Macintosh printer access

Last revision July 29, 2004

To access printers from a Macintosh, open the Chooser, select the appropriate printer driver, select the ES-Ethernet zone, and then pick one of these spooler names:

     a65-laserjet [Mitchell A65]
     a65-color-inkjet [Mitchell A65]
     Ptolemy HP Plotter Spooler [Mitchell B02]

You may download the special Macintosh drivers from HP's web site, or you can use the standard Apple LaserWriter 8 driver, with HP's PostScript Printer Description files. These PPD files are stored on the pangea Aufs AppleShare server, on the Earth_Sciences volume, in the Printer Drivers subfolder of the System_Software folder. See the README files for directions.

In order to actually access one of these printer spools on pangea, you must be properly authenticated with a valid pangea account and local pangea password. This applies both when you try to "setup" the desktop printer in LaserWriter 8 and when you actually send a print job to the spool. There is one recommended authentication method that will work on all Macintosh computers, and two other methods that may work:

  1. First select AppleShare in the Chooser and connect to the special server named Pangea Printerauth in the ES-Ethernet zone. Login with your pangea account name and local pangea password. Course accounts and GIS lab accounts may be used as well as individual pangea accounts. You will be offered the single disk volume Pangea_Printer_Auth. Click OK to mount that on your desktop. As long as this volume is mounted on the desktop, pangea will know which account and password to use when accepting connections from your Macintosh to the authenticated printer spools. For more information on using the Chooser, with screenshots, see remote file storage on pangea for Macintosh computers.
  2. Older Macintoshes (generally, Macos 8.1 or earlier) that do not support AppleShare over IP will also be authenticated properly if you are connected to any volume on the pangea Aufs AppleShare server. This does not work for newer Macintoshes that use AppleShare IP. If you see the button labeled Server IP Address... in the Chooser when you select AppleShare, then you have AppleShare IP and this second authentication method will not work for you.
  3. A third method of printer authentication uses the Macintosh Authenticator system extension. This does not work reliably on newer Macintoshes (system 8.6 or later), but does work fine on older Macs. The Macintosh Authenticator system extension can be downloaded from the pangea Aufs AppleShare server, in the same PPD volume described above where the PPD files are stored. Drag it to your System Folder and restart your Macintosh. If pangea cannot find your account information from one of the AppleShare connections listed above, then it will attempt to contact the Macintosh Authenticator extension to prompt you to enter your pangea account and local pangea password (not your SUNet ID password) for each print job. As mentioned, this does not work reliably on the newer Macintoshes. Ignore the "quota balance" item on the Macintosh Authenticator dialog box. This feature is not implemented on pangea. We are not using quotas to limit printing.

If you do not authenticate yourself to the pangea spooler by one of the methods above, then you will see an error message on your Macintosh like "can't open printer" or "communications error".

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