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This article was posted to the Usenet group alt.hackers in 1995; any technical information is probably outdated.

Re: Printing Hack

Article: 7589 of alt.hackers
From: (James Szinger)
Newsgroups: alt.hackers
Subject: Re: Printing Hack
Date: 03 Apr 1995 15:31:15 GMT
Organization: Yale EE Morse Teaching Center
Lines: 43
Approved: Ashtar
In-reply-to: Gopi D Flaherty's message of Sat,  1 Apr 1995 00:30:57 -0500
Status: RO

Hello all,

I'm still trying to get mt daisy wheel printer to work with my Mac.
Why?  Because it's there.

Let me offer many thanks to all those who wrote me with help.  I
managed to find the manual for the printer and a look at the circuit
schematic revaled the the printer's serial interface was a receive
only RS232 with a 4 pin DIN connector.  The tree used pins are receive
data, CTS and ground.  So went to Radio Shack and tried to but a
connector.  They don't have that type, so I bought an 8 pin connector
instead.  Since an 8 pin plug doesn't fit a 4 pin socket -- even if
you push REALLY hard -- I took a pair of pliers and liberated the pins
form the plug.  Using short length of wire I soldered the pins to pins
2, 5 and 7 of a DB25 connector.  Then I plugged the DIN pins into the
printer and the DB25 onto a standard Mac hardware handshake modem
cable and was able to type to my printer using ZTerm.  So far so good.

But <> writes:

>Now for the challenge: finding a driver that will let you print to that
>printer.  The mac isn't big on generic printer drivers.  All I can
>suggest, short of dumping text files through a terminal emulator, is
>using the ImageWriter driver in _draft_ mode.  In the standard modes, it
>prints graphics codes, but in the fastest/worst of the three modes, it's
>just text, with maybe a few control codes interspersed.

I decided to try out the ImageWriter theory.  I hooked up the mac and
my old PC using a null modem cable and discovered that the draft IW
mode does send the test over the serial port, but at 9600 baud and
with a whole slew of additional control and escape sequences.  Now, my
printer only goes up to 4800 baud, and I don't see any way to change
the IW driver's parameters, so I need more help.

Does anyone know where I can find a dumb printer driver for a Mac.
The driver should let me set the baud rate and stuff and maybe let me
specify some of the control code the printer understands.

James Szinger, SECF Support Specialist,

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