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I have a home network in this configuration....

  • Mac desktop with OSX 10.4.11 with a USB printer
  • Windows Vista Home Basic desktop
  • Windows Vista Home Premium laptop

I want to be able to easily print to the USB printer. The key constraint is it has to be the Mac that's the server here. The Vista desktop eats too much power, produces too much heat, and is too noisy.

Rummaging around the internet has not helped me much - there's a lot of confusion. The best idea I found was to get CUPS working, but I'm not sure how to do that.

(I'm a programmer, not a sysadmin...)

edit: I needed to uninstall/reinstall Bonjour before I could use the Bonjour printer wizard. Somehow the install had gotten borked, and a repair operation didn't fix it.

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FWIW CUPS (Common UNIX Printing System) is the printing system that Mac OS X uses - you can see the Web Interface by accessing localhost:631 on the Mac if you're curious. –  Chealion Aug 11 '09 at 3:54
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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted
  1. Enable printer sharing on your Mac (System Preferences > Sharing). Make sure the printer is on and able to print.
  2. On the Windows PC, download and install Bonjour for Windows.
  3. On the Windows PC, run the Bonjour Printer Wizard. You’ll see a window listing available printers, including the Mac’s shared printer. Pick it and pick a driver.
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I found online a while back that XP machines printing to a Mac (OS-X 10.4) connected printer had to use the Mac printer drivers (not those of the printer in question)... Select the drivers for whichever LaserWriter or other mac printer is closest in features to your printer.

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This is just for the Windows clients... The Mac server should use the correct drivers for the physically connected printer. –  Chris Nava Aug 11 '09 at 17:29
    
Hunh. Good information. Thanks. –  Paul Nathan Aug 12 '09 at 1:06
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This is from a similar question a few days ago.

  1. Turn on printer sharing (Mac)

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  2. Detect shared printers with Bonjour 2. Detect shared printers with Bonjour (Windows)

    alt text

  3. Install the printer's driver 3. Install the printer's driver (Windows)

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  4. Send documents to your new printer 4. Send documents to your new printer (Windows)

    alt text

If you do want to go the Samba way, here's Apple's official help document on printer sharing with Samba or Bonjour.

5 The last and final step is to connect to your printer from the XP machine. The instructions on how to do this can be found here.

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