The arrival of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard meant the end of support for AppleTalk (see my previous article on some other aspects of Upgrading to Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard”), and so the ability to print from computers running Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard directly to printers that used AppleTalk. In my case, for many years I have been using my HP LaserJet 4MP (it’s now into its 17th year!!!!) connected to an AsanteTalk box so that the printer could be seen on our home network by any/all computers on the network.
But after I installed Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard on my MacBook, that computer could no longer print to the LaserJet. The workaround was to set up another computer (my FileMaker Server eMac) running Mac OS X 10.4.11 (or one running Mac OS X 10.5.x would have worked too) to share the LaserJet 4MP using Printer Sharing.
But eventually as I upgraded our other computers to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard this wasn’t going to continue working. So after some digging around online I learned that using an HP JetDirect Print Server should allow me to keep the trusty LaserJet 4MP, and get to use the 3 spare $100+ toner cartridges I have on hand for it.
HP JetDirect 300x Print Server
I purchased an HP JetDirect 300x Print Server on Ebay – not for the $250 that the HP page says they cost, but for $5 plus $8 postage to me. For that I got the print server, and a short parallel printer cable. I didn’t get a power supply with it, so fortunately in the collection of about 100 various power bricks I’ve accumulated over the years I had one that had the right connector on it (see below).