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Who Else Would Like to See an Open Source Printer Emulator for the Atari?

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#51 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 11:30 AM

Last night I started working on an ESC/P to BMP project. Wrote the thing in about two hours, at least something that handles Print Shop. I'm just trying to figure out if it's something worth working on because there's the Retroprinter project, Atari800MacX already does ESC/P->PDF, and there's APE. So who exactly would another project benefit? The Altirra project can pull the Retroprinter open source and use that if they really wanted to. I don't want to reinvent the wheel.

 

EDIT: And then there's the font issue, both the fonts themselves and rendering them. 

 

It would be useful perhaps to add to what JoSch (sp?) is doing for RespeQt.

 

Not sure what your font issue is - the "Atari 8-bit" type fonts have been available online from the author for over 15 years or so, free to use if you give him credit, I believe. Every 9-pin or 24-pin dot matrix printer used basic variation of the same fonts - it would be dead simple to "reverse engineer" them with graph paper and skip any supposed problem with using them.  On the other hand, the Internet being what it is, I would be very surprised if someone hasn't already created an entire family of TT fonts that look like dot matrix Courier, Elite and Roman type fonts already and made them available under CC licenses or even free-ware.



#52 Starman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 12:28 PM

Yeah, but it's the same reason why Handbrake doesn't distribute with all the tools they support. They can't. They tell you where to get them. Still, I couldn't find all the Epson fonts this morning anyway. I'm sure they're around somewhere. You can find knock-offs but are they going to have the proper spacing, kerning, etc.?

 

EDIT: Why doesn't RespeQt just use the Retroprinter code?


Edited by Starman, Sat May 20, 2017 12:32 PM.


#53 JoSch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 20, 2017 5:57 PM

Yeah, but it's the same reason why Handbrake doesn't distribute with all the tools they support. They can't. They tell you where to get them. Still, I couldn't find all the Epson fonts this morning anyway. I'm sure they're around somewhere. You can find knock-offs but are they going to have the proper spacing, kerning, etc.?
 
EDIT: Why doesn't RespeQt just use the Retroprinter code?

The structure, design and purpose of Retroprinter and RespeQt are completely different.
Retroprinter emulates an Esc/P printer and the program as I understand it from a quick look through is a Cups filter that converts the Esc/P to PDF for output to any printer. Retroprinter doesn't care whether it's an Atari, Commodore or a PC, which is sending the data as long as it comes through a Centronics port.
RespeQt is an SIO periphal emulator. I'm not just emulating Esc/P, I also implemented Atari 1020 and 1027 printers, which are running quite good, but I got sidetracked by reworking the whole mechanics of the printer emulation and output destinations. So it will take some time to implement an Esc/P.

As for the font: I'm only have so much time with all the day work and wife stuff, so I'm working getting the emulation correct, so it can be released. Then a milestone would be to making the fonts used for the printer output configurable. BTW the excellent 1020 font by Unixcoffee is a big help.

#54 luckybuck OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 21, 2017 5:17 PM

Maybe I am wrong here, but the Atari800MacX emulator is on open source and has already serveral printer drivers...



#55 pusakat OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 22, 2017 6:44 AM

Looking at the Atari800MacX emulator source, the Printer/Epson emulation code relies on Cocoa, and is likely to be MacOSX only. I've seen similar efforts in emulating Epson FX/LQ print capability in the GSport mailing list https://sourceforge....ort-developers/(GSport -  an Apple II GS emulator based on Kent Dickey's KEGS). I don't know how far they got though.



#56 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 22, 2017 8:10 AM

As someone who's written printer drivers and virtual printers before, I'll chime in.
 
This isn't tough to do. I wanted to do it myself, but I couldn't find a way to dump printer output either via emulation or hardware. But then I saw that the Atari 800 emulator for the Mac has output-to-PDF anyway, so there was no point.


I believe you can use Ghostscript to produce an Epson printer dump to use for testing purposes. I think the rest is chicken and egg-- once there's a reason to pass the printer output, emulator maintainers will add that functionality.

#57 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

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Posted Mon May 22, 2017 8:14 AM

Last night I started working on an ESC/P to BMP project. Wrote the thing in about two hours, at least something that handles Print Shop. I'm just trying to figure out if it's something worth working on because there's the Retroprinter project, Atari800MacX already does ESC/P->PDF, and there's APE. So who exactly would another project benefit? The Altirra project can pull the Retroprinter open source and use that if they really wanted to. I don't want to reinvent the wheel.


It can benefit every non-Atari emulator that has software which supports Epson printers.

#58 JoSch OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 22, 2017 8:46 AM

Last night I started working on an ESC/P to BMP project. Wrote the thing in about two hours, at least something that handles Print Shop. I'm just trying to figure out if it's something worth working on because there's the Retroprinter project, Atari800MacX already does ESC/P->PDF, and there's APE. So who exactly would another project benefit? The Altirra project can pull the Retroprinter open source and use that if they really wanted to. I don't want to reinvent the wheel.

If you like, you could integrate your code in here: https://github.com/j...t/tree/printers.







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