Last week Apple released a set of printing software updates under the collective name 7.5.2 Printing Update 1.1. Don’t confuse this update with version 1.0.2 of the 7.5.2 Printing Fix (see TidBITS-299); this update supersedes Apple’s earlier attempts to fix printing problems on the Power Mac 7200, 7500, 8500, and 9500, and includes additional materials that may help some other Mac users.
What’s Included — 7.5.2 Printing Update 1.1 includes the following three components. There’s no installer program supplied, so each element you want to use must be installed by manually dragging it to your System Folder.
- 7.5.2 Printer Fix 1.1. This is the latest version of the extension Apple previously released to help with printing problems on the Power Mac 7200, 7500, 8500, and 9500. In addition to previous fixes for using busy network printers, version 1.1 corrects a similar problem using LocalTalk to print to a network printer. Please note that this extension requires Open Transport 1.0.7 or better, and the extension isn’t of use on earlier Macs.
- SerialDMA 2.0.2. SerialDMA 2.0 was originally a rewrite of the serial drivers that shipped with the first AV Macs (the Centris 660AV and Quadra 840AV) and were later carried over to Apple’s first line of Power Macs and their derivative models. Version 2.0.2 of SerialDMA patches some remaining bugs and adds support for Apple’s newer PCI Power Macs. In addition to offering greater reliability, better performance, higher baud rates, and a number of bug fixes, version 2.0.2 should offer significant performance improvements on 68040-based AV Macintoshes, as well as fix printing problems with StyleWriters on the Power Mac 7200, 7500, 8500, and 9500. Please note SerialDMA has a known problem with the Serial Port Arbitrator extension that’s included with AppleTalk Remote Access (ARA) on Apple’s PCI Power Macs. If you need to use SerialDMA on one of those machines, remove Serial Port Arbitrator from your system (apparently it doesn’t show up in most extension management utilities).
- LaserWriter 8.3.2. This update to the LaserWriter 8 driver allegedly addresses two crashing problems that can occur on the Power Mac 7200, 7500, 8500, and 9500, one involving printing large documents to a network printer and the other involving printing to a busy network printer. LaserWriter 8.3.2 is only of use on Apple’s PCI Power Macs and requires Open Transport 1.0.7 or better to function.
Open Transport 1.0.8 for the PCI Power Macs can be found on Apple’s FTP servers at the URL below.
Do You Need All This? The classic axiom "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it" applies: if you don’t print to network printers or have problems with serial communications programs that use a modem, GeoPort, or other telecommunications device, don’t rush out to download and install these utilities. On the other hand, if your work involves extensive printing or if you’ve experienced problems like the ones described above, it might be worth your trouble. Evidence so far indicates these fixes have solved problems for a number of people, although there are still reports of persistent troubles that may or may not be related.