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Speedy Gonzales

Printing in OS X w/VW 10, gimpprint and HP 455CA

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Given my journey to find out how to save $5K and not buy a new plotter, I wanted to share the assistance that stems from the BB and a follow-up with HP's Mac troubleshooter, Jerry.

I called today and in less than a half hour, Jerry patiently walked me through how to find the IP address to use on a networked set of Macs and a HP 455CA 24" plotter, using GimpPrint, and with HP's blessing.

Despite all the wonderful advice from this BB, it wasn't as straightforward as I was led to believe. It could be due to our set-up. I have noticed that some of you have similar set-ups and I hope that my sharing the step-by-step details will assist all of you out there searching for a similar answer.

Our set-up: multiple B/W G3s, 333Mhz with 512K RAM running OS X 10.2.3 Jaguar on an Ethernet network (Asante 100BaseT switch/hub) with DSL router with a 800Mhz G4 running OS X Server10.1. Printing is to our plotter with a JetDirect EX 300.

The steps: The factory set IP address for the device to use when setting it up under Print Center is 192.0.0.192. It might work for some of you in certain conditions, but in ours, we used one of the static IP addresses available to us from our ISP. Select one that is not in use or assigned and use it as your plotter's address. With than in hand, here is what I was instructed to do with great success:

1. Turn off the plotter and disconnect the power from the JetDirect.

2. Hold the Test button of the JetDirect down for about 7-10 seconds to do a hard reset.

3. Bring up your old HP LaserJet Utility and see if your plotter shows up. The default setting is AppleTalk. If it doesn't, then select the TCP/IP setting and toggle back and forth between these two settings. It should come up the second time after toggling!

4. Next, run the original HP RIP software (some folks have reportedly not been able to run the RIP under OS 9 Classic)

5. If your plotter doesn't show up immediately in the bottom window (lower left corner), then change the plotter type at the top, upper left. In my case, I went from the "D/A0" to the "E/A1" and back again. It's all about the toggling! It showed up!

6. Go back to the JetDirect and plug it back in and allow for it to cycle. This will now hold the new settings you made. Turn on your plotter and allow to cycle until the Ready light holds steady.

7. You can now Quit the LaserJet Utility and the HP RIP, not to mention OS 9 (force quit on 9).

8. Within OS X, you can now go to the Print Center and click Add Printer. (Keep in mind that you should have already installed the latest version of GimpPrint and CUPS, along with the latest version of Ghostscript, all available through http://sourceforge.net/.

9. Go to the IP setting and type in the IP address discussed. Leave the queue at the default. Then, go down below and select your gimpprint driver for your specific DesignJet plotter. You're done!

You will now see that IP address representing the plotter. I opened up an old V.9 VWA file in VWA 10 just to push my luck. Conversion went without a hitch and I went to the Print dialog and selected the plotter, and watched what happened. It first sends the complete file to the plotter, THEN it begins to plot, smoothly and effortlessly and without any errors!

Oh, bliss!

I hope this helps all of you out there, and thanks to lowvolt, Kurt and others who provided the leads and phone number to HP to finally get this to happen. [Cool]

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Congratulations Irving ! your now a IT kind of guy.

I find that my plotter still cuts 3/4" after the last image while using gimprint. So I just have a border on my drawings now that makes the cutter cut at 36" for "D" size.

No big deal.

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