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chromebook printing troubles

I have a chromebook which is quite nice for what it does. A dedicated browsing machine, fast and low maintenance. Alas, I am sometimes required to go outside, and worse yet talk to people, and even worster, show those people information. It is inconvenient to hand over my phone, no rotate it back, your other yaw, scroll a little, here, oh wait, let me unlock it again. I print such things on paper. Double alas, the chromebook makes this difficult.

Something they don’t mention in the advertising for chromebooks is what the printing experience is like. I also forgot to ask because I figure if I can make OpenBSD print, someone on team chrome should be able to solve this problem as well. And oh boy, have they ever. Solved it, I mean. Not solved it well.

Here’s the Google solution. I happen to have a “legacy” printer. Google’s preferred solution is that I throw it out and go buy a new cloud print enabled solution. Let’s say I expect laser printers to last longer than a year and don’t like that option.

Actually, let’s say I do like that option. Do I really? Do I really want my printer to have an always on connection to the internet at large? Do I want my printer to be just another thing in the botnet of things? I would prefer not.

My other option is to create this rather arcane setup.

cloud printing

This diagram is not quite to scale. I am sitting about ten feet from my printer. In fact, it’s about ten feet to my right, and there is a Windows PC a few more feet to the right. The cloud at the top of the diagram, however, is not to my knowledge anywhere within the bounds of my living room.

If printing from a chromebook requires a Windows PC, that somewhat diminishes the chromebook’s utility as a Windows replacement. I don’t particularly mind having multiple computers, but some people I know are trying to have fewer. And if I have to get up and walk over to turn another computer on to print, I may as well just print from it.

Apparently all this complexity is required so that anyone can use my printer to print from anywhere. But I don’t want anyone to use my printer. I want me to use my printer. I don’t want to use my printer from anywhere. I want to use my printer from here. Is that so much to ask?

Posted 24 Oct 2016 19:41 by tedu Updated: 24 Oct 2016 19:41
Tagged: computers rants software