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IBM PC Compact Printer

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    #16
    Originally posted by Jorg View Post
    I remember a very neat and compact HP thermal printer or inkjet printer that we used in our research labs around 1988. I can't remember what it is called though- and googling for 'HP Printer', well....

    Does anybody have a clue? They were using tractor feed, but the printer was not much wider than the paper, a small square box.
    Well, I've got a little DeskJet 320 here (battery powered); it doesn't do tractor feed paper but I suppose you could feed continuous forms through it since it's a straight-through paper path. It does have an optional sheet feeder though.
    By the way, should I start making pictures of my Oki 192 and IBM Graphics Printer? I'm afraid I dumped my Seikosha GP100 years ago, how stupid.
    (*remembers still wants an HP7574 plotter...)
    Too bad; I've got an HP 7475 here looking for a home...
    OKI, Seikosha... names fondly remembered, along with Citizen, Star Micronics, Raven... some of those in the basement somewhere as well...

    Comment


      #17
      Originally posted by MikeS View Post
      Well, I've got a little DeskJet 320 here (battery powered); it doesn't do tractor feed paper but I suppose you could feed continuous forms through it since it's a straight-through paper path. It does have an optional sheet feeder though.

      Too bad; I've got an HP 7475 here looking for a home...
      OKI, Seikosha... names fondly remembered, along with Citizen, Star Micronics, Raven... some of those in the basement somewhere as well...
      Well.. I guess almost *everybody* must have used or owned a Star LC-10..
      My first printer for the PC I bought was a Citizen 120D. It did quite a nice NLQ for a 9-pin...but printing 25 page documents, I let it do that overnight.
      Oh, to sleep with the soothening noise of a matrix printer in your room..

      No, the HP was not a Deskjet. It dates from before they invented 'Deskjet', I believe.
      I can't remember if it was ink or thermal.

      EDIT: Bingo, some little wires in my head suddenly connected:
      It was a ThinkJet, ofcourse
      “Thus, we see that one of the obvious origins of human disagreement lies in the use of noises for words.”

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by mbbrutman View Post
        I think there are still a billion IBM Graphics Printers out there, so don't worry too much about it. The Oki's were very nice printers too, but I haven't seen one in 15 years.
        Mike
        My remark about the graphics printer needed ironic tags.
        Oki, don't worry. Your grandson will probably find one while digging in the garden in 80 years. Working.
        “Thus, we see that one of the obvious origins of human disagreement lies in the use of noises for words.”

        Comment


          #19
          Necroposting in case anyone decides to try to use their Compact thermal printer -- I had a tough time figuring it out tonight and thought my experiences could save pain in the future:

          • If you have have nothing installed, the printer shows up as LPT1 or COM1.
          • If you have a modem installed, the printer shows up as LPT1 or COM2 (modem is COM1).
          • If you have a parallel-port sidecar, the printer shows up as COM1 (parallel port takes over LPT1).
          • If you have both modem and parallel-port installed -- which I do -- printer shows up as COM2!


          Also, whenever I tried to print, I got timeouts and "printer not ready" errors. This fixed it:

          Code:
          mode COM2: baud=1200 parity=n data=8 stop=2 retry=p
          The "retry=p" is to tell MODE to go resident and continuously retry sending data to the printer.

          And finally, if your software won't let you specify COM2, this will redirect LPT1 to COM2:

          Code:
          mode LPT1=COM2
          This was required to get PrintMaster Plus working, which has an "IBM Compact Thermal" driver but doesn't let you specify a port or destination.

          Hope this helps someone, someday!
          Offering a bounty for:
          - A working Sanyo MBC-775 or Logabax 1600
          - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

          Comment


            #20
            I'm far from an expert on vintage dot-matrix printers. Is the output on Mike Brutman's page the best the compact printer could do? It seems hard to believe people would tolerate crooked and not-even particularly uniform text darkness, especially from IBM.

            How useful was this thing if your software did not have a driver for the printer? It sounds like that without a driver, it may work as a generic ASCII printer, but not much else. I bet few drivers were written for it once the Jr. was discontinued. Can you bold, underline or italicize text?
            My Retro Computing and Vintage Gaming Blog : http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/

            Comment


              #21
              You are kidding, right?

              First, it is not a dot matrix printer. It is a thermal printer.

              Second, you should keep in mind that you are criticizing the output of a 25+ year old thermal printer, and the paper is probably just as old. These printers used friction feed; the parts of the printer are old now and the friction feed mechanism is probably not working perfectly anymore. The paper is positively ancient - thermal paper does not age well, so being aghast at the non-uniform text contrast doesn't make sense.

              I think the print of the RLE is actually pretty good considering the age of the unit.

              It uses standard Epson codes. Your concerns about not having drivers are not warranted. (I wrote the simple program that printed that RLE.)

              Comment


                #22
                I haven't had time to scan the manual yet, but from the full list of escape/control sequences, it appears that this printer can do the following:

                • double-width text
                • condensed text
                • set vertical (?) and horizontal tabs, number of lines per page
                • 480-bit graphics mode (82.5 DPI)
                • underline
                • ASCII 3-175 and 224-254 seem represented; line-drawing characters are absent


                Allowed combinations of features:

                • normal
                • underline
                • compressed+underline
                • doublewidth+underline
                • compressed+doublewidth
                • compressed+doublewidth (??) +underline
                Offering a bounty for:
                - A working Sanyo MBC-775 or Logabax 1600
                - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

                Comment


                  #23
                  In defense of the little printer, it is great for printing banners (no perferations), albeit slow. And since I can't use my favorite online help system on a PCjr (scancode handling doesn't work), I print out what I need and keep it next to me.

                  It's very slow, yes. But it cost $175 retail in 1983 which was among the very cheapest printers you could buy, so I think there was an expectation of what you were getting.
                  Offering a bounty for:
                  - A working Sanyo MBC-775 or Logabax 1600
                  - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

                  Comment


                    #24
                    I confess I was a little slow here. I just didn't get the Epson printer control codes are to PC printers as the Hayes Command Set is to PC modems analogy the first time. I also acknowledge that we aren't seeing the device at its best. Does anyone know where compatible thermal paper rolls can be found for the machine?
                    My Retro Computing and Vintage Gaming Blog : http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Unless I'm misremembering the 1980s, my thermal paper rolls looks an awful lot like fax paper rolls. A search for "thermal fax paper" turns up a lot of suitable candidates.
                      Offering a bounty for:
                      - A working Sanyo MBC-775 or Logabax 1600
                      - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Would you believe it? I just bought a ton of C64/128 stuff at a garage sale and this very printer was in the box. It was sold as having 2 Commodore compatible printers; This one, and a Commodore one. I also found some printer cable that says "big Blue" something or other on it, so I assume it allows the C128 to print to PC printers. I just wonder how they adapted it to interface with this printer, since it has the PCjr type plugs. I didn't look at it too closely yet.
                        I have a Major in Post-Apocalyptic Economics.
                        Wanted: Any PC-Compatible Reciprocation Dingle Arm

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Having acquired one of these, even though the case was badly damaged and the paper feed button does not seem to respond, the printer itself is still going quite strong. Sure the print quality leaves something to be desired, and the letting is not particularly uniform on the included, probably 20-years old, paper, but it hasn't jammed, the print is not crooked, its quiet and not too slow for quick prints.

                          I am using DOS 3.3, and since I have a parallel port sidecar and the internal modem installed, my printer shows up as COM2. For print.com, it will ask for the name of the printing device. Dir > COM2 works to print a directory listing.

                          One thing I have noticed is that when printing a text file, sometimes the printer will lose a character or a space. Is there any way to correct this?
                          My Retro Computing and Vintage Gaming Blog : http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Trixter's settings for COM2, given here : http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcfo...043#post271043 fixes the issue. I fixed the paper feed button by applying some electrical tape to the underside of the small PCB where the button and Ready LED sit. One of the plastic tabs had broken.
                            My Retro Computing and Vintage Gaming Blog : http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/

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