3.694 the HP printer; fonts (181)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Fri, 3 Nov 89 21:03:28 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 694. Friday, 3 Nov 1989.

(1) Date: Thu, 2 Nov 89 23:35:06 EST (49 lines)
From: Geoffrey Rockwell <Geoffrey_Rockwell@poczta.utcs.utoronto.ca>
Subject: 3.687 HP printer and M-I

(2) Date: Thu, 2 Nov 89 23:57:41 EST (40 lines)
From: gall@Nexus.YorkU.CA
Subject: Re: 3.687 HP printer and the Mac? (25)

(3) Date: 03 Nov 89 12:47 -0330 (44 lines)
From: dgraham@kean.ucs.mun.ca
Subject: HP DeskWriter

(4) Date: Fri, 3 Nov 89 11:38:45 EST (25 lines)
From: elli@harvunxw.BITNET (Elli Mylonas)
Subject: HP DeskWriter

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 89 23:35:06 EST
From: Geoffrey Rockwell <Geoffrey_Rockwell@poczta.utcs.utoronto.ca>
Subject: 3.687 HP printer and M-I

I saw the HP Deskwriter (HP 2278A) at MacWorld and was impressed. It is
not, however, a PostScript printer. Nor is it a 300 dpi printer of the
quality of traditional lasers. The dots are not uniform in size, so the
effect, compared to a laser is speckly. The dots are spat at the page
by the jet as opposed to being specks of toner attracted to the page.
The Deskwriter is not as fast as lasers, and is not an Appletalk device,
so it is not suitable for networking. It is a personal quasi-300 dpi
printer for people dissatisfied with the imagewriter and without the
cash for a laser.

Fonts is an interesting question. I was under the impression that they
have their own font outline technology for the printer, but I may have
not heard correctly. It could be that they use large size fonts and
scale them down, as the LQ does. In that case the question is whether
there is a SMK Greek keys 72 point font. Here is what the pamphlet says
(in quotations): "Laser-quality means 300 dots-per-inch resolution.
Jet black text and graphics. Sharp, crisp edges. And a library of
scalable fonts that you thought were available only on PostScript

Sounds to me like, yet another font technology. How does it handle
fonts for which it has no outline? A screen dump of the "DeskWriter
Page Setup" has the following switchable Printer Effects: Font
substitution?, Use High-Quality Printer Fonts?, and Precision Bitmaps?
I suspect with Font Substitution off, you can get SMK as if it were on
an imagewriter. (Jet black and crisp.) The high-quality printer fonts
will be their outline fonts. One possibility is that it is like the
BitStream fonts on the PC, you have to generate 300dpi fonts from the
outline that then sit on your hard drive. You generate a different font
for each point size you think you want. How will this work with the
Royal technology when that comes out with system 7. (Beware of system
seven.) How about Adobe's font outline technology?

The thing I liked most about it, was the way it holds every page above
the others while the "jet black", crisp ink dries. It reminded me, for
some unexamined reason, of a tortellini making machine.

Geoffrey Rockwell
University of Toronto

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------56----
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 89 23:57:41 EST
From: gall@Nexus.YorkU.CA
Subject: Re: 3.687 HP printer and the Mac? (25)

> Subject: 3.687 HP printer and the Mac? (25)
| At a recent computer fair I picked up a brochure on the HP Deskwriter
| (HP 2278A) which says it is an HP jet printer made for the Macintosh.
| The printer itself was not exhibited. Has anyone used this printer with
| the Mac? Any comments?

I have just that beast here attached to my Mac Plus (2.5 Meg) and am
more than happy with it. The noise level is 1/10 that of the IW II
and the print quality is indistinguishable from any PS 300dpi printer
you care to name. After photocopying, the results are excellent.

| I am especially interested whether it works
| with non-Roman fonts (programs like SMK Greekeys).

The DeskWriter only uses AGFA CompuGraphic typefaces (and *all* Adobe
typefaces after the purchase of the Adobe Type Manager -- an absolute
must for both the HP DW and the IW II!!) at 300 dpi. Bitmapped faces
are scalled down. One needs at least 4X the size in the system as is
being used on the page for even tolerable results... but you knew that
from the IW LQ anyway, right? Adobe's Symbol font produces all the
greek and logic characters *I* need... and it comes with ATM (~$60US
from mail-order in the US--$79CDN in Canada)w3

| A colleague who is
| involved with SMK Greekeys has serious doubts that HP can produce a
| satisfactory Postscript printer. The latest report from our computing
| center here at Indiana also suggests that HP has these problems.
>-- End of excerpt

I have no knowledge of HP's competence with PostScript... The DW is a
QuickDraw printer.

Norm Gall
(3) --------------------------------------------------------------53----
Date: 03 Nov 89 12:47 -0330
From: dgraham@kean.ucs.mun.ca
Subject: HP DeskWriter

I've had a DeskWriter working in my office only for the last few days
so I'm not the best person to comment on the request for information
about it, but here goes anyway:

The DeskWriter is basically an edition of the DeskJet with a
new driver from Palomar Software specifically designed to work with
the Macintosh. It has all the advantages and disadvantages of inkjet
printers: it's quiet, fairly speedy, and produces 300 dpi output from
the outline fonts which are included with it. In a way it's about
where the original LaserWriter was when first released: it comes with
four 'font families', which are lookalikes for Courier, Times, Symbol
and Helvetica, though the rest of the 35 fonts in the LaserWriter
IINT/NTX are available at extra cost. Its disadvantages include the
fact that the output is fairly sensitive to the kind of paper used (it
likes good quality bond), some smearing of the ink if you handle it
when it first comes from the printer, and less than terrific output
using bitmapped screen fonts which are not resident in the printer
(they print at 72 dpi--ordinary Mac screen resolution). As well, the
printer is not designed for heavy use: HP recommends a maximum daily
average of 25 pp, and an allowable occasional daily maximum of only 50
pp. Definitely a personal printer!

As regards the question of non-Roman fonts, as far as I can
see there is not yet a proper Greek font, or for that matter any other
non-Roman font, available for the DeskWriter. Those who have seen the
standard Mac Symbol font will be aware that it is no substitute. Any
good bitmapped font would work of course, but at 72 dpi. If the
DeskWriter catches on (as it may, given its low price in relation to
the quality of output), companies like Linguists' Software may well
produce fonts for it.

Bottom line at the moment: it's a joy to use, but if your
first priority is non-Roman fonts at 300 dpi, you should find out more
before buying. This is not a PostScript printer, by the way, and does
not use Adobe fonts. I think it comes with fonts from Agfa
Compugraphic, but I'm not sure.

David Graham dgraham@kean.ucs.mun.ca
(4) --------------------------------------------------------------31----
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 89 11:38:45 EST
From: elli@harvunxw.BITNET (Elli Mylonas)
Subject: HP DeskWriter

This is not a postscript printer. It does quickdraw. So, any problems
that exist for the Laserwriter SC and the Imagewriter LQ will also
apply to this printer. However, it is still well worth the price (around
$800 or a bit less, mail order) if the person using it is able to work
around the lack of PostScript.
I would not recommend it to a novice user, unless all they do is very
standard work with standard fonts.
However, with utilities like the Adobe Type Manager, which turn PostSCript
into QuickDraw, the DeskWriter immediately expands its potential.
I don't know what to say about SMK and their associated PS fonts, Kadmos
and Attika, etc. since it is unclear whether the ATM handles anything
but Adobe Fonts. However, the QuickDraw fonts are the way Apple plans
to handle fonts in System 7, so the DeskJet also has a future, and
it is a pretty safe bet that utilities to convert PS to Quickdraw will
I don't think the SuperGreek font can really solve the problem, either,
since in order to print with a higher resolution, it is necessary to have
a larger type size (like with the LaserWriter SC)--usually 4x.
SMK is working on producing a the larger size fonts for the SC users.
--Elli Mylonas