[Coco] DriveWire printing options

Aaron Wolfe aawolfe at gmail.com
Sun Dec 27 04:44:33 EST 2009

The tool I'm creating will take bytes captured from the bitbanger (or
anything else that can generate the bytes usually sent to a printer)
and output an image: png, gif, jpg, tiff etc.  Probably PNG, it seems
to make the nicest output so far.

You can easily put these images into a PDF or any other format if
you'd like, but that won't be part of the tool.  Plenty of ways to do
that kind of thing already.  If you want to work with the text, well
you probably wouldn't want to use this tool at all since the text will
already be in the file you would feed to this tool.  Maybe we can make
a simple filter to strip out any printer control codes, but it would
be simpler to configure your application not to put them in there in
the first place, if possible.

I've attached a sample of the output from the tool I'm creating.  Its
still pretty limited but can do several dot pitches and "NLQ" mode.
Finishing up text/font controls won't take long, and graphics are
pretty simple too.  Probably have something that pretty much works by
the end of tomorrow.

If you're nostalgic for dot matrix printouts, enjoy the sample :)
There is an awful lot of tweaking you can do on the output when it's
not real ink.  Dot size and shape, darkness, etc are easy to play
with.  I've got it looking pretty authentic (i think, it's been a
while since I looked at a 9 pin dot matrix printout) but for some uses
it might be nice to tweak it to look better/more readable, in fact
getting output better than such a printer could actually create is
certainly possible.


On Sat, Dec 26, 2009 at 6:44 PM, Frank Swygert <farna at att.net> wrote:
> I suggest PDF file output for portability, and that will handle graphics as
> well as text. If someone needs an editable text file all they have to do is
> open the file in a PDF reader and copy the text then paste into any editor
> they'd like as a text file.
> What you really need to do is look at the possible scenarios and decide
> which is easiest to incorporate. If someone intends to use this for
> something other than programming they will want graphics output too, so a
> plain text print wouldn't work for them. Because PC printers are stupid and
> need the CPU to do most of the work, you may be limited to something like
> text output. That is better than nothing!
> --
> Frank Swygert
> Publisher, "American Motors Cars" Magazine (AMC)
> For all AMC enthusiasts
> http://farna.home.att.net/AMC.html
> (free download available!)
> --
> Coco mailing list
> Coco at maltedmedia.com
> http://five.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/coco
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