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Standard User Sandgrounder
(knowledge is power) Sun 03-Jun-12 00:11:15
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Laser Printers to print plain text files


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I am looking for a monchrome Laser printer wich will print plain text files (without the use of a printer driver).

We all remember the good old days of LPRINT statements in BASIC running on DOS. The printers simply printed the text sent to them.

Modern HP printers (Laser or Inkjet) will not print plain files, but (at least some) Epson inkjet files will. (eg my Epson Stylus 1400).

So, back to the original question - Anybody know of a modern Laser printer which will print plain text?



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Standard User BatBoy
(legend) Sun 03-Jun-12 14:04:47
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: Sandgrounder] [link to this post]
 
No, but is this any good? http://www.lerup.com/printfile/


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Standard User Sandgrounder
(knowledge is power) Sun 03-Jun-12 20:50:16
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: BatBoy] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for that suggestion. Unfortunately, I am not printing from Windows.



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Standard User BatBoy
(legend) Sun 03-Jun-12 21:02:57
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: Sandgrounder] [link to this post]
 
This? http://www.dosprn.com/
wink


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Standard User Pipexer
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 03-Jun-12 21:19:22
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: Sandgrounder] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Sandgrounder:
I am not printing from Windows.

Good heavens.

tongue

Zen 8000 Pro
Standard User XRaySpeX
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 03-Jun-12 23:01:42
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: Sandgrounder] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Sandgrounder:
I am not printing from Windows.
A positive statement would be more informative!

1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 19 Meg WBC
Standard User Deadbeat
(knowledge is power) Sun 03-Jun-12 23:05:03
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: BatBoy] [link to this post]
 
Assuming that DOS is the OS in question, DOS2USB looks as though it may be useful.

"By using DOS2USB you can print directly from DOS to USB printer, Network Printer or any kind of printer. In other words, DOS2USB can print to any printer where WINDOWS can print. This utility helps to convert your USB Printer to DOS Printer, by giving gateway to the USB printer from DOS."

Edited by Deadbeat (Sun 03-Jun-12 23:05:54)

Standard User john2007
(legend) Sun 03-Jun-12 23:25:37
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: Sandgrounder] [link to this post]
 
I doubt there has ever been such a printer. Haven't lasers always been Postscript or equivalent?

It sounds like you want an electric typewriter with a parallel or serial interface
Standard User BatBoy
(legend) Sun 03-Jun-12 23:31:16
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: Deadbeat] [link to this post]
 
Hard to say without more detail, but I'm sure most laser printers work with Linux and MAC os so DOS wouldn't be a problem. PCL is just a matter of outputting the correct control codes.


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Standard User MHC
(legend) Sun 03-Jun-12 23:56:24
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: john2007] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by john2007:
I doubt there has ever been such a printer. Haven't lasers always been Postscript or equivalent?

It sounds like you want an electric typewriter with a parallel or serial interface


The original HP LaserJet printer had a option for PostScript - and it was expensive. There was an LJ4 and LJ4P, and an LJ5 and LJ5P.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Moderator billford
(moderator) Mon 04-Jun-12 08:19:18
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: john2007] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by john2007:
Haven't lasers always been Postscript or equivalent?
Nope.

Certainly up to the LaserJet 4 I used to print direct from DOS. As MHC said, you could get PostScript options, but oh boy, did they cost!

I'm reasonably sure that the only thing preventing me printing to my old LJ4 from a Mac command line is lack of a Centronics port frown

Bill
[email protected] __________________Planes and Boats and ... __________________BQM

Edited by billford (Mon 04-Jun-12 08:23:15)

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband moderator but it does not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User BatBoy
(legend) Mon 04-Jun-12 08:54:58
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: billford] [link to this post]
 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/USB-Parallel-Centronics-Prin...


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Moderator billford
(moderator) Mon 04-Jun-12 09:11:45
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: BatBoy] [link to this post]
 
Technical Details
Not suitable for 64 bit OP systems
Despite the above, for a couple of quid it was worth a punt so I tried it ages ago... doesn't work on a Mac frown

Bill
[email protected] __________________Planes and Boats and ... __________________BQM
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband moderator but it does not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User john2007
(legend) Mon 04-Jun-12 10:06:26
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: billford] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by billford:
In reply to a post by john2007:
Haven't lasers always been Postscript or equivalent?
Nope.

Certainly up to the LaserJet 4 I used to print direct from DOS. As MHC said, you could get PostScript options, but oh boy, did they cost!

I'm reasonably sure that the only thing preventing me printing to my old LJ4 from a Mac command line is lack of a Centronics port frown

Doesn't necessarily mean they didn't need drivers to select fonts and type sizes. They were pretty expensive when they first came out, and I don't remember the office ones being particularly fast. A golf ball or daisy wheel printer would have been more versatile if lasers only had a single font and no graphics.
Moderator billford
(moderator) Mon 04-Jun-12 10:19:54
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: john2007] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by john2007:
Doesn't necessarily mean they didn't need drivers to select fonts and type sizes.
The important word there is "necessarily", because they didn't need them. At least, the LaserJets that I used didn't.

Connect the printer up, boot to DOS, switch it on, wait for it to warm up and you could print from the command line, using the print command, copy <file> lpt1, or using redirection/piping. No drivers...

Certainly you could change the font (tho' I can't remember how), but if you didn't bother it defaulted to either Courier 10 or 12, I forget which.

Bill
[email protected] __________________Planes and Boats and ... __________________BQM
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband moderator but it does not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User BatBoy
(legend) Mon 04-Jun-12 10:29:27
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: billford] [link to this post]
 
Looks like someone else got it working http://www.electrictao.net/mac.shtml


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Standard User john2007
(legend) Mon 04-Jun-12 10:42:00
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: billford] [link to this post]
 
That sounds like what the OP wants.
Moderator billford
(moderator) Mon 04-Jun-12 10:42:58
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: BatBoy] [link to this post]
 
Looks like it might be useful for getting a Centronics printer recognised by OS X, but it doesn't address the OP's problem (or mine, come to that):
In reply to a post by Sandgrounder:
... which will print plain text files (without the use of a printer driver).
...
I'll carry on redirecting to a file and using TextEdit to print it on the Samsung laser, or if I really want to use the LaserJet for some reason, copy the file to the old Windows PC that has the LJ4L on it.

Bill
[email protected] __________________Planes and Boats and ... __________________BQM
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband moderator but it does not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User BatBoy
(legend) Mon 04-Jun-12 10:51:27
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: billford] [link to this post]
 
I think the Dos2USB is a solution for the OP - the main problem being connectivity, not the printer type..


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Moderator billford
(moderator) Mon 04-Jun-12 11:08:26
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: BatBoy] [link to this post]
 
Maybe. Ditto @ John.

But as we can't be sure which OS (or even which hardware- Raspberry Pi?) the OP is using, I think it's time to leave him to comment.

Bill
[email protected] __________________Planes and Boats and ... __________________BQM
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband moderator but it does not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User Sandgrounder
(knowledge is power) Mon 04-Jun-12 11:12:37
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: BatBoy] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by BatBoy:
I think the Dos2USB is a solution for the OP - the main problem being connectivity, not the printer type..
Thanks for all the comments and discussion. It has been most interesting.

But, my problem is the printer type, not the connectivity. I have no trouble sending the files to any USB, serial or parallel connected printer. (local to the computer or networked).

The software in question is wriiten in BBCbasic (running on Virtual Acorn) and it produces plain text output without access to the printer drivers which come with modern printers.

It all works (and has done for twenty odd years) with any printer which will accept and print plain text, which used to be virtually all printers.



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Edited by Sandgrounder (Mon 04-Jun-12 11:17:29)

Standard User BatBoy
(legend) Mon 04-Jun-12 11:17:12
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: Sandgrounder] [link to this post]
 
That's why I suggested "PrintFile can also act as a print spooler, watching a specified directory for files. Whenever a file appears in that directory it will automatically be printed."


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Standard User john2007
(legend) Mon 04-Jun-12 11:21:06
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: Sandgrounder] [link to this post]
 
One solution would be to send the raw text via the network to a computer with appropriate printer drivers. A program on that computer could "listen" for the raw text and format it for a printer.
Standard User Sandgrounder
(knowledge is power) Mon 04-Jun-12 11:21:59
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: BatBoy] [link to this post]
 
Your suggestion is the best work around proposed. There are a number of such programs available both for purchase and free. I now have one on an evaluation license.

But it would still be nice to have a printer which does the job directly.



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Standard User BatBoy
(legend) Mon 04-Jun-12 11:25:38
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: Sandgrounder] [link to this post]
 
In the FAQ it says there isn't a problem anyway
Can VirtualAcorn use a Windows printer?
VirtualAcorn prints out using a RISC OS printer driver. Provided a suitable PDF (Printer Definition File) exists then RISC OS can print to your printer. VirtualAcorn is supplied with a wide range of the latest printer drivers available for RISC OS.



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Standard User Sandgrounder
(knowledge is power) Mon 04-Jun-12 11:27:11
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: john2007] [link to this post]
 
Agreed, but as I said in answer to BatBoy's post, I have such software on test.

But it would still be nice to have a printer which does what all my other printers have done - prints plain text, without the need for a driver.



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Standard User BatBoy
(legend) Mon 04-Jun-12 11:30:17
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: Sandgrounder] [link to this post]
 
Plenty of drivers here, dunno if they're the same thing http://support.riscos.com/Support/Releases/Printers/

But as you say, they're still drivers.


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Standard User Sandgrounder
(knowledge is power) Mon 04-Jun-12 11:32:37
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: BatBoy] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by BatBoy:
In the FAQ it says there isn't a problem anyway
Can VirtualAcorn use a Windows printer?
VirtualAcorn prints out using a RISC OS printer driver. Provided a suitable PDF (Printer Definition File) exists then RISC OS can print to your printer. VirtualAcorn is supplied with a wide range of the latest printer drivers available for RISC OS.


Only works if Virtual Acorn have provided a Risc OS printer driver. And that applies less and less as the manufacturers produce new printers.

In any case my software currently does not use a Risc OS printer driver



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Standard User Ancient_Mariner
(knowledge is power) Mon 04-Jun-12 11:53:35
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: john2007] [link to this post]
 
I remember using a Kyocera laser printer with DOS in the mid 90's on one ship that I was on. The only issue that I can remember was the requirement for an End of Page, or something similar at the end of the text, in order for the printer to take the sheet in and print on it. Otherwise with less than a page of text it would sit and wait.

Sorry cant be more explicit.

Cheers!

Clive

"As I hurtled through space towards re-entry at twice the speed of sound the only thought in my mind was that this craft was entirely built by the lowest bidder! Alan Shepard, Astronaut

Andrews & Arnold FTTC
DrayTek Vigor 2920Vn
Standard User BatBoy
(legend) Mon 04-Jun-12 12:09:43
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
 
That's what the chap does here http://www.virtualacorn.co.uk/support/articles/102/i...

1
2
240 : REM Don't forget the page feed, especially on a laser!
260 : VDU 12



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Edited by BatBoy (Mon 04-Jun-12 12:11:20)

Standard User TimJ
(member) Mon 04-Jun-12 16:30:26
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: Sandgrounder] [link to this post]
 
When faced with a similar problem a few months ago i purchased a second hand Brother HL-1440 of ebay for less than £50. Prints text and has centronics and USB.
Standard User Sandgrounder
(knowledge is power) Tue 05-Jun-12 00:14:38
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Re: Laser Printers to print plain text files


[re: TimJ] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for that. smile



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