After pulling out my old Epson Stylus inkjet printer, only to find that after a year of non-use it now only printed ‘creative interpretations’ of what you wanted, we decided it was high time to upgrade. With printers being so cheap nowadays we decided to go for a monochrome laser, and after some looking around it seemed that the HP LaserJet 1020 would be perfect. There was only one catch — it didn’t support OSX. The bastards.
No problem though. Community to the rescue! Trawling the forums on macosxhints I found this post that described some workarounds which looked promising. So I took a risk and bought one, and after a couple of failed attempts I managed to get it printing nicely when connected to my MacBook Pro via USB.
With that out of the way I thought I’d give it a go hooked up to my Airport Extreme base station. However, once again it seemed that this was not supported. A quick Google turned up a few possible workarounds, but these didn’t work. After some playing around though I found a solution that DID work for me, so I thought I’d document it here for anyone else trying to get it sorted.
Note: This has worked for me on an Intel MacBook Pro running OSX 10.4.10, and also a PPC Mac Mini running the same system. Your mileage may vary depending on system etc.
Update, 13th March 08: I’ve now had reports of this working on OSX 10.5 also. I haven’t tried it myself, but it’s good to know that it is possible.
Update, 2nd May 08: I finally got Leopard on the weekend, and can confirm this still works. I did a complete erase + install, so had a completely clean system. The steps are similar, though I didn’t have to connect with a USB cable first, and the Printer Setup Utility app doesn’t seem to exist – I just added the printer by going to print a document and choosing “Add Printer” from the printer selection dropdown.
Update, 14th March 09: I've just stopped using Wordpress to host this site, so now don't have any comment facilities. I've archived this page though, and kept all comments at the bottom (make sure you read through – there's some really helpful info in them)
Here are the steps I used to get the printer working via USB, hooked up direct to my machine (based on this list found on the forums). You will need to do this first before trying to print over Airport. There were a number of methods listed in the forums mentioned above, some much simpler, but this is the only one that worked for me. If you’ve already got your printer working on your machine, you can skip down to the next section.
Now to get it working over Airport. There may be other ways of doing this, but here is how it worked for me:
Best of luck to anyone trying this out. From reading the forums it sounds like there have been many hours lost and much hair ripped out trying to get these printers working nicely on OSX. It seems crazy that HP would not support Mac systems for this printer, given the rise in popularity of Apple products in the last few years. But I’m guessing they must have some pretty strong reasons, given that it wouldn’t be hard for them to do (I mean, there is obviously software available that can already do the job). It’s just a question of how evil those reasons might be…
Update: A couple of days ago I went to print again, and the printer no longer worked over Airport. I deleted the printer from the Printer Utility and tried adding it again using the same method above, but the Bonjour list simply didn’t exist! I don’t know much about Bonjour, so was a little stumped. However, a restart of the Airport Base station, with the printer switched on and plugged in, somehow fixed that and it came back. Not sure what caused it to disappear, but if you’re having trouble then maybe just a restart is in order!
Comments are no longer active, but I have left a copy of them here in case they prove useful to you. Make sure to read them, as there are some very useful tips and potential fixes for issues you may be having.