DTP


 
Lively discussions on the graphic arts and publishing — in print or on the web


Go Back   Desktop Publishing Forum > General Discussions > Hardware & Gadgets

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-21-2008, 03:41 PM   #1
marlene
Staff
 
marlene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,419
Default Two parallel printers fight over one port

My current PC has only one parallel port. It currently serves my trusty HP LaserJet 5000.

Someone gave me an old HP color Laserjet 4550, which is also parallel (Mr. Excitement says its parallel connector thingy is not "standard," FWIW).

What's the best way to rig things up so both printers can be connected to the PC at the same time? Should I try one of those parallel-to-USB cables (assuming I find one with the right kind of connector for the 4550)? I saw one at Staples but it was $48, so it stayed at Staples. Not sure it was the right kind anyway.)

Or is there some kind of switch box I can get?

Mr. E's suggestion, by the way, is to hook up the 4550 to the laptop, so every time I want to print to it, I have to fire up the old, slow laptop and transfer the file to it. And in some cases I'll need to create a PDF first since I don't have a lot of apps installed on the laptop.

Anyway, that method just seems like too much trouble (like many of Mr. E's brilliant ideas).

mxh
marlene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2008, 05:21 PM   #2
Howard Allen
Member
 
Howard Allen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 824
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by marlene View Post
(Mr. Excitement says its parallel connector thingy is not "standard," FWIW).
Oh, boy--sounds like one of those "mini Centronix" connectors that HP used on some of its printers. Good luck finding an adapter for that--I tried several years ago and gave up.

Quote:
Mr. E's suggestion, by the way, is to hook up the 4550 to the laptop, so every time I want to print to it, I have to fire up the old, slow laptop and transfer the file to it. And in some cases I'll need to create a PDF first since I don't have a lot of apps installed on the laptop.

Anyway, that method just seems like too much trouble (like many of Mr. E's brilliant ideas).
I think if I was backed into that corner, I'd go with Mr. E's idea. Can you network the two machines together (say, with a crossover cable) and use the laptop as a "print server"?

Hopefully someone else here can give you a better idea.

   
__________________
Howard

OSX 10.10.5
Howard Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2008, 09:27 PM   #3
marlene
Staff
 
marlene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,419
Default

I uploaded an image (from the HP manual) of the printer's parallel port in my reply to Terrie's message. I don't know if it's a mini Centronix or not.

Quote:
Can you network the two machines together (say, with a crossover cable) and use the laptop as a "print server"?
If Terrie's cable won't work, I guess I could think about the print server thing, but that may very well require a level of technical expertise that does not exist in this household!

mxh
marlene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2008, 09:57 PM   #4
JVegVT
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: northern New England, USA
Posts: 510
Default

If you have a spare PCI expansion slot on the motherboard, you could buy a PCI card with a parallel port. Then you could have both printers accessible from the computer. This is assuming you can attach the printer to a standard parallel port (if you can't, you couldn't attach it to a laptop or other computer anyway).
--Judy M.

   
__________________
Registered Linux User #397786
Being productive with VectorLinux 7 Standard
JVegVT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2008, 11:23 PM   #5
marlene
Staff
 
marlene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,419
Default

I can't remember if this PC has an open PCI slot. But I suspect it doesn't. We added a Firewire card, and I think that goes in a PCI slot, right?

I'm too lazy to check ... I'd rather not install a card, anyway. I'd have to get Mr. E to do it, and he's full of excuses these days.

mxh
marlene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2008, 10:01 PM   #6
JVegVT
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: northern New England, USA
Posts: 510
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by marlene View Post
If Terrie's cable won't work, I guess I could think about the print server thing, but that may very well require a level of technical expertise that does not exist in this household!
mxh
There's no more technical expertise required than there is for printing to a printer attached to another computer on a small network. The down side to using a computer as a print server is that you need to have that computer turned on whenever you want to print to the attached printer.
--Judy M.

   
__________________
Registered Linux User #397786
Being productive with VectorLinux 7 Standard
JVegVT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2008, 11:24 PM   #7
marlene
Staff
 
marlene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,419
Default

Well, I really don't want to keep the laptop on all the time. It would take up valuable desk space, especially since I don't want to pile things on it.

mxh
marlene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2008, 10:08 AM   #8
Howard Allen
Member
 
Howard Allen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 824
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by marlene View Post
I uploaded an image (from the HP manual) of the printer's parallel port in my reply to Terrie's message. I don't know if it's a mini Centronix or not.
Yup, looks like the one.

I just googled "mini centronix" and "connector" and this page was the first thing that came up. See the description and also note the link, part way down the page, for "centronix to mini centronix adapter". That might be what you need to get Terrie's parallel-USB converter to work. NOTE! I know nothing about this mail order place, so caveat emptor.

   
__________________
Howard

OSX 10.10.5
Howard Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2008, 11:13 PM   #9
marlene
Staff
 
marlene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,419
Default

So you mean Terrie's cable has a regular (maxi?) centronics connector and I'd still need a centronix to mini centronix adapter? Those are cheap enough to try. I found one on eBay for $7 including shipping.

Have we established that nobody makes a mini-centronics to USB cable?

mxh
marlene is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2008, 11:16 AM   #10
Howard Allen
Member
 
Howard Allen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 824
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by marlene View Post
Have we established that nobody makes a mini-centronics to USB cable?
Probably not. At least, I couldn't find one online. I suspect you'll have to use the regular parallel to USB adapter plus the regular to mini crossover adapter.

   
__________________
Howard

OSX 10.10.5
Howard Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A printers view PeterArnel Print Production & Automation 0 01-17-2008 01:52 PM
A printers weeks PeterArnel Print Production & Automation 1 03-06-2007 01:35 PM
Color laser printers Steve Rindsberg Images 93 10-25-2006 02:44 PM
Printers faults PeterArnel Print Production & Automation 12 06-12-2006 11:36 AM
Printers Extra's PeterArnel Print Production & Automation 6 05-05-2005 10:50 AM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Contents copyright 2004–2014 Desktop Publishing Forum and its members.