Yes, this is possible. So I don’t type out a bunch of irrelevant information, please post some additional details. I’ll respond with a road map that should have printing and cutting from the “non dongle” based system.
Is this a peer to peer network or a server based network?
What operating system, including any Service Pack information, is installed on each computer, and if in a server based network environment, the server software in place?
What version of Omega, along with Service Pack information, is installed on the system with the dongle? You could also just post the RBase information found when right clicking on the Omega System tray and selecting About Gerber System Tray.
Is your current network functioning without issue; i.e., you can successfully transfer files between both computers?
If instructed to “share” a folder, you know how to do this or would need instruction to do so?
The problem you may run into is the Gerber software not having the option to print via TCP/IP.
This limitation may very well be a thing of the past in the not to distant future. With the introduction of their new ink based devices and the preferred connectivity path, I suspect we will see this communication option available within the very near future (version release or maintenance release). With the recent addition of USB, we may just about have the bases covered (less SCSI that is. Why is Seiko still doing it that way?)
It would be nice to see the industry moving towards a more flexible means of connecting these devices without having to charge a fortune for it. Seiko and the older Sapphire printers may use SCSI for transfer speed comparible to that of 100baseT ethernet. SCSI is nearing 320mb/sec transfer rate in the near future which is nice but I would hate to pay for cabling. Other than that, I would have to think they know the SCSI technology and have better resources, making SCSI a viable and cost effective solution for them. You know the saying, 'Stick with what you know'.
Ethernet is just so cost effective and functional. Most shops today have more than one computer, more than one version of output software and more than one output device. If not, they have one computer with 2 parallel devices, 2 or more USB devices, 1 serial device and then a network cable plugged into a DSL or Cable modem for internet. Sure would be nice, for the endusers that is, to be able to share these devices without the common problems of remote production managers, tripping over cables and such. Give each computer and output device an IP, run the cable properly (not lying on the floor or dangling from the back of a computer), hook them up to a network switch, and configure them in the software to communicate via TCP/IP. Then your output devices would be independent from an individual computer and you would avoid the issue of having to boot a computer to use a shared local printer.
The only problem I see with TCP/IP is upgrading firmware of the device itself. I am not aware of any means of upgrading firmware via TCP/IP. I am sure it will be here soon and yell at me if you know of any out there. Therefore a parallel or usb port would be needed in addition to the TCP/IP.
USB is nice but I hate loading drivers and making sure I am installing the device properly, whether the device should be plugged in before installing the software or after. Pain in the butt. Plus, have you looked for longer USB cables out there? I would rather buy a 50' patch 5 ethernet cable for $6.99 than buy 2 usb repeater cables for $16 or so each plus an extension at $15 to match the 50'.
You could always purchase a USB to ethernet adaptor as well if usb is the only option given by the manufacturer. There are several vinyl cutters coming soon with Ethernet built in... Can't wait for that.
Not to mention the ability to share between Mac and PC via TCP/IP. Maybe I am missing something but I do not like the concept of a USB port for a large output machine. Scanner, desktop printer, camera - sure.
This sequence of steps will allow you to output (both cutter and Edge data) to the devices attached to another computer. The entire “rendering” (creating of the spool data) is still done on your design computer. If this is not what you’re looking for no need to read on.
DO NOT get confused with previous Gerber terms of Design Station or Plot Station. The terms used in the instructions below are mine, not Gerber’s.
1) Install your Omega software on your “design station” computer including security key driver.
2) Now go to the “output station” computer and do the same thing. Install the security key driver and Omega software.
3) FYI: When GspPlot creates a “temp” spool file or you “print / cut” an existing spool file the spool file is copied into the \queue folder on your system. GQMgr is looking to see if it has anything to do, when the file(s) arrive GQMgr begins to “spool” the data to the appropriate device. GQMgr is also one of those applications that does NOT look at or need the security key. So knowing this let’s continue.
4) Install the devices connect to this computer (output station).
5) On the “output station” remove GspTray from the system tray, just don’t “exit” it, actually remove it so it will NOT start up again when you reboot. Why, because it needs the security key and we are going to remove it later.
6) FYI: You need to “share” the \queue folder on your “output station” computer so that your “design station” computer will be able to install those devices. Using Windows Explorer, find the \queue folder and share it with the name GSPQUEUE, with both read and write permissions.
7) Start GQMgr on the “output station”
8) Remove the security key from the “output station” and place it back on the “design station”. Install the devices from the “output station” using the menu items from GspTray, GspPlot or GQMgr running on the “design station” computer. Use the “remote” tab in the install dialog to locate the devices. This is where we are looking for the “shared” folder GSPQUEUE (\queue). Also, make sure you give the device a name that give you a clue that it is the remote one (ie Remote Env375, Remote Edge II)
9) FYI: When Omega installs a device it places an entry in the \windows\gsp.ini file but it also does the same thing in the \queue\gsp.net file. This is the file that the remote setup is looking for when we did step 8.
10) Now on the “design station” you should be able to open a file, select the remote device and output. I still find it better to render the entire file locally into a spool file and then print / cut from that spool file.
That’s it. If you reboot the “output station” you will need to start GQMgr on your own or have it automatically start when rebooted. Remember it’s looking in the \queue folder for something to do.
I could have told you just the Omega components needed on the "output station" but that may just bring more problems. I can tell you you can delet any fonts (GSF), libraries (GCA files) to make room.
I’ve probably given your enough here to hang yourself but then where’s the joy in life if not always learning and trying something new.
Off to a football game, you guys and gals to try it and let me know.