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Martin Spenceley

Anyone Recommend an A1 Printer for VW/MacOS X

Question

I've just had a close call with a HP technical support who claim their 500PS is compatible with

Mac OS X 10.1.5! I've just found out it's not until Q3 2003! Unless I also buy an expensive RIP.

Can anyone recommend a A1 printer which will work

with Mac OS X 10.1 or 10.2 and Vectorworks 9.5.2 or above?

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Martin, please view the previous post, then follow the link found there. I won't guarantee it, but I think that the 500ps is fully supported, check it out. PLC

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We plot to an HP 800 PS from VW 9.5.3 on Mac OS10.2 with pretty good luck. The issue in OS 10 is getting the correct page size set up.

In OS 10.1.5 there is no custom page size setup in the print center driver, so you have to open the HP PPD in a text editor and edit one of the given page sizes to one you want, which is your nominal page size less the margins for your HP plotter. This is not so easy as the PPD document is 29 pages long. (Don't ask me why HP couldn't do this themselves, since it is their plotter documentation that gives you the page sizes anyway.)

OS 10.2 adds a custom page size tab to the Page Setup dialog, so you no longer need to hack HP's PPD. but even with this, it took a couple of days of trial and error to get the right page sizes set up. With the OS 10.2 custom page, do not use HP's recommended page sizes or you will find your drawings getting clipped.

I found that to plot a 30" x 42" sheet for example, I set up the custom page to a size of 29.99 x 41.99 with all margins set to 0. It doesn't seem to make sense.

Either way, I wish HP and Apple could get together and just provide a printing solution to plot standard sheet sizes without having to spend exhaustive days of setting them up.

All that said, however, once you get you paper cutting in the right place, and your image is not being clipped, the output from the plotter is great.

Best of luck,

PeterT

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Thanks for your suggestions. If you visit HP's forum, their admistrator does not recommend the 500PS unless you can wait.

I find the DesignJet 800 too expensive for a small setup we have. i.e. One computer!

I'm looking at a basic DesignJet 500 with Microspots' X-RIP. They say they can provide a complete solution, if it does not work. I'll send it all back!

Regards,

Martin

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martin, our small firm (3 computers) just purchased the hp 500ps. It looks great but we were falsely adviced. HP sales said it would work but the tech dudes tell us there is NO support for os X. Are you having any luck with microspots X-rip. We are thinking about sending it back. The designjet 800 is to much $$.

thanks chris

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We've finally purchased the Microspot X-Rip 1.1 and HP-500.

(You also need the HP-GL card since the X-RIP does not use the Plotters PS capability).

Unfortunately, we had a big problem getting it to work. Their software was pretty unresponsive/unhelpful when setup in the print center and there were lots of issues adding it (or other printers) to the print center once it was installed. It appears all the problems we had boiled down (eventually) to their Dongle not working properly! Once we received a replacement everything just worked without further tinkering....

We are using 10.1.5 with X-Rip 1.1, Microspot really wanted us to upgrade to Mac OS 10.2 since they say their software and Apple printing solutions are so much better. I upgraded our 1GHz DP PowerMac to 1 Gb memory. It appears X-Rip will take all the memory and CPU's it can get, printing to the Plotter did not take too long. Quite reasonable in fact. I also got good response and help from their technical support.

So far it has done well plotting the couple of test images (via iPhoto) and plots from Vectorworks. I'll post again after we've used it for a while.

Regards,

Martin

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