[Coco] Coco and Modern Printers

Chad H chadbh74 at hotmail.com
Sat Sep 15 09:18:28 EDT 2012

Yea, i would feel a little funny myself  dedicating a full PC just as a printer server, just as i did when i began trying out DriveWire in general.  CoCo felt like some sort of terminal, not very CoCo`ish. I know these things have their place, but when it comes to my CoCo im still kind of a purist.  I want to experience it the same way i remember it in the 80's, so i still use my trusty FD-502 drive as well as my CCR-81 cassette player, heck i even still do most of my CoCo stuff using DECB programs. I know a lot of people knock on DECB, floppies and such, but looks like they will keep on kicking after im gone.  Printers seem to have a slightly less life expectancy in my experience, but one can still acquire great ones with ink/toner cheaply enough that will run right off the old serial-parrallel interface, so guess ill be sticking with that.

Next time i come across one of these interfaces for sell ill post it in case anyone else would like to go that route.

Sent from my ASUS Transformer Infinity

Mark McDougall <msmcdoug at iinet.net.au> wrote:

On 15/09/2012 2:32 PM, Chad H wrote:

> Well, in Windows 8 they have supposedly redesigned the driver system into
> some sort of "universal class driver" platform.


Reading between the lines, it's mostly marketing guff, and nothing that
couldn't be done today in Win7.  Modern printers speak one of a few
'languages' (eg. XPS, PCL, PS) that Microsoft are going to wrap into a
single 'printer framework' and, together with a 'well known' ID programmed
into the printer, auto-select the correct generic (language) driver for that
printer. Remains to be seen if the manufacturers are going to be content
with the vanilla wrapping of the Microsoft driver - I suspect, like now,
most will opt to provide an 'enhanced' driver with more features in the
control panel UI applet.

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 virtual ly
> any USB printer that was designed for Windows 8!?  Right?

This makes it easier to support a wide range of (USB) printers.

It does *NOT* make it easier to support any one modern USB printer. As
others have alluded to, you still need multi MB of memory and a good pile of
code to support any modern printer, whether they speak XPS, PCL, PS etc etc
- and this INCLUDES the so-called Win8 universal printer (184MB to be
exact). You can't just take a small micro and have it output text on a
modern printer like it was a line printer, they simply don't work that way
any more. :(

Running Linux/CUPS etc on a suitable platform, as others suggested, may be
the way to go. I personally feel a bit funny about having a printer 'box'
that is many more times powerful than the machine doing the printing, but
that's just me. I'd probably just use a PC. Each to his own of course.


|              Mark McDougall                | "Electrical Engineers do it
|  <http://members.iinet.net.au/~msmcdoug>   |   with less resistance!"

Coco mailing list
Coco at maltedmedia.com

More information about the Coco mailing list