tenpastmidnight blog

Making hay while the sun shines

Printing hassles...

I bought an HP Laserjet 5 second hand earlier in the year before I'd decided to buy my iBook. Now, the iBook doesn't have a traditional parallel port, it has USB and Firewire ones, but has done away with parallel and the old-style serial as well. So, I went in to Maplin on London Road and noticed they had a USB to Parallel cable - perfect.

Got it home, plugged everything in and found the program that lets you add printers (in Applications -> Utilities -> Printer Center (damned American spelling!)) Couldn't find a way of adding my printer as it wasn't in any of the normal options - it was a parallel printer now on a USB interface, but not turning up on the USB list. So I went to Google and found a page on MacOSXHints about printing via USB-parallel adapters. Did everything it said, and it got me a printer set up, but I was justing getting a page of error messages and lots of blank ones when I tried to print.

Back to the ol' friend Google and I found HPIJS for Mac OS X on the Linux Printing site, which is what I needed. I know, it's not Linux, it's OS X, but the page is for OS X. It gives two extra packages that need to be installed to make some changes to the underlying printing system within X, which lets you install some other drivers that will let it work with extra printers, such as my laserjet on the end of an adapter lead.

After a bit of messing around, here's what seemed to get it working: I removed the version of the printer I'd managed to install the first time around from Printer Center, then restarted. Then I went through the install of the printers using Option- (AKA 'alt') Click on 'Add' in Print Centre, choosing advanced and choosing one of the 'foomatic' one that was right for my printer as the instructions said. Another restart (just to be sure) and I'm now printing fine. I'm hoping when I install the HP Deskjet inkjet it's rather less hassle as that's naturally USB.
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