Before I state the question, a bit about our current setup:
We've got 60+ workstations running on M$ OS's ranging from 32bit XP to 64bit Win7.
The main reason behind this is our major programs (AutoCAD, Revit & 3dStudio). We can simply not find anything comparable and no way of getting anything working through Wine (except maybe a 10+ year old version of AutoCAD ... not on). So the client side is stuck to M$ unfortunately.
We have a linux file server, but due to another program (our timesheet entry system) we have a Win Domain server as well. Getting screwy aint it
? Wait it gets better!
Now our main printer is an OcÚ TDS600 - large format B/W laser. This is about 10 years old but still runs quite well. The problem is it uses a OcÚ Proprietary Rip Server running on WinNT 4.0.
Just peachy ... none of the Vista / Win7 PC's have any hope of printing to this dinosour (only the XP boxes if you circumvent windows' spool service - which is only possible if your program has the capability of sending direct to a network address, as AutoCAD can).
We've asked OcÚ what to do about this. Their answer: "Upgrade to our new Win2007 Rip Server." ... Uhmm ... there's 2 problems: (1) it's expensive as hell; (2) the old printer will not work with their new server ... so we'll need to upgrade that as well ... even more expensive.
So my idea was (at first) to create a spool server on an XP box. Trying to setup a printer driver on Vista/7 to frint to a PRN file on a shared folder. Then have a custom program running on the XP box which simply polls the folder, and copies any files direct to the NT box, then deletes the copied files. Again, M$ screwed this idea. The Vista/7 printer drivers may not save to any remote location at all ... ever.
Now my question / idea: Is there any way to create a Linux box which would have a simple pass-through printer. Sharing this to allow any Windows PC to use as clients. Then simply doing a direct binary copy to the share on the NT box?