SUMMARY: HP LaserJet-II as Sun Printer

From: Daryl Crandall (
Date: Mon Mar 02 1992 - 17:03:21 CST


OK, here's my summary about using Hewlett Packard LaserJet-II' as a PostScript
printer on Sun machines.

It works :-)

HP LaserJet-II's don't nativly support PostScript so a "PostScript cartridge"
has to be purchased to permit the printer to interpret PostScript data. Unfortunately there are two "gotcha's" with this approach. The cartridge
concept is conceptually elegant but you lose in performance. Several respondents indicated that the LaserJet-II with PostScript cartridge runs abysmally slow (slow is relative, our finaces may make it acceptable). The
other "gotcha" is that according to rumours I've heard before and confirmed by several respondents, is that you should get the slightly more expensive PostScript cartridge from HP directly instead of trying to save a few bucks and using anybody else's cartride. Otherwise you're asking for trouble. No details were identified but all were convinced of this by personal experience.

A final point is the amount of memory required for acceptable performance.
Many LaserJet-II's were sold with only 1 megabyte of memory. Many respondents
indicated that there should be a MINIMUM of 2 megabytes and several recommended
4 megabytes. Again, it was recommended that memory modules be purchased from
HP. (My experiences with HP have always indicated that this is a prudent decision when dealing with HP equipment.)

Standard TranScript filters and standard Sun lpr, lpd, lpq, etc. commands
work as expected.

We will be using these printers at 9600 baud serial, which was indicated as being a bit slow but acceptable. Several respondents recommended using parallel communications but gave no details on how this was accomplished. We
don't have any parallel outputs on any of our Suns so it's a point I'm not
interested in pursuing.

I don't know exactly how much this will cost per printer, but have a general
estimate of less than $500.00. (I hate being responsible for other people's money. I go out of my way to avoid dealing with money. My philosophy is:
        "If it's got a $ in front of it, then its a hex number" :-)"

I appologize for being late with this summary. For some strange reason, I'm expected to keep this sytem running as well as plan for the future.

   "System administration would be easy if it wasn't for all these users!"

   "The only time computers behave exactly as expected is when they're
    turned off."

        Daryl Crandall
        The Mitre Corporation

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