SUMMARY: waiting for sparc printer to come ready <offline?>

From: Dan A. Zambon (
Date: Wed Mar 15 1995 - 05:44:50 CST

Hi Netters!
This is a summary for a problem we have been encountering with a sparc printer and getting
the infamous "waiting for printer to become ready <is it offline, you nitwit?>" which we
have all seen over and over again....sigh....

My original post was:
Hi Netters,
After wrestling with this printer problem a bit and not having a lot of luck (or fun)
with it, I thought it might be time to quiz the experts.

Local sparc printer attached to a Sparc2 via an Sbus interface card. Sparc2
has 64MB, CD ROM and the Sparc printer, and is running 4.1.3U1. NewsPrint V2.0x is

Intermittently, the printer will not print jobs being sent to it, only queue them up.
It will work fine for days, then quit. The following

lpc> status sparc
        queuing is enabled
        printing is enabled
        3 entries in spool area
        waiting for sparc to become ready (offline ?)

usually means the all that needs to be done is remove pending jobs and do a "restart all".
This used to work fine, but lately it has had no effect. And yes, we have reset the paper
tray and made sure the paper size slide magnets are set correctly. We even read it a
bedtime story and threatened it with physical abuse, but.....

Any thoughts on this? This should be an easy one for you on a Monday morning. Thanks for your time and
I will post a summary if there is enough interest.

Many of you said that patches fixed the problem:
        -"The jumbo patch will clear a lot of UFO type problems."
        -"My problem was solved by NeWSPrint patch #102113."
        -"Try patch #100925-11 or 101678"
        -"Make sure you have patch #101434 loaded."

Others mentioned rebooting the host computer and the printer, which we have done to cure
the problem before, but I don't consider it to be a usable fix.

Still others mentioned:
        -An energy feature implemented in NeWSPrint, where once the printer is at the idle
         point, NeWSprint shuts down the fuser which disables the printer. Once the printer is
         accessed again, the fuser should restart as a print job is issued. (patch is available
         for this problem).

        -One person suggested a hardware problem with the port I am using. Assuming this means the
         SBUS card, I have thought about this. We have seen some SBUS cards go south for the
         winter in our systems. I have not substituted the board as yet because of the status
         of the problem (intermittent) and the absence of an additional SBUS card to us. One
         person mentioned that I should give the "interface interconnect cable a wiggle" which
         does make sense, as I have seen many screwy things happen when cables are "just out"
         or boards are "barely seated". But does this mean wiggle the actual cable, or perhaps
         just do a little dance (ie wiggle) myself in plain view of the cable....:>)

        -One respondee said he saw this problem on occasions when he had to change the size
         of the paper while another print job was being submitted. Another asked if my network
         contained MACs or PCs who have access to the printer (we do, but I don't think it was
         causing the difficulties).

        -Many stated to restart /etc/Load.SPARCprinter as called by rc.local. Our configuration is slightly
         different, but I was able to find this in our system.

        -Two people sent detailed information that proved to be very informative. One
         explained how to unload then reload the driver using modstat (thanks Susan!) and
         another sent a previous SUMMARY (thanks Paul!) that gave me ideas as well.

        Of course the minute I sent out this post, the printer quit its nagging problem. I
        believe the best course for me to take is to upgrade the NewsPrint package to the
        most current release we have (2.2A). Then if it still gives intermittent problems, I will
        attempt most of the suggestions (other than the patches, as they should not be
        necessary with the current release). I will post any additional findings.

        As always this newsgroup has been a vast source of valuable information. I do appreciate all
        the time and effort of those of you who have responded. My special thanks go to: (Josh Personius)
        SrA Chatch Ingersoll, USAF, (Wayne Hinton)
        polaris2! (Buck Cordero) (Duncan Laidlaw) (Paul A. Hepp) (Allan Warrior) (Nathan Cooper)
        Christopher L. Barnard" <>
        Susan M. Menig" <> (Cindy Yoho)
        John Dyson <jdyson@AHPCA.HPC.ORG>
        and anyone else I might have missed.

Thanks again,
Dan A. Zambon email:
Air Force Institute of Technology phone: (513) 255-6565, ext
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering 4280
Wright Patterson AFB, Oh 45433-7765 fax: (513) 476-4055


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