Saturday, September 02, 2006

The computer is your friend, the printer is your enemy

Printing to a Windows network using a Mac can be frustrating. While there's obviously been work on making this an easy process, there's still some bugs.

This page from Apple explains how to use an advanced dialog to customise the underlying Samba connection string.

In summary, for the A-type personalities out there:
  1. Hold down the Option key while clicking the "More Printers" button then choose "Advanced" from the first drop-down menu (this isn't that obvious and looks like a hack).
  2. Create a user with little or no permisisons on your Windows PC except printing rights. Your Windows PC has the printer attached.
  3. Edit the Samba connection string. I used: smb://user:password@server/sharename where sharename is the printer share. The security of this will worry some. Apple mumble moment.
  4. Choose your printer from the list of drivers, if it exists.

Don't ask me how to manually specify a printer not in the list - the process is baffling even for someone technical.

The problem with the automated process is that it tries to use smb://workgroup/server/sharename and then doesn't authenticate properly giving a samba authentication error.

If the above doesn't help, read the article. I got it working in the end and although I don't have advanced print options available, it prints fine.

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