Good use for an old 386/486 computer… –
This tutorial demonstrates how to build a low cost, stand-alone, professional quality Network Print Server for a local area network. It uses the industry standard Raw Socket API, a trend set by Hewlett Packard’s JetDirect and JetDirectEX print servers; also called “raw socket printing” (tcp port 9100). JetDirect is used in Hewlett Packard’s, Xerox’s, Lexmark’s business-grade network printers. Most business-grade network printers on the market today support the Raw Socket (tcp port 9100) printing. Microsoft calls this “Standard TCP/IP port printing” (Windows 2000 and up). This method of sharing a printer is much more elegant than the “Samba print sharing method” because it can handle multiple OS, it can easily punch through routers and firewalls over wide area networks, and it can be easily encapsulated (tunneled) under the strong cryptographic encryption of openssh or openvpn for highly secure remote printing to remote offices.