What follows are miscellaneous tips and suggestions that will be irregularly maintained.

  • The 2-sided printers are configured to print 2-sided by default, but the default for many printer drivers will override this and specify 1-sided.  If you are printing from Windows, you can usually choose your preferences for this in the printer preferences or configuration GUI.  You may need to look in the Advanced Settings and/or Printing Defaults to enable 2-sided printing in Windows.
  • Depending on the print method and drivers used, from the Linux command line you may be able to specify various options for things like duplex printing.  To see available options for a given print queue, try the "lpoptions" command.  For instance, on rcf2 you could do "lpoptions -d xerox7300 -l".  In the output, you will find a line like this:  "Duplex/2-Sided Printing: DuplexNoTumble *DuplexTumble None"  (DuplexNoTumble is the same as flip on long edge, while DuplexTumble is the same as flip on short edge, and the * indicates the default setting.)  So to turn off duplex printing, you could do "lp -d xerox7300 -o Duplex=None <filename>".  Keep in mind that not all options listed by lpoptions may actually be supported by the printer, and the defaults (especially in the rcf queues) may not be what you'd like.  There are so many print systems, options and drivers in Linux/Unix that there's no way to quickly describe all the possible scenarios.
  • There is a handy utility called a2ps that is available on most Linux distributions. It is an "Any to PostScript" filter that started as a Text to PostScript converter, with pretty printing features and all the expected features from this kind of program. But it is also able to deal with other file types (PostScript, Texinfo, compressed, whatever...) provided you have the necessary tools installed.

  • psresize is another useful utility in Linux for dealing with undesired page sizes. If you are given a PostScript file that specifies A4 paper, but want to print it on US Letter-sized paper, then you can do:
    psresize -PA4 -pletter
    See the man page for more information.
  • Some of the newer printers have installation wizards for Windows that can be accessed through their web interfaces. I've had mixed success with the HP IPP installation wizards. The Xerox wizard (linked above) has worked well, though it pops up some unnecessary windows and is a bit on the slow side.

  • Windows 9x/Me users will likely have to install software on their machines in order to print directly to these printers. HP and Xerox have such software available for download from their respective support websites, but who uses these OSes anymore?

  • For linux users setting up new machines, CUPS at least for recent distros is the default printing system (unless upgrading from an older distribution, in which case LPRng may still be in use).  Given an appropriate PPD file, CUPS is capable of utilizing various print options, such as tray selection and duplexing, or at least you can create different queues with different options to a single printer.

  • There are other potentially useful printers around that are not catalogued here. Some are STAR printers out of the mainstream (like in 1006D), and some belong to other groups in the physics department.