network instead of a physical port. Network interface printers require their own network interface cards and have their own network address or they are attached to an external network adapter.
- Printer port. The software interface through which a computer communicates with a printer by means of a locally attached interface. Windows XP Professional supports the following interfaces: line printer (LPT), COM, universal serial bus (USB) 1.1, IEEE 1394 (FireWire), and network-attached devices such as the HP JetDirect and Intel NetPort.
At this time, Windows XP Professional does not support USB 2.0. Windows XP Professional treats a FireWire card as a network and a peripheral connectivity device. FireWire is used to connect digital camcorders, scanners, and other high-bandwidth devices to computers.
- Print server. The computer that manages one or more printers on a network. The print server receives and processes documents from client computers.
- Printer driver. One file or a set of files containing information that Windows XP Professional requires to convert print commands into a specific printer language, such as Adobe PostScript. This conversion makes it possible for a printer to print a document. A printer driver is specific to each printer model.
Requirements for Network Printing
The requirements for setting up printing on a Windows 2000 network include the following:
- At least one computer to operate as the print server. If the print server is to manage many heavily used printers, Microsoft recommends a dedicated print server. The computer can run either of the following:
- Windows 2000 Server, which can handle a large number of connections and supports Apple Macintosh and UNIX computers and Novell NetWare clients.
- Windows XP Professional, which is limited to 10 concurrent connections from other computers for file and print services. It does not support Macintosh computers or NetWare clients but does support UNIX computers.
- Sufficient random access memory (RAM) to process documents. If a print server manages a large number of printers or many large documents, the server might require additional RAM beyond what Windows XP Professional or Windows 2000 Server requires for other tasks. If a print server does not have sufficient RAM for its workload, printing performance deteriorates.
- Sufficient disk space on the print server to ensure that the print server can store documents that are sent to it until it sends the documents to the print device. This is critical when documents are large or likely to accumulate. For example, if 10 users send large documents to print at the same time, the print server must have enough disk space to hold all of the documents until it can send them to the print device. If there is not enough space to hold all of the documents, users get error messages and are unable to print.
The requirements for network printing are as follows:
- A computer to operate as the print server running either Windows 2000 Server or, for networks with 10 or fewer concurrent client computers, Windows XP Professional
- Sufficient RAM to process documents
- Sufficient disk space on the print server to store documents until they print
Guidelines for a Network Printing Environment
Before you set up network printing, develop a network-wide printing strategy to meet users' printing needs without unnecessary duplication of resources or delays in printing. Table 6.1 provides some guidelines for developing such a strategy.
Table 6.1 Network Printing Environment Guidelines
|Guideline ||Explanation |
Determine users' printing requirements
Determine the number of users who print and the printing workload. For example, 10 people in a billing department who print invoices continually will have a larger printing workload and might require more printers and possibly more print servers than 10 software developers who do all their work online.
Determine company's printing requirements
Determine the printing needs of your company. This includes the number and types of printers that are required. In addition, consider the type of workload that each printer will handle. Don't use a personal printer for network printing.
Determine the number of print servers required
Determine the number of print servers that your network requires to handle the number and types of printers that your network will contain.
Determine where to locate printers
Determine where to put the printers so that it's easy for users to pick up their printed documents.
Here are some questions to help you determine whether you have learned enough to move on to the next lesson. If you have difficulty answering these questions, review the material in this lesson before beginning the next lesson. The answers for these questions are in Appendix A, "Questions and Answers."
- ______________________ are connected to a physical port on the print server.
- Do you have to have a computer running one of the Windows Server products to have a print server on your network? Why?
- Windows XP Professional can provide __________________ concurrent connections from other computers for file and print services.
- A ______________________ is one file or a set of files containing information that Windows XP Professional requires to convert print commands into a specific printer language, such as PostScript.
- Windows XP Professional printing supports which of the following software interfaces or printer ports? (Choose all answers that are correct.)
- HP JetDirect
- Windows XP Professional printing supports which of the following types of computers? (Choose all answers that are correct.)
- Macintosh computers
- UNIX computers
- NetWare clients
- Windows 98 computers
- A printer is a hardware device that puts text or images on paper or on other print media.
- Local printers are connected to a physical port on the print server, and network interface printers are connected to a print server through the network.
- Network interface printers require their own network interface cards and have their own network address, or they are attached to an external network adapter.
- Windows XP Professional supports the following printer ports (software interfaces): LPT, COM, USB, and network-attached devices such as the HP JetDirect and Intel NetPort.
- A printer driver is one file or a set of files containing information that Windows XP Professional requires to convert print commands into a specific printer language.