SUMMRAY: Printing PCL format files

From: Cathy Smith (
Date: Thu Jan 15 1998 - 17:49:38 CST


many thanks to everyone who responded and helped:
 Thad MacMillan <>
 Marc S. Gibian <>
 Andrew Merkert <>
 Bismark Espinoza <bismark@alta.Jpl.Nasa.Gov>
 Charles Mengel <>
 Glenn Popelka <>
 Richard Roberto <>

my original question was:
> i have question on printing a HP's PCL format file to an HP
> LaserJet 5 Si MX. the printer client is running sun os 4.1.4.
> the printer is a network printer that prints both ascii,
> postscript, and pcl files. a group of users who have formerly
> generated and printed PCL files to an hp printer queue served
> by an HP machine, were moved to a new building and now want to
> print their files on this networked printer. while the files
> print fine on the old laserjet, we've not been able to print
> them out satisfactorily on the laserjet 5.
> we've mucked around with the files and found out the following.
> if you send the file to the standard print queue, the line
> with the PCL escape sequences is misinterpreted, and you get
> lots and lots of paper with 1 or 2 lines per page. however,
> if you eliminate the first character in the escape sequence,
> a "^]E", by manually editing the file then everything seems
> to print ok.

these pcl files were originally generated for a HP LaserJet IID.
they are old, and there are lots of them.

unfortunately, i don't have a solution yet. i have ruled out a
lot of things though. i verified that the print queue is correctly
configured on the laserjet 5 and that the printer manual verified
the escape sequences. so i contacted HP technical support.

HP and i went through the JetAdmin diagnostics, including using
the hpnpf utility to bypass the sun spooler. i sent copies of
the files to them.

HP's conclusions are, but not necessarily in this order:
 1. the files print fine if you send them from a pc to a laserjet 5
    and can i please switch to printing from a pc,
 2. the pcl sequences valid. this includes the initial "^[E" sequence
    which is a printer reset,
 3. the laserjet 5 si hardware gets confused once it receives the
    "^[E" sequence
 4. the files print fine if you edit out the initial "^[E" manually,
    and will i do this please
 5. they don't debug code for customers, even if you are using valid
    pcl escape sequences, and HP supplied model scripts, and just printing
    what is essentially a form or documentation.

i looked into using the various model scripts, the equivalent
to the sun os print filters, that come with jetadmin on solaris.
none of them worked for my situation.

i've learned a great deal more about HP's JetAdmin utility. i
also learned that the solaris package needs to be pulled down from
HP's ftp site:

at this point, i'm thinking seriously about writing perl script that
edits the file to eliminate the "^[E" and use it as a print filter.

i'd be very much interested in anyone else's experience with the laserjet 5
and pcl format files.

thanks very much.


Cathy L. Smith
Dallas Semiconductor

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