Bonjour – Be a Printer God!
Plugging printers or plotters into an existing network usually requires giving a printer an IP address, just as you would any computer. This requires a certain amount of skill once the printer is unwrapped. Yawn.
But years ago, Apple released a technology that allows anyone that can manage the unboxing of a printer to set it up on a network, have both PCs (since 2005) and Macs connect to it and be printing almost immediately. It’s called Bonjour (previously Rendezvous).
Macs have this technology built right in to the operating system. You can download the free software for PCs from Apple’s website.
Once the Bonjour-enabled printer is pluged into the network and the Bonjour software is installed and launched on the computer (again Mac or PC), you will be able to “see” the printer listed and connect to it. All of the configuration is done for you so you’re done. No driver download and installation, compatibility and version checking or testing. Could you imagine if maintaining your Windows computer was this easy? Technologies like this could threaten to put IT companies out of business!
The the only caveat is having a printer that is Bonjour-enabled. You’re in luck if you have a Hewlett-Packard device. Most of their hardware has had this technology built in for years, as do many Canon and kodak devices.
Interestingly enough, Bonjour technology is not limited to only printers. Any networked device such as scanners, backup drives, and cameras can be Bonjour enabled, allowing people to connect to it and begin using it with literally one click of a button. The technology also allows for easily connecting to other computers to share files, real-time document collaboration, chat with other users, play songs and view pictures and movies across a network, check computer or system stats, etc., all with zero-configuration by the users.
I would encourage you to talk to your ArcSource lead consultant to see if this easily deployable technology can be utilized in your work environment. You wouldn’t have to disclose just how easy it is to set up your networked hardware and software and may even be able to show off your divine tech prowess to the rest of your troglodyte workmates.
You can visit Wikipedia more information on [W:Bonjour (software)] Technology, or visit Apple on the web.