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Printing on a HP500PS Designjet issues

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Printing on a Designjet 500PS using Macintosh is not satisfying: the software rip is very slow, with the standard memory configuration you'll get jagged output and you'll waste a lot of time changing your drawing a little (leaving away some lines sometimes helps) or simply: the plotter does stop plotting after a few inches.

I contected HP support, they could not help. They had to admit that their product is not usable with Mac OS for the everyday-business. After weeks, the solution was that HP gave me an E42-Pentium 4 PC with Win2k installed, it serves now as a print server and everything is working very well. I have an Output quality which I have never seen before on my plotter.

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We, too have an iMac office plotting to a shared DJ500PS, and use RIP software. I admit that ater a few dozen drawings, the software and host machine require restarting, but we use it for all of our plots with reasonable success and output about which we have no complaints -- even image output.

Nonetheless, how are you printing from your Macs to the PC host?

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Here's a short how to:

Cables: Ethernet connection and a parallel cable.Software:

On the PC: Make shure you ha a Windows 2k version or NT4 on which you can install the Appletalk protocoll, and file & print services for Macintosh. Maybe it even works without Appletalk, just TCP IP - so you can use a simple Win XP or 2k Pro. Install the HP-PS-Rip-software. Then restart. Then share the new printer. And: 256 Mb built-in are really enough, 128 Mb is to few.

On the mac, make shure you have the right PPD's under system folder/extensions/printer descriptions.

On the mac, you should create a new Desktop Printer using the LaserWriter Utility. It's also nice that you now can use Apple-Laserwriter software instead of Adobe PS-Driver. It works great with OS X also.

It's alos that the HP-PS-Rip-Software on the PC is much further developped than the Mac version. You can simultaneously print and rip. And it's incredibly fast. Even very complex drawings start printing just 20 seconds after they got out of the Mac.

So buying a cheap old PC even with let's say 300 MHz saves you a lot of time and error-output.

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