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Questions tagged [printer]

For questions concerning use, maintenance, restoration or emulation of printers used along with retrocomputers.

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5
votes
1answer
248 views

How can I send RS-232 serial data to a Tandy plotter reliably?

I recently rescued my Tandy CGP-115 plotter from the attic and had the idea to try and drive it from a modern machine. I have a FTDI CHIPI-X10 RS-232 adapter and installed drivers on a MacBook. I have ...
8
votes
1answer
468 views

When did tabs start defaulting to 8 columns?

The ASCII horizontal tab character defaults to 8 columns, which is unfortunate because it's too wide for indenting block structured languages (at least to most people's taste, acknowledging Linus ...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

How did dot matrix printers do Landscape?

In the 1980's, few people could afford laser printers and other page printers (e.g. inkjets) were not yet affordable. Most had inexpensive dot matrix printers with tractor feeds, such as my own Star ...
27
votes
3answers
4k views

Why did many 9-pin printers use only 8 pins for graphics?

In the answer to another question about printers, the following claim is made about 9-pin printers: The Epson MX-80, upon which many other printers were based, had nine round pins which were ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

Typical dpi of dot matrix printers available in the 1980s

I have several printouts from what is presumably a dot-matrix printer, dated 1987. When zoomed in on these, you see the usual stair-step patterns on diagonal lines. However, it's difficult to ...
7
votes
2answers
340 views

How to print from a IIgs to a modern printer?

How can I get a IIgs to print to a modern printer? The IIgs is running Appleworks GS under System 6.0.3 with 2 MB of RAM and a hard disk. Ethernet is an option as I have a LocalTalk to Ethernet ...
1
vote
3answers
212 views

Were there ever any thermal printers that simply “muscled” plain paper? [closed]

Theoretically, one could probably build a thermal printer (maybe with a laser) that simply burns the paper black where you want it black. Conceivably without embrittling the paper too deeply or ...
6
votes
0answers
113 views

Restoring a self-inking printer cartridge

I've seen people ask about restoring printer or typewriter ribbons, but my situation's a little different. I have a self-inking ribbon for a DECwriter Correspondent. It's easy to open up the casing, ...
2
votes
1answer
301 views

Refactoring Old Printer Driver for Current Linux Kernel [closed]

I have an old Lexmark 1100 printer (parallel port LPT1) that is currently working fine on Windows 98. I've tried to make it work on several current distros of Linux but, so far, none worked. Basically,...
19
votes
7answers
5k views

Why didn't PostScript eliminate the need for printer drivers?

In the days of dot matrix printers connected by RS-232 or the IBM/Centronics parallel port, each with its own quirky set of commands, it's obvious why printer drivers were a necessary and important ...
3
votes
3answers
686 views

Daisy wheel graphics using the period?

Although it would have absolutely beaten the hardware to death, did anyone ever try to write a graphics driver for daisy wheel printers that would use the period symbol to painstakingly construct a ...
14
votes
3answers
685 views

Is there a line printer sound simulator?

To improve "authenticity" of a mainframe simulator and for an additional nostalgic effect, I'd like to add sounds of a line printer to it. They should be similar enough to the original sounds for ...
14
votes
9answers
3k views

What was the typical thickness of fanfold printer paper?

Fanfold paper was commonly used for computer printouts from the 1950s to the 1980s. What was the typical thickness of such paper? The answer must be a measure of thickness, not weight. I am well ...
46
votes
3answers
8k views

Why did line printers have 132 columns?

From what I read, most line printers have 132 columns. Also, the VT-220 and presumably other terminals may be switched between 80 columns (that's a usual width) and 132 columns. As I recall, 80 ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

Connecting Panasonic “Penwriter” RK-P400C to modern PC using USB to serial cable

I have a Panasonic "Penwriter" model RK-P400C electronic typewriter/plotter from circa 1985 I'd like to be able to connect to a modern PC. And hopefully even use to draw graphics! Bought in almost new ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Why were teletype printers not used for DOS computers?

Prior to the introduction of DOS in 1981 teletype printers were probably the most common hardcopy printer being used - usually in govt, educational or research facilities. When DOS arrived, teletype ...
25
votes
3answers
4k views

Where did DOS store graphics fonts?

I remember using a wysiwyg print program called Fontasy for CGI graphics in DOS because of a lack of standardized graphics fonts. Companies were selling "font packs" for other type fonts. Prior to Win ...
7
votes
3answers
816 views

Serial Receipt Printer Garbage

I connected a vintage serial matrix receipt printer (Datamega DPN-233) via FTDI to my MacBook's USB. It performs its own self-test without problems, prints an example and the RS 232 configuration (...
9
votes
4answers
7k views

How to renew and re-ink old printer ribbons?

What is the proper way to restore and re-ink old typewriter, calculator, dot matrix printer, and mainframe lineprinter ribbons? Usually fabric ribbons or open-cell foam sponge rollers were used to ...
10
votes
2answers
335 views

Where to find thermal paper for Aquarius or Commodore printer?

The thermal printer that was sold for use with the Mattel Aquarius or VIC-20 / Commodore 64 is an Alphacom VP42. This uses thermal paper, 4 3/8" wide. Original paper for these printers is very ...