HP LaserJet 1300 and Linux

The HP LaserJet 1300 printer is a relatively small black and white laser printer for light use. It can print PostScript level 2, PCL 5e, and PCL 6 out of the box, connect to parallel or USB port, the 1300n comes with ethernet or wireless card with JetDirect print server. There is 250-sheet tray built-in, extra 250-sheet tray available. Inductive "Instant On" fuser for very fast pre-heating, first page after around 8 seconds (I like this feature - no waiting to warm up).

I have bought the printer with the ethernet card but then I realized that significant reworking of my network would be necessary because it is mostly wireless. Therefore, the printer was connected via USB for a while before the wireless card arrived. Both connection types work perfectly. The set up is not difficult and most of the needed information can be found at LinuxPrinting.org and in the HP HowTo. The following sections highlight the pitfalls that I encountered but your mileage may vary.

USB Connection

You will need USB support in your kernel and driver for the usb printers which is called printer.o in the 2.4 kernels. Make sure that USB works fine and the printer module is loaded, then plug in and turn on the printer and set up the printing (see LinuxPrinting.org ).

Wireless (802.11b) Connection

I wanted wireless connection in order to save myself the troubles with getting cables and hubs as my network was already wireless. However, there was a cloud in my paradise: How do you set up the printer when it has gotten only one button and no display? Sure, HP delivers a CD full of software but that is for MS Windows only. So I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the wireless card.

Meanwhile, the HP HowTo showed me some light: Apparently HP printers with JetDirect can communicate via telnet but you need to change temporarily your network settings.

The HP HowTo suggests that the default IP address for the printers is 192.0.0.192 and the printer documentation advises to use this wireless setup:

MODE Ad Hoc
ESSID (SSID) hpsetup

I changed my laptop's IP address to 192.0.0.1, netmask to 255.255.255.0, network to 192.0.0.0 and gateway to 192.0.0.1 just for the printer set up.

Long story short, I could not connect to the printer with the command telnet 192.0.0.192. Fortunately, the printer wireless card has a test button that allows you to print the JetDirect server's settings once the light is steady green. And to my surprise, the printer was pre-configured with a completely different IP address: 169.254.245.40. No wonder that the telnet session was not established.

One more reconfiguration of the laptop's network later, telnet 169.254.245.40 succeeded and I saw:

Please type "menu" for the MENU system,
or "?" for help, or "/" for current settings.
>

Type menu, press ENTER and the main menu will be waiting for your input:

MAIN MENU
----------------------------------------
1. General Settings
2. TCP/IP Menu
3. SNMP Menu
4. IPX/SPX Settings
5. AppleTalk Settings
6. DLC/LLC Settings
7. Other Settings
8. Support Settings
9. Wireless Settings
?. Help
e. Exit Menu
0. Exit Telnet

Enter Selection =>

The rest is straightforward: Configure the printer's network settings and after your normal network setup works, set up the printing services (see again LinuxPrinting.org).

Notes

HP JetDirect model number: J6044A.

The telnet session sometimes stops responding. Don't worry and wait patiently, it will respond again within couple minutes.