[Coco] Coco and Modern Printers

Chad H chadbh74 at hotmail.com
Sat Sep 15 00:32:20 EDT 2012

More to the point of your "Modern USB Printer" objective, I just remembered one of the things I've been reading and hearing about concerning Windows 8.  What does Windows 8 have to do with CoCo printing?  Well, in Windows 8 they have supposedly redesigned the driver system into some sort of "universal class driver" platform.  According to Microsoft's Windows 8 Consumer Preview demonstration, they are trying to get rid of manufacturer specific drivers for different types of devices.  Soooo... If you buy a Windows 8 ready Network Card, and don't have the drivers, you don't have to go to the network to get them (The old catch 22), Windows 8 recognizes them all the same.  The same is supposedly true for printers.  All Windows 8 ready printers will use the same universal driver.   So, wouldn't it make sense, theoretically, that if one could encapsulate the "Windows 8 Universal Printer Class Driver" in some sort of stand-alone serial to USB printer interface, that could run virtually any USB printer that was designed for Windows 8!?  Right?

-----Original Message-----
From: coco-bounces at maltedmedia.com [mailto:coco-bounces at maltedmedia.com] On Behalf Of Chad H
Sent: Friday, September 14, 2012 11:00 PM
To: CoCoList for Color Computer Enthusiasts
Subject: Re: [Coco] Coco and Modern Printers

Of course, like with most things CoCo, there are many different ways of achieving this as already pointed out...it depends on your know how, pocket book, and what you actually want to accomplish.  A few days ago i saw a e-bay listing for miscellaneous CoCo that was getting a bunch of bids and at first i was confused why, but upon closer inspection i saw there was a hard to come by gem in the the otherwise `junk` lot....a serial to parrallel interface.  I was fortunate to acquire one of these from a fellow off this list a couple of years ago.  I still print directly to my HP DeskJet 540 printer using it.  It works great in both DECB & OS-9.  This means i need no secondary `server` pc.  I could just as easily hooked it up to a good old school LaserJet for even higher quality/speed printing.  In fact i found some HP LaserJet 1160 printers online just a while ago for about $40.  They are "MS-DOS compatible" so will also work with the CoCo interface and they do 1200dpi at 20 ppm...not too shabby.  Think im gonna get one for a backup.

Sent from my ASUS Transformer Infinity

Christopher Hawks <chawks at dls.net> wrote:

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>#800000 2px solid; } -->
>Frank Swygert said the following on 09/14/2012 06:38 PM:
>> Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2012 11:52:39 -0500
>> From: John Orwen<jorwen at neb.rr.com>
>> Has anyone ever manufactured or has anyone ever contemplated making 
>> and selling a multipak cartride with an internal rom and an external 
>> usb port on it to interface to modern printers.  One that would 
>> contain the generic driver code to connect to any usb printer. That 
>> would convert the commands Print#-2 and LLIST for correct generic usb 
>> font and line only graphics from any coco and to any usb printer.  I 
>> would think that everyone with a modern computer connected to a usb 
>> printer would want something like this for their still active coco.  
>> Maybe I am the only one in the Universe.  Any comments would be accepted.
>> ----------------------------
>> Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2012 12:58:22 -0500
>> From: camillus Blockx<camillus.b.58 at gmail.com>
>> I was more thinking of using the pc for that, link to pcs with serial 
>> and divert with dosprint tool to any printer that is on pc. Even 
>> network printers.
>> drawback is that you need the host always on.
>> Paralell would work too but needs code on the pc side.
>> I look into it more specific after I moved to my new place at end this month.
>> ----------------------
>> Camillus has the right idea! The problem is that most inexpensive 
>> ink-jet and laser printers no longer have any "brains" built in 
>> (there are a few exceptions, but not the under $100 variety... unless 
>> someone found one recently...). The print driver handles all the 
>> plotting work. This works well with modern PCs because they have so 
>> much processing power. In the old days everything was off-loaded from 
>> the main CPU because it was limited, especially in 8 bits. The 
>> printers cost more, but could be hooked up to anything with an appropriate interface.
>> If you're using Drivewire as a server anyway, it wouldn't be hard to 
>> send print files to the PC and let it be the brains for the cheap printer. Hmmm....
>> Drivewire may have a print function in the server, seems someone was 
>> talking about that anyway...
>> A micro controller or small single board computer should be able to 
>> handle driving a printer. A $35 Raspberry Pi should be able to do 
>> this! Mount it in a small box, make a serial cable (no serial port on Raspberry Pi? Think again!!
>> -- http://lavalink.com/2012/03/raspberry-pi-serial-interfacing/) to 
>> go between it and the CoCo, and mod a small Linux distro to boot and 
>> take inout from the serial port and output to the USB printer driver. 
>> This will take some software, and you'll need to limit the printer 
>> driver to some low end HP driver that will work with just about any 
>> cheap HP inkjet, but it could be made to work as a simple plug and 
>> play device, with a specific range/list of printers anyway. HP uses a 
>> universla driver on many of their simple printers, so it may not be 
>> that hard to do. Don't think the controllers like an Arduino are 
>> capable of driving a USB printer, or rather running any software 
>> printer driver. That would be a major tasking, writing such a driver that would w ork!
>        The Raspberry Pi should run the Linux version of Drivewire 3 with no problem. 
>It has printer support. (Might be possible to run Drivewire 4, depends 
>on RPi's Java capabilities.)
>        A credit card sized Drivewire Server!!
>        That's one of the first things mine is going to do (if it ever gets here!).
>Christopher R. Hawks
>In most countries selling harmful things like drugs is punishable.
>Then howcome people can sell Microsoft software and go unpunished?
>        -- Hasse Skrifvars, hasku at rost.abo.fi,
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>Coco at maltedmedia.com

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