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95LX Printing Solutions

95LX Printing Solutions

I have experienced some printing problems and felt that your users might have an interest in the solutions I have found.

My troubles first occurred when trying to print a small file which contained line draw characters to my HP DeskJet 500 printer. Using the print command from MEMO caused the line draw characters to print as blanks. When I tried the print command under FILER, it yielded the same results.

This is apparently a problem with the print command, so instead I used the DOS COPY command to copy the file to my printer. Since it was attached to the serial port, I used the following command to copy file MAP.TXT to the printer attached to the serial port of my 95LX: COPY MAP.TXT COM1.

This worked great at first. However, when I tried to print a long documentation file which contained line draw characters, I discovered another problem. The copy command does not support software handshaking. That means that the printer has no way of signaling the 95LX when its (the printers) memory buffer is full.

Since my file was longer than the 16K buffer of my printer, the file printed several pages before the buffer overfilled and the output became garbled.

I decided to call HP for help on both of these problems. Unfortunately, they informed me that copy under DOS does not support the software XON/XOFF protocols. Nor did they have an answer for me as to why the first problem occurred. (They are still looking into it).

In the meantime, I decided to try copying the file to PRN instead by typing:

COPY MAP.TXT PRN

PRN stands for the default printer. To my surprise, this worked correctly, printing the line draw characters AND supporting the necessary software protocols of XON/XOFF. This also works when copying to LPT1. Enter DOS using the (FILER)(MENU).

I find it very interesting that software handshaking XON/XOFF protocols would be supported for the LPT1 (PRN) device but not for the COM1 (AUX) device. As far as I know, this is not documented anywhere, and the HP support personnel seemed interested.

Sheryl Hansen

Spring, TX 77379

iPhone Life magazine


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