Ask The Hatchet Geek: One printer, many roommates

Senior Kunal Johar, The Hatchet Geek, is a computer science major and co-founder of www.computerhelpdc.com. Twice a month, he will solve typical computer problems facing students. E-mail The Hatchet Geek your computer queries at hatchetgeek@computerhelpdc.com.

The dilemma

You have a paper due for your Friday 8 a.m. class and you decided to start it Thursday night (of course). Your roommates leave you behind to party while you are stuck pulling an all-nighter. Ten hours and four double-shots of espresso go by, and you finally have your paper ready. It’s 7:50 a.m. and you have 10 minutes to get to class.

In a panic, you quickly e-mail the paper to yourself and start to run out the door, but something shiny catches the corner of your eye. LEXMARK! Your roommate has a printer! You turn the monitor on and now it’s asking for a password. Unfortunately (or fortunately) your roommate never came home last night. It’s 7:54 a.m. Today is not your day.

Geek guidance

With six minutes to get to class, all you can do now is run. But in your spare time you can set up your room to have one (or more) printers shared among multiple computers. When you finished your paper, you could have pressed “print,” and as long as your roommate’s computer and printer were on, halfway across the room your paper would be printing.

Follow these instructions on how to set up multiple computers to print to the same printer. (This will work on most Microsoft Windows XP machines.)

1. On the computer with the printer, click on the Control Panel icon.

2. Click on “Printers and Other Hardware,” then click “Printers and Faxes.”

3. Right-click the printer you wish to share and click “Sharing.”

4. Click “Share this Printer” and give it a name.

5. Press OK.

6. Click Start, then click Run, then type in “CMD” and press enter.

7. On the black screen type “hostname” and press enter. Take note of this name.

8. On the computers wishing to access the printer, repeat steps one and two.

9. In the left hand panel click “Add Printer.”

10. Click “Next,” then click “A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer.”

11. Click “Next,” then click the second radio button and type in “\hostnameprintername.” Remember, the hostname is what you entered in step seven and the printer name is what you entered in step four.

12. Complete the Wizard instructions.

13. Congratulations! Now, a printer per room is all you need.

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