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Re: Re Trouble

** Reply to message from Patricia M Godfrey  on Fri, 7 Nov
2003 11:47:05 -0500

> On the other hand, can you really map LPT to USB if you DON'T have a
> network set up? A couple of people tried a while back, IIRC, and got
> nowhere.

It depends what you mean by "have a network set up". You can constitute a
network of one.

> Even if you are on a network (as you would be, technically, if
> you have broadband Internet access), can you so map if both ports are on
> the same workstation?

Sure. Why not? You're mapping *one* port to another port: e.g., if you send
something to the USB port, you get the USB port; if you send something to LPT#
port, you get the USB port.

Let's back up. First, whether broadband *or* dial-up, you're "on the Net" --
technically and every other which way. With dial-up, you have an Internet IP
address same as *every* machine connected to the Internet -- as with DHCP, it
just isn't a fixed IP at all times, instead it's the one that's assigned to you
(by your ISP) on-the-fly. Most people pay no attention to these niceties; but
within XyWrite, if you command GETIP, your current IP address will be
displayed on the PRompt line (it's a U2 thing). That's useful info! For
example, if somebody wants to FTP into your machine while you're on a dialup,
and you have some means (Email, phone) of communicating your (temporary, for
the duration of the connection only) IP address, they can connect to you and
send you a file.

Moreover, on *or* off the Net (disconnected), your machine has an address:
it's the "Universal Naming Convention" (UNC) name that you gave to your machine
when you first installed your OpSys. So what's your machinename? Right click
on My Computer, and find out (maybe on the Network Identification tab), it'll
say "Full computer name" or something like that...

So now Ping yourself:
 ping UNCname
Suppose your machinename is PATRICIA

If that doesn't work, go into Control Panel ==> Network, and set up a LAN with
you as the one and only member. Give yourself an IP address of
Now you've got a network. (I'm not even sure you need to do this -- but I'm
not going to undo my network settings to find out. If you've got an UNCname,
and you can ping PATRICIA, that's really all you need, I think. But if you
can't set up sharenames, then you've got to make a rudimentary network-of-one.)

Second, open Printers ==> Properties for your attached printer. Allow the
printer to "Share", and make a note of the sharename, which will be something
like "HPDeskJ" (usually not more than 8 characters, no spaces). If there's a
Security tab or setting, set the printer so that "Everybody" can share it
("Allow"), not just Administrators fatcats and Microsoft contract workers in
India. So now the network *address* of this printer is:
The network address of your C: drive is
The network address of C:\WINDOWS is
Check it out!
Nifty, huh? (If the above command doesn't work, it's because drive D etc.
isn't set up to Share -- which is probably a good thing, because the outside
world might want to "share" you stuff too, especially that file with your bank
account numbers. And you didn't set up with the NET USE command either, e.g.
 NET.EXE use \\PATRICIA /USER:Patsy yupmeagain
that last phrase being your password)

If you want "use" your USB (or whatever) printer with XyWrite, run this at
OpSys launch:


Now set up XyWrite to print to LPT1, just as it always has.

But, note well, the printer has to understand PCL. These new "dumb" printers
don't understand nothing; they just pass through output from the Windows font
renderer and print engine. A Windows TTF font renderer outputs glyphs as
graphical files, similar to TIFFs or BMPs. That ain't PCL! PCL is a
formatting language that accepts and interprets real characters (it can do
graphics too, but that's irrelevant here). And XyWrite printer files output
real characters in the PCL language. So the printer either has to have brains
inside, or there has to be driver layer that does the interpreting.

Robert Holmgren