Printer setup

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Epson AL-C3800 Printer Setup Guide, for Windows, Linux and Mac


As of 15 November 2007, the Applied Optics Group has a new printer, which lives (like the old one) in the Applied Optics Research Office, Tower room 202. It is an Epson AcuLaser C3800, it is a single-pass A4 colour laser printer with a built-in duplexer, 750 sheet capacity, 128Mb of memory and native PostScript level 3 support. Printer toner cartridges should last about 9500 pages (but they are about £100). Hopefully it will not jam as often as the old printer, which was an Epson AL-C1100 with a retro-fitted duplexer. "Single pass" means that colour printing is comparable in speed to monotone printing (20 ppm for colour, 25 ppm for B+W). Additionally, if you tell the printer to print in colour and there are pages without any colour at all, those pages will automatically be printed in black and white only (saving on consumables). For Windows users, this option is buried away in the hidden settings section of the printer driver where, presumably, Epson are hoping you will never venture. So please pay close attention to the setup instructions!

This set of instructions has 2 purposes:

  1. Instruct you how to change over printing from the old (AL-C1100) printer to the new (AL-C3800) printer.
  2. Instruct you how to install printer drivers from scratch (new PC, new operating system)

That's the theory in any case. In practice, Linux and Mac users need do absolutely nothing as far as point 1 is concerned - just carry on printing as before, your print jobs will now magically appear out of the new printer rather than the old one - whilst Windows users will have to install new printer drivers whether you've previously been printing to the old printer or not.

So, this document will initially concentrate on instructing Windows users how to install the new printer drivers. I will update it in the future to inform Linux users how to print to the new printer from a fresh install (although to be honest this will probably be done for you at installation).

Here's a link to the Epson AL-C3800 User Manual (they don't do a PDF version).

Direct printing from USB memory stick

It's worth mentioning that you can print PDFs and images (presumably jpegs, tiffs etc) directly from a memory stick plugged into the printer. The USB port is on the right hand side of the printer.

After you've plugged in your memory stick, the printer will search for printable files. Press the down key, and select Document Print Menu. Press enter on "File select =---", select the file you want to print, and select Print Start. When the printer has finished printing, remove your memory stick.

Printer queues, and printer drivers

Windows users

Windows users will be printing directly to the printer over the network, using a local copy of the Epson printer driver. There is no printer queue (apart from the one on the printer itself). The optics Linux server is not involved in any way. If the Epson printer is spewing out pages of rubbish, then press the button that looks like a trash can on the front of the printer, and the job that’s spewing out the rubbish should stop within a few pages.

Linux and Mac users

Linux and Mac users are printing via a CUPS printer server running on ("the main optics Linux server"). There is no need to install a local version of the printer driver on your PC. Your print jobs go into a print queue on the optics print server, and this can be accessed in the usual way. You are encouraged to add the following URL to your bookmarks on your preferred web browser:

(the ":631" is important!). There is also a link to this page from the Applied Optics "Useful Links" page - see any handy mug for the web address. You will need a username and password to administer the queue (remove jobs, restart the printer etc). These are:

  • Username: printadmin
  • Password: optics3rd

(You can only administer the queue locally. If you are using the local optics web proxy, then you will need to exclude the domain "" from the web proxy).

Using the icons at the top of the screen you can remove dodgy jobs, and restart the printer if for some reason CUPS has decided to "stop" it (due to it running out of paper or something trivial). See this web page before hassling me, remove jobs from the top of the list, and check that the printer is not "stopped."

Supplies etc


To be updated


If you use the printer then make sure there is always plenty of paper available. You get paper from the General Office on the 6th floor of the Tower. If anyone asks, it's for the Applied Optics Group. It's worth getting a box, or a few reams, at a time.

Instructions for Windows XP users

  1. Find the Epson AcuLaser C3800 Series CD. Copies of the CD can be found in the printer supplies drawer, which is underneath the new printer in the Applied Optics Research Office (Tower room 202).
  2. Insert the CD into your PC... this may start the installation program automatically, if not, do it manually.
  3. Click User Installation.
  4. Click Easy Install.
  5. Click Network.
  6. Make sure you only have EPSON Status Monitor ticked - you don't need all the other rubbish.
  7. Click Install.
  8. Agree to the terms and conditions if you agree with them. If not, no printing for you.
  9. If the Windows firewall pops up a warning about the Epson installation program, click the appropriate button to let it continue (on the PC I tried this on, it was Unblock).
  10. The installer will scan the "local network" - I don't know how far this extends - for Epson AL-C3800 printers. One or more printers may be found. If none are found then it's likely that your PC's IP address is not in the EEE range (which I believe is to
  11. Please take great care to select the correct printer! The printer you are looking for has the IP address and has a MAC address 000048D77033. Click Next.
  12. Click Next again.
  13. Enter a sensible printer name: Suggest Optics Colour Printer. Can be set as default.
  14. Choose whether or not to print a test page.
  15. Click Finish.
  16. The user guide and paper jam guide are installed by default.
  17. The Epson Status Monitor is installed.
  18. Click Ok for selection of "Europe" (this is to do with where to order supplies from - ignore).
  19. At the end, click Exit and eject the CD. YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED YET!
  20. Find the Printers and Faxes window (may be under Control Panel).
  21. Right-click your new printer, and select Printing Preferences.
  22. Tick Duplex (otherwise you'll always print single-sided and waste paper).
  23. Now for the sneaky hidden bit... pay attention...
  24. Click the Optional Settings tab at the top.
  25. Click the Extended Settings button.
  26. Tick the box that says "Conserve colour consumables"
  27. Click Ok.
  28. Click Ok.


So you have now set up the new printer to print double-sided and in colour, and any pages without any colour at all will just be printed in black and white (so no colour toner is wasted). If you want to print a document either in black and white, or maybe single-sided, you can do so on a case-by-case basis. From the application's Print window, click Properties and then select/deselect the appropriate attributes.

Instructions for Mac Users

NOTE: if you're on the university's wireless network (rather than our own) you will not be able to print to our printers. This is because when you join the university's wireless network, the laptop is assigned an IP address that has nothing to do with EEE... so the printer cannot be seen. To print from the laptop, plug it into a network socket in one of our labs, and under the "Apple" symbol in the top left corner of the screen select Location -> Optics. You should then be able to print.

For those previously using the old Optics printer (AL-C1100)

Absolutely nothing to do.

For those who have not previously printed to the old Optics printer

There is not much to do on the Mac, as the new printer (with variations for monotone/colour, and single/double-sided) will be automatically detected. To ensure that the printer(s) appear by default in the list of available printers in an application's Print... menu, follow the following procedure:

  1. Click on the "Apple" symbol in the top left corner of the screen and select System Preferences...
  2. Click on Print & Fax.
  3. Click on Set Up Printers...
  4. Ensure the Shared Printers are displayed.
  5. Ensure that there are ticks in the boxes under the "In Menu" column for the following printers:
    • Optics default (B+W) Printer
    • Optics Colour Printer
    • Optics B+W Printer, single-sided
    • Optics Colour Printer, single-sided
  6. Click on the Optics default printer, and while it is highlighted, click on the "Make Default" icon in the top left hand corner of the window.
  7. Quit the printer setup utility, and the system preferences window.

Instructions for Linux Users

For those previously using the old Optics printer (AL-C1100)

Absolutely nothing to do.

For those who have not previously printed to the old Optics printer

Your printing should be set up when a new version of Linux is installed.

How-to to be inserted here

Linux users: how to select the printer (e.g. colour or monotone)

There are usually (but not always) more than one "version" for each of the physical printers - an example of this would be a version that prints your document in back and white, even if it contains colour images, on a printer capable of printing in colour. Another example would be a version that printed things on both sides of the paper.

The clue to what the different versions do is given in the name. For example, for the Epson AL-C3800 printer (the main optics printer) we have 4 "versions":

  • optics: black and white, double-sided
  • optics_colour: colour, double-sided
  • optics_ss: black and white, single-sided
  • optics_colour_ss: colour, single-sided

Modern software

Most popular Linux applications are now approaching the level of simplicity that Windows users have experienced for a while, in terms of selecting which printer you would like to use. For instance, in Adobe Acrobat Reader, for version 7 onwards, you simply select the printer from a drop-down list of those available.


To print a figure, you could of course select Print... from the figure's File menu, and in the box labelled "Printer" type optics_colour_ss or whatever you wanted. You may find it quicker to print from the command line.

If you type print on its own, then the figure will be printed on the default printer (should be optics).

If you want to print in colour (may as well be single-sided, because a figure can only be on one page) you would type print -dpsc -Poptics_colour_ss

Print commands

Some other (usually older) software may require you to type in a "print command", and it is through this that you can direct your document/print job to the printer of your choice. For example GhostView, a utility for viewing Postscript files which is run using the command gv uses the old fashioned "print command" method. If you select Print in GhostView, you are presented with a print command that is initially set to lpr. This will print to the default printer, which should be optics, so double-sided in black and white.

If you wanted to print single-sided, in colour, you would use the print command:

lpr -P optics_colour_ss