ImageWriter device drivers, cont. (62)

Mon, 20 Feb 89 18:49:44 EST

Humanist Mailing List, Vol. 2, No. 629. Monday, 20 Feb 1989.

Date: Sun, 19 Feb 89 21:01 CDT

In response to Joel B. Goldfield's query about a device driver to
connect an MS-DOS micro to an Apple ImageWriter II, I will reply
concerning our experience, but in the hope that someone else has
better news for him.

We were successful in connecting Zenith 159's to an *AppleTalk*
ImageWriter through our TOPS network using TOPS "NetPrint."
Notice, however, that this solution implies (a) the existence of
a network to which both machines are connected and (b) the
outfitting of the ImageWriter with an AppleTalk board.

Even that solution was not entirely satisfactory for our purposes,
because the ImageWriter II cannot normally handle the "upper 128"
ASCII characters needed for accented foreign characters (i.e.,
those codes have altogether different meanings in the Apple
character set from the IBM character set). The TOPS "NetPrint"
package includes a font that duplicates the IBM character set,
including graphics characters; but it can only be downloaded to the
LaserWriter, not to the ImageWriter. One other disadvantage is
that, even if you don't need the "upper 128," an ASCII dump to the
ImageWriter can only be printed in draft mode, the intermediate and
"near-letter-quality" modes imply printing of a bit-mapped screen

If you need only to print word-processed documents, check carefully
the printer drivers delivered with your word processor. (For
example, my copy of WordPerfect, version 5.0, includes adequate
drivers for both the ImageWriter and the LaserWriter.)

However, if you need (as we do) to send unprocessed files or screen
dumps to the printer and if you need characters from the "upper
128," then you will probably need to write a filtering/translation
program through which you "massage" the file first to make it print
properly on the ImageWriter. That involves adding the proper
escape codes at the beginning of the file to put the printer into
the proper "foreign-language character set" and translating the
accented characters in your text into the "normal" characters (such
as @, {, etc.) that are replaced by accented characters when the
printer prints in that "character set." (I started doing one, but
gave up when I saw the possibility of a better solution [see
below]; I could give you more details if you want.)

I finally skirted the problem rather than attacking it head on when
frustration with the ImageWriter II's tendency to come to a halt
with a paper jam every time my back was turned met with my Dean's
agreeing to let me buy another printer to attach to the MS-DOS
machines. (By the way, colleagues report to me that paper-jamming
problems are if anything worse with their new ImageWriter NLQ