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LaserWriter 8

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Year released:
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
laserwriter8-v811.sit (2.49 MB)
MD5: 1f476a2547403c80e63dc37101f505fc
For System 6.x - Mac OS 9
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
LW_8.5.1.sea_.hqx (6.50 MB)
MD5: 040c812564e48de70cf8d706b1d817a3
For System 6.x - Mac OS 9
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
LW_8.6.smi_.hqx (6.45 MB)
MD5: 2b1a25562b88c6ee61e8683d13613eee
For System 6.x - Mac OS 9
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
LW_8.6.1.smi_.bin (3.03 MB)
MD5: 8a694cd4acc56692e7b34c44fdb83459
For System 6.x - Mac OS 9

Adds PostScript printing support for Apple's LaserWriter series printers and other manufacturers' PostScript laser printers, and upgrades earlier Apple LaserWriter software if already installed.

LaserWriter 8 is the final version series of Apple's PostScript print driver technology for the Classic Mac OS. Prior to LaserWriter 8 there was the LaserWriter 6 and 7 series and much earlier, simply, "LaserWriter".

LaserWriter 8 was first released in 1992 and had several version updates until 1999.

Apple’s recent release of the LaserWriter printer driver, version 8.5.1, isn’t one of those things that provoke dancing in the streets. Printer drivers seem to be mundane and uninteresting sorts of software, and in some operating systems they are. However, in the Mac OS, there is no printing architecture. Apple may talk about the “classic printing architecture” (to distinguish it from the late and lamented “new printing architecture” now gone from QuickDraw GX), but it’s not an architecture. It’s about two pages worth of assembly language code that loads a printer driver and calls it. Printer drivers do everything related to printing on the Macintosh.

If you’re a programmer, and you’ve seen a reference to the “Printing Manager” doing something or another, get over it—the Printing Manager does no more than pass your request directly to the printer driver, no matter how high-level or low-level the request is.

So whenever you print to a PostScript printer, generate a PostScript job file, or generate a PostScript EPS file by printing, you’re going through the LaserWriter driver. If you use PageMaker 5.0 or later, you’re using the driver even though you may not think you are—PageMaker 5.0 and later use “back doors” in LaserWriter 8 (or its twin, PSPrinter 8) and later to get the printer driver to convert TrueType fonts and QuickDraw pictures into PostScript, which PageMaker then combines with its own PostScript code and sends to your printer through the printer driver’s features—all instead of using compatible, thoroughly-documented ways of printing in the normal way because PageMaker’s engineers got delusions of grandeur. Such is life in the world of Mac OS printing.

Excerpt adapted from MacJournals article From the Vaults: LaserWriter 8.5.1

Architecture: 68k PPC

According to this eMaculation page; SheepShaver and Basilisk require this LaserWriter 8.x software in conjunction with PrintToPDF, as a method of printing to PDF within the emulators.

However, far better quality PDF print results under emulation are obtained by "printing to PostScript", either via LaserWriter 8 or Adobe's PSPrinter 8 PostScript printer drivers and using Adobe's Distiller software to render the PostScript output to PDF. Use Distiller version 3 or earlier for Basilisk II and Mini vMac II, and Distiller 4 or 5 for SheepShaver.

Prior to LaserWriter 8 version 8.5.1, the LaserWriter 8 software was 68k encoded only. Since version 8.5.1, LaserWriter 8 was FAT (both 68k and PPC native).


mrdav's picture
by mrdav - 2020, June 26 - 7:12am

brazillian gigaquads.....Laughing out loud

MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2020, June 26 - 4:43am

The 4/600 disks v. 8.2.2 are mine. I forgot I uploaded them.

I'm not surprised, mrdav - given the brazillian gigaquads of data that you've uploaded, to date. Wink

The LW Pro 300/360 upload was from a disk set of mine (predates LW 8).

mrdav's picture
by mrdav - 2020, June 25 - 8:45am

The 4/600 disks v. 8.2.2 are mine. I forgot I uploaded them. Need to check if I uploaded the other set somewhere

MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2020, June 25 - 7:25am

These would probably be better placed under their own page, mrdav. WRT to the LaserWriter model they are intended for. e.g.; Apple LaserWriter 4/600 and Apple LaserWriter Pro 300/360.

The LW 4/600 page has an archive containing 6 disk images and includes LW8 v8.2.2 and may be the same as what you have? Yours could be a better copy, of course.

mrdav's picture
by mrdav - 2020, June 25 - 7:09am

I have official Apple floppy disks for Apple LaserWriter printers with Postscript as follows:

5 Mac floppy disks (version 8.2) and 2 Windows disks (version 2.1.1)

6 Mac floppy disks (version 8.2.2)

Should I put them here?