Wednesday, November 07, 2007

HP LaserJet 4L & Mac OS X 10.3.9

1 old LaserJet 4L, the one without the mac goodies, just the parallel port, cost £0 from freecycle
1 parallel to usb cable, cost about £8 from ebuyer
1 copy of gutenprint (v5.0.1, cost £0, right here)
1 copy of usbtb (v1.0.15, cost £0, right here)

  1. plug in printer to power, but not usb cable...
  2. install Gutenprint on mac
  3. plug in printer usb cable to mac
  4. open printer setup (in Apps/Utilities) - remember to hold the ALT key when doing add printer, else you don't see the 'Advanced' menu
  5. read Gutenprint howto document (a rather good pdf), follow instruction there.
  6. be happy when printer is in printer list
  7. be happier still when you print a page and it works beautifully (if a little slow... hey, it's a 10 year old printer!)
As for usbtb, seems great. I installed it after the above, and it detected the laserjet easily enough during the install, and sorted out the queues and whatnot. As an aside, it didn't like the deskjet 840c I have, but hey...

Does it make things go faster? hard to say, will need to play, and i've not reason to disbelieve 'em...

As for the cable, I did find a whole bunch of expensive looking ones, and spurious reports that these expensive ones have 'special' stuff. Whatever, my cheap £8 one works just fine thanks. See ebuyer, product code 130599.

[update Feb 09; as per comment below, not working on 10.4 - can't retest myself...]


Anonymous said...

After months of being told that I'd never be able to connect my new Mac to my old HP Laser Jet 4, I found your post and saved myself from having to buy a new printer. Thanks very much!

Love, from Canada

Anonymous said...

I tried iit on Mac OSx Tiger and Leopard, and it works with my old Laserjet 4L. More, I plugged it on a DSLBox (Freebox in France), and now the printer works just like a server printer!
Thank you!
Best regards, from Franc

Anonymous said...

I followed your advice for my girls' leap to a Mac laptop with OS X 10.5 no proplem.
However my laptop with 10.4.1 it doesn't work. won't recognize the usbtb.
i tried all the gutenprint versions. 5.02 and 5.23

any advice?

GeekySpice said...

Hey, this works just fine. Thankyou,thankyou,thankyou... May your days be filled with happiness & sunshine...