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Back in 1991, Apple revolutionized the printing industry with the introduction of the LaserWriter IIf, a powerful and feature-packed printer that left a lasting impact on technology history. Manufactured and sold by Apple, the LaserWriter IIf was a significant upgrade from its predecessor, the LaserWriter IINTX.
One of the standout features of the LaserWriter IIf was its 20 MHz Motorola 68030 processor, which offered a substantial increase in processing power compared to the 16 MHz 68000 found in the previous model. The printer came with 2 MB of ROM and the capability to print in one color with a resolution of up to 300 dpi. With a speedy printing rate of 8 pages per minute, the LaserWriter IIf was a productivity powerhouse.
Connectivity options were also plentiful on the LaserWriter IIf. The printer was equipped with RS-232/RS-422 Serial connection ports and a LocalTalk port, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of devices. Additionally, it retained the SCSI port from its predecessor, allowing users to connect an external hard drive for font storage, eliminating the need to transfer fonts over a LocalTalk network.
One of the notable advancements of the LaserWriter IIf was its support for Postscript Level 2, a more efficient and powerful version of the page description language. This upgrade, coupled with the printer’s 2 MB of ROM, introduced FinePrint, a technology aimed at enhancing the output quality by reducing jaggies. Moreover, expanding the printer’s memory to 5 MB or more allowed users to take advantage of Apple’s PhotoGrade feature, which produced more than 65 shades of gray by utilizing different-sized dots.
The LaserWriter IIf shared its engine with the earlier LaserWriter II family of printers, enabling users to upgrade their older models by swapping in a LaserWriter IIf or IIg logic board. This offered a cost-effective path to benefit from the improved features of the IIf and IIg printers.
In terms of design, the LaserWriter IIf sported a compact and sturdy build, measuring 8.75″ x 20.2″ x 18.7″ and weighing 45 pounds. The printer’s sleek appearance blended well with Apple’s iconic design language.
Sadly, the LaserWriter IIf’s lifespan was relatively short-lived, as it was discontinued on May 1st, 1993, just two years after its introduction. Nevertheless, its impact on the printing industry cannot be understated. It brought a new level of output quality and productivity to the LaserWriter line, and its advancements in Postscript and memory expansion laid the groundwork for future innovations.
Today, the LaserWriter IIf stands as a testament to Apple’s commitment to pushing technological boundaries. While it may be 31 years old, its contributions to the world of printing technology are still remembered and celebrated.
LaserWriter IIf Details
|Introduced||October 1, 1991|
|Discontinued||May 1, 1993|
|Weight||45 Ibs. |
|Dimensions||8.7” H x 20.2” W x 18.7” D |
22.1 cm H x 51.3 cm W x 47.5 cm D
|Pages Per Minute||8|
|Language||PostScript Level 2|
|Processor Speed||20 MHz|
|ROM Size||2 MB|
|Maximum Memory||32 MB|
|Memory Slots||8 – 30-pin SIMMs|
|Minimum Speed||80 ns|
RS-232 / RS-422 Serial
|Maximum Continuous Power||900 W|
Further Reading and References
- LaserWriter IIf: Technical Specifications – Apple Support
- LaserWriter – Wikipedia
- LaserWriter IIf – Low End Mac
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Last updated: May 21, 2023