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Thread: Vintage Computer - Modern(ish) Printer

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    Compatibility mode? Most printers with a Centronics interface print the same as they always did. Frankly, I don't find any modern printers more reliable than old dot matrix ones, or any impact printer for that matter as long as it is tractor feed, not friction feed. But any LaserJet that has a Centronics port will work, as well as any other printer that you can directly connect to a Kaypro.
    Compatibility mode means sort of the same thing for printers as vt-100 or adm3a compatibility means for terminals, except on dot matrix printers it usually means compatibility with an older Epson standard which I really don't know about. Kaypro existed in the days of the dot matrix and CPM, which is why he was looking for an epson fx80.

    I have a panasonic kx-1124 that I actually found for free one day, works fine and they still make ink cartridges for it as well as the perforated paper for it, both very cheap, because they're still used by many companies because a properly maintained dot matrix printer will never have a paper jam and can endlessly churn out pages with little maintenance. It has an epson compatibility mode and can be found for less than $50 plus shipping since companies were buying and maintaining them for years and are slowly retiring them. They are centronics, and I know my Kaypro-II has a centronics printer plug on the back, so if yours has the same you'd need a centronics-to-centronics cable.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2icebitn View Post
    Someone suggested a long while back to get an sbc with an rs-232 port. Transfer files to it and print. Sbc's are not always cheap, or cheap enough, or are actual stand alone *single board computers*. It would be awful nice that have it set up as a headless print server so whatever it gets sent automatically prints. You can also find these thin clients on eBay pretty reasonably.
    Its not an SBC at all, its an ethernet print server, and yeah you can buy one that would be all ready to set up for about as much as an RPi and the parts to cobble together a printer interface. Its a problem that was solved fifteen, maybe twenty years ago.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bifo86 View Post
    Its not an SBC at all, its an ethernet print server, and yeah you can buy one that would be all ready to set up for about as much as an RPi and the parts to cobble together a printer interface. Its a problem that was solved fifteen, maybe twenty years ago.
    Do you have an example of a device that connects to a computer as a serial or parallel printer and prints to an ethernet or USB printer?

    I have thus far only seen devices that do the opposite.

  4. #14
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    I don't know what he's referring to. But to write software that causes an sbc to receive data and appear to the host as a printer, I suppose is quite possible. Most people would be happy sending a file over a serial connection and having the sbc natively print it out, as it has drivers that support the printer. I have 3 old pmmx *true* sbc's I've kept for such a purpose, that seem exactly the size of an Ampro Little Board, and have everything on board. Alternately you could just send the file to a modern PC or laptop using a USB to serial (or parallel) dongle and print that way.

  5. #15

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    I think the main reason to do something other than just transfer files is if you have some specialized CP/M program that generates the output you want, like a word processor or report generator (e.g. accounting or database apps). In that case you have a stream of bytes with ESC sequences for a particular antique printer model. You would need to convert the stream into something like PostScript - or some slightly less modern printer language. I'm pretty sure it's not practical to try and customize old CP/M programs to generate PostScript. Even HPGL might be a stretch.

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