In late December 2007, I became the proud custodian of a Mutoh iP-530 plotter. Thanks, Jared & Chika!
December 30, 2007 - I did some more searching around for plotter info and found pstoedit, a command-line program that converts from PostScript and PDF to other vector file formats, including HPGL. It took a little bit of mucking around to find the right combination of settings on the plotter and command-line options to pstoedit, but I did figure it out, and was able to plot a PDF file successfully.
December 29, 2007 (later the same day!) - Well, after digging around a little bit in PADS, my PCB layout program, I found a way to output to the plotter. Not gonna work for arbitrary artwork, but I was only looking to plot my PCB anyway.
Check it out:
December 29, 2007 - I did some reading about the plotter online, and it sounds like the best way to get it up and running under a modern operating system (like WinXP) is actually to use AutoCAD and its drivers to output to the plotter or pay for a custom-written driver. Both options cost a fair amount of dough. Basically, it's a serial port device, and there's no support for the outdated interface in modern OSes, but since architecture & engineering firms still use them, AutoCAD supports them, and there's a boutique business in selling the drivers.
But, I know Jared had this up and running one way or another, so I'll see what he has to say.
December 27, 2007 - Original post:
I'm still not sure what I'll do with it, but it seemed like a fun toy, and I had the room for it (it's got wheels, so I can roll it into the closet most of the time). I'll post whatever projects I end up doing here.