SUMMARY: ethernet print servers

From: Donald McLachlan (
Date: Tue Aug 04 1992 - 17:53:11 CDT

First of all here is a copy of my original question.

>I am aware of 2 different products designed to function as TCP/IP printer
>adapters. They are:
> - M200 and M201 TCP/IP printer adapters from Microplex Systems Ltd.
> - Fastport Network print server from Milan Technology Corp.
>I would like to hear from anyone who has had good or bad experiences about
>either of them.
>I will summarise as usual.

- There were no major complaints about either of these devices.
- Some people kindly sent info on similar products.
- Some people sent me some very complete configuration info which I have not
  included here, but I will send to anyone who requests it.

I will look into the alternate devices, but it sounds as though all these
devices are functional.


From: (Stan Barber)

We tested both of them and they both worked fine. We selected the Milan because
we didn't have to open the box to program the interfaces and it allows for
any of the three major ethernet media types.


>From Fri Jul 31 21:21:42 1992

We have a FastPort. It works reasonably well, but we had a bit of trouble
getting the printer (HPIIIsi) to create banner pages. On the whole I can't
complain, but before buying another one I'd get a M20X for evaluation.


From: hansen@SCR.SLB.COM (Ove Hansen)

We have an M200 printer server which works just fine, we have one dot-matrix
printer connected to its serial port, and one Mitsubishi g650 connected to
the parallell port. [...] For our use it works almost perfect. [...]


From: (E P Tinnel)

MiLAN FastPort...

I have three and like them very well. Installation is easy if you let
the install program do it for you; somewhat more complicated if you
wish to make things conform to a style you already have (this is what I


On rare occasions, I have had the FP hang; power cycling usually clears
it. On very rare occasions, the process running the FP has hung and
required killing to restore normal operation.



From: (Mark Scheller x6519)

We have a Milan Technology Fastport [...] Here is my experiences with the

First, I would like to say everything works. . .now. However, we had the
Fastport for several months before they (milan) got all of our little problems
worked out. There problem was: how to use NewsPrint to pre-filter any
kind of input file into PostScript and then ship it out to the Fastport.
After we got that one done (which took most of the several months) we had
the next problem which was that the EPROMs were out of date and we needed to
get some new ones. This problem was fairly easily solved, I called tech
support and described the problems and they shipped out the EPROMs quickly.

Oh, and speaking of tech support. . .I don't recall if they EVER returned one
of my phone calls. If I was not able to speak to them right away, I could
leave a message which was for the most part ignored. This happened in the
time while they were working on the NewsPrint solution and I was attempting
status updates. Finally, I called Milan tech support one day and found out
they had the problem solved. One fax and everything was fixed.

Now, if you have a similar configuration or an easier one (ASCII or troff
to PostScript filtering only--which is what comes with the Fastport package)
you won't have any problems. If you have a unique configuration, be verrrry
careful. It may take a while to get everything working.


From: yangtze!sesotho!mhansen@snowbird.Central.Sun.COM (Marc Hansen - BGA)

We tried both and prefer the Microplex products. The Milan product had bugs in
their firmware (which are they say are fixed now).


From: gregg%idacrd@Princeton.EDU (Gary R. Gregg)

We are using one M200 printer adapter on a network with ~50 suns. We
have 2 Apple Laswewriter NTX laser printers connected on the serial ports.
We are using an old version of Adobe's Transcript with some extra code from
Microplex. The only complaint is that our version of the printer adapter
does not support bi-directional communications through the serial port so
we do not get status back from the printer. Microplex says that there
is an upgrade for this.

We are using both serial ports at 38.4k with no problems.
We tried the parallel port once just to try it.

We chose the M200 because it costs less per serial port. It has
2 serial ports for ~$1000 vs the Fastport's single serial port
for ~$900.


From: (Chuck Davisson)

We have the M200 and like them very much. They are easily configured
and are reliable. Our only problem is keeping the !@#* thick ethernet
connector on the box, but I hardly think that's a Microplex issue. I
also suppose your decision should be based on the type of printer that
you're connecting to the network.

Anyway, we like ours and have bought about 20 of them to connect HP
Series 2, Series 3 and 3Si printers to the net.


From: (Karl-Jose Filler)

I can offer another: The spooler itself is named AX-5

        1. Axis Spooler ( up to 2 Centronics, 2 V.24 up to 28400 Baud )
            we are using two of them with good success ( fast, easy to
            install, but quite expensive ca 5000 DM == ?ca? 3000 $ )

The company is Axis Communications AB Sweden,
their US company is
AXIS communications
99 Rosewood Drive Suite 170
Danvers, MA 01923
Tel: (508) 777-7957
Fax: (508) 777-9905


From: dasun!wdceng!muir@sunkist.West.Sun.COM (Scott Muir (Muir) x6764)

Sorry I'm of no help with your question per se, but I do know that xyplex
also make a print server that can handle TCP/IP, Netware, and LAT.
The server has (I believe) one network connection, and three or four
printer connections (serial, parallel, centronics...).

In the US the Xyplex phone number is 800 338 5316. Their other number
is 508 264 9900 in case the 800 number doesn't work.


From: (Phil Blanchfield)

Hi Don, I would like to put in a good word for Lantronix Terminal/Print
servers. We have had no problems with ours at all under Ultrix or SUN-OS.


        - Works as a print server with Berkeley lpr/lpd, system V lp/lpadmin
          and VAX VMS (all at the same time to the same printer too!!)
        - Any serial port may be configured as a printer port, or an incoming
          or outgoing (modem) line. Out-going lines are handled by reverse
          telnet software supplied. The printer port is handled by a daemon and
          a printcap filter.
        - The 4 port model has a parallel printer port.
        - Will use a nameserver.
        - Does SNMP.

The cheapest unit (4 port + parallel) lists for $1495 US so, if you are only
looking a printer adapter you will likely find a cheaper one elswhere. But
beware, future releases of SUN-OS will not have full support for lpr/lpd so
the box you get should do both lp/lpadmin and lpr/lpd.

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