SUMMARY : postscript printer on Sun 3/80 parallel port

Date: Tue Mar 12 1991 - 15:23:44 CST

My query:
I'm trying to drive an IBM LasterPrinter E from a Sun 3/80 running SUNOS 4.1 ,
attached to /dev/pp0, the parallel I/O port.
I have the "transcript" package, but it seems to be configured to talk over a
serial port, and get status messages back from the printer. This doesn't work


Here's what I've found:

1) The default installation of transcript does expect to talk to the printer
over a serial port, and expects to be able to get status messages back from
the printer. Parallel ports are uni-directional, with the exception of a few
lines used to signal paper out, or printer busy, so transcript can't
communicate properly.

2) "pscomm" is the key utility. All the other filters finally invoke it.
"pscomm" recognizes whether what is being printed is postscript, or "plain
text". If "plain text", "pscomm" automatically invokes "pstext", to format
ascii to postscript. To get the full functionality of transcript, I'll have
to write a version of "pscomm" that talks over a parallel port.

My short term solution uses the following /etc/printcap
# entry for parallel interface printer to print plain text
# by transforming it to postscript

# entry for parallel interface printer for 3/80

The first entry (lp) is used by default, and automatically formats plain text
to postscript. Anyone who generates a postscript file can print to
"PostScript". (For example, enscript automatically spools to "PostScript").
Longer term, I may write a simple replacement for pscomm, particularly since
NCAR has a source license.

Thanks for all the advice.

        Joe VanAndel
        NCAR - ATD/RSF
        P.O Box 3000 Fax: 303-497-2044
        Boulder, CO 80307-3000 Voice: 303-497-2071

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