SUMMARY: hooking up an HP Color LaserJet w/ ps option (parallel).

From: Barry Leibson (
Date: Wed Apr 26 1995 - 11:28:54 CDT

On April 18th I wrote about my woes getting an HP Color LaserJet to
behave. (letter appended).

I received two responses from the list and some help from my local buddy
Jon Finke at RPI.

Both responses mentioned, among other possibilities, postscript time-out or
reset problems and that seems to be what it was. A sprinking of ^D's fixed
the problem. We were sending a couple of them by way of a printcap tr, but
when we had one prefixed to each job by writing a little if filter the problem
went away.

We also, for good measure, changed our postscript driver (we produce a lot of
our own postscript) to add a ^D at the end of each job, but my testing seemed
to indicate the if filter is sufficient, and that, for one file, when I
removed the if filter, having a trailing ^D was not sufficient.

Here is the if filter we're using:

#! /bin/sh

# echo a contrl-D, cat the file out, and exit.

echo "" <- control-D in there.

Thanks to

George Cameron <> (Frode Stromsvag)

for putting me on the right track. I am very grateful.

The only mystery in this is why this didn't come up earlier with our
HP 4si.


-----original posting----

I've been struggling with a new Color LaserJet for the last couple of days.
I've trying to hook it to the parallel port of a sparc5 running sunos 4.1.3.

The symptom is that it errors off on most jobs. I've turned on the
option that prints postscript errors and generated errors like these:

ERROR: ioerror


ERROR: undefined

The second case seems to point to a swallowed '%' at the top of the file.

I've narrowed down the problem considerably with two experiments (following
a lot of ineffectual troubleshooting -- sometimes I wonder if I'm in the
right field).

I cat'd a succession of files to the device (/dev/bpp0) successfully. This
seems to eliminate the printer, the cable, the postscript files themselves,
and the parallel port on the sparc5 to which it is attached, and point to a
/etc/printcap error or the like.

I brought the printer over to a virtually identical sparc5 and unplugged
the HP Laserjet 4si it has been driving successfully for a long time and
plugged in this new printer. The problem did not go away. This
seems to eliminate my printcap entry. Or, at least, a printcap entry that
has been working great on a 4si, failed on the Color printer.

I thought maybe it was something in the way I configured the printer via
the front-panel. I called HP. I guess there isn't much to configure on
that panel. The only thing they could suggest, and it doesn't make much
sense to me, is to reconfigure it "lock it" into postscript, instead of
asking it to auto-detect postscript files, by looking at the first couple
of bytes.

I hope one of you has gone down this path before. A sample printcap
entry that works for you would be useful.

Here's mine, by the way:

        :tr=:\ <-- there should be two control-D's hidden in here.

Your help would be most appreciated!! I'll summarize.


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