I recently went from being a PC only household to one with multiple PC’s and one MacBook Pro. I have a HP Inkjet All in one connected over USB to one Windows 7 system. I know I can share the printing part with the MBP but can I share the scanning function?
All the USB sharing over IP programs I find seem to be PC only.
Not as far as I know. I know you can’t share a scanner over a network in an all-Mac network, and unless there’s some third-party software I don’t know about, I assume you also couldn’t do it over a Windows network. Of course, you can always just bring the laptop to the scanner and plug it in directly when you need to, but I imagine that’s inconvenient. There’s no reason you can’t install the right drivers on the Mac and use it that way, though.
There are a few 3rd party USB device sharing options for the PC that are not too expensive. I was hoping that there would be one that also had a OS X client. I am very impressed by my new system and if I could afford it I’d replace my main desktop with an OS X system but that is far our of my budget.
The way I would do it (in an all PC environment) would be to scan the images into the computer the scanner is plugged into and then push/pull them across the network to the computer I want them on.
I have no idea how well Macs and PCs talk to each other for doing that though.
This is probably not what you had in mind, but before you spend a dime on any software or hardware dongles look online for a deal on an all-in-one printer/scanner that has a built-in Ethernet port. Would make things pretty cut & dry. TigerDirect.com or even WalMart.com might very well have great deals this time of year…
There may be cheaper USB print servers out there but i’m too lazy to look. Basically turns the printer into a network device, so I’m assuming it would be cross platform (just have to install the appropriate drivers on each pc).