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Using two printers as one
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wrambro
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Jan 11, 2010, 03:35 PM
 
If this should be in the hardware section, I apologize in advance. But I think it's an OS X issue.

Not sure if this is possible or not, but I am trying to set this up for a friend of mine. He has two identical printers (HP 4300 series or something), one for work and one for home. He wants them set up so that it will print to whichever one is connected without changing the printer in the Print menu. Is this possible? I wasn't able to get this to work, so I resorted to adding the second printer as well. But now he still has to switch back and forth depending on where he is.

Anyone have any ideas?
     
Doc HM
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Jan 11, 2010, 04:24 PM
 
Strange. If they are the exact same make and model then there should be no way for the mac to differentiate between them. Plugging one in, either at work or home and it should appear as the same printer to the mac and print from the same queue.
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Art Vandelay
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Jan 11, 2010, 04:29 PM
 
It also binds to the serial number of the printer. This allows you to have multiple, identical printers connected and be able to print to them all.

So, I don't know of any way to fool it into thinking they're the same printer.
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wrambro  (op)
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Jan 11, 2010, 04:53 PM
 
Edit: He has a third printer just like it for his other office. So I tried that out and it seemed to recognize it and print from it right away without having to add it as a new printer. Upon inspection, however, it turns out Snow Leopard sneakily made a copy of it in the Printers list (HP DeskJet 4300 Series-1 instead of HP DeskJe 4300 Series). So it looks like it must bind to the serial number after all..
( Last edited by wrambro; Jan 11, 2010 at 05:05 PM. )
     
tooki
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Jan 11, 2010, 06:15 PM
 
I don't know how to do this on Mac OS X client, but what you are looking to do is create a printer pool. You print to the pool, and the print job is sent to the next available printer. If only one printer is available, logically it will be used.
     
tooki
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Jan 11, 2010, 06:16 PM
 
Also, how are the printers connected? USB? Network? If they're on a network, using static IP addresses for them would circumvent the serial number issue.
     
Art Vandelay
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Jan 11, 2010, 06:35 PM
 
Didn't think about a pool. To make a pool, in System Preferences > Print & Fax, select all of the desired printers and you'll get a button to make a pool.
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wrambro  (op)
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Jan 13, 2010, 01:28 PM
 
They are connected via USB (although there is never more than one connected at a time).

Thanks for the pool idea guys. I will give it a shot next time I see him and let you know how it goes.
     
wrambro  (op)
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Feb 19, 2010, 11:36 AM
 
Hmm.. the printer pool is currently having some issues.

The problem now happens when he is hooked up to one of the 3 printers and he'll print using the printer pool. On one (maybe two) of these printers, it will work. But when he prints to the pool while connected to the other printer, the job gets sent to a printer that is not even connected. So you have to go in, delete the print job, and print to the printer he is connected to (as opposed to the pool).

The one that is for sure working was the printer that was added 3rd. Is it possible that the queue for this printer is overriding the que of the desired one? The reason I say this is because when we added the 2nd and 3rd printers, a dialouge popped up saying "A queue for this printer already exists. Do you really want to create a new queue?" To me, this means "create another queue", but I wouldn't be surprised if it really meant "replace/override the current queue"
( Last edited by wrambro; Feb 19, 2010 at 01:22 PM. )
     
   
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