Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Printing from a Chromebox - to a network printer.

So today I had my first experience with a google chromebook, 12 actually, networked. Initially I was impressed. Being OS light, they were quick responsive and pretty intuitive. Then I came to printing.

Printing, something so rudimentarily simple, that it should have taken moments. Alas, no. You see, Chromeboxes don't install printers. No drivers, no messy installation. Because, well. They don't work. Now this wasn't a £30 printer, this is one of the schools £500 canon laser printer, a worthy investment. But to be blunt. It was rendered pretty much worthless. After hunting round for an hour or so for a USB lead, I plugged it directly into the Chromebox. Although the OS detected the Printer, with no drivers to install, it was a pointless effort. Chrome found no apps that were compatible. So it wouldn't work.

After further investigation, I found in order to make this printer work, I would need to plug it into a windows machine and share it. Use the windows PC to act as a server, sharing it with a specific Google account. Then, I could quite simply share it with every google account who I wanted to grant the freedom to use it.

Now... here's the thing. This was a school. And, well, the pupils all have their own individual login's. {Can you see where this is headed}?

So in order for me to enable these chromeboxes, to print to the same printer in the same room with the 12 networked Chromeboxes, I needed both a windows PC, and to individually enable 300 plus google accounts to share it.

If anyone knows of an easier solution, for printing from multiple chromeboxes to one local network printer. Please do get in touch.

This is not the future of computing.

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