Share a Windows 10 printer by UNC

Windows 10 uses homegroups, but if you have systems that don’t understand homegroups and want to share a Windows 10 printer by UNC (the old school way to share a network printer), it’s not obvious how to go about doing it.

I couldn’t find a way from the GUI, but it’s still possible to share the printer from a command line.

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Change your printer’s IP address in Windows

Sometimes you may need to change your printer’s IP address, such as after you rearrange your network. It’s not hard to do, it’s just not always immediately obvious where the settings are.

This method works in Windows 7 and Windows 10. It probably also works in Vista and Windows 8, but I don’t have those versions anymore.

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How to add a generic printer in Windows 10

How to add a generic printer in Windows 10

Sometimes you need to add a generic printer in Windows 10.

Windows 10 makes the setup of newer hardware pretty automatic, but if you have a legacy or specialized printer that has to be set up as a generic printer in Windows, the process isn’t intuitive. Here’s how to set it up.

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Network printers with mismatched Windows versions

Jim, one of the longest-running of my longtime readers, wrote in last week about his experiences getting a venerable HP Laserjet 1100 working between two dissimilar Windows machines. Network printers with mismatched Windows versions always present a challenge.

Not only that, as time wears on, new challenges rise up to replace any old ones that don’t exist anymore. I’ll let Jim share, then add my own experience.

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Make a Word hyperlink UNC path

I had an issue in a document with a hyperlink to an existing file. The file existed on a network drive, so the link worked fine… until someone with a different mapping for the I drive had to look at the document. Then the link didn’t resolve and the person got an error message. A confusing error message. It turns out it’s tricky to make a Word hyperlink UNC path.

Fixing it wasn’t as easy as it should have been. Read more

Solving a perplexing slowdown problem

Fixing an unexplainable slowdown. You may never see this. Yesterday I struggled for about 5 hours on a Win98 laptop that was incredibly sluggish. It would just pause for several minutes in the middle of anything, for no good reason. Open up Control Panel and wait. And wait. And wait. Finally the icons would show up. Open a new browser window, same thing. And almost any time an application had to open a new dialog box, you’d have to hurry up and wait.
I couldn’t find anything especially wrong with the configuration. I made some tweaks, sure–I always do–and that improved speed during those non-idle times, but it would still go catatonic on me. I downloaded WinTop and ran it so I could see what the CPU was doing. I found nothing unusual. The CPU was mostly idle.

“Gotta be a network problem,” I told our networking guy. So he went and grabbed his ultimate l337 h4x0r tool, a Micron laptop loaded down with Linux and packet sniffers and analyzers. He ran Ethereal and just watched. There was no weird network activity, and nothing particularly heavy. But we noticed the laptop was chatting away an awful lot with a server two T-1s and two routers away on our WAN, and sometimes it didn’t get a response. I pulled all of the shares on that server and every other reference I could find, but they just kept chattering.

Finally, on a reboot, I watched autoexec.bat roll by (I had the Windows splash screen turned off) and I noticed the suspicious path–that server’s UNC was in the path statement! And futhermore, C:Windows, C:WindowsSystem, and C:WindowsCommand were not! No wonder the system was running like garbage–it was looking for stuff two routers away before it looked in its own system directories!

When I removed that line and pulled a desktop shortcut that referred to that server, all was well.

One of the server-hosted apps we run requires that directory be in the path. If you have to do that sort of thing in a WAN environment, rather than adding lines to autoexec.bat, you’re much better off writing a batch file that does this:

path c:windows;c:windowssystem;c:windowscommand;[path to application on server] [command to execute application]

Then put that batch file on the desktop, instead of a shortcut directly to the app. That way, when your laptop road warriors are away, those changes won’t slow their laptops to a crawl. And the laptop won’t start trolling the network until after they’ve run that application once that day. Since networks are an order of magnitude slower than local hard drives, the system will run slightly better in the office as well. And remember when you construct your path statements, always put the system directories first, and application directories last, with local applications taking precedence over apps on network drives.


I know there’s a word for this
I know ’cause we’ve all at some time said it
like when we were little kids
we’d fight each other ’til someone would give in
and you’d make him tell you ‘uncle’
  –Aimee Mann, “I Know There’s a Word” (Whatever, 1993)

Those lyrics came to mind the instant I read this.  My talkback is #22. There’s little point in reproducing any of it here.

I had a run-in with Mr. Darren (I recognize his style) the summer before last. Typical story Jerry tells. Jerry talks about Apple attack dogs who leap on anyone who dares write anything negative about Apple. Same principle here. Eventually you reach the point where you get sick of it and therefore don’t write anything at all about the subject to avoid the attack dogs.

The ignorance these people display about how computer journalism and the computer industry itself operate is unbelievable. Is it so unusual to learn something about a subject before opening your mouth about it?

This kind of crap makes me glad that now I’m not writing a book about Linux and Windows that might actually suggest that some people might have reason to run Windows. Oh, hell. I’ll go ahead and say it. Attention zealots: You know what software your beloved O’Reilly uses to write and edit its manuscripts? Microsoft Word!

On to a more pleasant subject. Good thing there’s a whole lot more to life than just computers. A friend called me up and told me to make sure I picked up the November issue of Vanity Fair because of a brief Aimee Mann/Michael Penn feature in it, plus Elvis Costello’s Top 500 recommended CDs. Good stuff. The issue kept me distracted from my article (due ASAP) for the better part of an hour.

Elvis’ best line: “As for the hit records of today, maybe some of them will sound just fantastic in 20 years’ time. It’s your life. So! No Marilyn, Korn, Puffy, Eddie Money–sorry, Kid Rock–Limp Bizkit, Ricky, Britney, Backstreet Boys, etc., etc.”

Here here!

Mail later. Probably. Assuming I bother.

It’s later. In March of 1999, Jerry was having some or another Linux problem, he got mail-bombed, and I sent him a letter, addressing him but also the Linux zealotry, asking, “What do you want? Do you want to be a punk computer like the Amiga, that no one uses? Repeat after me: Criticism of Linux is not a personal attack on me.” Jerry printed it, the result was a lot of mail.

One of them was this letter, to which I started writing a response but never got around to finishing because I couldn’t figure out what he wanted from me. This is, I’m pretty certain, the same “Darren” who wrote the “Jerry Pournelle finally admits he’s a Microsoft shill” headline at Linuxtoday.

I believe that what he and others like him are calling for is not journalism, nor is it editorial (which is where you call it like you see it–technically, that’s what Jerry Pournelle does. He’s a columnist, not a journalist) but rather, sheer advocacy.

I present it here. Opinions welcome–the mail link’s to the left, and you can leave comments by clicking on the skull icon at the end of the message (that’s what that’s for–I just haven’t gotten around to changing it).

From: Darren []Sent: Thursday, March 11, 1999 11:09 AM
Subject: RE: Your letter on Chaos Manor


You asked the question “What do Linux Users want?”.

We want ACCURATE reporting.  This does not mean that we do not accept negative commentary.  This means that we are sick and tired of people with obvious Microsoft slants propagating unsubstantiated FUD while claiming journalistic objectivity.

Jerry Pournelle has a long history of being pro-microsoft.  His negative comments about Linux have a history of being based in ignorance. When he first started working with Linux and complaining about the lack of usability of Linux, he hadn’t even gotten a Linux system up and running. Why does he want Linux to continue to exist? So that Microsoft will continue to improve and dominate. These are demonstrable facts.

Journalists have continually spread anti-Linux FUD from Microsoft most often without any basis in fact. Until recently, the “difficult to use” argument was the predominant position. KDE, FVWM and other “easy-to-use” interfaces have existed for YEARS. This FUD has only recently been dying off after Microsoft’s demonstration of Caldera in court. There is the “lack of support” FUD argument. This FUD is finally dying off now that IBM, HP, Compaq, et al, have joined in the Linux “support” bandwagon. What is really ironic is that they are simply repackaging and using the same support mechanisms that have existed since the introduction of Linux 1.0 in 1994. Now we have a concentration of the “lack of applications” FUD. As more people become aware of HOW to use the sites such as and, this argument will also become apparent for the FUD that it is.

What do Linux users want? We want techno-journalists who do more than simply repeat the latest FUD out of Redmond.  They claim to have a certain level of expertise in the technical arena, but are most often only successful at demonstrating their own ignorance.

You obviously feel that we have been out of line in our treatment of certain journalists.  Would you care to give me an example of negative Linux reporting that was accurate from Jesse Berst, Jerry Pournelle or Ben Elgin? How about you give me any example at all from ANY journalist?

I am confident that I will be able to take any example you give me and show you how it is slanted, inaccurate, and not worthy of being published by professional journalists.

I do not intend this to be a flame mail, I just want to do my part to kill the bad journalism.


I also have some (very lengthy) mail from someone who I believe is taking a much more constructive approach, or at least whose criticisms are much more valid. That should appear soon.

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