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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Making Old Printers New, Maybe.

I mentioned in a previous blog I am on a vacation. I lugged an old Okidata 10ex laser along to leave in Florida. I figured once the drum needed changing, I would just recycle it. Since I have thee of them it would be no loss to abandon it. Since my laptop doesn’t have a parallel port I had to figure out how to hook up the laser to my laptop. I found a male USB to Female DB25 adapter at Buy.com for $8.97 with shipping which allowed me to plug my parallel cable into the laptop. I tested the connection before I left home and after fooling around a bit, I got it to work.

I dragged the laser down here to Florida and set it up. If you are familiar with lasers then you know that moving them can be problematic. The older lasers had a tendency to bleed toner over the entire printer if tilted. I shrink wrapped the toner cartridge and covered the drum to insure I had no mess. That all worked, no mess.

Sadly the rest of it didn’t go as well. The laser self tested just fine. The problem was I tested the adapter on a desktop running XP. My laptop is running Vista. No matter what I tried, Vista would not allow me to print to that laser. I found on MS’s site a caveat that intermittent problems might exist doing what I was trying to do. Intermittent for me was two test pages in two hours. Once again I experienced the “gotcha ya” of the OS world.

BTW I did find a USB to parallel centronics which allowed elimination of the parallel printer cable. It was $12.97 at Buy.com and it worked just fine with my son’s laptop. He is using XP though. This is not a paid blog and I received no compensation what so ever from Buy.com or anyone else for writing it.

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