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Tue, Nov 21, 2006 3:18 pm

HP Color LaserJet 3500 Doesn't Support Postscript

I wanted to be able to print from my Solaris system to an HP Color LaserJet 3500 printer. HP's website states that the HP Color LaserJet 1500, 2600n, 3500, and 3550 series printers are "host based" printers and don't support HP's PCL nor the postscript language. What this means is that HP has simplified the design of the printers to reduce their cost by not incorporating support for those common printer languages in those printers. Instead, the host is expected to rasterize the output of applications so that those printers essentially receive an image, i.e. a bitmapped or raster image, of what is to be printed. Thus most of the processing needed to print information is expected to be done in the host, i.e. the system sending the print job to the printer, rather than in the printer itself.

HP states the following in regards to host-based printing:

Host-based printing requires a software print engine in the host operating system, and unlike a PDL (Printer Description Language) printer, cannot accept ASCII text direct from a computer. This means that the Host based printer will only work in the Windows and Macintosh environments that are specifically supported with the print engine written for that environment. Users of unsupported Windows and Macintosh environments, as well as users of Linux, Unix, OS/2 should consider a PDL printer like the HP Color LaserJet 2550 or CLJ3700.

The HP Color LaserJet 3500 printer I wanted to use belongs to someone else. When I looked at it, it appeared to be a hefty printer; I didn't realize it was a low-end printer until I checked on whether it supported postscript. On its HP Color LaserJet 1500, 2600n, 3500 and 3550 Series Printers - Host-based Printing Strategy webpage, HP states in the "Limitations of Host-Based Printing" section that "Host-based printers are excellent small workgroup printers suitable for Windows and limited Mac printing to include internet and typical office printing but NOT EPS file printing."

  1. HP Color LaserJet 1500, 2600n, 3500, and 3550 Series Printers - PCL and Postscript Printer Language Support on Host Based Printers
  2. HP Color LaserJet 1500, 2600n, 3500 and 3550 Series Printers - Host-based Printing Strategy

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