Sharing Home Network Printers

My friend Tim and I are of the belief that the Internet is probably going to catch on.  As more people become used computers, they may even have two or more of them at home.  Computers are becoming more powerful and less expensive in a short amount of time.  However the disparate technology from a few years back does not make those computers obsolete.

Even though one might have bought a new computer to upgrade the old technology, one may find that it is very possible to continue using the old computer and form a home network.  And because of that, one also may find a need to share resources such as printers.  In this paper, I put together three separate tutorials that are very closely related: sharing a printer; connecting to a shared printer; and finding the computer name of the shared printer.

Sharing printers on your home network:

Start with the computer where the printer is physically installed.
1)    Click on “Start”
2)    Find and click on “Printers and Faxes”
a.    One or more installed printers will show up in form of Icons.
3)    Right-Click (mirror the click instructions for left-handed mice) the printer to be shared within your computer network.
a.    A pop-up menu will show a list of actions
4)    Click “Sharing”
a.    A pop-up window will appear with multiple tabs.  The “Sharing” tab should be in front.
b.    Two options are available
i.    “Do not share this printer”
ii.    “Share this printer”
5)    Click on the option “Share…”
6)    In the “Share name:” box, enter the name by which you will recognize this printer in your network. For example: Canon2100, or MainPrinter, or Office, etc.
7)    If you will be sharing this printer with computers with a different operating system, Click on “Additional Drivers”
a.    This is only necessary if you do not want to install the drivers for this printer on the other computer(s) manually.  Otherwise, ignore this instruction.
8)    Click “OK” – You are finished sharing the printer.

If I missed anything in this tutorial, please let me know.

Connecting to your shared printer from another computer in your network.

Before you do this operation you will need to know the name of the computer with the shared printer and the name of the shared printer (step 6 above.) If you need to find out the name of the computer follow the instructions below: “Finding the computer name”
1)    Click on “Start”
2)    Click on “Run”
3)    Type the following \\(the name of the computer sharing the printer)\(the ‘Share name’ of the printer -see step 6 above-) in the box labeled “Open:” for example: \\officecomputer\canon2100, or \\toshiba23x\mainprinter,
4)    Finally, Click on the “OK” button… and wait.  When the window with the newly installed printer appears, the printer is ready to print.

If I missed anything in this tutorial, please let me know.

Finding the Computer Name:

To find out the name of your computer follow these instructions.  Note, the name of your computer I am referring to, is not “Sony Vaio”, “Compaq” or “GateWay.”  It is a name by which your computer is known to your network.  It may not even make sense, as in “bl002xyz95.”  The point is that in a network, each computer member must have a unique name.  Otherwise, your network could become wacky and you may end up with some serious problems that could only be fixed by renaming the offending computer(s.)

Now for the task at hand:
1)    If you can see the “MyComputer” Icon on your desktop, right-click it.
2)    (Optional) if you CANNOT see the Icon on your desktop, click “Start”
a.    Find and right-click on “MyComputer”
3)    Click on “Properties”
4)    Click on the tab labeled “Computer Name”
5)    Find the following in that window: “Full computer name:” to the right of this is your computer name. Note it, write it down, memorize, etc…
6)    Click the “Cancel” button.
You are finished. – Now you know your computer name –

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