As far a tech goes, my encounter with the Lantronix xPrintServer was somewhat unusual. This fag packet of a device plumbs into your network and enables an iPhone, iPad or even an iPod Touch to access the local printers, assuming there’s a Wi-Fi access point on the same subnet. There’s no need to track down an AirPrint compatible …
or use CUPS
Looks like base AirPrint support is built into CUPS. If you're a medium to large business you probably already have a CUPS server type appliance (headless Linux box) sitting somewhere behind the scenes accepting your print jobs. Add this configuration and you've saved a small chunk of money and another box to configure.
Or Air Print Activator
If you have a Mac on the network (let's say it's a smaller network), you can use Air Print Activator (http://netputing.com/airprintactivator/) to achieve the same results. And save a few quid in the process. :)
I never thought about printing from my iDevice
Until recently, tried Bonjour print services - Doesn’t seem to work
Tried Airprint - Didn’t work
Tried Fingerprint (£6.69 from http://www.collobos.com) and it worked first time.
Now, I'm no apple fanboi (OK, maybe the devices are growing on me but I still can’t get over my hatred for the 1st iMac that my wife had, I detested that machine) but given my experiences of these just working I was kind of surprised that I couldn’t just print to my PC printer without some outside assistance (and then I thought, “no, this is apple we're talking about, of course they’d make it difficult to interface to a PC!”)
Why doesn't it have a USB port for a printer?
Or did I miss that?
I have Network Printer servers here. They have connections to drive a printer.
My E65 phone via WiFi can print to any printer on the Network configured to appear as LPR. No extra boxes needed. Of course with the "stock" printer driver I have to emulate an HP laser too.
I can make any linux thing (my Router's USB port) or USB, Serial, Parallel make almost the stupidest printer look like a Postcript LPR device. If I'm really in the mood I can do it on NT4 (even for USB via 3rd party USB stack, but parallel is trivial), Win2000, XP or Win7 too.
So why spend £115 to achieve what almost anything you already have that talks to a printer can do for free?
Or what did I not understand?
Re: But ...
iOS doesn't talk a standard protocol. (although I'm willing to bet its something fairly close just with an apple specific header or encoding.