PowerPrint USB to Parallel
Estimated Price: $99.00
So you went and purchased a new BlueBox Mac (Blue and White Tower) or an iMac to replace that nasty PC you had sitting on your desk. Great computer, isn’t it? Yeah, but the only problem you now have is your PC printer. There it is, a nice two-year-old laser printer, and you are unable to use it because it’s not USB, nor do they make a Mac driver for it. Time to get a new printer, right? Wrong!
PowerPrint is a hardware/software solution that I was eager to try out first hand. We had a scenario at our shop in which we upgraded one of the PCs to a BlueBox, but the new Mac user still wanted to use her LaserJet P6 printer. What’s a tech guy to do? No way did she want to print to one of the network RIP printers (though the network printers have about a thousand times better quality than the HP LaserJet). She wanted to print locally. Enter PowerPrint.
First, though, I checked to see if Hewlett-Packard made any Mac print drivers for this printer. According to their website http://www.hp.com/cposupport/indexes1/lj6ps.html they only support Windows, DOS, and OS/2. But right on the Infowave’s website, they claim that this product will support over 1,600 PC printers. Wow! Have they actually made that many printers? Sure enough, the LaserJet 6P is listed http://www.strydent.com/print/infowave_printer_compatibilitylist.htm So one quick order and delivery later, we were ready to put this project to the test.
Very simple. Connect the Parallel end of the wire to the LaserJet, and the USB connector to the Mac. Actually, the cord was too short for where the printer was located, so we had to connect another USB cord to make up the difference. For most people, though, the included seven-foot long cord should be sufficient.
Next, run the installer CD. It will ask you which print driver you want to use. In this case, according to the manual, we needed to use the LaserJet 5 print drivers. After a quick reboot later and selecting LaserJet 5 in the Chooser, we were printing away to our hearts’ content.
So, does it work? You bet! It works great! Infowave has a world class product with PowerPrint USB to Parallel. (I’m curious and ready to also try their PowerPrint Serial to Parallel, though I’m sure it works just as well as their USB flavor.) Hat’s off to Infowave for providing a great solution to a real world problem Mac users face everyday.
MacMice Rating: 4.5