>: Having lurked on this newsgroup for a while, I have the impression that
>: the Macintosh has been snubbed by Epson, HP, and Lexmark with respect
>: to driver software for their color inkjets.
>Well, OS/2, Lunix and DOS are getting "snubbed" as well.
>However, Mac has an additional problem (in addition to the normal
>problem of not being the * OS): as far as I know, Mac not only
>demands OS-specific drivers, but also still essentially demands that
>hardcopy devices speak only PostScript or QuickDraw, and do so via
>a Mac-specific LocalTalk or expensive LAN connection.
The "QuickDraw" requirement *IS* a driver requirement. There's
absolutely nothing in the MacOS that requires special firmware on the
printer end of things, and in fact companies like GDT Softworks have been
producing Mac drivers that will work with ESC/P (Epson dot-matrix),
ESC/P2 (Epson inkjet), PCL (HP laserjet and inkjet), and assorted other
printer types for years. I've even seen freeware or shareware products to
drive HP DeskJets and Epson dot-matrix printers on the Mac.
The physical connection problem is more serious, but isn't as bad as you
seem to think -- a Mac can talk to just about any printer that has a
serial interface. That's how Apple has connected many of its printers
(such as at least the earlier Apple inkjets and dot matrix models). Most
printers intended for the PC market don't have serial interfaces, but some
do (I think that's how the Epson Stylus Color 600 can work with both a Mac
and a PC, though I'm not positive of that). For those that don't, it's
possible to buy a serial->parallel converter cable, and in fact these come
bundled with at least some driver packages.
Quote:>That means the device vendor has to provide not just a Mac driver, but
>Mac-specific firmware and Mac-specific I/O hardware in the printer.
>Nowadays, that amounts to a serious "barrier to entry".
The Mac is at a disadvantage because of its lack of parallel ports, but on
the software side, it is, in principle, no worse off than OS/2, Linux, or
other non-* PC OSes. As to ACTUAL driver availability, though, I
don't know precisely what's available for the Mac or how good it is. Four
years ago, GDT SoftWorks was doing a good job of keeping up with the
marketplace, and I used their products with my Mac LC quite happily.
Since then I've moved to OS/2 and Linux and haven't kept up with GDT's
From the printer manufacturer's perspective, the main issues are the cost
of a serial port and the cost of writing a Mac driver. There are no
proprietary hardware or firmware obstacles to be overcome, but the
non-proprietary obstacles are serious enough.
Rod Smith Author of:
http://www.veryComputer.com/~rodsmith "OS/2 Soundcard Summary"
NOTE: Remove "uceprotect" from address to e-mail me