So here’s today’s little teaser. My wife runs Windows XP under Parallels on her iMac, and she wants to print to the printer that’s connected to my iMac. How’s it done? The obvious thing would be to share the printer on my iMac (System Prefs > Sharing > Services > Printer Sharing, followed by System Prefs > Print & Fax > Sharing > Share these printers with other computers > [check the box next to the printer]), but of course that would be too easy, so it doesn’t work. In Windows XP I tried Start > Printers and Faxes > File > Add Printer > Next > Network printer > Next > Browse for a printer > Next (phew!) but, although the iMac’s name appears in the list, it shows no printers attached. Sodding thing.
After much mucking about trying to get the ever-stubborn Windows XP to recognize the printer, I came up with a nice bit of lateral thinking. What about Bonjour for Windows? Bonjour (previously known as Rendezvous) is the Mac’s zero-config system allowing auto-discovery of stuff on a network, such as computers, printers and routers – and, handily, they make a Windows version, too. It’ll never work, surely…!
Seriously, it was as simple as:
- Download the EXE
- Double-click said EXE to open it in Windows XP (in Parallels)
- Run the setup (no reboot required!)
- Double-click Bonjour Printer Wizard on the desktop
- Click Next
- There’s my printer! Click it, then click Next twice followed by Finish
- Boom!, as Steve Jobs would say – the printer is installed, and usable under Windows XP.
Why can’t Windows always be as straightforward as that?