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ShadowWriter networks 'em all

by Mark H. Anbinder, Contributing Editor -- mha@baka.ithaca.ny.us

Gizmo Technologies has upgraded their ShadowWriter software, which allows people to share "personal" direct-connect printers among computers on a network. Whereas ShadowWriter 1.1 supported only four Apple printers, the new version 2.0 supports all Apple personal printers and literally hundreds of third-party printers of all shapes and sizes. The AppleTalk-compatible software works well on Apple's LocalTalk network, PhoneNet and similar networks, and on EtherTalk ethernet networks. It should also work on other forms of AppleTalk networks, such as TokenTalk token ring networks, but most token ring users don't share inexpensive printers.

Attending Cornell University's back-to-school computer fair this fall to recruit for our local Mac user group reminded me that sharing printers can be a great way for students on a budget (or anyone for whom money is tight) to save some money, or possibly to afford a better printer through pooling funds. The ShadowWriter package, which retails for $109, is a good way to share an inexpensive personal printers, rather than having to purchase a more-expensive printer with built-in networking.

Although ShadowWriter (which runs on the computer that is physically connected to the printer) does have an effect on the performance of the host computer, it's not dramatic. This is primarily because, as with most of these low-end printers, the computer spends most of its time waiting anyway.

ShadowWriter 2.0 supports the following printers, and Gizmo Technology invites interested users to contact them for a full list of other supported printers.

    * ImageWriter I, II, LQ       * HP DeskWriters, PaintWriters
    * StyleWriter                 * Label Printers
    * Personal LaserWriter LS     * Plotters
    * Personal LaserWriter SC     * IBM-PC compatible printers
    * LaserWriter IISC            * and more
Gizmo Technologies
P.O. Box 14177
Fremont, CA 94539
510/623-7899
510/623-7922 (fax)
GIZMOTECH@applelink.apple.com