Friday, January 30, 2009

Fixing HP network printing on a Mac

Overall my switch to a mac osx has been a smooth one. There was however one nagging issue that has been plaguing me since i bought my mac. I have an old HP all in one printer/scanner at home that i use to mostly print off photos and art.

Unfortunately the drivers for the mac for this printer are ridiculous and cause about 40 pages of random error codes and gibberish to print out. This problem occurred regardless if i was printing through the network or directly attached.

At work we got a new hp color laserjet 3505n. Its a great printer however the software for network printing on it (for the pc) is kind of hit and miss. I of course had the same problems printing to that printer as before. It did not matter how i set up the printer (through bonjour, hpIP print, ip address) nothing worked using the drivers provided by HP. All of them printed out the same 40 page mess.

Generic postscript printer drivers come by default on the mac and those performed better however you are limited to black and white and the overal print quality is low.

I was unable to find anything describing the problem on apple or hp support sites so i set about trying to figure out a way around it.

I eventually found a generic colour postscript driver set pxlmono that was originally intended for linux but had been ported to mac generously by the Linux Foundation.

It is a little roundabout way to setup a printer as you have to install 3 seperate items but it prints amazingly well now.

Here are the links just download and install and then setup your printer however you want using the new drivers.

pxlmono-1.5.dmg (3.4MB)
The pxlmono package requires, but does not include, Foomatic-RIP and GPL Ghostscript for Mac OS X. Download these items from the links below, if necessary.
source code--PPDs generated by PPD-O-MATIC (3.0.0 or newer)
Foomatic-RIP (224KB)
The Foomatic-RIP package installs the necessary core runtime components (the foomatic-RIP CUPS filter and the foomatic-gswrapper) to enable printing with Foomatic machinery in Mac OS X. Foomatic-RIP is required for all users. It is not necessary to install Foomatic-RIP more than once.
source code included on disk image

Ghostscript for Mac OS X 10.5.x (Leopard), Mac OS X 10.4.x (Tiger), and Mac OS X 10.3.x (Panther)

gplgs-8.63-ub.dmg (26.4 MB)
GPL Ghostscript 8.63 is an open-source PostScript interpreter that includes integrated support for the CUPS printing system in Mac OS X. It is the replacement for ESP Ghostscript.
GPL Ghostscript is required for all users. It is not necessary to install Ghostsccript more than once.
source code

Ghostscript for Mac OS X 10.2.x (Jaguar)

gplgs-8.61-jaguar-ppc.dmg (17.1 MB)
GPL Ghostscript 8.61 is an open-source PostScript interpreter that includes integrated support for the CUPS printing system in Mac OS X. It is the replacement for ESP Ghostscript.
GPL Ghostscript is required for all users. It is not necessary to install Ghostsccript more than once.
source code

Please note: all packages require Mac OS X version 10.2 or newer.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

that could have been written in Ukranian for all the sense it made to me...
must be an Aussie thing :P

DW said...

It looks like you've solved a problem that many of us with the HP 3505n printer must be having with Snow Leopard. Any chance I could get you to post something a bit more step by step for those of us that aren't quite at this level of knowledge? Thanks.

Aaron said...

Sure DW I will put something more in depth together on Monday.