What You Should Know
About Bi-Directional Printing

During normal print cycles, print signals or print instructions are sent in one direction, from your computer to your printer. Printers that are Bi-directional (also known as bi-tronic) capable also have the ability to talk back to your computer in order to advise your computer of a print job's status, paper status including the occasional jam, etcetera. This two-way or Bi-directional communication technology can be found in most of the more popular printers offered today, such as HP, IBM, Panasonic, and other laser or color printers, especially where bi-directional communication between the computer and the printer is imperative. In color printing, as an example, the printer will advise the computer of its constant availability status in order to mix color inks correctly for optimum output.

Unfortunately, most printer equipment such as printer sharing devices, buffers, etcetera do not support two-way bi-directional or bi-tronic communication. In essence, no communication is permitted from a printer to the computer. Most printer sharing devices act as one-way communication devices that will not allow signals to pass from a printer back to the computer it is attached to.

If you own a bi-directional or bi-tronics printer that supports two-way communication, and you are trying to share it among multiple computers, there are only a few ways of doing this.

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