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October 26, 2000

O'Reilly's Latest Release Untangles Confusing Web of Printer Management for System Administrators

Sebastopol, CA--Computers were supposed to create the paperless office, remember? We know that's not true. The Internet has made more information more easily available to computer users than ever before, resulting in more printouts than ever before. "From the user's perspective, printing is still fundamental. Paper continues to be a common way of sharing files, and paper still forms the basis of our legal system. Most people print out agreements, account statements, transaction confirmations and of course information found on the Web," says Matthew Gast, co-author of the just-released Network Printing (O'Reilly, $34.95). "In spite of its importance, almost nothing practical has been written about the problem of printing. Many books have been written about narrow pieces of the problem, but nothing addresses the problem as comprehensively as Network Printing, taking into account that real networks have many different types of clients and printer hardware."

Recent years have also seen a proliferation in the number of platforms that system administrators must support. In addition to the Windows operating systems, administrators may also have to deal with Macintosh, a few flavors of Unix (Solaris, Irix, HP-UX, and Linux), and possibly NetWare. "Print services are typically a tangled web with a server for each client system and latent interdependencies that can break at any time," explains Gast. "Network Printing helps administrators untangle this growing web by unifying services on a single platform."

Network Printing details how to set up print servers on Unix (BSD and SVR4) and Linux systems, and opening them up to handle printing from Windows, Apple and Novell users. It offers thorough discussions of LPRng, the next generation spooler for Unix and Linux; Samba's printer sharing; Netatalk, a free implementation of the AppleTalk protocol; and ncpfs, a Linux implementation of the NetWare protocols. The book also shows how to get printers to boot correctly on a network, using solutions like bootp and DHCP; how to manage printers remotely using SNMP; and how to set up a network-wide printer configuration repository with LDAP.

Network Printing is an indispensable tool for the overworked system administrator who's responsible for making sure that documents get from the client to the printer, no questions asked.

Online Resources:

Network Printing
By Matthew Gast & Todd Radermacher
1st Edition, October 2000
0-596-00038-3, 304 pages, $34.95 (US)
order@oreilly.com
1-800-998-9938

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