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Mac Compatible Plotters

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i'm looking to purchase a new plotter. looking for something that is reliable, color, capable of handling 36" rolls and networkable. and it MUST be mac compatible. any suggestions?

thanks in advance.

craig

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Thanks Eric, this is good information. Please keep us informed. It would be great if HP were renewing it's commitment to the Mac.

My experience is that the hardware is great, but the software is poor or non-existent.

I think there are a lot of Mac users out there who are thinking of buying a 130, including me. So anything that you have to offer will be appreciated.

How is the speed on the 130? My HP455 takes about 15 minutes to print one D size sheet in greyscale line drawing.

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I did a test print of an 24x36 color site plan (maybe 1/5 or the page was colored) of a pdf made from VW. I think it probably took under 5 minutes to process and print.

I did have trouble with one print a few days ago where it had garbled part of the text and linework. In speaking to the HP tech, he mentioned this could be a postscript issue, and that I may want to look into the postscript driver instead of the standard one for HP. I honestly haven't had time to follow up on that yet.

We bought this printer as a supplement for large format color, and not our primary source of output. We do 99% of our black and white printing through a local service bureau. I just wanted to mention this because our needs are probably less than a lot of other users out there.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks Eric. My 455 works great except for the speed issue. It would appear that your 130 is 3 times faster.

GimpPrint has made the difference between the plotter working under OSX or not working at all. So I am thankful for that. But the speed is definately slower than when it operated under OS9 using the HP driver.

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quote:

Originally posted by Kurt Magness:

you should be able to create any page size you want with the epson. I have created many different custom pages/ rotation etc. and used them with my epson 9600 not so with my HP455

I'm absolutely certain we cannot print A2 across the role. I'd be interested to know if you can, and how.

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Has anyone had any experience with Canon wide format printers. They seem to be one of the best companies with regard to keeping their software up to date.

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Christiaan,

That's not a problem we've had.

I've occasionally used the printer utility to check ink levels (to save me a trip to the back room) and such, but most true utilitiy functions we've done directly at the printer controls: nozzle checks & cleaning, alignment, etc. So maybe our experience is atypical.

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(This is a repeat posting from another thread.)

We bought and installed a non-postscript Designjet 500 with an Ethernet card about 3 months ago and despite what HP's website said, the 500 without postscript is supported by HP for use with OS X 10.4; and HP provides drivers. No need for gimp, Ghost Script or setting up a print server. Installed and worked since day one, first time. The printer is on our network and has become invisible technology; we say print and it does.

Three disadvantages so far: 1) Unlike HP's Windows counterpart, their OS X driver does not allow plot rotation, so we are constantly wasting paper. 2) Light gray fills print with a v. slight red cast. 3) Not HP's fault, but VW 11 show diagonal line weight problems on this printer as well.

The latest OS X drivers (3.1 - Nov 9, 2005) are available on HPs website. You can download the drivers onto your laptop, bounce along to your local dealer and try plotting from VW before buying.

When we bought our 500, HP also threw in free paper & ink and offered a 30-day money back trial.

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Actually the other thing with Epson 7600 is the EPSON Printer Utility. It's horribly unstable and constantly plays havoc with our machines any time we try to use it.

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I to am looking for a plotter that is Mac compatible for printing mostly large format line drawings. I am looking at the HP500 and am wondering if I need the Postscript version or not.

Can someone please explain why I would need a postscript plotter versus a non-postscript plotter?

Thanks

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aaronmason,

It used to be that it was necessary to get the postscript option because the plotter manufacturers did not produce MacOS native drivers for their machines. Most, but not all, do provide them now. In your case, DO NOT spend the extra money for the PS. The HP500 will work great for you. But might I suggest that you spend the extra money on an internal 10/100 Base-T card (only way the MacOS driver will work on an ethernet network) and as much additional memory as you can afford. It helps things move faster.

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quote:

Originally posted by jwouellette:

aaronmason,

...But might I suggest that you spend the extra money on an internal 10/100 Base-T card (only way the MacOS driver will work on an ethernet network)...

I am not sure that I understand this. 10/100 is standard on most Macs and Gigabit is available on newer models. Why does one need to install an internal ethernet card?

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The HP internal I/O card has room for RAM onboard and inserts into the back of the plotter. You can add another RAM card for more memory, but it'll cost ya. The additional memory helps upload more of the data into the plotter and off your machine. The HP is slowest in data transmission/translation, while I find the actual printing speed quite acceptable.

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Thanks Jeffrey. Now that makes sense.

I have a HP 455 with a JetDirct box. I take it that these boxes are no longer needed and have been replaced by using an ethernet card.

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The HP 455CA will work with the HP MacOS Driver and the JetDirect box. That is the setup we currently have in this office. I the previous office I was in we had a HP500 with an external print server box (Netgear). There was 1 PC and 2 Macs on the network. The PC worked fine with AutoCAD, but the Macs required a third party software solution -ESP Print Pro. It wasn't perfect, it wasn't painless to setup, but it worked.

The "new" HP driver for MacOS would not support the external box and required that we purchase an internal I/O card for full cross-platform compatibility. But it also made color printing from the Mac much more reliable and B&W output faster.

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Posted this under a different topic, maybe you guys have some insight?

We're printing with an old HP 455CA using Gutenprint 5.0.0 beta, which I just got up and running a few days ago in OS Tiger for VW 11. Now, in VW12, we're having problems printing sheets in the proper orientation.

For instance, I want to print an ARCH-D sheet, 36Wx24H, and when set up properly (I thought) with the right sheet size selected and the landscape option selected, it prints portait. But ONLY when printing from a sheet layer with viewports. When printing from a design layer, it seems to work fine.... Does anybody know how to alleviate this, short of reorienting all the sheets to portrait? (which worked, but what a pain in the arse?)

thnx

heather

PowerPC G4 OS10.4

VW12

HP 455CA w/ Gutenprint5.0.0 beta

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