View Full Version : Network printing on a mixed network

01-30-2008, 03:56 AM

I have recently "inherited" an iBook and have also recently bought a new MacBook. The ibook runs OS X 10.3.9. The MacBook will run the newest version of OS X.
I have a small home network already set up (I also have 2 win XP machines). The network runs via a Belkin cable router (as I have cable broadband) and works fine.
The windows Machines are wired to the router as is the iomega NAS. The iBook connects wirelessly and so will the MacBook.

I also have an HP PSC 750 all-in-one printer which until a few months back was connected directly to one of the windows machines. Recently I bought a Hawking Technology print server (HPS1U) which allowed me to connect the printer to the network and access it from both windows machines.

Having got the Macs I have tried to access the printer from them but have not been successful - all it prints is random characters. The print server only supports postscript printers for mac os x and the printer isn't a postscript printer.
I have tried using IPP printing but it doesn't work.

I have done various google searches and must admit I have no idea what people are talking about when they say things like CUPS and gimp-print.

So, finally, to my question: Is there a cheap-ish print server that I can buy to replace the one I already have which will allow me to print to my HP PSC 750 from both the windows pcs and the macs easily i.e. without having to understand CUPS, gimp-print, postscript or anything else particularly technical?!

I have seen that Belkin are selling a few print servers (including a USB hub network adaptor) and Linksys sell one which also acts as an ethernet swicth/hub which would be good if it works as I have run out of ethernet ports on my router as I also use powerline networking to get to parts of my house that wireless doesn't reach.

All advice greatly appreciated.


01-30-2008, 08:56 AM
The random characters you see are postscript. All print output on OS X starts out as postscript. A print driver must translate postscript to the language used by the printer.
On OS X there are two kinds of drivers (not like Windows where a driver is a driver): Carbon and CUPS. In Carbon drivers, the developer gets to specify what comm protocol the driver is for. The HP driver for your printer is a Carbon driver, specifically limited to USB. When you try to print via a non-supported network comm protocol, what you get is the raw postscript.

Print servers are comm devices -- they can't change what the driver can or can't do. (Airport Express is an exception and could work for you. See below)

Your printer is supported by an open source CUPS driver, hpijs. Install all 3 parts:

In theory, a network USB hub could work if there are OS X drivers for that. The way Airport Express printer sharing works is similar in concept - USB driver output is redirected by software to the device/server.

01-30-2008, 09:09 AM
A further question - once i have installed the extra drivers you mention, should I follow the instructions that came with the print server for adding a printer (which was successful in connecting to my printer but printed in raw postscript) or do I need to add it in some other way?

Also, my particular printer was not listed in the pull down list on the printer setup utility (probably becuase it is not an HP postscript printer) so it chose generic printer instead. Will the HP now show up in the pull down list or do I still go with generic printer?


01-30-2008, 07:05 PM
Yes, the way you addressed the print server/printer combo before seems to have been right, so use that.

Your printer's PPD may have been accidentally left out of the package. If so, get it here:

Then when you add the printer in Printer Setup/Print & Fax, choose "Other" for model which will bring up a file open dialog - choose the downloaded PPD.