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Connecting 2 printers to new iMac

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Member Since: Oct 15, 2008
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MaJoad52 is on a distinguished road

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I just got a new 20" iMac 4 G RAM/ 750 G HD last week and bought a Canon Pixma MX850 all-in-one to use with it. I'm assuming that connecting the printer will go smoothly, but I haven't done that yet because I expect that the per copy cost will be significantly higher with this new printer than with the HP LaserJet 4L that I have used for years with my old early Pentium PC which ran Windows 98. Since much of my printing is very basic - drafts of texts, driving directions, copies of online articles, etc. I would use the LaserJet4L quite extensively if I had that option.

Would it be possible/practical to try to connect both the Pixma and the 4L to my iMac? I realize that the Pixma has a USB interface and the 4L has an older parallel port interface. Could I address the 4L interface problem with an adaptor of some sort? Will I still have to find an appropriate printer driver for the 4L and my iMac?

The network approach to linking these printers with my iMac using my old PC has been mentioned to me, but I don't quite understand the requirements for that. Would the PC have to be on the internet connection in order to network the computers and printers? (That PC is old and feeble and doesn't meet the minimum specs for the high speed cable connection I have now.) Also, I would prefer not to use MS software on my Mac if it can be avoided.

Will my quest to have printer options cause more problems than it is worth? Any suggestions?
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I have a situation somewhat similar to yours. I print mainly b&w text, and my Canon inkjet, more particularly the Epson before it, drank too much ink. I bought a Brother 2040 laser printer and it is a goodie. I have both printers connected to my Mac via powered USB hub and it's a simple matter to choose which printer I wish to use.

An adaptor is what you'd need with your HP. See this: Belkin : USB Parallel Printer Adapter
The only question I have is compatibility (note the Belkin example). There's a Keyspan adaptor on Amazon that would suit better ... 6ft USB Parallel Printer Adapter: Electronics
Be wary about HP > Mac compatibility, especially as your present laser printer was designed for Win.

As for networking, out of my field really, except I'd ask "why?"
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With the right softwear you make the PC a print server to the laser and thats all it does on an ethernet network or go with hughvanes idea I like ...get a Brother laser, better yet one with a network connector.
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