Parallel port printing (SS10/Classic etc)

Parallel port printing (SS10/Classic etc)

Post by George Camer » Sat, 25 Mar 1995 20:45:52



We currently have a colour inkjet connected to the parallel port of a
SS10, and use Ghostscript to give us a very cheap colour postscript
print queue. However, the parallel port /dev/bpp0, in comparison to the
parallel port on any PC, is for our purposes completely unreliable.

The problem seems to be that the timeout on the port is set to
(according to the man page) 60 seconds. This may be OK for a simple
text printer where the speed of printing pages is fast compared to the
amount of data being transferred, but it causes much gnashing of teeth
when using a relatively slow printer in what is now a fairly standard
graphics mode.

Have I missed some setup/configuration option? Is there some workaround
which I haven't spotted? Is it possible to patch the binary? Can

Any help would be appreciated - on the face of it, it would seem to be
a pretty annoying mis-feature.

--
 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Dept. BioMedical Physics
 Aberdeen University
 Foresterhill                    Fax:           +44 (0)1224-685645
 Aberdeen AB9 2ZD                Telephone:     +44 (0)1224-663123 ext 53195
 Scotland, UK

 
 
 

1. RELIABLE Parallel port printing (SS10/Classic etc)

I've now solved my own problem, by writing a simple C program 'sbpp'
(by analogy with stty) which sets the parallel port timeout to a larger
value. For the same reasons that stty works, this works fine, since:

(a) lp.cat does no parallel port ioctls
(b) access problems are avoided since the device is already open and connected to stdout in the interface script
(c) settings remain current until the device is closed

This now appears to have made Ghostscript printing completely reliable - what
a hassle relieved! If anybody would like to use this, the source code, together
with a small patch to the interface script, can be found on
ftp.biomed.abdn.ac.uk:/pub/gsutils/sbpp

George

--
 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Dept. BioMedical Physics
 Aberdeen University
 Foresterhill                    Fax:           +44 (0)1224-685645
 Aberdeen AB9 2ZD                Telephone:     +44 (0)1224-663123 ext 53195
 Scotland, UK

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