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Older DesignJet Plotting with OS X.2

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I have a DesignJet 250C with a JetDirect EX ethernet interface. I'm running Vectorworks 9.5 on an Apple Cube with OS X 10.2.1. After installing the latest editions of gimp-print and ghostscript, plotting was easy to set up through Print Center. I used the pcl-750 driver. Printing works through Page Setup and Print... just like any other Apple printing operation. I believe that this driver will work for any large format designjet from the 200 through 700 series but I only have tested it on the 250C. CUPS with gimp-print and ghostscript makes printing setup a breeze. I think this is a great example of Open Source Software in action.

The only problem was that the ppd generated by the installation did not have the correct settings for Hardware Margins or ImageableArea. I was able to edit the ppd file for all of the page sizes supplied, and now, the images are the correct size, centered on the page, and fill the allowable ImageableArea. The page area shown on VectorWorks is the correct size as well.

I can e-mail the ppd to anyone interested in trying it on any of these hp plotters.

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Hi Kurt;

I am sorry this is still not working for you. I know the feeling. Here are the answers to your questions:

Plotting: I have only tried black and white on the plotter. On my Epson 880 color works fine.

Window Shade: I miss that too, but I found an acceptable work around. I place all three pallets on the right and they overlap, but a part of each is always visible. If I click on any pallet it comes to the front. My object info pallet is sized for the full height of the screen.If I need the resource pallet I simply click on the edge of it and it comes to the front.

Plotter Weirdness: If my plotter starts to act up, I turn it off for a minute and then restart it. This has always cleared up any problem. I have never had the paper cutter act as you describe.

OS: 10.2.3

455CA: It is a D size and hooked up the the print server that shipped with the product.

Special Setting: I may have set it when I first got it in 1998. But I have never tinkered with the settings if that means printing a scantron sheet and filling in the ovals like when I took my SAT in high school.

Version of GimpPrint: 4.2.4

I will be printing later today and will try to do so in color. I will let you know the results. By the way, you mentioned Doodle. Does this work in OSX?

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Kurt;

In response to your question about color printing. I decided to put everything to the test. I ran a plot in color and it worked fine. Here is what I did.

On the G4 running OSX, I took a file that was drawn in VW8 and opened it in VW9 under OSX. I saved it and sent it over ethenet to the G3 that is running OS9. On my Powerbook running OSX I opened the file over an Airport connection. I set it to print in color. The file went over the Airport to the router through ethernet to the HP JetDirect Print

Server to the 455ca. The sheet plotted as expected.

The purpose of all these gymnastics was to simply see if flexibility existed in using different OS's and network connections. A file created on one computer and sent directly to the plotter seems to work just as fine.

This news is with mixed blessing. I want to thank you for your help. Thanks to you and the others, I now have what appears to be worry-free printing and plotting. I am sorry that you are having difficulties. I hope that my experience is good news for you in that we know that it can work. I will be happy to answer any questions that I can for you.

Kevin

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There are some freeware and shareware window shading utilities you can download to bring back that lovin' feeling of window shading for OS 10.x.

www.cnet.com/downloads

Please note -{disclaimer} NNA does not guarantee these will work with VW nor are we held responsible for anything that happens after downloading and installing these shareware/freeware utilities. They are to be used at your own risk.

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keven:

yes doodle works fine in osx. It's a great program and most people can't beleive it is a Cad drwg. It's great for those people who hate cad drawings, like design review boards and such. what they don't know won't hurt them. i can't beleive you got gimp to work so good. i got the exact same 455 setup. additionally when i print to preview then print, the preview looks fine then the print is super shrunk. Huh? when you set up gimp print in the print center, under IP printing, did you check the default queue on server radio button or did you have to use lp in the queue name?

Katie:

I downloaded window shade and it only works on the file window, not on the info, resource, etc. palettes. i did not see any other programs. which one do you use?

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Hi Kurt;

Thanks for the info on Doodle. I have it for Minicad 7 and for Vectorworks 8. I just assumed that it would not work for VW9.

I do not remember much about the setup of GimpPrint. I dont think I did much of anything. It all went fairly automatic. What you are asking does not sound familiar.

As far as the shrunk image, I had the same problem. It was caused by a second scaling option that was set to around 30%. Go to page setup and select the Vectorworks pull down. The window will have a field for scale. Be sure it is set to 100%.

If you would like me to look at settings that I have, just let me know. I don't know what else to tell you.

Kevin

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Kurt;

I am running a 455CA on an ethernet network and printing from a G4. Over the holidays I decided to take the leap and move up to OSX. I figured that I could print to postscript and then rip and plot using OS9 on my G3. I spent a full day fiddling with this and it did not work. I kept getting error messages halfway through the print job and the RIP would quit.

So I decided to join your ranks and downloaded GimpPrint. It worked like a charm. It printed just as expected. I made no adjustments to the plotter setup. All installations and adjustments were made in the software on the G4.

I did note the following: Under page setup I could select the 455 or select Any Printer. The anyprinter selection showed me a page size of 23.55x34.64 which seemed to be the familiar size given by the HP RIP. When I used this I got part of my border clipped off. The cutter worked fine, just the image was off-center.

When I chose the 455 under page setup, the image size showed at 24.0x36.0. Under this setting everything worked as expected.

I don't know if this is dumb luck, but if I can answer any questions for you, let me know. If I discover any new info, I will pass it on.

Thanks to everyone for bringing us GimpPrint.

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After selecting the printer in Page setup, go to the Page menu and select SEt Print Area.

Make sure you have this set to ONE PAGE.

THe grey print boundary box will reflect the printable page size minus the margin borders.

If your drawing sits on that grey box or extends outside, those items will not print.

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Keven:

Wow that sounds great. A couple of questions. Did you plot in color or B/W ? I got it to cut ok in B/W but not in color, funny. Also some of my staff still like OS 9 over 10 mainly because of window shade working on the info and resource pallets in OS 9 and not in 10. When I plot in 10 & gimp, it works, then if they try to plot in OS9 with the old HP RIP, the plotter wigs out by trying to have the cutter head cut from the wrong way (left to right) so the knife just jambs up against the paper. Then when they manually put the cutter in its proper position (on the right), then tried to load paper, the plotter just started unrolling paper nonstop. They finally got the plotter to stop its weird behavior by turning it off and then back on (power cycling) and plotted ok from the HP RIP. I think maybe they just did not realize the cutter was on the wrong side, but the uncontroled unrolling behavior was funny. Does anyone switch back and forth from OS10/gimp to OS9/HP RIP with no problems? Perhaps I will try to reinstall gimp. Are you using OS 10.2.3? Is your 455 a e size or d size ?

Kurt

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I don't use any of the extra freebies out there. I need to keep my computer as basic as possible to leave out the possibility of another program causing the program.

I suggested the freebies from what I've heard from other users. Most of them only work on the window, but there is one out there somewhere that will do inside palettes too. A customer told me about a long time ago but I've since forgotten what it's called.

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Hey, there. I've just come back to this page as I am preparing finally to upgrade the office systems with new hardware (new Macs running OS X 10.2.3 Jaguar) to print to an HP 455CA plotter. I have downloaded the latest versions of gimp print and CUPS, but I have one really stupid question?

How does one determine the IP address of that printer on the network? You folks make it sound so stupid simple to set up, but I can't get past the window where it asks for the IP Address of the printer? Am I using the wrong set up? Or is there a simple address that should be obvious for me to enter?

We are now running a G4, OS X 10.1 Server as host with 3 computers, 1 HP 4MV LaserJet and the plotter on the network (100BaseT). I was able to get the laser printer working on the one test machine we are using to troubleshoot and set up before the new machines arrive. I AM the Network Administrator, so I can't go to one and ask them what the address is. How the heck do they find it? Could someone please walk me through a step-by-step method of determining this address and Que to enter into the Print Center?

I'm sure there are others out there with the same dumb question to be answered to make us whole and smarter.

Thanks!!!

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Hi Irving;

First the disclaimer. I am an architect, not an IT guy. I am no expert here, but I did get Gimp Print to work. I am running a router by Linksys. I have it set up a a DHCP router so that it assigns IP addresses dynamically. As I understand it, when a computer logs on to the network, the router assigns it an address. You of course have to set up each computer's TCP/IP to receive dynamic addresses.

Since I never turn off the print server, I assume that it will hold on to the address that is assigned to it. To find that address I loged onto the router and pulled up the client address table that it generates. In that table I was able to see the address assigned to the print server.

I have been running Gimp Print for about two months and so far so good.

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If you have a Jetdiect print server push and hold the test button down for 10 seconds then let go. Your plotter should then print out 2 configuration pages. On the 2 page you will find the ip address something like 192.168.123.148 sometimes the jetdirect will not print the page if you hold the tst button down to long. If you have problems call HP and they will guide you through it. Do not tell them about gimp print just tell then you need the IP address fro the plotter.

kurt

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Thank you both, Kevin and Kurt. I have two more avenues to chase down!

This is great, as I am no IT guy either, except by default. When you have a small practice, you wear many hats.

I just got an email that my new computers are arriving this week, so I hope to have this nipped in the bud so as to be able to have everyone up and running next week.

I appreciate the help.

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Thanks all - I have the 455CA and TiBook 667 - on a wireless network - was able to find my jetdirect ip address from your instructions - and printed pretty quickly -

what a relief! - not having to boot to OS9!

My only trouble was using ASME C (17x22) - it didn't show up in Page Setup, only showed Arch C (18x24)

I made a custom page size of ASME C and it all was OK in the dialogs but then previewed as 4 pages and only showed one color of the drawing

It printed fine using ASME D preset - I'll have to play more - in any case I use D and E size mostly

John Broderick

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One correction from my previous post:

It printed fine using **ARCH C** preset

(I didn't use ASME D as stated in the previous post)

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