The invention features a system and method for programming, integrating, and controlling the operation of computer peripherals. In brief overview, a computer peripheral is provided with a network communications protocol stack that includes a hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) layer. The HTTP layer permits the computer peripheral to function as a thin web server. As such, the computer peripheral is able to respond to HTTP requests. In one embodiment, the invention includes a router that is in communication with the computer peripheral. The computer peripheral has an assigned HTTP port number and an assigned network address. The router includes a routing table that associates the computer peripheral's assigned HTTP port number with the computer peripheral's assigned network address. According to this embodiment, a message with a computer peripheral HTTP port number identifier is forwarded to the computer peripheral by the router.