SUMMARY color printers

From: hydres!
Date: Tue Sep 10 1991 - 06:15:30 CDT

Here is the summary of replies from this query: Two points
I failed to make that I was interested in:

1) I use Uniras on a sun3 manchine and at the moment using Tektronix
software I don't use the full resolution of the printer, I was interested
in if anyone had a driver for the 4693DX for Uniras.

what I have foom the replies I got is that several people are in the same
situation as me with some of them having solutions to get round the problems
we are experiencing with print jobs crashing machines, Tektronix now
only 'interested' in their printers being connected to their network
printer box.

>We have a Tektronix Colour printer ( 4693DX) connected to a Sun3 via
>a parallel board. We use Tektronix's software the acquire program and
>a driver setup in the /etc/printcap file to do full or partial
>colour picture dumps. Apart from some operational problems we
>feel the system coud do more. So does any one have any extra software
>they are willing to selll or pass on please. what we are interested in
>doing is:
>1) Colour Postscript to 4693DX format converter
>2) A acquire program for use under X11/Openwndows which can
> make a dump which the 4693DX can print ( maybe a hacked version
> of xpr ?)
>In any case I would be interrested in hearing from anyone who uses
>one of these devices for general interest general comments etc
>thanks in advance
>Reisner's Rule of Conceptual Inertia:
> If you think big enough, you'll never have to do it.
>Paul Humphreys, ( Postmaster )
>Hydraulics Research, Howbery Park, Wallingford,
>Oxon England OX10 8BA
>Tel 0491-35381 X2292 Fax 0491-32233

Paul, I have a 4693DX (with a network 4511 TCP/IP interface) Tektronix
Thermal Wax Color Printer. I'm looking for new software too and have
decided to pick up the programmer's (developer's) manual for the 4693DX
and see if we can't write some in-house. We also would like color
postscript capability-we are testing several now to see which one to
purchase. If we can save ourselves from purchasing the Phaser PX by
writing our own software, that's several thousands that we can use for
other things.

The development guide is part number 070646801 Development Guide (4693DX)...
It costs $65.00 USD from Tektronix (if you care).

I'd like to know what you come up with too.


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We used to have a 4693DX, but we've upgraded it to the Phaser PX Postscript printer. Here are some suggestions for using the DX:

- For Postscript, get GNU Ghostscript to do Postscript interpretation. You can get output in various formats, including Sun rasterfile. Then convert the rasterfile format to 4693 format using the filters supplied with the printer. The latest GNU software is available by anonymous ftp from

- Get ahold of pbmplus (Portable Bit Map toolkit by Jef Poskanzer, ). This is a collection of tools for converting between and manipulating various bit map formats. You can convert an X bit map or X window dump format to rasterfile and then filter rasterfile to 4693.

Hope this helps.

-- Todd Pfaff \ Internet: Dept. of Mechanical Engineering \ Voice: (416) 525-9140 x2902 McMaster University \ FAX: (416) 572-7944 Hamilton, Ontario, CANADA L8S 4L7 \

>We have a Tektronix Colour printer ( 4693DX) connected to a Sun3 via

We just got a 4694PX, so any information you receive would be usefull to us.

Aad. ------ Aad van der Klaauw Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI) Kruislaan 413, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands

We have one of those in my lab here at Goddard. We just upgraded the interface, so now, instead of the parallel board, we are using a Tek model 4511 network interface. That makes the printer a network printer that any machine can get at. The network box comes with new software for doing screen captures, etc. You also get print filters that accept Sun Raster format images. I haven't played with it too much yet, but so far it works. Their current software is only for Sunview or Openlook (and it crashed under openlook!) but a "pure X11" version is currently in beta test.

The old software, and the parallel board, are considered obsolete, by the way.

I don't know about Color (sorry, Colour...) Postscript. I don't think they give you a filter for that. I think you do get just a regular monochrome postscript filter, but I'm not sure.


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I have hacked our version of it to also do X window stuff. It is really a hack, but it works. What you want to get is a copy of the PBMplus ustilities. Ask archie for a archive site near you, or I can mail you a copy if needed. Then a small hack to the driving shell script, and your all set. Esentially do a X (xwd) to sun-raster format, then feed the raster file to the normal driver. More methods like this are available with PBM, but this is what I needed to satisfy a couple of users.

Postscript may be possible by using ghostscript to create a PBM file, then feed the PBM file the raster converter, then into the drivers as above.

If someone replies with a better solution, please let me know. I'd really like to be able to go from X to 4396DX code without the added step in the middle.


Gene Rackow email: Math & Computer Science voice: 708-972-7126 Argonne National Lab FAX: 708-972-5986 9700 S. Cass Ave. / Argonne, IL 60439

We have a 4693DX attached to a SUN4/280 and it works fine. We send SUN raster file formats to our TEK printer.

We did have some problems with the acquire program under SUNVIEW but TEK got it fixed and sent us the patch.

I asked TEK the same question about acquiring an image under OPENWIN. In openwindows there is a snapshot program that will capture a window in a SUN raster file format which we can then send to the 4693DX.

I do not know of a converter from Color PostScript to Sun Raster File format but there are several file format converters packages, that are free, which might do what you are looking for. If you are interested just send me email.

-- ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Robert P. McGraw, Jr. (SysAdmin) National Solar Observatory/SP Box 62 uunet!!rmcgraw Sunspot, NM 88349 USA SPAN: 5355::RMCGRAW or NOAO::RMCGRAW (505) 434-7038 UUCP: {arizona,ncar}!noao!sunspot!rmcgraw

Take a look at PBMPLUS, or xloadimage. They both do a lot of what you want. It is certainly what we used when my officemate was doing the driver for that beast.

l & h, kev

Kevin Sheehan Optimation Software Engineering

We also have a 4693DX, but we took it offline because it was crashing our server. I am interested in your findings.


Paul; We also have a Tek. 4693DX, although ours is hooked up to a Sun 4/330. Pretty similar, I'd guess. We use the acquire program both in SunView and in OpenWin. In OpenWin, "acquire window" behaves the same as "acquire screen". Are you aware that the format being sent to the printer is "Sun raster?" There are a number of programs on the Internet which massage this format. We are using pbmplus. With pbmplus we can convert a black & white image we "acquire" from the screen into postscript. We can also combine various "acquire"d images and send them to the printer, as long as what we send to the printer is "Sun raster" format. Unfortunately, everything we've heard about Postscript to 4693DX format (or Postscript to most anything) says that it requires a full-blown Postscript interpreter (very complex). The upgrade kit to make the DX become a PX (Postscript) is $1600 with trade-in - out of our league.

Please let me know if you hear something interesting - sounds like we're trying to do the same things you are - or if I can give you more info. -Kevin Weinrich

Anyway thats the summary, I don't know if its worth keeping in regular contact with Tek printer users just in case one of us hears about something, I will be very interested if anyone gets any new news ! Many thanks to all those who replied

Disco is to music what Etch-A-Sketch is to art.

Paul Humphreys, ( Postmaster ) Hydraulics Research, Howbery Park, Wallingford, Oxon England OX10 8BA


Tel 0491-35381 X2292 Fax 0491-32233

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