Installing a Brother HL-5370DW printer wirelessly on a Mac

Sorry to my regular readers, who are about to take a snooze… I don't usually post techie stuff here but this needs to be recorded for posterity and I don't really have any where else to put it. So here goes:

First of all, make sure this is the printer for you. I haven't used it much but it seems ok. The pages have a pretty pronounced curl when they first come out of the printer but they do flatten. My main objection is that the fan is very loud. It's also a bit disconcerting that the lights dim when the printer wakes up. :) But these are minor things. It prints fast, does duplex and handles legal sized paper, and Consumer Reports rated it very highly for cost-per-page (meaning it's cheap to use, relatively speaking). All good things. I've never had a Brother printer before; I've had several HPs and they have all been like tanks, dependable and lasted forever, but this time I wanted one with built-in wireless and this was the one Consumer Reports liked the best. I know, taking their advice isn't the sure bet it used to be… we'll see how this turns out.

Now, about the install. You need to install the driver from the CD (as of OS X 10.5.7, anyway) but beyond that just disregard the whole thing. The instructions on there are somewhere between incomplete and flat out wrong, and will just waste your time. (note I speak only for OS X; they might be just fine for Windows)

To get the printer actually working, you need this document:

Macintosh – wireless setup without a network cable

I don't know if Brother changes the names of their documents when they update them. If that link doesn't work, try going here:

Wireless Setup Instructions

and look for the document by title. anyway, this is *completely* different from what both the program and the documentation on the CD say, and this works.

Some things to note:

  • The process feels something like a magic incantation, and it's easy to skip a step. If it doesn't work, you probably missed something; starting all over from the beginning is generally required if anything goes amiss.
  • If pressing "Go" three times doesn't turn the status light amber, it's not going to print the printer settings report; it'll just wake up the printer but not print anything. Just press "Go" three more times and it will work.
  • If you aren't able to bring up the "Brother Web Management" screen in your browser, try power cycling the printer. Be sure to wait for it to pick up its IP address before continuing; you can confirm this by printing another report (yes, this process does waste a ton of paper, unfortunately).
  • I originally had my Wireless Security (in Airport Utility) set to "WPA2 Personal", but with this setting the printer was unable to connect to my network. I changed it to "WPA/WPA2 Personal" and that worked ok.
  • It's not real clear that when you are using WPA for your Authentication Method, the Encryption Mode is TKIP and you can ignore the four WEP Key fields, even though they have default values in them. Just enter your Passphrase (the password needed to connect to your network)
  • I don't know what the User ID and Password fields are for but you can ignore those too.

Lastly, I somehow missed the fact that I was following the "without a network cable" directions and had one plugged in (that is, I had an Ethernet cable connecting the printer to my Airport Extreme router). I have *no* idea if that made any difference or not, but if you try doing this without one and it isn't working, maybe it's worth a try.

The printer does seem to have good range; my office is in the front of the house and the Airport is in the back, and so far it's working fine.

That's all – good luck!!!! Feel free to add more tips and tricks in the comments if you feel I missed something.

Comments (2)

Who says computer geeks have no sense of humor?

I almost didn’t post this because so many of you won’t understand, but for those who do…

Ok, it looks crazy, right? You might understand a bit more if you read some of this:

Also, be sure to click through to all of the links on the site, and whatever you do, don’t forget to View Source! That’s actually the best part….

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This App Store thing is really starting to piss me off

There was some consternation when the iPhone first came out and the only place you could buy apps for it was through Apple’s Application Store. Some felt that Apple would abuse the power, but most of us had faith that they would do the right thing. Now, however, it’s time to worry.

First, they threw out a few apps which clearly had questionable value, such as “I Am Rich”, which cost $999.00 and didn’t do anything but prove that the user was rich enough to afford it. Stupid idea, and although I would have preferred they allow the marketplace to sink that app to the bottom of the pond, I could understand why they pulled it. Then there was “Pull My Finger”, which made fart sounds (complete with making the phone vibrate). Even less defensible, but I could see where they would not want news articles being written that contained both the words “iPhone” and “fart”, so ok… I don’t think the world is worse off without a fart sound generator, even though I think they were wrong to reject it.

Then things got worse. They denied a couple of apps for duplicating existing functionality. This is wrong on so many levels… first, there, is nothing in the developer agreement that says you can’t do this. It’s called competition, people! And even worse, they are only doing this with apps they feel duplicate *Apple’s* functionality. They don’t care if there are 15 sudoku games, but if you want to play podcasts or display email messages, even if you do both of those things in a clearly different way than Apple’s apps do, you’re shit out of luck.

Even worse, there’s no way to get an idea pre-approved, so the only way to find out whether Apple will accept your app or not is to do *all* of the work of building it, submit it for review, and cross your fingers.

Their last smooth move was to deal with the uproar, which is growing by the day, by putting an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) notice in the rejection letters. So if your app is rejected, you’re not allowed to discuss that fact in public. WTF??

And all of this is happening coincidentally with the release of the first phone to run Android, Google’s open source mobile phone OS. Apple, please…. could you *be* any more stupid?? Do you really want developers turning their attention to Android because they are afraid to trust you anymore???

This has all been written about many times, by far bigger names in the community than mine. But there’s one thing that strikes me that I haven’t seen anyone else mention: this tactic Apple is using, of putting an NDA on the rejection letters… is it just me, or does that seem an awful lot like those National Security Letters the Bush Administration is so fond of? The ones where they send you a letter demanding some kind of information in an unlawful manner (ie no warrant, no probable cause) and you are not only obligated to give it up, but you can’t tell anyone about it. Not even a lawyer, so you are incapable of defending yourself. Of course the stakes are a lot higher in that situation but still… the tactics seem similar to me, and equally indefensible.

It all makes me sad… I love my iPhone and I want to see it and Apple succeed beyond all our wildest dreams, but this is pretty hard to support. I have a couple of app ideas that I’d love to build, but even if they are accepted and do well in the store, the ick factor is going to take away a lot of the joy. And I know quite a few people now who are abandoning their iPhone dev ambitions, at least for now, because they can’t afford to put in the time and then have Apple reject their app.

*sigh* C’mon, guys, just admit you blew it and fix this, m’kay? Preferably before you do so much damage to the brand that it never fully recovers….

Update – Gruber is questioning the part about the rejection notices being covered by NDA. I’ll update this post if he publishes any conclusions.

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We must all do our part to keep the email address a secret… it’s very important that these folks be allowed to keep their email ( private. We would not want to get any spam, that would be very distressing to!

Explanation at


Update 5 hours later – weird, this page is getting hits from all over the world. Many from Google but some coming direct. I’m not exactly sure why, but if they are harvesters then so much the better! :)

Another update – I get it now. I got the bright idea of Googling for to see what comes up. This post comes up in the bottom half of the first page of results, and the snippet Google shows is the tagline above, that is “Thoughts on life (and everything else) from one fucking amazing chick”. Yea, if I saw that I’d probably click through to take a look too!

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PDX Cocoaheads

I went to my first Cocoaheads meeting last night (for my non-techie friends, that’s a gathering of Mac software developers, aka geeks :). It was really nice to be in a room full of like-minded people for a change; it has been quite a while since I had that feeling of belonging to something larger than myself.

There are times when I actually miss working for a company and going to the office every day, but then I remember what it was like to have stupid management and I’m very glad I do what I do. :)

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