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Getting 3000 clocks up to speed, always

Clouds, Google and the HP 3000 in print

Google Cloud PrintThe above items really shouldn't go together, if you follow conventional wisdom. Yes, the HP 3000 has been in the clouds, so long as you consider timesharing as the cloud. I first began to cover the 3000 at a publishing company that was using cloud computing. Once a month in 1984, we logged on for timesharing at Futura Press, where an HP 3000 connected to a PC with a 3000 terminal emulator. Our operator Janine set type using an MPE program on that 3000.

But today the cloud usually means something like a server farm from Google, Apple, HP or elsewhere. These vendors make it attractive to give up hardware and let an outside provider supply what's needed. However, we all still seem to like working with paper in our offices. Cue the 3000 manager who wants cloud printing from his MPE application.

Has anyone ever tried to use Google Cloud Printing using HP 3000, via NPConfig?

Even though the answer might be no as of today, it's possible to make Google's Cloud Print serve a 3000. The magic must leap over lots of 3000 traditional wisdom. Allegro's Stan Sieler explained, to the manager, that "depending on what you mean, I don't think it's even remotely possible."

If you meant, "print from HP 3000 to a printer via Google Cloud," then no.  

Oh, it's possible someone could investigate the Google Cloud Print API and write some software for the HP 3000 that would intercept output sent to a "local" printer and redirect it to the Google Cloud API. But, it's not likely to happen.

Sieler outlined some other possibilities, always examining the full range of prospects.

If you meant, "print from an iOS or Android app (or a Safari/Chrome web browser) to a network printer a 3000 also prints on," then yes -- but the 3000 will be unaware it's sharing the printer with Google Cloud (or with other users, for that matter).

If you meant, “print from an iOS or Android app (or a Safari/Chrome web browser) to a printer locally attached (e.g., HP-IB) to printer on a 3000," then no. This would be hard, and (most likely) undesirable.

There's a pair of software solutions from RAC Consulting, Rich Corn's company that has connected the 3000 and other servers to the widest possible range of printers. Corn wasn't certain he could provide a connection as described, but he noted that the basic tools are on hand to try to create such a Google Cloud Printing solution.

I have quite a bit of experience with the Google Cloud Print API and 3000-based printing. In general, Stan is correct  -- that the effort to connect GCP and the 3000 is too large to make sense to undertake. But there might be some scenarios that would work if you used our two products: ESPUL and Cloud Print for Windows together -- and your content is suitable. If you'd care to be more specific on what you want to do, then there might be a solution.

To create Cloud Print for Windows, Corn's used his expertise and decades of attaching print devices to HP business servers, to help create software that helps Windows systems employ the Google Cloud Print virtual printer service. So long as your printer's host can connect to the Web, Cloud Printing can be accessed from other desktops online.

Cloud Print for Windows then monitors these virtual printers and prints jobs submitted to a virtual printer on the corresponding local PC printer. In addition, Cloud Print for Windows supports printing from your PC to Google Cloud Print virtual printers. All without any need for the Chrome browser.

People expect Windows to be a more affordable platform per desktop, but the costs can add up. Employing cloud services can keep things more manageable in a budget. Cloud Print for Windows costs just $19 a seat.