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CUPS / HPLJ5: very slow printer processing

I'm using CUPS to print to an HP LaserJet 5.  Output is...terrifyingly
slow, particularly when generating my standard output -- multi-sheet-per
page reports created by running textfiles through mpage:

    $ mpage -2 foo.txt | lpr

I'm looking for suggestions on speeding processing, which is currenlty
on the order of 4-5 ppm, with a healthy processing wait on the printer
before a job is started.   Printer should handle ~12ppm or better.  As
best I can tell it's *not* postscript enabled, pity....

>From /etc/cups/printers.conf:

    # Printer configuration file for CUPS v1.1.15
    # Written by cupsd on Fri May  9 22:44:58 2003
    <DefaultPrinter HPLJ5>
    Info QPC Office HPLJ5
    Location QPC Office
    State Idle
    Accepting Yes
    JobSheets none none
    QuotaPeriod 0
    PageLimit 0
    KLimit 0


Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
   KQED FM:  The bright spot on the dial:  http://www.kqed.org/fm/

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