Install HP Jetdirect Printer on IBM AIX

I need to get an HP Designjet 111 using an HP JetDirect connected to an AIX system running version 4.

I've gone through and installed a print queue using smit by going through the instructions here:
http://www.evolunix.com/phpBB2/techdocs/90605207114716.html

I did not have to install the drivers per the instructions as they were already installed.

I was successful in installing the hpps and hppcl queues per the instructions, but when i send a job to the printer, nothing happens. I don't see anything in the queues and I receive no error messages that I have found.

I was successfully able to print to this plotter from several other windows machines, using default settings, I just can't get it to work on our AIX boxes.

Any ideas?

Thanks a lot.
mcjim2kAsked:
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DansDadUKCommented:
As far as I can make out, the printer only supports the PCL3GUI Page Description Language (PDL).

I'm not familiar with AIX, but the queue names hpps and hppcl might suggest that the print jobs intended for these queues use the PostScript and PCL5 PDLs respectively.
Note that PCL3GUI is not a subset of PCL5.
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hdhondtCommented:
With PCL5 or PostScript printers, the OS/application sends the printer a series of commands that tell what should be where on the page. The printer then converts those commands into dots on the paper. For example, the command to print a letter "A" is converted into the inkdots that make up the A.

PCL3 printers are similar to GDI printers. With these printers, it is the operating system that has to convert the page into dots on the paper. All the printer receives is a bitmap. With these printers all the intelligence needs to be supplied by the OS.

As unix does not have callable drivers in the way that Windows or MacOS have, the drivers need to be built into every application. Hence, under unix the standard printer supported is PostScript. PCL printers are supported as they can print simple text (if you send a plain text file to a PostScript printer, you'll get nothing, not even get a blank page).

The only way out of the problem is cups. With cups, you install an "application" as well as attached "drivers" for the printer. Applications then send PostScript to the queue, and cups converts that into something the printer can understand.

I had a look at the cups website but could not see any support for the DJ 111. HP's website also does not indicate any unix support.

If the DJ111 is compatible with another HP DesignJet you may get it to work, but most DesignJets support languages like HPGL, PCL and/or PS.

You may be out of luck. GDI or PCL3 printers tend to be low-cost, but there is a price...
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DansDadUKCommented:
hdhondt explains, in much more detail, and rather more elegantly, what I was implying in my short post.
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carlmdCommented:
This printer uses PCL 3 GUI, which is not compatible with PCL, and it does not have Postscript.

You could try configuring a new queue as a generic pass through, and see what happens.
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hdhondtCommented:
A generic passthrough would send text to the printer, which PCL3 does not understand...
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mcjim2kAuthor Commented:
Now I was able to connect an HP Design Jet 500 directly using the Parallel cable and print to that plotter with no issues; which I created a PostScript queue

Is there a difference between printing to a directly connected Parallel printer versus a one over the network?

Thanks.
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carlmdCommented:
A queue configured as a pass through will do just that. It sends whatever it gets.
The assumption being that whatever is creating the print files is doing so in PCL 3 GUI.

According to the documentation the HP Design Jet 500 understands PCL 3 and not Postscript, which accounts for why you can print to it. I suppose there could be an option for Postscript, but such is not indicated in the info I can find. It does not matter how (parallel or network) the printer is connected, but rather how you configure the queue.
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mcjim2kAuthor Commented:
How would I go by creating a pass thru so that we could use that plotter? If that's even possible.

Btw thank you everyone who has commented. I'm much closer to solving this than I was yesterday.
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mcjim2kAuthor Commented:
Got the information I needed. Thanks.
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