Leopard Network Printing via AirPort with LaserWriter 8500

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by iPodThere4iAm, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. iPodThere4iAm macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2007

    I have bit of a strange problem, so I would really appreciate if there's anyone who can help.

    I have just setup a Time Capsule to host a local wireless network to replace an older wireless/wired mixture.

    The network works a treat, and our four office computers all pick it up without issue. I have plugged a USB Epson Inkjet printer into the TC's USB port, and all the networked computers can print to it without issue.

    However, we also have a trusty LaserWriter 8500 that we use. I plugged this into the first ethernet (LAN) port on the TC , and expected just to be able to add it in the Print & Fax Preference pane. Sadly though, this is not the case. The printer cannot be found in the Default Browser, or the AppleTalk tab (AppleTalk has been turned on for AirPort).

    After perusing these discussions, and the internet in general, I have attempted to use the Printing Over IP feature (using LPD) but still no success. I think I know the IP address of the printer ( - from status print out) so entered this into the Address field (which verified the address), then proceeded to add the printer queue, name and location (using regular names which seem appropriate) but every time I try to print the printer is paused, and the status is stopped. If I try to resume, is says it's ready, but the status is still stopped. After pressing resume a couple of times, it pops up an Error saying:

    Operation Could not be completed

    So all in all, it's not looking particularly good! I would really appreciate if anyone has any suggestions on how the printer could be discovered automatically or via AppleTalk (my understanding is that this should just happen, and is the best way to use the printer) or failing that, how I can get it to work using the IP printing.

    Thanks in advance, iPodThereforeIAm.
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    I just checked my Leopard Printer folder and there are no drivers for Apple computers. I also don't think is a valid address, especially since your Airport will give you a real number (the printer's first three digits should be the same; e.g., 10.0.0.xxx). You may have problems getting this to work. Is the printer, by chance, a postscript printer? If so, you might be able to use a generic postscript PPD to print to it. But you'll need to get its ip address sorted out. I think it's reporting because it hasn't been assigned one by your Airport DHCP.
  3. iPodThere4iAm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2007
    Hi Cave Man

    Thanks for the quick reply. The printer is PostScript 3, and it's listed on Apple's list of Leopard supported printers (on the website).

    How do I find out the printers IP address? I used Network Utility to try to ping all the devices on the network, but all it came back with was the three computers and my iPhone. Perhaps there's a better way? Should I just find the IP address range, and start counting up?

  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Most printers have the ability to print such info at power up. For example, on my Brother laser printer, when I power on while holding the "on-line" button I get a page of info about the printer. You'll need to consult your printer's manual to find out how to get this page printed. It should have its ip address.
  5. iPodThere4iAm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2007
    That's where I got the address from - a print out at start up. It also gave the EtherTalk Ethernet address (looks like a MAC address) plus the PostScript printer name/number.

    Do you think I need to assign it an IP address if it can't find it?
  6. izibo macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2004

    Absolutely. If it is not getting on the network, you don't have a prayer in printing to it.
  7. iPodThere4iAm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2007
    Okay ... so how can I assign it an IP address?
  8. TheReef macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
    You'll need to download the LaserWriter utility, it only works in Mac OS 9 though. It is in the "Apple Extras" folder of Mac OS 9 installs too. Under on of the drop down headings will be the option to change the IP.

    Also, probably use the IP so you don't conflict with anything else, its then a matter of selecting LPR/LPD in System Preferences and entering the IP.


    It works with Leopard fine I've got it working with my G5. :)
  9. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Sorry, I meant to say "Apple printers", not "Apple computers". :eek:
  10. iPodThere4iAm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2007
    The problem is, I'm running Leopard on an Intel Mac Pro, so I don't have the option of using Classic (after having it for the last four years and never needing it, as soon as it's gone, a problem turns up!!)

    I've been searching the internet for a solution, and I read somewhere that a Terminal command can be used to assign an IP to the printer. Is that possible or realistic for someone with no experience of the Terminal?

  11. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    What I don't understand is why your AEBSn isn't assigning it an ip address. Presumably, you should have DHCP on. If so, it's almost as if the AEBSn doesn't see the printer.
  12. TheReef macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
    I think that the LaserWriters don't support DHCP or being given automatic IP addresses so you need to set it manually through the utlility.
    I was in the same situation as you before and setting the IP fixed it for me.

    You could try finding any really old mac being given away for free and using the utility from there, it doesn't even need to have ethernet. If you have one of those old apple serial cables that will work too for the setup.

    Or you have Windows installed then you could try the Windows version of the utility (I hope this is it…I don't have windows available at the moment)

    I hope this is it
  13. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    You can find a PDF version of the LaserWriter 8500's manual here. Instructions for assigning an IP-address to the printer begin on Page 87. It is not hard, but I would advise you to print out and read the manual after you download Part No. 034-0210.
  14. emaven macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2008
    any way to do it yet

    I am now at the same point, where I need to assign an IP address to my LW 8500 printer. Don't have the ability to use classic anymore.

    So has anyone found how to do it using Unix and Terminal? I don't know much about either, but can follow directions. The problem is that the LW manual has too many different approaches to the directions.
  15. gsahli macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2007
    The manual says you can telnet to the printer to change settings.
    Open the Terminal utility, type this command:
    telnet [put in the IP address you get from startup config page here - even if]

    After you're connected, there's probably a help menu, available by typing help or ?
  16. CynthiaVS macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2009
    same problem

    Hi, have yo managed to solve the problem?
    I just bought a MacBook (Intel) and can't connect my LaserWriter 8500 to it.
    Any help will be appreciated.
  17. outZider macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2000
    Resurrecting this thread so those googling will have the answer.

    If you somewhat know your way around the terminal, you can save the need for Apple Print Utility on OS 9 or LaserWriter Utility on Windows. You can use any OS X or Unix-based machine like Linux, FreeBSD, or Solaris to do this.

    The LaserWriter 8500 does not support DHCP, only BOOTP and RARP. There is a remarkably easy way to deal with this. If no one has messed with the settings, you'll be able to do it straight away. If not, you'll have to push the communication reset button between the ports on the rear panel of the printer. Connect an ethernet cable from your computer to the printer, either through a switch/hub or directly. It'll help if you have the startup printout, so you can get your ethernet hardware address. If it's set not to print, once again, depress the communication switch, turn off the printer, and turn it on, and one will print.

    In your terminal, edit your /etc/hosts file using vi or nano or the tool of your choice. TextMate knows how to deal with root privileges, so feel free to use that. At the bottom, add an entry containing the IP address you'd like to use for your printer, and give it a name like 'laserwriter'. So, the line should look like (if you used a 192.168.100 address):

    Code: laserwriter
    Save this file. Next, use the 'arp' tool to make your computer learn the hardware address of your printer. Enter the following line, replacing the 00:00... with the hardware address shown on your startup page.

    sudo arp -s 00:00:00:00:00:00
    Now that you have that stored, we're going to ping the printer. Your system will ping that IP address with that ethernet address, forcing the printer to respond on that IP address. That will temporarily assign that address.

    ping laserwriter
    Hit control-C to stop the pinging. Now you can log into the printer.

    telnet laserwriter
    It will prompt you to create a password. Create the password of your choice, and you can log in. It will present you with a menu of configuration options for the network. You may use this tool to permanently set the IP address, router/gateway address, and subnet mask. Your gateway address should be the same as it's set on your Mac, and your subnet mask will usually be ''.

    That's it, you're done. Your LaserWriter can now connect to your 21st century equipment.
  18. emaven macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2008
    Hi outZider,

    Thanks for helping. I still need a little more help.
    I don't know what vi or nano or TextMate are, so I am reluctant to start the process.

    In the meantime, I have been using the LaserWriter 8500 at its old IP address, and just changed my modern equipment to be in that branch of addresses.


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