Can I use my 1996 HP Laserjet 5 on an OLD Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by PowerMac G4 MDD, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
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    At the intersection of Conch and Coral.
    #1
    Hey everyone,

    So I have a fully-functioning HP Laserjet 5 with toner and everything. It prints pages faster than ink jet printers today, so I figured it would be nice to use. However, I already have a modern printer on the network, which is for modern computers. I thought it would be cool to try and print from an old Apple computer, for example, my Macintosh Classic II or something a little newer. There are various drivers for this printer, mostly for Windows, as far back as Windows 3.1. However, I need a driver that will work with System 6 or later. I also want to know if I can physically connect this thing to an old Mac. It has a parallel port and a serial port. Is that connection on the Classic serial or do I need a special adapter? So the main issues are drivers and way of connection. Sorry that this is a poorly-written post; I am in a bit of a hurry. Thanks for any help.
     
  2. gsahli macrumors 6502a

    gsahli

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #2
    The Classic's round DB8 connector is both a serial port and a locatalk port (I think). Cables exist for that.

    Your real problem is - MacOS 6,7,8 didn't have a PCL5-6 driver available (what Laserjet 5 uses). Back in the day, Mac users bought the postscript version of whatever laser printer. Macs then had a generic postscript driver that worked with any postscript printer.
     
  3. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    At the intersection of Conch and Coral.
    #3
    Ah, yeah, I noticed that Localtalk-like port on the back of my Classic II. However, I noticed that my 512k has a standard-looking serial port. I think I could end up connecting that, but obviously drivers are an issue. :-/ Do you know the most popular/best-working printers are for older Macs? (ones that use that localtalk-like port). Obviously anything older, like 512k era, is gonna be harder to find. It would be fun to print from an SE or Classic, or perhaps a 1990s system. I was actually able to get OS9 drivers for a modern network printer we have, but that required internet connection, which I don't have for things like my Classic II.
     
  4. MisterMe, Aug 29, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014

    MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    OK. There is no such thing as a "Localtalk-like" port. Your Classic II has three round ports. Each of the three ports are clearly labeled. They are Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) and two interchangeable DIN-8 RS-232 serial ports. ADB is used to connect your keyboard and mouse. The serial ports also support Local Talk. The serial ports are labeled as modem and printer ports. However, the labels are only guides. Your printer and modem may be connected via either port.

    Your have two other ports. One is a DB-25 SCSI port. It is normally used to connect external hard drives or other SCSI-compatible peripherals such as image scanners. The smaller DB-19 floppy port is used to connect an external floppy drive. This is necessary only if you use 5.25" floppies.

    As for the most popular printer for the Classic II, I am not aware of anyone having conducted a poll on this issue. Mac owners used printers from HP, Canon, Epson, Apple, and other manufacturers. Apple's ImageWriter II dot-matrix impact printer came in two flavors, serial and AppleTalk. Most laser printers--whether from Apple, HP, or another manufacturer--used PostScript and were connected via Local Talk. In later years, printer manufacturers developed small cheap [host-based] QuickDraw laser printers that connected via a serial connection. All PostScript printers require a single PostScript driver (from Apple or Adobe, your choice) with optional printers-specific printer page description (PPD) file. Each host-based printer requires a manufacturer-supplied driver.
     
  5. gsahli macrumors 6502a

    gsahli

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #5
    Oh ya, that's what they are DIN-8 ... waking up long-unused memory cells...
     
  6. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    At the intersection of Conch and Coral.
    #6
    Yeah, I knew it wasn't. I referred to it as that to distinguish the old serial one from the newer one. I found a serial to parallel adapter (for my original Macintosh). Sadly, drivers are obviously not available for these computers. Getting a printer and paying for ink/toner is out of the question, I guess. But it would be cool to write a paper on one of these things. The closest I got to doing so was adding our network printer on one of my beige 1990s Macs that had an internet connection. That's nothing special to type on though. The reason why I bothered with my Laserjet 5 is because I received the working unit for free with the toner in there, an extra box of toner, and even paper. I guess I can only use this on a Windows computer, as I have once done.
     

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