Previous 1 2 Next 21 Replies Latest reply: Mar 31, 2013 10:45 AM by sig
Stephen Schulte1 Level 1 (10 points)

I have an Apple LaserWriter 12/640PS printer that works great.  But since LION and now MOUNTAIN LION I cannot connect to it.  Previously I had an ethernet cable going from my D-Link DIR-635 Router to a LocalTalk (AppleTalk) adapter which then plugs into the printer into it's "Ethernet" (AppleTalk or also called the EtherTalk) port.


OK now I no longer have the D-Link router, rather a new (latest 5th generation) Apple Extreme. More info: my ISP changed some things and the LaserWriter is now "set" on an IP address of:  which seems to be out of the range of my ISP allotted numbers – but perhaps I can change that manually by accessing my ISP's modem via the website / setup area??


BUT I am thinking that since I really only need to print to this LaserWriter from my one MacBook Pro running 10.8.2 Mountain Lion – could I not find either a Parallel to USB adapter or some other (USB to DIN8-"LocalTalk" port)???  I used to have some software and a cable (Parallel to DIN8) for my PowerBook back in 1994 that let me print to a parallel-port only printer back then, seems like yesterday actually…


The LaserWriter has these 3 ports:  LocalTalk (DIN8 type I think); EtherTalk (not an RJ45 cable!) and Parallel. 


I also have a G4-733 Mac from 2001 that can startup in OS 9.2.2 -- but I don't seem to find the Printer with that (via the Ethernet cable to the adapter to the EtherTalk port of the LaserWriter printer).  This G4-733 does not have "DIN8" ports - just USB (I believe 2.0 but not certain - USB 2 came out in 1999 so I think this is 2.0 and I can check when I next boot this Mac).  It also has FW400 and SCSI but don't think that helps much for printing.  Ethernet RJ45 of course also.


Any ideas on what to do here.  Again, it worked before via my current set-up and perhaps the key is just changing the IP address (or enabling this address via my Apple Extreme or via the ISP's modem setup via the web address).


Hope this is somewhat clear--- think I have most of the information on one page here.  I can run tests, buy adapters or cables if necessary-- have enough cartridges to print another 10,000 pages at least!! 


Thanks in advance.


Best regards,



Steve Schulte

Friday 8 February 2013

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion, Also a Mac SE running 6.0.4 - not upgrading that!
  • Stephen Schulte1 Level 1 (10 points)

    I was really hoping to have just a few comments here. If anyone has any thoughts on this please reply.


    Best regards,



    11 February 2013

  • Stephen Schulte1 Level 1 (10 points)

    I sure would appreciate a reply or any comments here. Thank you very much.


    Best regards,



    14 February 2013

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 (25,722 points)

    Your not being ignored its just that you have a situation that is outside the normal. As we're all just users here only someone who has or has had a similar setup and happens by here is likely to be able to help.


    A call has gone out alerting folk to this post, so hopefully someone  who has dealt with this before will see it.



  • Stephen Schulte1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Thanks so much for your post Frank. And I know I'm not being ignored and I realize this is a very very special situation. This printer goes back to 1997 and probably some of the readers were hardly out of school then. I just keep things a long time and in fact speaking of the 90s my wife & I go dancing at a place where if you get there early like 9 PM they start with music from the 90s — The 1890s. It's a great place.


    Back to this issue I think I really just have to be able to somehow reset the printer to for the ethernet identification. I'll collect as much information as I can as well as cables and adapters and connectors and then try to get the G4–733 booted up in system 9.2.2 and try to connect again. Then maybe I can advance to the PowerBook G4 PowerPC and hopefully eventually to the MacBook Pro Intel running Mountain Lion.


    Thanks again,





    14 February 2013

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 (25,722 points)
  • William Lloyd Level 7 (21,040 points)

    A lot of the technologies that the LaserWriter uses for communication (AppleTalk, LocalTalk, etc.,) are just flat-out gone from OS X.  They were removed as "legacy cruft" as they're nonstandard and at some point, after 15+ years, it's worth removing code to simplify things and make them more stable.


    I think it's going to be a real challenge.  I wish we could help, but honestly buying a new Brother laser printer and donating the other one to charity would be orders of magnitude faster, better, and probably cheaper in the long run.

  • Stephen Schulte1 Level 1 (10 points)

    I have the original manual but of course since it was written in 1996 it does not help too much with USB other means of connecting that we have.


    It's going to be a fun project and I should learn a lot about connectivity by doing this.

  • Stephen Schulte1 Level 1 (10 points)

    This is really more of a technical challenge than an absolute necessity to have. I haven't had use of the printer for a year now and I'm doing fine without it but it would be great to see if I can get it to connect and to to work.

  • JBVeenstra Level 1 (0 points)

    Actually Stephen it's easy

    But you need a Mac running classic and the Apple Laserwriter Utility (OS9 app)

    This app can be used to give the printer a networkname, ip adres, etc.

    In OSX you make a LP printer using the ip adres and the PPD of the 12/640

    and of you go. I have one still running here in a network with OS 10.5, 10.6 en 10.7

    Guess it works with 10.8 too

  • Morty Sklar Level 1 (25 points)

    JB—hello. I have an Apple Personal LaserWriter 320 that ran on Appletalk with my 2004 eMac PowerPC with Tiger 10.4.11, which also has OS 9, and it's still producing sharp copies after about 12,000 copies. Do you think I can apply what you said to my iMac with OS 10.8? Thanks, Morty S.

  • greg sahli Level 7 (25,305 points)

    Sorry I'm so late to the party...

    If I were you, I'd buy a parallel print server. They're cheap on eBay, and they make your LaserWriter into a "standard" network printer.


    I use one of these: J3263A-AC-Adapter-/221200539990?pt=US_Print_Servers&hash=item3380946156

  • John Galt Level 8 (45,985 points)

    Hi Stephen,


    Somehow I missed this topic as well. For that printer, you would attract more attention in another area (this one).


    You have a number of options along the lines of what greg sahli suggested. I do not have that exact model LaserWriter, but I have successfully used a wired print server, a wireless print server, and a USB to parallel cable adapter to print from current production Macs to a similar model LaserWriter. All three options worked effortlessly. As long as yours is a PostScript printer, which it is, it should work.


    See this post for details and options: Laserwriter Pro 630, Mountain Lion, and Macbook Pro

  • Stephen Schulte1 Level 1 (10 points)



    So I cannot just use a "USB to Parallel cable adapter"?  I need the Print Server as well?


    (The reason I cannot use ethernet now is that the Printer got kinda frozen with the wrong ISP number or something and even with my PowerPC G4-733 I cannot seem to reset it to and then assign it a number…


    But direct printing ONLY from my MacBook Pro to the printer (which is 6 feet or so from my Mac) would be a 10000% improvement from now!!


    Thanks for any more details -- and then I'll try to find all the necessary stuff here in Europe…


    Best regards,



    Steve Schulte

    Friday 29 March 2013

  • sig Level 8 (35,785 points)

    Greg's suggestion will work. The price of that unit is inexpensive. I ran my HP LaserJet 4MP for many years using the 300 JetDirect after AppleTalk was gone. Set up directions can be searched online.

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