Laser printer on vintage Apple II

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vapor's picture
Last seen: 11 years 9 months ago
Joined: Jan 25 2010 - 23:49
Posts: 31
Laser printer on vintage Apple II

I know this is probably a rookie question, but I have several Apple II's and want to hook up a laser or inkjet rather than an imagewriter. Any suggestions on brand and model, and on the best way connect or cable it. I'll probably just hook it up to a IIgs, but it is next to a IIc+ and would be nice to set up both on one laser or inkjet.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: Dec 19 2003 - 18:53
Posts: 906
Serial To Parallel Conversion Needed?

What type of connector does the laser printer have? If it's parallel, then on the IIGS you could get a parallel interface card, or you could use a mini-din to parallel converter/connector cable (Orange Micro made these) (which you would need for a similar set-up on the //c+). You could then use an either a serial or parallel switch box with all three devices.

As far as drivers go, Postscript compatible software packages should do the trick. . . ? What were you wanting to print from, AppleWorks?

Last seen: 13 years 1 month ago
Joined: Jan 29 2011 - 05:10
Posts: 4
Re: Laser printer on vintage Apple II

Most any older HP LaserJet up to about the LJ 4100 will work fine with an Apple II. These typically have both serial and parallel ports, so whatever you got can be made to work, with the right cable.

Most LaserJets with a menu have a special menu item named "PCL" which has things like LINES=60 and so forth. This is for simulating a text-only lineprinter, and sets how many lines of text the LaserJet will fit onto a page before ejecting the sheet and scrolling onto the next sheet.

The LaserJet MAY accept simple HP-PCL graphics drawing codes, and postscript on an Apple II is practically ridiculous to contemplate. The LaseJet will mostly act as a really really REALLY high quality text-only daisywheel printer for your Apple II.

If you stop printing, and the LaserJet has not ejected the last page, you need to press the Form Feed button on the printer control panel to make the last page pop out. Pages normally only auto-eject when the page buffer is full of text.

Dog Cow's picture
Last seen: 4 years 10 months ago
Joined: Dec 11 2008 - 16:26
Posts: 554
Re: Laser printer on vintage Apple II

I have done this. It is like attaching a jet engine to a small car. Completely overkill, but fun to try.

Get a Laserwriter. Then make sure to install the ImageWriter emulator on it. This can be done using an Apple IIgs with the appropriate software (check the System 6.0.1 install disks). You might be able to do it with a Mac too.

Once the emulator is installed, Apple II programs can talk to the Laser as though it were an ImageWriter II. Documents automatically get converted to PostScript on the Laser.

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