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  1.    #1  
    Are there any non-subscription solutions to printing documents from the Treo to a remote printer that has an IP address?

    I want the functionality of the Printer-On service, but naturally prefer not to pay the monthly fee or go through sending an email in order to print (even though their soution is pretty workable).

    Why doesn't HP develop remote printing programs/drivers for the Treo so they can sell more printers and toner? Is this technically feasible? Why isnt this built-in? We have these powerful little networked computers and little or no print capability out-of-the box.
  2. #2  
    I work for a major printing systems division of a large company (we make printers, etc). My coworkers and I have asked the same question and come up with this answer. This was never an official pursuit of our business, just convresations with other print-minded people.

    Why print from a PDA? We can't compose any meaningful documents on a PDA, we can sync them to a PDA (DTG, etc), and maybe even make a few changes, but our overwhelming consensus was this has limited usability. I am sure hordes of people WILL vehemently disagree with this conclusion, so I emphasize this point: this is only the consensus of our small group was. We knew others would disagree, so we continued talking...

    We figured that if you REALLY wanted to print from your PDA, you should use Bluetooth (this is why we need a Palm 5 BT SDIO card!). Problem with IP printing is that most people's printers are not reachable via the Internet (behind some sort of wall), and most phones only have access to the Internet. Those that have VPN clients are few, and setting up a system with a desktop proxy/etc is a lot of work (e.g. SPCS Business Connection/Visto). We concluded that printing should not require dial up to a VPN or to an ISP (e.g. Vision) to gain IP connectivity. Furthermore, SPCS rarely works in most building's cores. Most print rooms I have been in at my large company and other large companies are spotty for cell service, BT wins here b/c it doesn't rely on a cellular network (I never try to rely on a cellular network, because even after 20 yeras, they are very immature).

    But even if you still wanted to use IP, there is no printing standard on handheld OSes (except handhelds running Linux), even WinCE has no such support. This is what I mean:

    Every UNIX user (myself included, I have been Windows free for 4 years) knows they just need to print to a PostScript file and LPR that to their printer (or CUPS, but its basically the same).

    Every Windows user just needs to goto File-->Print, but that abstracts a lot of things like nature of data streams (GDI/PCL/PS, etc) that requires an amazing amount of standardization. The Print Industry is the only IT industry to have standardization that is so well done that most end-users think "damn, printing is so easy, everything should have it, because it should only take 2 minutes to program". I wortk with everything from PCL, PS, and IPDS, and trust me, printing is anything but trivial.

    So--even if we had LPR for Palm, how do you get your data from your App in a form the priner will understand? Palm provides no API like GDI (Windows) on the OS side, so now developers have to reach a consensus (much like the UNIX world has over a quarter century, mind you) on what data streams to use, how to send them to a spooler etc. Bluetooth printing profiles have done that. That is why I feel they should win, but no, really, I think I'd rather whip out my Laptop and print. Maybe in 5 years that will change, but not with the T600's, thats for sure!

  3.    #3  
    Thank you for your interesting and thoughtful reply. We take a lot for granted don't we?

    I hope it won't take 5 years though for companies to see that the new devices with such improved connectivity and input, document sharing and editing capability (Documents-to-go is amazing) changes everything, well maybe not everything, but a lot.
  4.    #4  
    Well it looks like there is a solution! Its called Printboy!
  5. #5  
    Originally posted by weisshb
    Well it looks like there is a solution! Its called Printboy!
    DOH! Good find, I forgot about that one...
    aka Gfunkmagic

    Current device: Palm Pre
    Device graveyard: Palm Vx, Cassiopeia E100, LG Phenom HPC, Palm M515, Treo 300, Treo 600, Treo 650, Treo 700p, Axim X50v, Treo 800w

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