Skip to Content
Skip to Table of Contents

← Previous Article Next Article →

ATPM 16.05
May 2010




Download ATPM 16.05

Choose a format:


by Mark Tennent,

Subnet Full of Zeros

In France recently, we wished prices would go back in time. The best Muscadet we’ve ever had was from a café in Honfleur, one of the many tourist traps but serving a better meal than we can get at home. The house wine was delicious at a reasonable 10 euros a half-litre. But then, the wine is invariably good everywhere you go in France—even in the smallest back-street cafe frequented by students, to the grottiest tabac where the owner still has a Gauloise glued to his bottom lip, albeit unlit but still with an inch of ash that seems to defy gravity.

Doctor Who, Friends, F1 on the BBC, strikes, and the imminent disaster of another Tory government: nothing had changed when we got home. We expected to see Maggie Thatcher wheeled out to repeat her mantra the lady is not for turning. The English in Rouen had a good idea they perfected on Joan of Arc. Maggie was maybe not for turning but burning seemed a good idea to many Brits in the 1980s. Welcome back the 1980s and 90s, the era of Loads of Money when we could afford our Apple LaserWriter A3 printer.

In those days it cost the best part of two grand—and to replace it will cost the same, albeit in today’s money. We seldom need the printer now. We prefer to use an inkjet for its rapid speed printing of one or two pages, which is lucky because toner and spare parts are as rare as an original idea at Microsoft. Since Mac OS X 10.6’s arrival, the LaserWriter can be used only via printer sharing from our old G5.

Bad Idea

Over the Easter break, we made a determined effort to see why only the G5, running Mac OS X 10.5, will print to the LaserWriter. The printer is set up correctly with a unique IP address, and the other computers, running Mac OS X 10.6 can all “see” it over the network. They can even tweak its settings via Telnet in Terminal, but they can only print to it as a shared printer. That’s when we made a disastrous setting change.

When you open the printer in Telnet there are a few options to choose, mainly to do with the printer’s network setup and to turn the start page on and off. One choice is to reset the printer, which I took. Doh! Stupid, stupid, stupid! This also resets the IP address, but the sole way we knew to give the printer a new one is via Apple’s old Printer Utility, which runs only in Classic or System 7, 8, or 9.

Of course, last year we threw away all the old system installer disks, dating back to System 6. We have an ancient iBook, which would run the right system, but no copy to install it from. Then we found the original DVDs for a G5, which also had a copy of Classic. Leopard and Classic were installed onto a FireWire iPod and a G5 fired up into the past. Classic opened in a window followed by the old Printer Utility.

Subnet Full of Zeros

It has many more options than the Telnet screen for the LaserWriter, as well as setting the IP address and subnet mask. Our concern is that this G5 is due to be replaced this year but is the only way we can get at our old printer. It looks as though we shall have to keep that computer for some time to come. Not a particularly attractive option, because the G5 series are huge lumps of aluminium to keep sculling around.

Unless, that is, someone can tell us how to get at the printer from an Intel Mac running Snow Leopard, if the printer’s IP address and subnet mask are a series of zeros.

Also in This Series

Reader Comments (1)

anthony · May 3, 2010 - 01:17 EST #1
Print your files to PDF. Then, run SheepShaver on your current Mac. Have a copy of whatever version of Acrobat Reader will run within SheepShaver (runs up to Mac OS 8.6 or 9.2.2, I'm not sure which).

Launch Acrobat Reader in SheepShaver, open the .pdf file, and print it to the LaserWriter.

I've not tried it, personally, because my old LaserWriter Select 360 died a couple of years ago (pre my iMac) — but, it's worth a try.

Add A Comment

 E-mail me new comments on this article