SUMMARY: printcap entry for an Apple ImagerWriter II (repost)

From: Leonardo C. Topa (
Date: Fri Jul 19 1991 - 19:39:48 CDT

some time ago I asked the following question and I posted a summary
which I haven't seen on the network. If you have received this message
already, sorry.

    From: "Leonardo C. Topa" <>
    Date: Tue, 2 Jul 91 11:34:59 EDT
    Subject: printcap entry for an Apple ImagerWriter II
    The title says what I would like to get. I have this printer
    collecting dust in a corner right now and I was thinking of hooking it
    up to a sparcstation IPC.
    Do I need to change the jumpers inside the sparc to make one of the
    serial ports behave as a plain RS-232 port?
    On the Imagewriter there is one dip switch which controls hardware
    flow control vs. software (xon/xoff) flow control. Can I use hardware
    flow control, provided that I use a connecting cable that has all the
    necessary signals (I can think of pins 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 20: I am
    missing anything?)?
    Should I not even try this? Ie, is is worth it?
    Thanks for all your replies and I will summarize.

What follows are the replies I got:


Date: Tue, 2 Jul 1991 11:47:55 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Anthony A. Datri" <>
To: "Leonardo C. Topa" <>
Subject: Re: printcap entry for an Apple ImagerWriter II

I've run them from a 2/120 and a 3/180. Here's some information:

Date: Thu, 4 Aug 88 18:02:30 PDT
From: ames!elroy!!dbt (David Thompson)
Subject: Re: imagewriter I on a unix machine

I've used my Imagewriter on a UNIX machine. All you have to do
is flip the flow control switch. For reference, here is the list
of DIP switch settings (plagiarized from the Imagewriter reference

        SW1-1 SW1-2 SW1-3 Language
        open open open American
        open open closed German
        open closed open American
        open closed closed French
        closed open open Italian
        closed open closed Swedish
        closed closed open British
        closed closed closed Spanish

        SW1-4 Page Length
        open 66 lines
        closed 72 lines

        SW1-5 8th-bit
        open Recognizes 8th data bit
        closed Ignores 8th data bit, allowing
                                reception of "high" ASCII as from
                                Applesoft BASIC

        SW1-6 SW1-7 Type Style at Powerup
        open open Pica (10 cpi)
        open closed Ultracondensed (17 cpi)
        closed open Elite (12 cpi)
        closed closed Elite Proportional (144 dots per inch)

        SW1-8 Line Feed
        open Not added after carriage return
        closed Added after carriage return

        SW2-1 SW2-2 Baud Rate
        open open 300
        closed open 1200
        open closed 2400
        closed closed 9600

        SW2-3 Flow Control
        open Data Terminal Ready (hardware handshake)
        closed XON/XOFF (software handshake)

        (not used)

If you have this hooked up to a UNIX system, your best bet is probably:

        SW1-1 open American language symbols
            2 open
            3 open
            4 open 66 lines per page
            5 open recognize 8th data bit
            6 open 10 cpi
            7 open
            8 open no line feed after carriage return
                                        (I don't know whether SunOS is
                                         more like SYSV or BSD. If the
                                         former, make sure the port has
                                         icanon and onlcr are set. If BSD,
                                         make sure cooked is set.)

        SW2-1 closed 9600 baud
            2 closed
            3 closed XON/XOFF handshake

Hope this helps!

David B. Thompson
UUCP: ...{trwrb,hplabs}!felix!dhw68k!dbt

Use your wheels: that is what they are for.


Date: Tue, 2 Jul 91 16:36:58 EDT From: (Gary Wasserman) To: Subject: Re: printcap entry for an Apple ImagerWriter II

One approach that eliminates screwing around with the sparc's serial ports would be to get a parallel to serial converter box (pretty cheap) from a computer store or from Black Box (try 800 information).

This would allow you to use an off the shelf PC style parallel printer cable to the 'box' and an off the shelf mac to 25pin cable from the box to printer.

After that you'll have the fun job of figuring out the appropriate way to print text files to the printer.

A more fun project would be to get the NeWS PostScript rasterizer to gen up 144 dpi images and write a little program to send them out to the printer. This would be slow but would allow you to print all kinds of OpenWindow stuff.

Gee, that would be cool, wouldn't it?


-- Gary Wasserman "A completely irrational attraction to BMW bikes" Interleaf, Inc. Prospect Place, 9 Hillside Ave, Waltham, MA 02154 617-290-4990x3423 FAX 617-290-4943 DoD#0216


Date: Tue, 2 Jul 91 23:33:31 EDT From: eastend! (Steven Roth) To: Subject: Re: printcap entry for an Apple ImagerWriter II


Don't touch anything in the IPC. Use the supplied serial adapter (DIN to D25) plus a null-modem cable.

Set your baud rate, parity, flow control and other goodies in your printcap file. Read the "System & Network Administration" manual. Its instructions are pretty complete. It refers you to stty for "ms" parameter specs.

Read these carefully as printcap entries sent to you often need a little tweaking.

Good luck.


PS: Sorry, I don't have your printcap.


Date: Wed, 10 Jul 91 15:22:08 +0200 From: ( Birger Wathne) To: Subject: Re: printcap entry for an Apple ImagerWriter II

If you want to use hardware handshake, you have to specify hardware handshake in your printcap file. It is not enough to set hardware handshake in the EEPROM. lpd seems to reset the port completely...


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Sep 28 2001 - 23:06:20 CDT