JDServer

JDServer is a print server that implements HP's JetDirect protocol, sometimes known as raw.

Copyright © 2019 Dave Higton

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, version 2.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License version 2 along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA.

You may contact the author:

by e-mail as dave@davehigton.me.uk, or

by snail-mail at 13 Graham Drive, Disley, Stockport, SK12 2JJ, United Kingdom.

What it is

JDServer is a print server that implements HP's JetDirect protocol, sometimes known as raw. It allows other computers on a network to use a printer connected to a RISC OS computer, via the network and an orderly queue.

What it isn't

JDServer isn't Uniprint. It still requires each of the client computers to have a driver for the printer; it doesn't share the printer driver.

Installation

This application should work on any RISC OS computer, running any version of RISC OS from 3.1 upwards and running the Printer Manager application, !Printers. You need a printer connected in some way to the RISC OS computer - any way that works is OK.

Copy the !JDServer application into a convenient location. I recommend the $.Apps directory.

You will probably want the application to run automatically when the computer starts up. One way is to drop the app into Configure ->Boot->Run. Another way is to edit the Desktop file: on an Iyonix, for example, this is normally found in the $.!Boot.Choices.Boot directory. Add a line such as:

Filer_Run $.Apps.!JDServer

- but note that, if you decide to put the !JDServer somewhere other than in $.Apps, you'll have to modify the above line to suit.

Upgrade

To upgrade from any of the previous versions, simply drag the new !JDServer application over the old one. All your choices will be preserved (they are stored in the proper Choices: system).

Printer type

The "Filetype" menu item leads to a submenu where you choose the filetype that JDServer sends to the Printer Manager. If you have a PostScript-compatible printer, the files should be of type "PoScript". For all other printers, the files should be of type "Printout". JDServer defaults to "Printout" on first installation. Your choice is saved in the Choices: directory system, so, whenever JDServer starts, it uses the saved choice.

Port number

The standard port number for JetDirect/raw printing is 9100, and that's the way the !Run file is written. In the unlikely event that you want JDServer to listen on a different port instead, you can modify the !Run file:

• Open the !JDServer application directory by shift-double-clicking on !JDServer;

• Open !JDServer's !Run file by shift-double-clicking it;

• Find the line that says "Set JDServer$Port 9100";

• Change the port number to your chosen value and save the file;

• Close the !JDServer directory;

• If JDServer is running, quit it and re-run it.

Running

If you've added the line to the Desktop file, JDServer should run automatically whenever the computer starts. Otherwise just double-click on the !JDServer application. JDServer will silently refuse to run a second instance of itself (except to reinstate the icon bar icon - see below). The state is shown on the icon bar; initially this is "Idle". When another machine sends a job, the state changes to "Rx" (short for Receive). When no jobs are coming in, the state changes back to "Idle".

Running without an icon bar icon

If you want to run JDServer without an icon on the icon bar, click the "No icon" menu item. Just as with the filetype above, the choice is saved in the Choices: directory system, so, whenever JDServer starts, it uses the saved choice.

To get the icon bar icon back again, double-click on the !JDServer application.

If JDServer is running without the icon bar icon, and you simply want to quit it for some reason, you can of course do that from the Task Manager.

Connecting to it

When setting up a client computer to use the printer, you will need to tell the client the RISC OS machine's IP address. If you also need to tell it the port number, it's 9100, which is the standard port for the JetDirect/raw protocol - unless you've modified the !Run file as described above. Some operating systems will find which protocol is on offer, on condition that it's using the standard port, so you may not need to tell it.

Connecting to it from Windows

This information is for Windows XP; I hope it will help for other versions of Windows.

Rather bizarrely, Windows XP considers a printer connected via a network as being connected locally. So, to get XP to print to JDServer:

• Run the "Add Printer" wizard;

• Select the "Local printer attached to this computer" button;

• Ensure that "Automatically detect and install my Plug and Play printer" is not selected;

• Click "Next";

• Select "Create a new port:" and choose "Standard TCP/IP Port" from the drop-down list;

• Click "Next";

• Fill in the "Printer Name or IP Address" box with either JDServer's host computer's name (if Windows can resolve it) or IP address;

• You probably want to put a meaningful name into the "Port Name" field, so that you can remember what Windows is pointing at;

• Click "Next". You may now have to wait a surprisingly long time for the next step;

• With "Device type" "Standard" selected, choose your printer type from the drop-down list;

• From there on it's like selecting any other printer in Windows; select the make and the model.

My thanks to Doug Munsinger for that solution.

Limitations

• JDServer will only print to the currently selected printer.

• JDServer will only accept 10 simultaneous print streams.

Download

You can download JDServer here.

Revision history

0.01 2009 October 17 First issue.

0.02 2009 December 5 Added "No icon" facility.

0.05 2012 July 30 File copy handled internally. Revised Help file. Better error handling.

0.06 2012 August 17 File copy handling changed again.

0.07 2012 September 30 Added another method to determine host address.

0.08 2013 April 28 Can no longer create a second icon on the icon bar. App name in Task Manager changed to JDServer.

0.09 2019 May 28 State (Idle or Rx) shown on icon bar icon. Contact postal address updated.

Page last updated 2019 May 28