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Any Screen Printing Programs for the Atari 1025 Printer?

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Out of curiosity, I was just wondering if anyone knew of a screen printing program that would work with the Atari 1025 dot matrix printer and allow the printing of images like those drawn with the Atari CX-77 Touch Tablet in AtariArtist? I ask because I'm planning on picking up a Touch Tablet from Best Electronics at some point this summer or fall and am interested in finding a good reliable printer and software for my Atari 400 to print images drawn on the Touch Tablet with. I know there's a screen printing program for the Atari 1020 Color Plotter but I've read that there's some reliability issues with the 1020's gears cracking over time, and it would just be a lot nicer and easier if I could print things on a reliable printer that used easy to replace ink ribbons and full sized fanfold paper and had native compatibility with AtariWriter. I don't mind the AtariArtist pictures coming out as low quality dot matrix images, I'd just like some way to do reliable and easy to maintain graphics printing on my Atari 400.

 

So, anyone know of any such screen printing programs available for the Atari 1025 Printer?

Edited by Jin

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Hello Jin

 

ANALOG Computing published G: Driver years ago. Maybe that is what you are looking for?

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

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The Atari 1025, as far as I know, only prints from its internal character set; it has no graphics mode, despite being dot matrix. As I recall, there's one "hidden" character that doesn't appear in the manual (I think it's the curved, clearscreen arrow), but it's been more than 20 years since I got rid of my 1025...

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If I were you, Jin, I'd try and find an Okimate 10 or 20 Color printer (which also can use B&W). They do graphics and Okidata made solid printers. I've no idea about replacements or re-inking the color ribbons of these old printers, But if that's an issue that can't be resolved, they can still use black ribbon replacements or re-inking, so at worst you would be no worse off than using a B&W dot matrix printer that does print graphics, and at best, you can have full-color images. I like to do art on my Atari, and I plan on getting an Okimate 10 or 20 printer myself soon, even though I already have a fantastic Panasonic dot-matrix that does graphics (in a lot of shades of gray and patterns)

 

Of course I never let little things like lack of printer ribbons or pens (1020) stop me, I re-ink them all myself. And by the way, I've had my 1020 plotter for 30 years now and I have never had a gear crack on me. or any other problems, except one; There is a gear that is on a metal rod that has a tendency to move out of place over time, but this is an easy fix with a dab of super-glue or whatever. I do maintain it well with regular cleaning and oiling.

Edited by Gunstar
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From what I've heard, the Okidata equivalent printer was text-only as well. It would be a fun hacking project to put a gfx mode into the firmware. You might need to add a little RAM too.

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From what I've heard, the Okidata equivalent printer was text-only as well. It would be a fun hacking project to put a gfx mode into the firmware. You might need to add a little RAM too.

Just to be clear, I said nothing about an "equivalent" Okidata printer (assuming your talking about equivalent to the 1025). Just so there is no confusion, the Okidata Okimate's are NOT an equivalent to the 1025. Bryan is right that there is an equivalent, I'm just making sure there's no confusion here.

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Yeah, sorry. That was confusing. I was just bringing up why it doesn't do graphics. I had a 1025 back in the day and I was kinda pissed when I realized it had no graphics mode.

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Thank you for all the replies and advice everyone! I'm really glad that there's still such an active and friendly Atari 8-bit community willing to help out people fairly new to the hobby. :)

 

So at this point it seems pretty well determined that graphics printing on an Atari 1025 is a "no go", which leaves my options being to either still get a 1025 and just use it for text printing in AtariWriter then get a 1020 plotter for printing graphics from AtariArtist via a screen printing program or try to hunt down an Okimate 10 or 20 (presumably with an interface device) that can do both; assuming I can find replacement ink ribbons for it or re-ink them myself.

 

I suppose that makes the next question "Are there Okimate 10/20 drivers available for AtariWriter and image printing software for AtariArtist that supports the Okimate 10/20?" It sounds like the Okimate printers certainly have the capability to print both text and graphics from a hardware standpoint, but finding the software to do so could be another matter. There does seem to be a pretty extensive amount of drivers available for AtariWriter, but so far the only graphics printing software I've found for AtariArtist images is for the Atari 1020 plotter.

 

Of course I'm also open to any other printer options that would have the software available to support text printing in AtariWriter and printing AtariArtist graphics images, and once again monochrome dot matrix is just fine for both. Any ideas?

Edited by Jin

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1025 is basically an Okidata ML80, which didn't support graphics either. What always made me mad is that the ML80 was released in 1979, so when Atari released the 1025 in 1982 it was already outdated. If Atari had licensed the ML82 instead of ML80 then it would have supported graphics.

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Thank you for all the replies and advice everyone! I'm really glad that there's still such an active and friendly Atari 8-bit community willing to help out people fairly new to the hobby. :)

 

So at this point it seems pretty well determined that graphics printing on an Atari 1025 is a "no go", which leaves my options being to either still get a 1025 and just use it for text printing in AtariWriter then get a 1020 plotter for printing graphics from AtariArtist via a screen printing program or try to hunt down an Okimate 10 or 20 (presumably with an interface device) that can do both; assuming I can find replacement ink ribbons for it or re-ink them myself.

 

I suppose that makes the next question "Are there Okimate 10/20 drivers available for AtariWriter and image printing software for AtariArtist that supports the Okimate 10/20?" It sounds like the Okimate printers certainly have the capability to print both text and graphics from a hardware standpoint, but finding the software to do so could be another matter. There does seem to be a pretty extensive amount of drivers available for AtariWriter, but so far the only graphics printing software I've found for AtariArtist images is for the Atari 1020 plotter.

 

Of course I'm also open to any other printer options that would have the software available to support text printing in AtariWriter and printing AtariArtist graphics images, and once again monochrome dot matrix is just fine for both. Any ideas?

It's been decades of course, but I do believe that the Okimate printers are Epson compatible in text mode, in which case they can be used with pretty much ANY word processor since most either had built-in Epson compatiblity, were programmable to be so and also, many printers also had dip-switches on them to put them into various compatibility modes as well. or there were third-party Epson drivers that could be incorporated into most WP's or you just load up the document into another printing program for Epson compatibility. Tons of third party PD drivers were released back in the day. Bottom line, it's all a matter of locating the drivers for the WP used, if that WP doesn't already have the driver or the ability to make it yourself. I'm sure someone here could point you in the right direction when the time comes.

 

IIRC, I think Okimate 10 and 20 came with required interfaces, you just bought the version that had the interface for Atari computers. So, that interface should be included IF you find, for example an Okimate 10 or 20 that came with the Atari interface. I'm pretty sure you can buy any Okimate though, and then get an interface for it as you said, if you aren't lucky enough to find one with the proper interface already. My guess would be standard parallel port on the Okimate's, so any old interface like the Apeface or Microprint (the one I have for my Panasonic printer) or the ICD PR: connection or Atari 850 (these are full-on interfaces for many Industry standard peripherals and not just for printers like the less expensive ones ^ here.

 

I definitely remembered correctly about the included interfaces. However, something I did not know, the Okimate printers used wax-ink cartridges, so this could be an unforeseen problem. But I'm willing to bet with a little clever thought these old printer cartridges could be "re-inked" still. I'll look into it more and see if anyone already has figured out a way: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okimate_10

 

I haven't been able to find out a lot about the Okimate 20, no wiki page for it, but this is what I did find out: Okimate 10 is a 9-pin printer and Okimate 20 is 24-pin. The Okimate 20 is superior for graphic print-out. I have yet to find out if the 20 uses the same wax-ink ribbon cartridges or not.

Edited by Gunstar
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Ok, the Okimate 10 and 20 use the same ink cartridges. The good news is already stumbled upon black NOS replacement cartridges, .and also, with the right kind of paper, you don't need a ribbon to print in B&W, so no worries for B&W.

 

https://www.amazon.com/EACH-Okidata-Black-Ribbon-Okimate/dp/B01MYGVWAC?SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duckduckgo-d-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B01MYGVWAC

 

https://www.amazon.com/Okidata-Black-Ribbon-Okimate-20/dp/B00004Z5E7?SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duckduckgo-d-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00004Z5E7

 

http://www.lemon64.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52365

 

I have found quite a few auctions for color printer cartridges on ebay now.

Edited by Gunstar
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I could be wrong, but I don't think they released an Atari 8 bit interface module for the Okimate 20. So I think it would have to be the Okimate 10. In any case they were thermal transfer printers so you couldn't reink the wax cartridges and using the printer without a black ink cartridge required using thermal paper. If you've ever received a thermal printed receipt from a store, you'll know they fade pretty quickly, so it's not a great option for any printouts you want to keep.

 

Bob

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After giving it some more thought and doing a ton of Google searching over the past few days I think I've been going about this backwards. Instead of deciding on a printer to print graphics on the Atari 8-bit first I should be finding software capable of printing graphics on an Atari 8-bit then select a printer based on compatibility with the software.

From my own research the only software I could find made for the specific purpose of printing AtariArtist images was the screen printing program for the Atari 1020 plotter that I linked to in the original post, but it occurs to me that the most popular graphics printing software of the time for the Atari 8-Bit line was probably Brøderbund's The Print Shop. Though I haven't been able to find a clear scan of the back of the box for The Print Shop yet to get a full list of the printers compatible with it I understand that it was capable of printing graphics on a number of popular dot matrix printers via an interface device, and it was compatible with the Atari Touch Tablet.

 

So I think the questions I need to hunt down the answers for now are "What format does AtariArtist save images in and is that image format something that can be loaded in The Print Shop?" and "What dot matrix printers and interface devices is The Print Shop compatible with?". Once I've found the answers to those two questions I'll hopefully have the information I need to select a printer that print both AtariArtist tablet drawn graphics and AtariWriter text.

Edited by Jin

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After giving it some more thought and doing a ton of Google searching over the past few days I think I've been going about this backwards. Instead of deciding on a printer to print graphics on the Atari 8-bit first I should be finding software capable of printing graphics on an Atari 8-bit then select a printer based on compatibility with the software.

 

From my own research the only software I could find made for the specific purpose of printing AtariArtist images was the screen printing program for the Atari 1020 plotter that I linked to in the original post, but it occurs to me that the most popular graphics printing software of the time for the Atari 8-Bit line was probably Brøderbund's The Print Shop. Though I haven't been able to find a clear scan of the back of the box for The Print Shop yet to get a full list of the printers compatible with it I understand that it was capable of printing graphics on a number of popular dot matrix printers via an interface device, and it was compatible with the Atari Touch Tablet.

 

So I think the questions I need to hunt down the answers for now are "What format does AtariArtist save images in and is that image format something that can be loaded in The Print Shop?" and "What dot matrix printers and interface devices is The Print Shop compatible with?". Once I've found the answers to those two questions I'll hopefully have the information I need to select a printer that print both AtariArtist tablet drawn graphics and AtariWriter text.

I've never used it, but I believe The Newsroom has more features than Print Shop.

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/231882-the-newsroom-by-springboard/

 

While there are only a few Newsroom clipart disks available, there is a utility for converting Print Shop icons to Newsroom format.

https://www.atarimagazines.com/v7n8/newsroom.html

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Don't forget about the Epson JX-80 and the Star NX1000r.

 

Edit: Effing autocorrect...

Edited by Kyle22

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So at this point it seems pretty well determined that graphics printing on an Atari 1025 is a "no go", which leaves my options being to either still get a 1025 and just use it for text printing in AtariWriter then get a 1020 plotter for printing graphics from AtariArtist via a screen printing program or try to hunt down an Okimate 10 or 20 (presumably with an interface device) that can do both; assuming I can find replacement ink ribbons for it or re-ink them myself.

Speaking as an ex-1020 plotter owner... I'd hold out for a decent dot-matrix if you want to do screen dumps.

 

Sure, the 1020 can do it - but it's going to be slow, run through ink in a hurry, and the output can tend to be a little uneven. It's just not really designed to handle bitmapped graphics (though it's great for anything needing vectors).

 

I suppose that makes the next question "Are there Okimate 10/20 drivers available for AtariWriter and image printing software for AtariArtist that supports the Okimate 10/20?" It sounds like the Okimate printers certainly have the capability to print both text and graphics from a hardware standpoint, but finding the software to do so could be another matter. There does seem to be a pretty extensive amount of drivers available for AtariWriter, but so far the only graphics printing software I've found for AtariArtist images is for the Atari 1020 plotter.

 

Of course I'm also open to any other printer options that would have the software available to support text printing in AtariWriter and printing AtariArtist graphics images, and once again monochrome dot matrix is just fine for both. Any ideas?

Epson FX-80. You'll need an 850 or P:R: interface to run it, but they're incredibly well-built and just about everything supports them (right down to modern hardware). Consumables are still available, too. They are a 9-pin, so text quality won't be NLQ (though there are some paper feed tricks you can do to get close), but they do an excellent job on screen dumps.

 

There was a 24-pin Panasonic model out there that worked really well with the 8-bits, too, but I never had one and unfortunately don't remember the model number.

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There was a 24-pin Panasonic model out there that worked really well with the 8-bits, too, but I never had one and unfortunately don't remember the model number.

I had the Panasonic KX-P1124. It was great printer and much better than the Citizen MSP-10 9-pin that I had before it.

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On 5/7/2018 at 4:06 PM, Gunstar said:

If I were you, Jin, I'd try and find an Okimate 10 or 20 Color printer (which also can use B&W). They do graphics and Okidata made solid printers. I've no idea about replacements or re-inking the color ribbons of these old printers, But if that's an issue that can't be resolved, they can still use black ribbon replacements or re-inking, so at worst you would be no worse off than using a B&W dot matrix printer that does print graphics, and at best, you can have full-color images. I like to do art on my Atari, and I plan on getting an Okimate 10 or 20 printer myself soon, even though I already have a fantastic Panasonic dot-matrix that does graphics (in a lot of shades of gray and patterns)

 

Of course I never let little things like lack of printer ribbons or pens (1020) stop me, I re-ink them all myself. And by the way, I've had my 1020 plotter for 30 years now and I have never had a gear crack on me. or any other problems, except one; There is a gear that is on a metal rod that has a tendency to move out of place over time, but this is an easy fix with a dab of super-glue or whatever. I do maintain it well with regular cleaning and oiling.

I have a Citizen GSX-140 with a dried out color ribbon, that for the life of me I cannot find new ones for (they still sell / make black ones though).  How do you re-ink something like that?  It is one that just has the stripes for the four colors.  (Assuming it still works I have not turned it on in 20 years....)

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The Okimate 10/20 use a thermal transfer of some colored plastic or wax onto paper, so there's no way to "re-ink" them.  They also produce awful results (I had one back in the day), so I really wouldn't recommend either of those.  Did you end up getting one, @Gunstar?

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47 minutes ago, Gunstar said:

@leechPlease re-read the third sentence of my post you quoted.

Oh, damn that is what I get for reading AtariAge while trying to do 8 other things.  If I find the sexret, I will share.

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41 minutes ago, jamm said:

The Okimate 10/20 use a thermal transfer of some colored plastic or wax onto paper, so there's no way to "re-ink" them.  They also produce awful results (I had one back in the day), so I really wouldn't recommend either of those.  Did you end up getting one, @Gunstar?

Isn't that in essence how laser printers work now?  Basically what I am looking for is 1) tractor fed / fan folding / continuous paper (they are called all these things). 2) color printing. 3) Atari compatibility.

I think if I can get a color ribbon for the Citizen, I can use that.  I DID find a place that sells new ribbons... but they are 14 bucks each... expensive I know... but they have a minimum order of 100...

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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, jamm said:

The Okimate 10/20 use a thermal transfer of some colored plastic or wax onto paper, so there's no way to "re-ink" them.  They also produce awful results (I had one back in the day), so I really wouldn't recommend either of those.  Did you end up getting one, @Gunstar?

No, I never did get around to getting one. I now use an Epson deskjet for color and either print with Altirra or with my Atari through APE/SIO2PC. I still have my old Panasonic dot-matrix that I renewed the ribbons I have for it.

Edited by Gunstar

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55 minutes ago, leech said:

Isn't that in essence how laser printers work now?  Basically what I am looking for is 1) tractor fed / fan folding / continuous paper (they are called all these things). 2) color printing. 3) Atari compatibility.

I think if I can get a color ribbon for the Citizen, I can use that.  I DID find a place that sells new ribbons... but they are 14 bucks each... expensive I know... but they have a minimum order of 100...

The Okimate color printers used something that more resembles an iron-on transfer.  The only way you got okay results out of it is to use special paper that would take the transfer material better than normal paper.  Trust me - it was awful.

 

You'll be better off using a standard inkjet printer and a FujiNet once we get some color printer emulation in there.  😃

 

Here's a video of someone testing an Okimate:

 

 

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