So long LaserWriter

A couple of weeks ago, I made the sad decision to retire my old LaserWriter 4/600 PS printer. It has served me well for a long time, but it is now time for me to let it go.

I bought it in 1995 for around $650 as I recall and used it heavily to print excerpts from manuals (e.g. The Powerplant Book), specs, and other documents. I even bought a stapler to staple larger documents of 50-100 pages.

When I updated my network to Ethernet, I picked up an unused Ethernet-to-Localtalk adapter from my day job at the time so that I could keep printing. The adapter never worked nicely with my 10/100 Base-T network, so I had to keep it on my old 10 Base-T hub.

Since then – and probably in large part to the availability of information on the internet – I haven’t printed as many large documents. Even so, documents have become more graphics intensive – a problem for the old beast. I did upgrade the RAM at one point (from 2MB to 6MB) just so the printer wouldn’t choke on bigger documents.

In any case, I bought a Lexmark E360dn Monochrome Laser Printer, which is much faster, prints double-sided and cost much less than my old LaserWriter did originally.

As one last call to duty, I wanted to have the LaserWriter print out its test page. The “print test page at power up” feature had been turned off, and there is no way to turn it back on in Mac OS X. I, unfortunately, do not have a system with Mac OS 9 on it anymore so there was no way to turn it back on. After much digging, I found an Apple Developer Note which included details of how to print the sample page. So I embedded the following in a “.ps” file and printed it from my Mac.

%!PS
/SamplePages /ProcSet findresource /StartPage get cvx exec

Click here to see a scan of the last test page I printed (278KB, opens in new window). Almost 10K pages printed!

Now I’ll take it off to Free Geek and perhaps somebody will buy it, or it will just – *sniff* – get recycled.

Farewell, LaserWriter!