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A workaround for printing errors over AppleTalk System
Many of us have used Asante's AsanteTalk or Farallon's iPrintLT to bridge between our older LocalTalk printers and our new Ethernet networks. For the most part, these devices have worked remarkably well.

However, with OS X, Apple has changed the way AppleTalk functions. What prints well from within OS 9.2.2 can choke older LaserJets in OS X. Some of the oldest LaserJets use Postscript Level 1; you'd best move printers of that ilk to an OS 9 environment because OSX Macs just won't print properly (if at all). OSX requires at least Postscript Level 2. But that's a Postscript issue and not directly related to this AppleTalk problem.

I had a situation with a Postscript Level 2 HP LaserJet 4M connected through an Asante bridge to the Ethernet network. Any print job larger than a simple page of text or AppleWorks draw objects would result in a "rangecheck" Postscript error. Changing to an iPrintLT did not resolve the problem. In OS 9.x, all documents printed properly. A newly installed OS X driver did not resolve the problem. The printing problem was repeatable on every Mac on the network (in OSX 10.2.4) but, in OS 9.x, no problems.

Could this have been a timing issue with LocalTalk-to-Ethernet bridges in general (with OS X)? I had an old Ethernet MIO card which I swapped into the LaserJet. Printing in OSX -still- caused the problem! Was the printer just too old?

Last chance - I set up the printer with a static IP and added the printer (in the Print Center) as an IP printer with "Generic" PPD (as I've found that the generic setting seems to print faster as an AppleTalk printer - YMMV). Sonuvagun! IP printing resolved the problem completely. Even a 20MB photo printed flawlessly from iPhoto at 600dpi.

So AppleTalk is a 90-year-old with a bad cough, folks. IP printing (and Rendezvous as the replacement for AppleTalk's discovery) is where we need to be.
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A workaround for printing errors over AppleTalk | 14 comments | Create New Account
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ps level 1
Authored by: j-beda on Mar 24, '03 11:36:20AM

I think I heard someone say that gimp-print can install support for PS level printers one into mac os X. But what do I know?



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ps level 1
Authored by: barryjaylevine on Mar 24, '03 10:30:21PM

If gimp can do PS1 in OSX, maybe it's worth the trouble. Frankly, I'd sooner sh-tcan a printer that old and put something reliable (and PS3) in place.

I believe that gimp over AppleTalk is a non-starter (though I've not "gimp'd" yet).

Barry



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A workaround for printing errors over AppleTalk
Authored by: robmorton on Mar 24, '03 11:58:08AM

I would suggest GIMP print http://gimp-print.sourceforge.net/MacOSX.php3 I have used it to print to an HP 4M and it printed perfectly. For the most part GIMP print has saved us many headaches with getting a useful driver using OS X 10.2.x



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A workaround for printing errors over AppleTalk
Authored by: hschickel on Mar 24, '03 02:26:24PM

The specific problem with the HP4M is that the ppd included with MacOSX is defective. Download the ppd from the following link:

http://cvs.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/*checkout*/lpr/ppds/hp/Attic/HP_LaserJet_4.ppd?rev=HEAD&content-type=text/plain

Place it somewhere easy to find (I use /Library/Printers/MyPPDs/HP/HP4M_V4.PPD) and manually select it when you create your printer. This will give you full Appletalk capabilities at 600dpi resolution.

Other workarounds:

1. Lower the resolution to 300dpi.

2. http://www.linuxprinting.org/macosx/hpijs/ - install the foomatic system and set your printer up as an IP printer. If you have a fast machine you'll find that allowing ghostscript to do your PS processing is much faster than using the very old (but mostly reliable) version found in the HP4m.

Hugh



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A workaround for printing errors over AppleTalk
Authored by: hschickel on Mar 24, '03 03:03:17PM

This ppd issue has been bugging me for a while. I filed a bug report with Apple today. Hopefully they will swap out their ppd for the one from hp.sourceforge.net. The hp license seems to allow for that without restriction.

Hugh



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A workaround for printing errors over AppleTalk
Authored by: barryjaylevine on Mar 24, '03 10:27:04PM

Unfortunately, 300dpi did not resolve the issue. Take a simple draw document, preview it (so it's now a pdf), and it will choke the 4M via AppleTalk. It is, most assuredly, AppleTalk. The PPD I used was from HP and not from Apple (and it still choked). I could use any PPD (Apple's or HP's or, as I ended up using, the Generic PPD) once I enabled IP printing and ignored AppleTalk.

Note that we still can use AppleTalk to tranfer files, if we wish, because in this case, it's two Macs with up-to-date software talking with each other. The LaserJet 4M has no chance to update its AppleTalk ROM so IP printing was the answer. Lucky I had that MIO card!

Barry



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A workaround for printing errors over AppleTalk
Authored by: hschickel on Mar 24, '03 11:13:00PM

Barry - give the ppd from sourceforge a shot.

Hugh



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A workaround for printing errors over AppleTalk
Authored by: ihafro on Mar 25, '03 12:19:34AM

I agree. I think the issue is with OSX and AppleTalk. I've had my APPLE LaserWriter 16/600PS choke constantly when I use AppleTalk, but IP printing works fine. This is with Apple's own PPD too!

FWIW, IP printing seems to be quite a bit faster too. I can actually get my printer to do its full 17ppm.



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A workaround for printing errors over AppleTalk
Authored by: lambertd on Mar 25, '03 05:39:19AM

> I set up the printer with a static IP

How is this done with an Asantetalk and a Localtalk printer (Apple Laserwriter 4/600)?

Yes I googled until my mind boogled :-)



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A workaround for printing errors over AppleTalk
Authored by: barryjaylevine on Mar 25, '03 01:23:19PM

Unfortunately, the AsanteTalk does not understand IP so this is not possible. However, the LaserWriter 4/600 -does- work properly in OSX Jaguar. (I have one going through an iPrintLT - the functional equiv. to the AsanteTalk - and it works just fine!)

Three tips, however:

1. Add as much RAM to the printer as possible. Documents printed in OSX are PDF so there's plenty of PS being spoken. This was not the case in docs coming from earlier OS's so it is probable that the printer will error due to lack of RAM. Print a config page to determine RAM. Then, if more can be added, head over to www.memorytogo.com and order it there. I've never had a problem with RAM purchased from them.

2. In Jaguar you may set the PPD manually; set it to "Generic". I've found that it seems to print slightly faster (instead of using the 4/600 PPD). There is nothing "special" about the 4/600 that is not already handled by the Generic PPD.

3. Verify that your cable (between the AsanteTalk and the printer) is good. Try a set of PhoneNet connectors or a "normal" 6 foot printer cable. Asante warned me about using "too short" of a cable. Curious; the cable they included with the box was only two feet long so it must be okay.

Regards,
Barry



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A workaround for printing errors over AppleTalk
Authored by: lambertd on Mar 25, '03 04:22:08PM

Thank you very much, Barry.

Lambert



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A workaround for printing errors over AppleTalk
Authored by: ruminator on Mar 27, '03 09:33:34AM

This worked great! We have a Canon GP200F - all around office copier/
fax/ network printer/does everything but make coffee for you printers.
The problem is it was an older machine and no matter how I configured
and it would hang up when OSx would send a print job to it. I tried
Gimp-Print w/Ghost but with no luck.

I configured as directed and presto! No Problemo. We cannot duplex or
direct the output to a specific tray but at least it's not choking on every
print job from OSX. Thank you for sharing this one.

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Thanks.
Bill



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A workaround for printing errors over AppleTalk
Authored by: mrlynn on May 05, '03 09:58:09AM

How do you set up a static IP address for a printer? I've got an HP4MP with an Ethernet card--currently using it on a Localtalk subnet via a Farallon iPrint Adaptor for my older Macs, but the wife's new iMac/10.2.5 can't see the HP at all (Appletalk active, changed Appletalk network no. to 42201 as the Farallon bridge requres). I downloaded the HP driver from HP, but (assuming it got installed), it didn't help. Does the Farallon (like the Asante) bridge also not talk IP? I could go direct via Ethernet, but it means stringing a long cable into the basement.

I've also got an old (but reliable) QMS PS Jet+ on the Localtalk subnet. The iMac can see it, but nothing prints except simple text documents (not even Appletalk pictures)--no error messages, just nothing. The Gimp driver site has been suggested to me, but I wonder if it's worth trying--Level 1, just 2MB RAM--comments here seem ambiguous. Sturdy old printer, though!

Any advice welcome. I've been using Macs since '87 (still have two SEs and a IIfx) but I'm a babe in the woods when it comes to OS X. The iMac is dual-boot, so I could solve the problems by running OS 9, but I figure it's time for us to take the plunge.

/Mr Lynn

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Quality not style.



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Availability of TCP/IP
Authored by: paulio on Sep 15, '03 11:26:04PM

Sorry, the Localtalk ports on these printers do not talk TCP/IP so you cannot set an IP address. Or maybe it has to do with the Localtalk Ethernet adapters. I don't remember. All that I know is that TCP/IP is not available from the Localtalk port using the Localtalk Ethernet adapters.

Some of these printers like the LaserWriter 16/600 PS have a built in Ethernet port. These ports can be set to have an IP address. They also run Appletalk simultaneously. A special Classic utility is required to set the IP address on the 16/600 PS.



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