Anybody using USB?

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Andrew Klossner

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Dec 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/17/97
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Is anybody using USB (universal serial bus) to talk to a printer?
If so, which printer? What host, and what OS? How do you like it?

On the surface, USB seems like an attractive way to connect boxes, but
I'm worried that there may be warts inside.

-=- Andrew Klossner (and...@teleport.com)

Robert J. Niland

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Dec 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/18/97
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Andrew Klossner <and...@user2.teleport.com> wrote:

> Is anybody using USB (universal serial bus) to talk to a printer?

I haven't seen any yet, but was surprised to see several vendors
at COMDEX with prototype USB-Parallel adaptor boxes. In particular,
Belkin was showing a cable assembly that was USB at one end and
34-pin Centronics at the other. I'd like to have a couple of
those right now.

> What host, and what OS?

Well, that's the trick, isn't it. Most PCs have been shipping with
USB ports for over a year, and USB support (other than boot console)
is in Windows95 "B" (OSR 2.1), but is NOT in the Win95A still on
retail shelves (and you can't buy just OSR 2,1). Consequently, a
vendor can't reliably sell a USB device until Windows'98 ships,
and thanks to Mr.Bill (and now the US DOJ), who knows when that
will be.

> On the surface, USB seems like an attractive way to connect boxes, but
> I'm worried that there may be warts inside.

On reflection, I was wondering, for example, how the "port name"
(LPT37?, //USB_Printers/Pick_Your_Own_Name?) is established for a
USB printer, and what happens when you hot unplug it from one hub
port and plug it in somewhere else in your tiered-star USB net.

Regards, 1001-A East Harmony Road
Bob Niland Suite 503
Internet: r...@frii.com Fort Collins
Unless otherwise specifically stated, Colorado 80525 USA
expressing personal opinions and NOT
speaking for any employer, client or
Internet Service Provider.

Brian Mathews

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Dec 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/19/97
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Robert J. Niland <r...@io.frii.com> wrote in article
<679t7h$jgj$1...@europa.frii.com>...


> Andrew Klossner <and...@user2.teleport.com> wrote:
>
> > Is anybody using USB (universal serial bus) to talk to a printer?

Are you sure that isn't USB(un supported bus)?

Robert J. Niland

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Dec 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/19/97
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Brian Mathews <icon...@volcano.net> wrote:

>> Is anybody using USB (universal serial bus) to talk to a printer?
> Are you sure that isn't USB(un supported bus)?

Although it's easy to assume that USB is going nowhere because it's
not appealing to hardware vendors, and is a market flop (like, say,
Western Digital's SDX scheme for CD-ROM drives), the truth is
probably much more complicated.

The vast majority of PC have been shipping with USB ports on their
back panels for over a year, and I can't imagine that the PC vendors
are very happy that there are precious few devices to hook to them.
It's not that the device vendors aren't interested. Most have had
fully developed USB devices ready to go for 18 months or more.

The problem is (surprise :-) Microsoft.

My personal theory is that the USB effort at MS got derailed a
couple of years ago when Mr.Bill reassigned 300 "spare" engineers
to work on Internet stuff. That delayed the VxD USB driver just
long enough for someone to decide that perhaps it would be better
if the USB driver were to be implemented on WDM (Windows Driver
Model) instead, so it could port to NT more easily.

The difficulty is that WDM is not in the retail version of Windows
95 (the so-called Win95A). It is in "Win95B" (OEM Service Release
2.1), shipping on most PCs since early 1997. However, you can't buy
OSR2.1 (without also buying a PC, motherboard or hard disk with
it), and you can't download the WDM or USB components from MS.

WDM would have been in "Windows'97", but Win'97, in classic MS
fashion, became "Windows'98", and only time will tell if it will
actually ship in calendar year (vs Microsoft year) 1998.

Consequently, it is very risky to ship a USB device today. Even
if the customer has a USB port, there's a non-trivial chance that
they either don't have OSR2, or have misplaced the CD containing
some key USB stuff they didn't originally install.

Michael Brazell

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Dec 19, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/19/97
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Brian Mathews wrote:
>> Is anybody using USB (universal serial bus) to talk to a printer?
>
> Are you sure that isn't USB(un supported bus)?

I know it's taking up one of my IRQ's that I could
easily be using for a scanner - and I can't even use
the USB if I wanted!!! UN-SUPPORTED-BUS is right!!

Bk St Crawler

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Dec 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/20/97
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You should be able to disable the USB port through BIOS setup.

dae...@bigfoot.com
"Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain,
and most fools do"-- Benjamin Franklin

Michael Brazell wrote in message <349ABF...@jazz.cybermedia.net>...

Filon

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Dec 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/23/97
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On Fri, 19 Dec 1997 13:39:40 -0500, Michael Brazell
<mabr...@jazz.cybermedia.net> wrote:

>Brian Mathews wrote:
>>> Is anybody using USB (universal serial bus) to talk to a printer?
>>
>> Are you sure that isn't USB(un supported bus)?
>
>I know it's taking up one of my IRQ's that I could
>easily be using for a scanner - and I can't even use
>the USB if I wanted!!! UN-SUPPORTED-BUS is right!!

Here's a procedure to disable the usb's irq that we followed when
setting up 3 pc's with soyo(pentium) motherboards:
Disable usb from bios. When you boot in windows 95 in the system
window you will see that usb still occupies that irq.You can then
force another device to take over the usb's irq(we chose one of he
sound card's devices).Reboot your machine,and that will be it!
(hopefuly...)In the system window it seems like there are two devices
in the same irq (usb and sound card) but there will be no conflicts.
Good Luck

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