SUMMARY: Needed: Printcap entry for Apple Laserwriter IIf

From: Nick Murray (
Date: Thu Jan 23 1992 - 11:37:18 CST

 At the begining of last week I posted a question about connecting an Apple
LaserWriter IIf to a Sun 3/160.

 I received a total of 13 replies, many of which were requests for the same

 However, there were some useful leads :

> From: Mike Raffety <miker@com.sbcoc>
> MTIs are notoriously unreliable ... can you (at least temporarily) switch
> back to ttyb, to see if the printer works OK?

 I connected the printer back to ttyb on the 3/160, but it didn't improve

> From: Lawson A S <>
> We have also just bought a IIf replacement for a IINT, and use it on a
> serial line connected to a 4-65. The printcap entry is..
> PSlpt|pslpt|Computer Science Laserwriter on 5a:\
> :lp=/dev/ttya:rp=PSlpt:rm=PSlpt:sd=/usr/spool/PSlpt:\
> :br#9600:rw:fc#0000374:fs#0000003:xc#0:xs#0040040:mx#0:sf:sb:\
> :rs:\
> :if=/usr/local/lib/ps/psif:\
> :of=/usr/local/lib/ps/psof:gf=/usr/local/lib/ps/psgf:\
> :nf=/usr/local/lib/ps/psnf:tf=/usr/local/lib/ps/pstf:\
> :rf=/usr/local/lib/ps/psrf:vf=/usr/local/lib/ps/psvf:\
> :cf=/usr/local/lib/ps/pscf:df=/usr/local/lib/ps/psdf:
> which looks remarkably similar to your own.
> We use /usr/lib/lpd from sun-patches 100305-02. Also, I changed psif so
> that BANNERFIRST=1 and BANNERLAST=0. Other way round did give problems.

 This is effectively the same as my printcap except neither accounting (af)
nor logging (lf) are performed. Using this printcap the printer worked as
well as the old IInt had. However, since we require accounting and logging
to the machine's console is unsatisfactory, this was not a solution for me.
 I also installed the new lpd daemon from the latest version I could find of
the patch, 100305-03, but this did not help.

> From: Kanthan Pillay <svpillay@edu.Princeton>
> The default configuration for Apple printers is to communicate through
> the Appletalk interface. Have you reset this?

 The IIf can be connected to both the 25-pin RS232 serial port and the
Appletalk interface at the same time. There is no separate setting for
choosing between the 2 interfaces.

> From: claude@fr.genethon.genethon (Claude Scarpelli)
> I have experienced many problems with printcap and serial connections
> (Most of the time, we use MacIntosh connected printers, through
> CAp 6.0, with no problem)
> The better results are obtain (at least for me) with the following
> printcap entry:
> :br#9600:\ (19200 may be usable)
> :rw:mx#0:sh:pw#80:\
> ms=cs8,-parity,ixon:\ (8 bits, no parity, XON/XOFF)
> :if=/usr/local/lib/lsdrv:\
> and some other irrelevant entries.
> $ cat /usr/local/lib/lsdrv
> #!/bin/sh
> /usr/bin/cat
> /usr/5bin/echo '\04' (send End Of Job to the PostScript printer)

 This did work, but doesn't use any of the TranScript filters, so I wasn't
happy with this solution.

> From: Paul Quare <>
> In USENET Comp.lang.postscript there is an article referercing a patch for
> Transcript for IIf and IIg printers.(If you can't find it I've saved a
> copy).Might be what you need?

 At this point it looked like the problem was with the TranScript software
rather than the printcap entry itself.

 I was actually running a very old version (2.0) of the Transcript software and
it appears that some problem with the accounting and logging performed by
the filters were to blame. When the 'lf' and 'af' entries are taken out from
the printcap entry, the problems disappeared.

 I managed to get hold of version 2.1.1 of the TranScript software which
included software for all machine types.

 I installed this software on our Sun 4/380 and the printer is working
perfectly. It appears that the problem was due to an incompatibility between
the printer and the TranScript version 2.0.

The final printcap used was :


 The switch on the back of the IIf printer was set to '2' (19200 baud).
 The cable used (25 pin on the IIf to 9 pin on ttyc of 4/380) was wired
as follows:

       TXD 2---------------------------2 RXD
       RXD 3---------------------------3 TXD
       GND 7---------------------------5 GND
LaserWriter IIf 25-pin Sun 4/380 ttyc 9-pin
 For your information, I made the following changes to the postscript
prologue files (in /usr/tran/sparc/lib) to give what users at my site
consider better formatted output:
     line 8 : /StartPage{/sv save def 30 780 moveto}def
 changed to : /StartPage{/sv save def 30 800 moveto}def
    line 15 : /StartPage{/svpg save def 0 25 translate .05 dup scale}def
 changed to : /StartPage{/svpg save def 0 32 translate .05 dup scale}def
    line 19 : /Landscape{90 rotate 0 -15840 translate}def
 changed to : /Landscape{90 rotate 0 -16000 translate}def
     line 8 : /xi {0 72 11 mul translate 72 resolution div dup neg scale 0 0 moveto
 changed to : /xi {0 72 11.666667 mul translate 72 resolution div dup neg scale 0 0 moveto
    line 11 : /xiL {72 8.25 mul 72 11 mul translate -90 rotate
 changed to : /xiL {72 8.25 mul 72 11.666667 mul translate -90 rotate

|Nick Murray email <> |
|Computer Officer |
|Dept.of Computing Science |
|University of Aberdeen |
|King's College |
|Aberdeen AB9 2UB |
|Scotland UK |

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Sep 28 2001 - 23:06:34 CDT