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HP DesignJet 500ps workaround System
Note: Please see the comments for an update concerning this hint in 10.3...

HP's been quite silent on the fate of the OS X version of their PostScript RIP. Published docs suggest "fall, 2003," but a conversation with an HP tech support person this afternoon yielded a "could be tomorrow, could be next spring" comment (*grumble*). However, the techie did suggest a reasonable workaround (which I have not yet confirmed but hope to do so next week, but don't let that stop y'all from trying this also!).
  1. Download and install the OS X DesignJet 800ps driver. Apparently, it is quite compatible to the DJ500ps, but is designed for use in OS X (whereas the PPD for the DJ500ps is not). Alternatively, place the OS 9 PPD for the DJ500ps inside the /Library -> Printers -> PPDs -> Contents -> Resources folder, which is where the DJ800ps PPD would be installed. However, there is a chance that the DJ500ps PPD may not work.

  2. Run the OS 9 RIP on another Mac (booted into OS9). The DJ500ps would be connected to that Mac via USB and the RIP, in essence, serves up the DJ to the rest of the network as long as the proper PPD is available to the other Macs.

  3. In the Print Center of the OS X Mac (in which you installed the DJ800ps PPD), "Add" an AppleTalk printer (or IP using the IP address of the Mac running the RIP). Select HP from the popup menu and the PPD from the displayed list.

  4. Print.
Now, there are two results that can happen (according to the HP techie)
  1. It works fine. Go have a beer.

  2. It doesn't work. So try this: When you print from the OS X Mac, save the print job as a PostScript file. Then drop the file into the OS 9 Mac's RIP spooler. This will cause the RIP to do its thing and print to the DJ.
As I indicated above, I haven't tested this yet throroughly yet. What I have done is saved the PostScript print file on my OS X Mac and burned the file to a CD. Tomorrow I'll bring it over to the location where the DJ500ps is running, drop it into the RIP, and then compare the output to the original file (which I'll also print from within OS 9 on the same machine).

Apparently, this can also be done using one Mac with the RIP running in Classic (dropping the PostScript print file into the RIP manually). However, if you've read this far, you already know how much the RIP slows down even a G4, so the separate "OS 9 RIP Print Server" is the answer. When HP releases the OS X RIP, I'll just install OS X on the RIP Server and continue to use a separate print server Mac.

I'll appreciate any comments. Please feel free to email me directly if you wish but do post comments and questions here in order to keep a complete record for those who come after.
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HP DesignJet 500ps workaround | 10 comments | Create New Account
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HP DesignJet 500ps workaround
Authored by: pcp_ip on Apr 04, '03 10:34:28AM

Any ideas how to print to to a network designjet 500 with a HPGL2 card instead of the PS model?

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HP DesignJet 500ps workaround
Authored by: barryjaylevine on Apr 04, '03 11:12:12AM

The HP500ps is actually the "regular" HP500 but with the software Postscript RIP included. The RIP is running on your Mac (or, in the case I am suggesting, a dedicated RIP/Print Server Mac connected to the HP500 via USB and also connected to the network via Ethernet).

You may purchase the RIP from HP. In this case you're simply ignoring the HPGL/2 card that's installed in the unit. (It might be necessary to remove the HPGL/2 card; check with HP's tech support folks about this.)

There is also another company that is currently selling a software RIP (for the HP500 among others) that runs in OSX but that software requires the HPGL/2 card. I'm sorry but I do not recall the name of that company.

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HP DesignJet 500ps workaround
Authored by: clh on Apr 05, '03 11:53:53AM

MacroEnter's X-RIP is probably what you're thinking of.

They recently added TCP/IP support, too.

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HP DesignJet 500ps workaround - it works
Authored by: barryjaylevine on Apr 04, '03 11:23:25AM

I took the "ps" file I created from the OSX app (AppleWorks, in this instance) by "printing to a file" and burned it to a CD. (Remember, I used the DJ800 PPD and defined a 24x42 paper size, then used that for the "Page Setup". The "draw" document (in AppleWorks) immediately enlarged to that size. I placed various text, table, and draw objects in various colors, blends, etc. all over the page.) Then I took the CD over to the location where the DJ500 is working (in an OS9 environment) and dropped the ps file into the RIP's jobs window. The RIP immediately began doing its magic and printed the job flawlessly.

So this means that, worst case, an OSX Mac with the DJ800 PPD installed can print to a ps file which can then be transferred over to the OS9 Mac acting as the RIP/Print Server where the job gets printed.

The only thing I have not yet checked is whether a Mac running OSX can -directly- "connect" to the printer through the IP address of the Mac that's the RIP/Print Server. It should also be possible to use AppleTalk instead of IP. Once the site gets its new Macs (it's a school district site so this may take a few months knowing how slowly things work), I'll provide confirmation.

However, if some helpful soul would like to provide this info before I manage to get around to it, please do post it and drop me an eMail!


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HP DesignJet 500ps workaround - it works
Authored by: barryjaylevine on May 28, '03 10:54:22AM

My customer received her new Dual-1.25G4 so we transferred the old 120GB data drive from her B&W over to the new machine, copied over the (OS9) HP RIP software, and set Classic and then the HP RIP to launch upon startup.

To print to the HP500PS from OSX, you "print to a postscript file". The postscript option only is available if you have the proper ppd and driver. We're using the HP800PS ppd (per HP's recommendation as it is OSX native). The resulting file is then simply dropped into the HP RIP's status window and it prints perfectly.

Bonus: Because Classic exists in its own memory space, any OSX apps are not affected by the "chug, chug, grunt, grunt" of the RIP in Classic. In other words: OSX apps are not slowed down by the OS9 RIP!

No success yet in using the old B&W for a RIP server. Seems there's nowhere to "drop" the postscript file if you have to do it over the network. If HP doesn't release an OSX RIP soon, I'll have to experiment with an AppleScript or write something in Revolution to handle this.

However, like the dancing mule, the wonder is not how well it dances but that it dances at all.

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HP DesignJet 500ps workaround
Authored by: specbebop on Nov 06, '03 09:46:20PM

Is there any advantage to using the RIP software on a OS9 machine rather than using the driver available at ?

733 Quicksilver
640mb RAM
70gb HD
Nvidia GeForce 2

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HP DesignJet 500ps workaround
Authored by: jonmar on Mar 10, '04 10:03:39PM

I tried downloading the driver from buymelunch but all I got was garbage! have you been able to download it?
I am using gimpprint ghostscript combo with 10.2.8 but need a driver.

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HP DesignJet 500ps - Panther resolves the issues
Authored by: barryjaylevine on Jan 31, '04 12:21:18AM

This is an update to an older hint about printing from OS X to the HP RIP for the DJ500ps. In 10.2.4, it was possible to run the HP RIP in Classic, print from OS X to a Postscript file, and then drop the resulting file into the HP RIP's jobs window. You couldn't print directly to the RIP; the job would fail.

The ability to drop the PS file into the RIP in Classic was lost after an upgrade to 10.2.6 (thru 10.2.8). The solution was to move the HP RIP to a Mac running OS 9.1/9.2 and copy the PS file generated on the OSX Mac over the network to the RIP Mac, then sit at the RIP Mac and move the PS file into the RIP's jobs window. (This kind of thing may be AppleScript-able?)

I'm glad to report that printing directly to the Mac OS 9's RIP over the network (selecting the RIP in the Printer Setup Utility) has returned in Panther. Take advantage of it because HP will -NOT- release an OS X RIP for the DJ500ps.

While there are OS X RIPs available for this printer from other vendors, they are either very expensive or require the addition of the HPGL/2 card (with which the DJ500ps did not ship). Besides, the use of a separate OS 9 print server Mac actually speeds up printing and reduces the load on your OS X Mac.

Panther! All hail the black kitty!


Honda Reflex - Riding a 60mpg scooter is your patriotic duty!

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HP DesignJet 500ps - Panther resolves the issues
Authored by: mbwolf on Oct 02, '04 09:35:32PM

Does any one know if the designJet 500 Non PS can be setup sucsessfully on Mac O/S & if so How

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HP DesignJet 500ps - Panther resolves the issues
Authored by: strunx on Jan 31, '05 04:25:37PM

If you use DesignJets with internal Ethernet MIO NIC rather than AppleTalk Serial MIO you can set up an fixed IP and then either use LPR or IPP in PrintCenter. Just use HP or GimpPrint provided ppd's.
You should now be able to print HPGL files via terminal using lpr -l filepath.
See the man pages for more options. If you prefer the Mac-flavour use DropPrint 1.4 or an Apple/Shell Script Folder-Action.
Works fine with my DJ2500CP. Even though I cannot plot directly from my Application (it lacks a driver) but I can simply export HPGL to a folder acting as a print-queue.

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