I'm still lurking on the PWG list... This provoked some memories.
> > Todd Jones, the president of MicroWorks, was the father
> > of network printing...
>> With all due respect, that might not be quite accurate. There was
> at least one company shipping a full-blown, state-of-the-art (even
> by most of today's standards) way back in 1986 or 1987.
When I was in Distributed Systems at Digital about 1981 I was on a team
that worked on Digital's first terminal server for Ethernet. Our first
architecture was to be a combo terminal and "unit record device"
server. For a prototype, I took a protocol used to do network printing
from TOPS-10 (can't remember if TOPS-20 supported it as well) to
dedicated PDP-11 based network print servers call NURD (Network Unit
Record Device protocol) and made it run on the souped up PDP-11 w/
hot-swappable terminal and unit-record cards - the code name for this
attempt at a terminal/UR server was Pluto - the previous attempt was
dubbed Mercury. NURD existed before we were mucking around w/ it in
'81. It's been a while...
I believe the Xerox Star printing systems were out at that time as
well. There are probably others.
Network printing probably has many flavors and Todd probably pioneered
one of them.