What would be nice on the iPad alone
Support for CUPS printing, note every copy of Ubuntu Linux comes with CUPS installed, and it seems Ubuntu/CUPS is really good at recognizing printers without drivers. I have three printers, a epson photo R340, epson stylus nx300 and a HP-6122 , and Ubuntu sees all of them and prints perfectly to them. Now before you say anything, CUPS is maintained by Apple, it was their contribution to the Unix/Linux crowd, so there is no excuse for them not to support it, just I have yet to get it to work with the iPad/iPod touch (I got close a few times using apps that claimed to support CUPS, but yet no dice).
BTW, if you have Linux on two machines on the same LAN, and each one has CUPS running, it's really simple to get one to see the other's printers (a local network has 256 possible ip addresses to allocate to machines on the router, if you have a cable modem or dsl, you have a router, and all the CUPS servers do is go around to each machine on the network and check to see if they have CUPS servers running, if so it looks to see if there are printers available to it on each machine) . so you can imagine, if your iPad CUPS support, it just has to check 256 locations, which takes like five seconds, and it will find all the CUPS servers on your network, then you can print to anything on the network. But you have to have a CUPS server on the network with printers connected to it.
The CUPS print server running in Ubuntu has it's own little webserver running at port 612, I think.. So if you point your browser at localhost 612 (this dumb forum software won't let me post a URL) , it will show the CUPS print server configuration screen, and you can enable CUPS to see other printers on the network in Administration. The reason CUPS would be a good solution for the iPad or even a program like ArtRage for printing, is that CUPS is totally in open source, it runs on Mac's and on Intel machines with Ubuntu (not in Windows though, don't know why) as well as in other versions of Linux, but Ubuntu IMHO is much easier to get up and working, plus it automatically sets up a boot loader so you can switch between windows and Linux on load.
Anyhow that's my two cents. BTW, for those afraid of linux, Ubuntu is worth the work to get running. And it is no harder than say installing Windows on a machine. Just keep in mind when you buy a PC, Windows comes preinstalled, that's why nobody ever knows how to run anything else. Knowledge is power. BTW, if you ever get a virus in Windows, boot Ubuntu from a CD (no you don't have to install Ubuntu on your machine, just need to boot from the Live-CD) , and look for "clam" anti-virus in the Ubuntu application library, given Ubuntu finds your network connection, download and install it in the application installer (it's like AppStore in iPad, but free software). You can use clam-av to scour your windows hard drive for viruses and it usually finds them, can even remove them. One of the advantages to having Ubuntu Linux on a second partition or a second disk, is you have a backup plan if the crap hits the fan in Windows.
Same is true for Mac users, you can put Ubuntu on a second partition, and boot into it if for some reason the Mac fails. I have a PNY SATA (cost me $13 versus $60 for a USB2 one) pcmcia card on my laptop that I use to backup my machines to a Seagate FreeAgent drive, I'm able to do this easily because Ubuntu recognizes the SATA card, and I don't even need to install Ubuntu to make it work.
More, I guess than anyone wanted to know, but there it is. BTW, CUPS works so well at printing color photos I don't usually need to do much in the printer settings panel to get a perfect photo print. Compare it to windows where there is always some mismatch between windows and the printer driver. that's cause both are closed source, and the abstraction between creates a lot of overlap, leaving a guessing game for the end user for what settings are relevant to the printer and which are not. For thatnreason, I never use windows for printing pictures anymore. In fact I don't even use windows for anything anymore than playing video games. Seems to be the only thing it does well anymore. Oh ya, and sync the iPod/iPad in iTunes (*sigh*).
Last edited by rofthorax; 10-09-2010 at 10:45 AM.
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