MacBook: Possible workaround for printing via Graphite AirPort Base Station

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
May 29th, 2006 • 11:11 am

Two days ago, I wrote about my frustration with the fact that it appears that AppleTalk printing via AirPort doesn’t work with the MacBook if you’re using an older Graphite AirPort Base Station.

Today, I thought I’d try to share the printers on my G5. I turned printer sharing on for all the printers on the G5, and brought up the “Print & Fax” system preference pane on the MacBook.

Initially, the MacBook couldn’t see any shared printers. I then rebooted the MacBook, just in case, and after that, the shared printers did start appearing in the “Print & Fax” system preference pane on the MacBook. Maybe I should have just been more patient and the process didn’t actually require a restart, but the bottom-line is that the G5’s shared printers did appear on the MacBook eventually.

I tried printing to the HP LaserJet 5MP that we use most often, and it worked just fine. So effectively if you have a machine that stays on all the time on your network and can print to the AppleTalk printers, then you can share these printers and the MacBook can use these shared printers to print over AppleTalk via the Graphite AirPort Base Station just the same.

I started a thread about this issue on the “MacBook › Internet, and Networking the MacBook” discussion forum on Apple’s site, and some of the responses seem to indicate that the printing via AppleTalk might be a “known issue,” that AppleTalk printing was initially broken for the MacBook Pro laptops as well and ended up getting fixed in Mac OS X 10.4.6.

But the version of OS X that came on the MacBook is 10.4.6, and it still doesn’t work for the MacBook. In addition, it’s not that AppleTalk printing is completely broken, it’s just that it doesn’t work via AirPort.

But then, might this be an indication that it won’t work with a newer AirPort Extreme Base Station either? I have one on order, and I’ll test it as soon as I get it. If it doesn’t work, then I am going to be really pissed off, because it will basically mean that I bought and AirPort Extreme Base Station for nothing! AppleCare is going to hear from me if that’s what happens…

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