Ask Apple Matters: Printer Troubles

by Aaron Wright Jul 24, 2006

One of the wonders of owning a Macintosh is the lack of problems we get when compared to a Windows machine, but unfortunately no computer is immune to technical death. Sure, you could take your iMac, PowerMac or even MacBook back to your local Apple store to see if they can sort your issues out, but not everyone is fortunate enough to have an Apple store planted next door, so what do you do? The internet is the next best thing.

It’s the start of a new working week and what better way to introduce a brand new feature here at Apple Matters. By simply logging into our dedicated forum on the Apple Matters Message Board, you can post your technical questions and issues and hopefully find a solution, submitted by other readers of Apple Matters. What’s more, the best of those questions and answers will get picked out and placed in our Monday ‘Ask Apple Matters’ publication with your name sitting elegantly beside. Sound good? We think so.

If you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to register to post a topic in our forums, but this takes no time at all to do and is, of course, free!

So, if you’ve got a hard-drive problem that you’re desperate to get to the bottom of, or your iTunes is doing funky things with your beloved iPod, or perhaps you’re wanting to know if certain hardware will work with your Mac, drop by and leave a message in the forum, ‘Ask Matters’.

To get the ball rolling, this week we have a question from our very own James Bain who’s curious as to whether it’s possible to change the IP number on his very old printer without having to revert to Classic mode. The answer given isn’t necessarily the right one, so with a bit of luck readers will have a solution to your problem as well. Feel free to leave a comment or a message on our message boards relating to this question.

Question of the Week


“How do I change the IP number on my VERY OLD LaserWriter 12/600, without being able to use Classic mode and run printer utility (IntelMac)? Is there an easy and obvious way to make this work?”

A lot of what I think would be good questions, and answers, would be relating to some of the changes that have come about with the IntelMacs incompatibility with certain things we used to do quite regularly. Not a day to day occurrence, but definitely one that new users, new purchasers of IntelMacs, might run into when trying to use old hardware with new. I can think of one congregation here in Ottawa that has stuff so old that there’s still dinosaur spit on it, and they have started buying new workstations, but want to use the old peripherals.

Submitted by: James Bain


Unfortunately, James, it doesn’t appear there is an easy way around this. A search on the Apple info pages doesn’t bring up an immediate suggestion for the LaserWriter 12/600, but it does mention something about the LaserWriter 8500, which may or may not give you some help.

According to the article, the LaserWriter 8500 will continue to use an IP address obtained from a RARP or BOOTP server even if that server is no longer available on the network when the printer is restarted. This is true even if you use the Apple Printer Utility to set the IP address to or to the factory default settings. You may change the IP address by modifying the printer’s entry on the RARP or BOOTP server or by manually assigning a valid IP address through telnet or the Apple Printer Utility. However, if you no longer wish to use the printer with TCP/IP, you should set the TCP/IP port to OFF using the Communication Configuration panel in the Apple Printer Utility. This will prevent any IP address conflicts should the original IP address be later used on a different node on your network.

Submitted by: Aaron Wright

Have a technical question? Drop by our dedicated forum and leave a message. You’re sure to get a reply from one of regular readers or even a member of staff. If you want a more direct answer, however, feel free to e-mail Applematters.


  • Good article. I like the idea that you have forums that your readers can use to try to get answers to problems that may arise. Forums are always a good thing to have.

    Keep up the good work Aaron Wright. Keep these good articles coming.

    Mac_Man had this to say on Jul 24, 2006 Posts: 14
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