But this is already sounding archaic and difficult isn't it? Just download and run an installation script? Give it the host name? No way a nontechnical user is going to be able to do either of those things.
Why doesn't the printer just appear like it does on my Mac? I'm not even sure what my printer's host name is so I wouldn't even be able to do that step myself!
"Download this .ZIP file from the Brother website. Then unpack it somewhere. Go through these dialog boxes from the Devices and Printers control panel. Be sure to uncheck such and such before clicking next in such and such. Then at this point, choose "Have Disk" and browse for where you unzipped the drivers and find the ".inf" file in there somewhere."
If the printer is on a dynamically assigned IP address, chances are that the port created for it will use a hard-coded entry like "192.168.1.13" which will break. The DHCP host name requested by the printer can be used, but you will have to manually enter that. It is some awful serial number: a mixture of random digits and letters. It's better to navigate to the printer's web firmware first, and rename it to some human-readable name, then edit the printer port to match.
Personally, I've never understood this. Are there a lot of admins who let their printers take IPs from the DHCP pool?
You mean just about every single home network?
Although, in an enterprise setting, if you count DHCP reservations then that's what we do, having our whole office use them has greatly simplified our network configuration.
I could imagine a world where printers had a built-in DDNS client which would make them truly plug-and-play in an office but that's probably more complicated than it's worth.
Pretty much my de-facto solution for networking, managing static IP's is a pain even with something like Puppet - one mistake with the configuration and I have to open up vCenter to get to the console and fix the configuration to get network connectivity. I literally use DHCP reservations for everything with the exception of intra-cluster communication for my PostgreSQL replicas (those are on a separate VMWare network and I manage those statically, but they never change).
> I could imagine a world where printers had a built-in DDNS client which would make them truly plug-and-play in an office but that's probably more complicated than it's worth.
This is what a DHCP hostname is for, no? My cheapie ASUS AC1900 at home uses the DHCP hostname from any device it allocates an IP address to as a local DNS alias, if I run `nslookup ls410d9a3.local 192.168.1.1` on any system on my home network it will point me to my Buffalo NAS (without needing multicast DNS, though that would still work as a fallback) - same for BRW142D2763B66E.local (which is my printer).
I could just as easily configure any dhcp server I use to automatically register DNS entries for new hosts if I wanted (probably in a separate DNS zone to prevent peoples phones from showing up in the default DNS search path).
No home user is going to statically assigns an IP to their printer on Wi-Fi; that would require a power user who even knows what that is.
Re-addressing a couple hundred printers was not fun when each of them was configured manually via the front panel.
That is exactly how, just over a week ago, I gave that brand new printer its Wi-Fi password: moving a cursor and incrementing through a character set.
Just like naming the presets on a Yamaha audio effects processor I bought in 1989.