O mighty Tezcatlipoca, we bow before you!
Tezcatlipoca, the smoking mirror, was (quoting from Wikipedia) the god of the night, the north, temptation, sorcery, beauty and war. He was known by other descriptive names, such as Titlacauan (We His Slaves), Ipalnemoani (He by whom we live), Necocyaotl (Sower of Discord on Both Sides) and Tloque Nahuaque (Lord of the Near and Nigh) and Yohualli Èecatl (Night, Wind). And today, I strongly feel as being born his servant.
Why? Because today I took courage and started working on the integration of our ~20 print servers into a single, smarter scheme, with user control and printer assignment done by a central server. I cannot, of course, say that in the course of a day my troubles are over - No, no, quite far from it… But at least, I managed to grasp how to send the CUPS generic Postscript driver as the default driver for W2K/XP clients (no, I haven’t worked on older ones yet - and yes, we still have many W98 machines around).
I’m quite used to the fact that things in a Unix system are just easy to understand. Yes, sometimes it takes some time, sometimes you have to dig into the manuals, but all in all things can be finally understood. Today, after a couple of hours sticking my nose into the extremely extensive Official Samba HOWTO and Reference guide (chapters 21 and 22) and having my attention drift over the quite interesting Implementing CIFS book in a vain attempt to fully understand what goes on behind the curtains, after trying to debug my Windows-Linux communication issues by grokking what Wireshark finds over the wire… I can only understand that CUPS is pure black magic, although quite well documented. Samba is elegant and feels nice and easy, but really begs to be debugged with the Malleus Maleficarum at hand. CIFS (also here) is the subtle utterance of a dark spell pronounced by a stuttering sorcerer. And the way Windows integrates with it all is… Bah.