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USB printer cable splitter-Is there such a thing?
Posted by: KrisKT
Date: May 29, 2007 03:22PM
So is there a USB cable that will plug into a printer and then split to plug in the PC at the same time as plugging into the Airport Extreme base station? Read below...

Last month when I went to visit my sister, I set up a wireless Airport Extreme network for her. Her old Dell PC was connected directly via Ethernet and an iMac and MacBook connected wirelessly. I connected her OfficeJet printer to the Airport base station and manually set up her Dell to print.

Everything worked fine when I left.

Less than 2 weeks later, she said the Dell would only print black and white so she deleted the printer, couldn't get it to work and so she unplugged the printer from the Airport base station and directly plugged it in to the Dell. She can now print fine from the Dell (which sits right by the printer and Airport base station).

But, now she can't print from the Macs and thus isn't using them as much.

I sent her an email with steps to use Bonjour for Windows, but she doesn't seem to be able to set it up. She has AppleCare, but I doubt they will help her set up a PC.

So, I was thinking is there a USB cable that will plug into a printer and then split into 2 USB plugs. Then she can plug one into the PC at the same time as plugging the other end into the Airport Extreme base station. That would bypass hassle for her and me ( I won't have to keep fixing what she has messed up). She went without wireless Internet access for her Macs for over 2 months, while she waited for me to visit. She is not a do-it-yourself person winking smiley
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Re: USB printer cable splitter-Is there such a thing?
Posted by: GeneL
Date: May 29, 2007 03:25PM
Hub and two cables?
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Re: USB printer cable splitter-Is there such a thing?
Posted by: dmann
Date: May 29, 2007 03:27PM
I use a hub as well. It works fine with my work issued Dell Laptop and my trusty old G4. My iBook works wirelessly.

DM
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Re: USB printer cable splitter-Is there such a thing?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: May 29, 2007 03:29PM
Neither will work. You can not have a USB device plugged into two different machines at the same time. You can get a USB switch, but I have never had the best of luck with them.



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Re: USB printer cable splitter-Is there such a thing?
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 29, 2007 04:02PM
So, she has TWO Macs and ONE Dell. Why not keep the printer conneted to Airport base Station and use the Macs more often until someone can troubleshoot the DELL properly? Obviously, the DELL has issues, not the Macs. Why print form DELL anyways? I don't know your sister, but I assume she would have an easier time using the Macs that that DELL. Is there a program on her Dell that she cannot live without, or cannot live without printing from that program? Most web/email/pictures can be printed from the Macs.

Also, try Bosco Screen Share, you may be able to "dial in" and troubleshoot remotely.

Good luck.
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Re: USB printer cable splitter-Is there such a thing?
Posted by: GeneL
Date: May 29, 2007 04:48PM
Quote
JoeH
Neither will work. You can not have a USB device plugged into two different machines at the same time. You can get a USB switch, but I have never had the best of luck with them.

I don't get that this is true? I use a Belkin 7 port hub with as many devices plugged in and it seems to work: printer, scanner, cellphone (treo 755), Keyspan Remote, USB cable for Harmony Remote and camera.
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Re: USB printer cable splitter-Is there such a thing?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: May 29, 2007 05:13PM
What was being suggested was having the hub plugged into both the PC and the Airport Extreme and the printer plugged into the hub. That is what will not work, hubs are meant to attach multiple USB devices to one controller and not multiple controllers to one USB device.



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Re: USB printer cable splitter-Is there such a thing?
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 29, 2007 05:40PM
Quote
GeneL
Quote
JoeH
Neither will work. You can not have a USB device plugged into two different machines at the same time. You can get a USB switch, but I have never had the best of luck with them.

I don't get that this is true? I use a Belkin 7 port hub with as many devices plugged in and it seems to work: printer, scanner, cellphone (treo 755), Keyspan Remote, USB cable for Harmony Remote and camera.

GeneL, read the message again, there is a difference between "device" and "machine". You have several "devices" connected to one "machine" via the hub, he/she (KrisKT) wants to connect one "device" to several (2) "machines". Is the difference clear now?
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Re: USB printer cable splitter-Is there such a thing?
Posted by: KrisKT
Date: May 29, 2007 07:04PM
The Dell is physically next to the printer and Airport base station. That is why it is easy to connect the printer to the Dell. The Mac computers are not in that room.

I did have the printer connected to the Airport base station and all of the computers printing from it. But, something screwed up on the Dell settings and the only way she could get it to print is to connect the printer directly to the Dell. That is the older computer that they are used to and seem to use as the workhorse. I am trying to switch her!

I am sure if I was there I could get it to work, but she just is not computer savvy. I have used Bosco screen saver to help my Mom, but I just don't see it working with my sister. She won't sit there and start up the program and help me out while I try to fix it. That is just the way she is.

She'll just use the crappy slow Dell because it takes less trouble than troubleshooting the printing problem unfortunately. I want her to use her Macs and get used to the operating system, but I can only do so much.

Hopefully, she'll figure out Bonjour for Windows and get it done.

Thanks



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/29/2007 07:05PM by KrisKT.
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Re: USB printer cable splitter-Is there such a thing?
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 29, 2007 07:29PM
Quote
KrisKT
The Dell is physically next to the printer and Airport base station. That is why it is easy to connect the printer to the Dell. The Mac computers are not in that room.

But you could connect the printer back to the ABS and print wirelessly from the Macs and forget about the DELL. Like you said, it is older and slower. And it is the one causing the problem after all. Why give it the upper hand over Macs?
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Re: USB printer cable splitter-Is there such a thing?
Posted by: GeneL
Date: May 29, 2007 07:34PM
Quote
space-time
Quote
GeneL
Quote
JoeH
Neither will work. You can not have a USB device plugged into two different machines at the same time. You can get a USB switch, but I have never had the best of luck with them.

I don't get that this is true? I use a Belkin 7 port hub with as many devices plugged in and it seems to work: printer, scanner, cellphone (treo 755), Keyspan Remote, USB cable for Harmony Remote and camera.

GeneL, read the message again, there is a difference between "device" and "machine". You have several "devices" connected to one "machine" via the hub, he/she (KrisKT) wants to connect one "device" to several (2) "machines". Is the difference clear now?

Yup! grinning smiley
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Re: USB printer cable splitter-Is there such a thing?
Posted by: Golfer
Date: May 29, 2007 08:59PM
I've found that while getting a PC to print to a Mac shared printer a sometimes pain in the butt ordeal, getting a Mac to print to a PC shared printer seems to work fairly well every time I've set one up. Is your sister savvy enough to enable printer sharing on the PC and then do the necessary steps to get the Macs set up to print wirelessly to the PC?
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Re: USB printer cable splitter-Is there such a thing?
Posted by: DCrunch
Date: May 29, 2007 10:20PM
When the printer is connected to the Airport Extreme base station where do the computers get the drivers for the printer? When a printer is connected to a Mac (host), computers printing to it get printer info from the host. When you throw in a Windows computer, I think the rules change. I think the Windows computer needs the printer drivers. Golfer, I think that may be why you have problems getting Windows computers to print to Mac shared printers. Did the Windows computers have the drivers or were you relying on the Mac to share the printer and drivers?
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Re: USB printer cable splitter-Is there such a thing?
Posted by: Golfer
Date: May 29, 2007 10:59PM
DCrunch, when setting up a PC to print to a Mac you use Postscript printer on the PC as a print driver (I use an Laserwriter driver). My problem generally lies from the PC not seeing the Mac, and Bonjour for Windows has been hit and miss for as well, but it does have better success rate in my case than doing it manually.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/29/2007 10:59PM by Golfer.
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