Can an Apple-geared print server be set up and used in a Windows-only world?
November 13, 2007 6:36 AM   Subscribe

Can I configure and use an HP wp100 AirPort print server in an all PC environment? If so, how?

I'm currently in a stint as the resident tech guru at a public middle school. My current project is a mobile computer lab, which consists of cart of laptops, and a PoE access point for use in the rooms. My staff has requested that a common printer be added to the cart. I'm looking through my current supplies, and found an HP wp100 wireless print server, unopened. I know Airport is 802.11b equivalent, so once configured, it should work wonderfully. However, I don't have access to Macs to configure the device, and all of HP's product guides speak Apple-only.

More info:

-My school has let its Mac labs become defunct, and the few Macs we have, I don't have administrative rights to.
-If it involves some nitty-gritty down on command lines, I'm completely comfortable in both Mac and PC environments.
-The printer is a Dell Laser 1700, and I have full and free access to any print drivers necessary.
-It's a public school, so I'm trying to do this on the cheap, meaning existing parts. My superior isn't afraid to sign off on a purchase order, but I need to be able to prove we can't do it with what we've got.
posted by potch to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Best answer: If you want to configure it from a PC, you might be able to do this through a Mac emulator, such as SoftMac. You won't be able to configure it from a PC directly, as there is no Windows software available. There's no guarantee this will work, however, if SoftMac cannot run AirPort software.

Once configured, you will also need an AppleTalk stack installed on each Windows client to print through the wp100. Look into a site license of PC-MACLAN for your laptops.

Given the money you would need to spend to get this up and running, you're really better off just spending the $50 or whatever on a D-Link, Netgear or other wireless printer server.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:10 AM on November 13, 2007

Best answer: Oh, and this also assumes the HP wp100 is even compatible with your Dell Laser 1700 printer. HP has this unfortunate habit of making printers that only work with certain print servers, and vice versa, and if I remember rightly the wp100 falls in this camp.

Just spring for a cheap wireless print server.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:12 AM on November 13, 2007

Looking at this page, it appears your dell laser 1700 wont work with it, as it is a pretty basic print 'server' and needs supported devices to work with it. (and that is from the wp110, the windows / mac version with an expanded printer compatibility list). So you may be out of luck.

The Dell Laser 1700 only has USB / Parallel it seems, so you may have to spring for a different, newer USB -> wireless print server for it (I haven't had much luck with them in the past however).

The other option is to look at getting something like a wireless inkjet printer to go on the cart. I have the 6840 and it flies for black and white printing, and color comes out looking good. The 6980dt, the current model, goes for $199.
posted by mrzarquon at 8:19 AM on November 13, 2007

(also, if you go with the 6980, you can install Apple's Bonjour for Windows, and auto detection and setup of the HP printer is a breeze on a windows computer).
posted by mrzarquon at 8:21 AM on November 13, 2007

Response by poster: I think I'm going to make the case to buy a little wireless print server. Replacing the printers would be next to impossible, as I'd have to justify getting a printer different from every other one in the district.

I marked your answer, Blazecock, because I figured someone will find the software hacks useful.

posted by potch at 11:28 AM on November 13, 2007

« Older Looking for a holistic pediatrician near...   |   Switching *to* Windows Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.