"This printer is (i'm told) supposed to print a test page full of assorted characters yet only prints multiple parallel lines. Also, i'm unsure of the proper hookup to Win95, parallel or serial interface. To clarify, I bought this thing used from someone who 'knew nothing about it' and the HP web site volunteers little information."
(From: Gerald Chafee (GChafee@worldnet.att.net>).)
If I remember right the original Laserjet has a "test switch" located towards the back that only tests the print engine and is supposed to only print parallel lines. I think that you can take the printer off-line from the front panel and get some sort of printout by holding down a self-test switch on the front or a combination of switches. Somewhere I have a service manual for this unit and I will try to look it up.
BTW, the LJ I's were invariably a serial port only printer which made them a pain to interface. They do give a good print for such old technology, but you only have 1 or 2 resident fonts and I believe there was no graphics capability. You had to use cartridges to get any other fonts.
(From: Mike B. (firstname.lastname@example.org).)
It's printing correctly. If I remember, there are two ways of testing this thing. You are hitting the 'test print' button on the side. This is the parallel lines test. There is another test button on the front panel that when hit, causes the cascading alphanumeric printing sequence.
With Win95, you should be able to use the HP Laserjet driver with no problems. Since you have Model #2686A, I think the 'A' stands for parallel connection. In that case, just connect it like any other parallel printer, and make sure that you have the proper Win95 drivers.
Why doesn't the HP site help much? :-). They just want to sell you one of their new, whiz-bang models :0
This printer is a great workhorse. I believe you will still find lots of support for it from other places. There is a place called Laser Connection that supports/services these printers.