SUMMARY: Using the LZR 960 or RealTech printer on an Unix box

Date: Fri Jan 03 1992 - 17:38:16 CST

Here is a summary of all the responses that I received about the
RealTech printer.

All responses were positive. The Unix workstations used included
3 Suns, and 1 '386 (running Unix). Several people also had a Mac and/or
a PC hooked up in addition, and the printer correctly resolves any
contention when more than one computer tries to print at the same

Thanks again to all that responded!

Here is my original posting and copies of all the responses:
Subject: Anyone used the LZR 960 or RealTech Laser printer on an Unix box?
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1991 03:04:19 GMT

I'd like to hear from people who are using or have tried to use
the LZR 960 or RealTech Laser printer on a Unix box. These
two printers are actually identical--just sold by different companies.
I'd like to hook one up to a Sparcstation 2 using the serial port.
I'd also like to remotely print on this printer from a Next cube
(over the ethernet to the Sparcstation).

I leaning toward this printer, given the problems people are having
with their Sparcprinters (Mac and Next postscript don't seem to print).
But before ordering the RealTech Laser, I'd like to see if there
have been any problems.

Thanks for your responses.
Please respond by email, and I'll summarize to the net.

--Bruce Holmer
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 91 00:40:00 PST
From: (Bob Berger)
Organization: SONY Advanced Video Technology Center San Jose, CA USA

I have one here at home connected to an RDI laptop (Sun IPC) and a Mac+.

It seems to work fine. I am using transcript on the sun to drive the laser

The only second thoughts I have had, was was it worth paying $1k more than
some of the low cost HP's or not.

Bob Berger - SONY Advanced Video Technology Center
685 River Oaks Parkway San Jose, CA 95134 408-944-4964 FAX: 408-954-1027
INTERNET: UUCP: [uunet,mips]!sonyusa!sfcsun!berger
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 91 07:46:19 CST
From: holmer (Bruce Holmer)

I hear that HP printers with the postscript cartridge is very slow
relative to printers like the LZR 960.

What baud rate do you run the RDI to printer serial link at? Do the
printers support faster than 9600 baud?

Date: Mon, 23 Dec 91 09:31:43 PST
From: berger@sfc.Sony.COM (Bob Berger)

Yes, I did go with the LZR because I'm impatient, other times when
I look at my bank account I reconsider :-)

I think I tried 38k baud and had probelems, I think I'm back down to 19.2k or
9600, I'm not at home, so I can't double check it...
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 91 10:55:44 MST
From: edsr!tantalum! (Jamii K. Corley)

 I just bought one, and I really like it. It's hooked up simultaneously to
a PC, a Mac Plus and a SparcStation IPC. It took a little playing with to
get the printcap entry right, and to replace the transcript software which
one normally needs to hook up a postscript printer, but I've got mine up and
running. The RLE compression didn't seem to speed the printer up as much as
I expected, but it was about 1/3 faster. Btw, the printer identifies itself
as an LZR 960.
       Jamii Corley
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 91 23:42:50 CST
From: holmer (Bruce Holmer)
To: edsr!tantalum!

I'm curious about your comment about replacing the transcript
software. Is it not usable with the RealTech printer? What software
are you using to control the printer?

Date: Tue, 31 Dec 91 09:59:36 MST
From: edsr!tantalum!jamii@uunet.UU.NET (Jamii K. Corley)

 The transcript package works fine with the RealTech. I connected it
at work to try it, but transcript cost real money, and I'm trying to
put together a system using only what comes with the machine and
public domain software.
 It turns out the only part one needs to replace is the part that
turns text into postscript. lpr, and lpd work fine for spooling and
printer control. At first I couldn't get it to work because I didn't
suppress the header in my printcap entry for the printer. This caused
some bogus junk to be prepended to an otherwise legimate postscript
file. After I fixed the printcap entry I didn't need a pscomm
replacement, although I wrote one which reads and logs error messages
from the printer, and checks the incoming file to make sure it's a
postscript file, if not it spawns a process to turn the file into

    Thanks for you interest,
Date: 24 Dec 91 19:59:40 EST (Tue)
From: (Dave Levenson)

> I'd like to hear from people who are using or have tried to use
> the LZR 960 or RealTech Laser printer on a Unix box.

I have used the RealTech version of this printer on a UNIX box.
Ours is connected simultaneously to a Mac-IIci and a 386 running DWB
under UNIX. The printer handles both very well, and resolves the
contention properly when both systems try to print at the same time.

For the UNIX side:

The printer can digest anything that comes out of troff, including
images generated by tbl, pic, eqn, grap, and ordinary text in a mix
of fonts, weights, and sizes. It is faster than most PostScript
printers in its price class.

Installation on the UNIX system was plug & play. It connects to
either the Centronics-compatible parallel port, or the serial port
(/dev/tty*). The UNIX print spooler drives it at full speed.

Dave Levenson                   Internet:
Westmark, Inc.                  UUCP: {uunet | rutgers | att}!westmark!dave
Warren, NJ, USA                 Voice: 908 647 0900  Fax: 908 647 6857
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 91 23:53:16 CST
From: holmer (Bruce Holmer)


I'm curious--what speed do you run the serial port at? (or are you using the parallel port).

--Bruce ============================================================================== Date: Tue, 31 Dec 91 8:02:08 EST From: (Dave Levenson)


I have used the parallel port. I currently use the serial port at 9600 bps. The parallel port transfers data faster than the serial port, so if both are available, the parallel would be the better choice. ============================================================================== Date: Wed, 25 Dec 91 13:54:12 PST From: (Jay Glicksman) Organization: Center for Integrated Systems, Stanford University, California

We've been using a RealTech Laser for several months now with no problems. It's hooked up to a Sun 3 (running Sun OS 4.1.1) via a serial port and an Appletalk network and it switches between the two pretty well (we've had to kick it a couple of times but it is much better than the Apple Laserwriter we used to have).

It is reasonably fast and print quality is fine.

Jay Glicksman ============================================================================== From: Andrew Wolfe <> Date: Mon, 23 Dec 91 14:05:11 EST

I just got a Laserwriter IIg which I have hooked up to my Sparcstation and Mac. It is excellent - but a bit expensive.

We just bought a couple of Okidata OL830's for home use. (Me and S.Y. Kung) They are 8ppm LED printers. Pretty Solid and Cheap. About $1250 + $150 for the Serial/Appletalk Card. Seem very compatible. Even those silly ornate Micro-24 Awards printed after kermitting them from my Sun.

The only thing that wouldn't print so far was some PCB layouts - need more than 2MB RAM for those I think. They printed OK in HP emulation mode.


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