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plotting problems VW 10, OS X.2.4, hp 330



I am an architect who has been trying to switch over to VW 10/OS X 2.4 from VW 8.5/OS 9.2 for many months now and I can't yet plot from the ethernet network. I have two G4s on the network, one with old stuff, one with new. They connect to a HP jetdirect 500x print server through a linksys 10/100 switch. I have a HP 330 plotter and and HP cp1700 printer connected to the server. My old software worked flawlessly since 1997 using PowerPlot.

I wanted to try Gimp Print, but my plotter is not listed as supported and I don't understand IP addressing. I spent the money for MacroEnter X-rip and the first version (that actually plotted by way of os9 emulation) was worthless and non-functional. With the new version I've been able to plot, but only if I pull the plotter off the network and use a unidirectional USB to parallel cable. I've been told by MacroEnter that I need to switch to IP addressing for my network, but my print server can't be configured under Mac OS. I bought a windows box just to configure the server and then IT guy I hired to help me said I need to hook up everthing by USB. Then my 1700 printer stopped showing up on the network too. So now I've got both the printer and plotter functioning by USB direct to the G4 with OS X, but no network. Do I need a new plotter? A new print server ? A new profession?

An "expert" told me that I could use a HP 300x server and that that was configurable under OS X. HP tech Support has no idea. They think that I should use a USB print server (310X) and attach a USB to parallel converter. Kevin mentioned on this forum that his router assigns addresses under DHCP. If I use a router instead of a switch would I not have to worry about addressing my print server? It has no address now under DHCP.

At this point I don't trust the opinions of anybody who doesn't actually have a functioning system. So my question is: If you were starting from zero, what combination of switch/router, print server, plotter driver and lower cost monochrome plotter would you choose to use with OSX and VW10 ? Also, can anyone recommend a book or web site that explains IP addressing in the context of Macintosh?

I used to think I was good with computers, but now am a baffled.

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No one else seems to want to take a stab so I will. Don't go out and buy anything else just yet. We should be able to get this to work.

First off, I don't have a real strong handle on your network topography. The question I have is whether you are connected to the internet and if so is it through your linksys switch or other ethernet device. Are there any other ethernet/airport devices connected in the office? What model of linksys switch is it?

We do not have an hp jetdirect 500x server, nor either of the printer/plotters that you have. So, I fall into your category of someone who might be useless-- as it appears that everyone else who has been giving you advice is.

IP addressing is fairly simple. Essentially you want to create a private IP network. Your linksys switch is (probably) dumb-- it won't distrubute ip addresses for you or anything like that. Tell me the model and I will check it out.

From the manuals on HP's site for the 500x it looks like the sucker should be configurable through a built-in webserver, if it has a recent firmware. You can get your current config by hitting the test button. It should print a config page to whatever printer/plotter is hooked up to parallel port #1. This should tell you if you have firmware x.07.03 or later (according to their website). The trick to hitting that webserver would be setting up your IP settings in OSX correctly.

According to HP's site the card should default to (which is a little odd I think). So, check the config page you just printed and see if this is correct. Next, go to your G4 with OSX. Open System Preferences and click on the Network icon. Leave Location set to "Automatic" for the time being. Next, pull down the menu next to "show" so that "Network Port Configurations" is shown.

Select "Built-in Ethernet" and hit "Duplicate." Rename it to anything you would like. Pull down the Network Port Configuration menu to your new ethernet configuration.

Under the first tab (TCP/IP) make sure configure is set to "manually"

Enter the following:

IP address:

Subnet Mask:


You might have to try something else like as router. The default address that HP has is a little messed up since it is not in a designated private ip space (one of which would start 192.168.x.x)

Once you have done this hit "apply now." Drag the new configuration to the top of the configuration list and make sure that it is checked. You could also uncheck any other configurations. Open network utility from your utilities folder under applications and see if you can ping the jetdirect server at You can also just open the terminal and type "ping -c 5" without the quotations.

So, if you can hit the jetdirect you should now be able to either configure it from the built in webserver or a telnet session.

I don't want to get too far ahead of myself here. Try some of that out and let me know how it works.

As far as what to do if you were starting from scratch... I really think that the investment in a postsript plotter is worth it. Software based postscript emulation is risky. Gimp-print has made things much better since you are not totally reliant on commercial drivers-- but as you know not everything is supported yet.

Anyway, let me know what firmware version your jetdirect is and if you were able to ping the jetdirect from your G4 and I will try to give you some directions as to how to set up your private ip network.

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This topic is actually well covered in other posts on this board. A few months ago a fellow was trying to do the same with a 200 series HP plotter. Do a search on the boards and you should find all of the info you need on this including how to find your IP address and page setup.

I am running three macs with a Linksys Etherfast Cable router and airport. Powerbook and G4 are OSX. They print fine using Gimp Print to my HP 455. I have the router set up as a DHCP so that it assigns IP addresses dynamically to the computers.

I have been running this setup for many months without trouble. Your plotter is most likely supported by Gimp Print.

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Actually, none of HP's 300 series DesignJets are listed as supported on the Gimp-Print pages. The 300 series does not appear to have any support for Mac OS-- so no HP utilities (ie LaserJet Utility) for the Mac OS would have shipped with the plotter. Maybe someone else knows if the HP utilities for MacOS support this plotter and whether the machine has to be booted into Classic...

The other issue is that unless hmd3's linksys is a cable/dsl router as well as a switch it is not likely to have a DHCP server embedded-- so the private ip network has to be manually set up with some software support-- or another piece of hardware needs to be purchased.

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Before you do that you might want to try a software DHCP server-- just to see if your jetdirect can obtain an address from it. You can try the "Sharing" item in System Prefs or you can try this DHCP server: http://www.faisal.com/software/DHCP-3.0.readme.html

main source distribution here: http://www.isc.org/products/DHCP/dhcp-v3.html

There is some configuration, but not much. Good luck.

[ 05-20-2003, 07:25 PM: Message edited by: aersloat ]

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