Commence primary ignition!

LaserJet 6MP Laser Printer

A recurrent element of anime is the old, buried spaceship rising up into the sky out after eons of disuse, vegetation falling of its majestic sides as it unearths itself. The engineer in me always wondered about technology that would still work after such a long disuse. Be it computers or motors, complicated technical devices don’t react well to disuse, so the feeling of restarting old devices is always something special and slightly exciting, especially if we are talking about large crafts. Alas, I doubt there is any old Battlestar buried around my place, only a highway and the of course bunkers, still I got to restart something ancient, or that least feels ancient.

A long time ago, somewhere around 1996, I bought a laser-printer, an HP Laserjet 6MP. At the time, this was quite a good printer, with a 600 DPI resolution and the ability to insert standard RAM SIMMs. And it has a Postscript interpreter- which many newer printers lack. Among the things I recovered from my brother’s place, was this printer. Connecting such printer to a modern laptop is a tad complicated, as the printer has neither USB nor Ethernet interface. I could have used the serial-USB adapter I own, but instead I used another piece of old equipement I recovered: a Dayna Etherprint T Ethernet-Localtalk bridge. The internal twisted pair of this bridge does not work, but it has an AAUI connector, so I used an external Twisted pair transceiver. I then connected the bridge to the printer using a short segment with one length of RJ11 cable and two LanFocus transceiver.

Everything connected I enabled Appletalk on the Ethernet port and lo and behold the LEDs on all the transceivers lit up, and the printer was recognised and setup. I sent a job, it took its time to be spooled, but finally the printer started humming and the paper came out, the print was crisp and clean. Everything worked fine, but then again this is an printer build by the HP of yore. I doubt that nowadays, printers have such a life expectancy…

2 thoughts on “Commence primary ignition!”

  1. tu sais, moi j’ai un LaserWriter 12/640 que j’ai meme réussi a faire fonctionner en mode TCP/IP ! Bon, ça m’a demander pas mal de recherche et quelques magouille vu que les outils de config ne marche que par port série sous Mac OS 7/8 mais je dois avouer que je suis toujours content de cette imprimante alors qu’elle doit bien avoir 200’000 pages au compteur !
    Mais c’est vrai qu’a l’époque, ce genre de truc était contruit pour durer. Pas sur que ça soit toujours le cas…

  2. Hello

    As a fresh user i just want to say hello to everyone else who uses this site :-D

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