Over the weekend, my son and I tackled revamping of our network. The purpose was to increase the number of ports available and to add wireless capability. We also wanted to do it with the hardware we had on hand. The biggest challenge was setting up the print server. It had worked flawlessly prior to this project.
The way we finally solved the problem was to establish it as a TCP/IP port with an assigned IP address. Once done the printer was visible on the two xp machines and could be installed. It took a little longer to solve the Linux installation. After a few tries, I was able to configure a socket with the same print server ip address.
Don't be afraid of Linux. Try it. My son is accomplished at networking, yet he had not worked with Linux before this past weekend. I have used Linux regularly over the past few months, yet I am weak in networking. We had fun with this project.