PrtDrvGen 2.3 / Jørgen Thomsen 25-Jun-1987
Version 2.3 is basically identical to version 2.2. It corrects a couple of
bugs preventing the use of parameters 342 & 343 (sending a block of raw bytes
to the printer).
1. New features (V2.2)
- the user interface has been improved by adding a special interactive
preprocessor with online documentation for each printer command and
featuring a decimal/hex to octal converter
- the preprocessor is able to decode or reverse engineer an existing
printer driver and get many of the parameters needed from it
- in connection with the utility program AssignPRT it is possible to
redirect PRT: output to a file. Speeds up repeated graphics prints.
The driver generated now supports several new classes of graphics printers:
- printers which enters into and out of graphics mode by detecting
a special char (e.g. 03) in the data stream e.g. Citizen
- printers which only uses a part of each byte for graphics data e.g.
Toshiba (6 bits only) and others
- Red, Green, Blue printers supported e.g. Quadram Quadjet
- laser printers/plotters supported by vectorization of each scan line
of a picture
- printers which can obtain a higher density by printing a line of
graphics data, move the paper e.g. 1/2 dot and print the next line
of data (e.g. Epson). This feature can also be used for other special
printers e.g. Tektronix/Diablo-C150
- a feature, which allows for sending about 15 K of raw bytes to the
printer for special setup (e.g. special character definition and
commands), should allow the driver to be used with even more printers
Other new features
- the Amiga extended ASCII character set support introduced by AmigaDOS
1.2 is fully supported
- optional setting of pitch, margins before graphics and resetting of
spacing after graphics
- native control codes may now be sent to the printer device PRT:.
This is accomplished by using the EXTEND command.
- some primitive arithmetic operations on data may be specified to enable
creation of special control codes for odd printers
- numeric parameters may now be inserted as 1-9 digit fields in radix
1 - 24 notation (octal(8), decimal(10) and hex(16) are most commonly
- a debugging mode with some dumps may be entered by executing a special
EXTEND command (253) and in case of errors an error code is printed
on the printer if possible
2. Bugs removed
- clicking on the STOP gadget while printing a DeluxePaint II
picture would crash the system, because data used in connection
with an AbortIO request had been overwritten
- (version 1.0 only) the JFY3 (letter space, justify) and JFY1
(word fill, auto center) commands were not executed
- the difference between 2.2a and 2.2b is mainly a few changes to
the documentation for clarification. The AssignPRT program now
always must be terminated manually.
- 2.3: sending a block of raw data to the printer now works (parameters
342 & 343).
3. Known bugs
- the FNT0 (US char set) command is not executed, which is an AmigaDOS
4. General features, also found in previous versions:
- each paper size (USLetter etc.) may have individually defined width,
length, perforation skip length and printer initialization sequence.
Allows you through Preferences to select several combinations of
character sets, justification, proportional spacing etc.
- definable size of Pica, Elite and Fine types for printers supporting
other character sizes than 10, 12, 15 CPI
- perforation skip when Fanfold selected, but not when Single
- insert internal parameters as binary or decimal numbers into escape
sequences specific for your printer
- partial line up/down implemented as such and not as sub/superscript,
which optionally is available
- graphics dumps may be scaled to any size and positioned on the paper
according to most recent margins, print pitch and page size settings
by the user. This provides better support for mixing text and graphics.
- supports up to four graphics modes, if your printer does the same.
Specify by combination of Draft/Letter and 6/8 LPI.
- printing of blank lines in graphics dumps optimized. No more idle
passes of the print head across the paper. (Optional with 2.0)
- definable pixel width/height ratio to get you true round circles and
square squares with e.g. DPaint and Aegis Draw
- definable print sequence of colors to get the best colors for your
printer or match the sequence of data required for your printer
- for printers supporting fore/background colors it is possible to
define the printer specific color values
- pixel bits stored in the print buffer according to specified parameters
in order to accomodate different brands of printers
- adaptive double buffering (if memory not available for two buffers,
then use only one) and allocation of small buffers for b/w and grey
scale pictures (compensates for the larger code size of this driver)
- in case of lack of sufficient contiguous memory "No mem" (2.0: and the
amount of memory requested) will be output to the printer