Jan 22, '04 10:30:00AM • Contributed by: Han Solo
The first step was to buy a print server: I settled on the HPS1P by Hawking Technology, because (1) it was relatively cheap (under $50), (2) it was advertised as working with Macs, and (3) some of their other products have received positive reviews on this site. However, opening the box revealed no instructions for Macs at all. Looking through their web site wasn't much help either. However, it all works in the end, as described below. Connecting the hardware was easy: the HPS1P connects directly to the parallel port on the LaserJet, then a standard ethernet cable runs from the print server to one of the unused LAN ports on the wireless router. In fact, the HPS1P is small enough to fit inside the port cover on the LaserJet. Tip: Power on the print server before the printer.
Figuring out how to set up the printer on each Mac was slightly more challenging. Here are the steps that worked for me:
- Find out the IP address of the printer. Since my router assigns addresses via DHCP, as soon as the print server was connected an IP address was assigned to it. One way to find this address is to use the web interface of the wireless router (http://192.168.2.1/ is fairly common). Alternatively, in Terminal.app one could type
arp -a -nand look for the IP address corresponding to the MAC address of the print server (printed on a small white label attached to the back of the print server).
- Launch Printer Setup Utility. Click on "Add Printer..." and select "IP Printing" from the drop-down menu at the top. Select "LPD/LPR" from the next drop-down. In the "Printer Address:" text box, type in the IP address found in the previous step. It likely will be something like 192.168.2.100.
This is the key step that I only discovered through trial and error: in the "Queue Name:" text box, type
lpt1. (It was not case sensitive in my tests.) Other suggestions, such as typing
lpor leaving it blank, did not work!
- Select "HP" as the "Printer Model," then scroll (way) down to "HP LaserJet 6P/6MP - PostScript". Then click the "Add" button.
- The printer will now be named "lpt1_on_192.168.2.100" in the Printer List. Select the printer there (click once), then click on "Show Info". Now you can change the name of the printer that you will see in the print dialogs to something a bit more recognizable. Click "Apply Changes" then click the little red close widget in the top left corner of the Printer Info window when done.
- Print a test document from any app to confirm that the printer is working! (You might also check with CUPS (at http://localhost:631) and in the Terminal (by typing
lpstat -t) that all is in working order.)
One unresolved issue that I haven't explored is what happens should power to the router be lost. In that case, the printer might be assigned a different IP address by the DHCP. I suspect this problem could be avoided by using
arp -s to assign a fixed address to the printer (indeed, the same IP address as originally given in step 1 above), as described in this hint. Also, the documentation suggests that it should be possible to set up the print server as an AppleTalk printer, but I was unable to get that to work. Nor would trying "Internet Printer Protocol" (IPP), despite following the Linux instructions (more or less) in the manual.