USB Printer on non-USB Mac??

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by tsk, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. tsk macrumors 6502a

    tsk

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #1
    I sold a printer on eBay to someone who doesn't seem to know very much about computers. I sold a USB printer and after a few email exchanges, I am finding out that they have an old G3 PB that apparently doesn't have a USB port.

    In an effort to be as helpful as possible, I'm wondering if anyone can tell me if it's possible to hook up a USB printer to one of these DIN 9 ports, and actually have it print. If you can point me to an adapter, it would also be helpful.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
  3. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #3
    USB PC Card, Print Server, or 'give up'

    A USB PC Card would work, but be careful, most of them that are currently available are USB 2.0 cards that require a 'CardBus' slot, which will not work on the non-USB PowerBooks. (CardBus is the 32-bit version of PC Card. SOME CardBus cards are backwards compatible, but I have yet to see a USB 2.0 card that is.)

    Another option would be a USB network print server. You plug the USB printer in to this little box, and it 'shares' it over the network. If he already has a network, great, if not, he can just use a crossover cable to plug it directly into the PowerBook. If he's using Mac OS 9, make sure that the print server specifically says that AppleTalk (Might be called EtherTalk) is one of its protocols. (Few of the newer ones do, but many older ones did.)

    Of course, the third option is to find an old Mac serial printer, and sell the USB one. (Canon, Epson, and HP were the big Mac serial printer makers, aside from Apple, of course, who really just re-branded various Canon, Epson, and HP printers as their own.)
     
  4. tsk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    tsk

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #4
    Ok, so first I think I forgot to mention that this is MacOS 8.6 (complication #1).

    Second, do these old PB's support cardbus (complication #2)? She is unable to tell me exactly what model it is.

    I searched google and managed to find one card that lists support for MacOS 8.6, but its got a cardbus connector:

    http://www.team-solutions.com/Products/PCMCIA/CCPCMCIA/TSCUSB22.htm
     
  5. tsk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    tsk

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #5
    Are you sure about the cardbus? I was researching this before I read your post, and I saw some info at lowendmac that looks like cardbus is supported (at least on the Kanga or 3500):

    http://www.lowendmac.com/pb2/g3.shtml
    "Rob Frohne. "...the 3400c is already cardbus compliant as far as I can tell!" "


    I'm reading a bit on his page and I'm concerned that all this will get much to involved for the person I sold this to. I think giving up might be an option here. I'm just trying to avoid neg feedback here mainly...

    Edit: Oh, and I'm 95% certain here that there is no network in place that would allow them to do a printserver.
     
  6. jtown macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    #6
    If that powerbook will handle a cardbus device, the IO-Gear USB2 card is supposed to work with 8.6. Of course, you'd also have to come up with printer drivers for 8.6...
     
  7. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #7
    Well, to get the 3400 and 3500 (original PowerBook G3) to work with CardBus requires opening it up and doing some soldering. The 'PowerBook G3 series' is true CardBus.
     
  8. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #8
    An old DeskJet/Writer with the AppleTalk port would probably be best and easiest.

    Unless the printer you sold has OS 8.6 drivers it probably won't work even if she did get a Appletalk/Serial-to-USB or a USB cardbus adapter.

    Some of the old USB printers came with those old drivers and worked well under the legacy OSs using adapters during the transition period -- but a lot of the newer printers are probably not.
     
  9. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #9
    I know HP still supports OS 9.1 over USB and Network with some of their printers; but I doubt any other manufacturer still does; and I know HP doesn't support 8.6.
     
  10. chucknorris macrumors 6502a

    chucknorris

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Location:
    Moscow, ID (No Kremlin here!)
    #10
    I think the bottomline is that this buyer had no business purchasing computer hardware outside of a brick and mortar store (where she could bring the computer in if need be).

    If you're ignorant enough to buy a USB printer for a G3 PowerBook then you need some serious help.
     
  11. iEdd macrumors 68000

    iEdd

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #11
    Tell her to buy a new mac to suit the printer :D
    It really sounds like it's time for a new comp... (IMO, of course)

    Except for my PISMO 400, dual USB, dual FW400.. of course ;)
    Is this old comp we're talking about definitely a G3?
     

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