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  1.    #1  
    hey homer, lennonhead, et al.:

    i just got my hands on a used hp laserjet 6mp from an office i occasionally work for (with no documentation, of course), and i'm looking for options to hook it up to my 2nd generation imac...

    can i just do a parallel to usb adapter, (or something like that... does that even exist?) or do i need to go the full 100 clams ethernet route?

    any help at all is greatly appreciated...

    oh, and you other mac users out there, don't be offended that i didn't name you, these guys are just the first i thought of...
    exit, pursued by a bear.
  2. #2  
    Both Keyspan and Belkin make USB Parallel Printer Adapters for the Mac, and there are a whole bunch of PC versions out there by other companies that should also work. I found the Keyspan adapter at for $40 and the Belkin adapter for $50. I think that is a little expensive for a cable, but most of them seem to be around that price range. You might be able to find one made for the PC cheaper somewhere.

    Does the printer have an ethernet port? I'm not too familiar with ethernet printers, but couldn't you just connect a cable from it to the computer? You might have to go through a hub, I'm not sure. Anyway, if you can just connect it with a cable that would be a whole lot cheaper (just a few buck for a 10' cat 5 cable at or

    Hope that helps .
  3. #3  
    You'll also need to install the printer extension so you'll be able to use it. I think that a bunch of printer extensions (a lot of laser ones) come pre-loaded on Macs, but I don't remember which ones since I deleted all of them. If you can't find the extension on your computer you can download it from HP's website.
  4. #4  
    Lennonhead pretty much summed things up. I agree with him also that if the printer HAS ethernet onboard, all you need to do is stick an ethernet cable into it and connect it to your network.

    If you are on DSL/Cable, then you probably just need to get a hub for $20 or so. If you are on a dial-up modem, you could just run the printer directly to your iMac.

    One of their pages:

    mentions the iMac kit.

    That's a post-script printer right? Nice!
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  5.    #5  
    there's no ethernet onboard, but a sales rep at j/r told me the only way to do it was via a whole ethernet hub kit thing, which cost 100 smackers, and i didn't trust him, so i came to you guys...

    so thanks.

    i just checked out outpost and saw an entrega parallel adapter for 30, but it says pc... it'll still work, right? it says it's been tested with the 6mp... am i missing something or do i need something else?

    [Edited by matty on 01-08-2001 at 09:48 PM]
    exit, pursued by a bear.
  6. #6  

    the good thing is that the M in 6mp stand for Macintosh. The bad thing is that it only supports it through the serial port or ethernet port if you have it.

    I think the cheapest route to go is to buy a 30 dollar USB to serial adapter and just plug it in. It's a postscript printer so you can use The Apple Laserwriter 8 driver, just remember to download the right printer description files from the HP web site. Actually i think you just download and install all of HPs Laserjet PPD files at once. Anyways once all the PPD files are installed in the right place just go to the chooser, select laserwriter 8, choose the serial adapter and auto setup the printer. Voila!

    You could go for the USB->Parallel cable route and although it might be a little faster with printing speeds, they're almost twice as much than a serial adapter, plus you have to find 3rd party software printer drivers. I think by then it'll be more cost efficent to buy a JetDirect ethernet card.

    i typed too much

  7. #7  

    oh i should also point out that you dont need a hub to directly connect to an ethernet device (like a printer or even another Mac/PC), you just need a special ethernet crossover cable.

    and i thought of another thing too

    you can also just sync the printed document to your visor and IR it over to the printer using tealPrint or whatever.

    see now the thread is relevant!
  8.    #8  
    i'm still confused...

    can i get the pc parallel to usb cable or not? lennonhead's right, the serial to usb cables are closer to 70 and if i can get a cable to do the same thing for 30, i'd rather do that... but are you telling me there's software involved too? not only a driver for the printer but one for the cable itself?

    sorry for seeming so lame about this...

    exit, pursued by a bear.
  9. #9  
    I really don't think that the cable requires a driver. It should work by itself, and since you have the right printer software you should be fine. I read about a product called PowerPrint (which comes with a cable and costs $100), but it just comes with a whole lot of printer drivers. It didn't mention anything about software for the cable.

    I'm almost positive you won't need software, but if you find out it doesn't work has a 30 day MBG.

    If I'm missing something here, somebody please correct me.
  10. #10  
    PowerPrint has a $30 rebate off of $99 for the full version...

    It's worked well for a client that I set up with it on an HP OfficeJet 300.
  11. #11  
    You won't need a driver for the cable. All you need is a parallel to USB connector and the drivers for the printer itself. Any cable like that should work, as USB is the same for Macs as it is for PC's.
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  12. #12  
    Originally posted by ****-richardson
    You won't need a driver for the cable. All you need is a parallel to USB connector and the drivers for the printer itself. Any cable like that should work, as USB is the same for Macs as it is for PC's.
    The above doesn't make sense to me... if you hook up a USB to whatever adapter, something needs to tell the Mac what to do with it.

    My USB to serial adapter comes with drivers to tell the Mac to treat this USB device as a serial port (which older Macs had so the OS knows what to do with them).

    PowerPrint's USB to parallel adapter comes with drivers for lotsa printers so it can tell the Mac that this USB device is a printer and how to print to it. It can't just tell the Mac to treat the cable like a parallel port since Macs never had parallel ports and consequently there are no Mac parallel port printer drivers.

    Offered in the spirit of eventually figuring it out...
  13. #13  
    to backup what the above was saying, technically there isn't a HP driver for their laserjet printers. LaserJet printers uses Apple's LaserWriter 8 driver. When you're installing the HP 'drivers' from the installer what you're actually installing is the Printer Description Files that tells the Apple Laserwriter 8 driver what special features or attritubes the particular printer has (duplex printing, fancy resolution settings, how many paper trays etc.).

    that being said...
    someone correct me if i'm wrong - the laserwriter 8 driver has no support for any other interfaces besides appletalk (serial), ethertalk (ethernet) or TCP/IP. If you want to use a usb to parallel adapter you have to get a driver that can 'see' the usb. Powerprint's cable comes with their own special powerprint driver, Epson has special drivers for their stylus printers bundled with their usb->parallel cables too.

    I have seen usb->parallel adapters without software i think, I assume perhaps windows 98 just comes with USB drivers made to handle them. I'd like to know how this works if anybody knows...

  14. #14  
    I was under the impression that the adapter made the printer/scanner/etc. into a USB device (albeit a much slower one). That is, USB was able to interperet what was plugged in regardless of the original jack and all that was needed was the device driver. Am I wrong?
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  15.    #15  
    well, now that i'm thouroughly confused, i think i'm going to go with the 50 belkin choice that seems to be designed for the imac, com-plete with bluberry accents, and c. that way, it'll at least be the closest in spirit to what i need.

    i thank you all for your help, and will post results when i have them...
    exit, pursued by a bear.
  16.    #16  

    so i got the belkin imac solution, and ended up with a clean system reinstall...

    apparently there's a problem with conflicting print libraries with my epson stylus and this new hp.

    i haven't had the courage to try again. does anybody have any tips as to how i might be able to have both printers at my disposal?


    since i had a CSR anyway, i just didn't reinstall the epson driver, einstaleld the macjet (belkin's driver) and everything there works... which leads me to beleive that indeed there is a compatibility issue with the macjet and epson drivers.

    is anyone out there using an hp laserjet for b/w and an epson sdtylus inkjet for color? i'd love to have this figured out.

    i'm on an imac with 8.5, HPLaserjet6MP, Epson Stylus Color 600, et al.


    [Edited by matty on 01-18-2001 at 03:19 PM]
    exit, pursued by a bear.
  17. #17  
    A quick recommendation while you're into this... upgrade to OS 8.6 (free download from Apple). It's supposedly has much better USB support. I recently upgraded an iMac from 8.5.1 to 8.6 and it was painless. (8.6 was required for a USB CD Burner to work even though it said something like "any USB-equipped Macintosh" on the box...)

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