On 6/4/2015 5:18 AM, Felix Miata wrote:
> Thomas Mueller composed on 2015-06-04 07:20 (UTC):
>> I've been unable to get my printer, HP LaserJet Professional 1212nf MFP 
>> working.
>> Now I think it might be nonstandard implementation of PostScript or whatever 
>> command language.
> Legacy DOS apps relied on drivers specific to them. DOS itself didn't
> "support" printers, much less MF devices. It merely provided access to the
> interfaces of the time, serial ports, and parallel ports. You could sent text
> or text files directly to printers via these interfaces, but not "control"
> the printers via postscript or other printer languages. Postscript wasn't
> even invented until DOS had been around a couple of years, and even so, it
> wasn't made available except in the most expensive of printers until quite
> some time after invention. The major apps like WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3
> relied on printer drivers written specifically for those apps to produce
> control of things we now take for granted, like margin settings and font
> selection. Character sets were whatever the printer itself included, usually
> limited to 2 or 3 (fixed) pitches and line spacing choices of 66 or 88 lines
> per letter size page, in your orientation choice of portrait or portrait.
> Those that offered graphics modes were horrifically slow in those modes.
>> Why would HP have hplip when other printer manufacturers have no such thing?
> Marketing in part, but also because none ever emulate any printer language
> other than its own, and the cheaper models typically omit postscript support
> or any but one particular dialect from among the many of its own. IOW, it's
> more complicated for mere mortals to figure out how to set up HP printers
> without it, a bigger hurdle than with other printer brands.
>> But can a laser or inkjet printer with standard interface work in FreeDOS?
> What is a "standard" interface in FreeDOS? IBM/M$ DOSes date from long before
> the invention of USB and the ubiquity of networking, IIRC only ever knowing
> serial ports and parallel ports.
> This question interests me too, as I just bought a new HL-5470DW printer
> today to replace a Canon that provided no emulation of any kind. The new
> provides Epson FX, IBM Proprinter and PCL6 emulations in addition to
> Brother's own language, but neither parallel port nor serial port
> connectivity. In Linux I'll be using it via IP, but it would be nice to be
> able to use it directly from a DOS boot somehow to print old WP and
> spreadsheet files with embedded Epson FX printer control codes.
> Before postscript and HP's LJ* languages, the most popular printer languages
> that I can remember were IBM's own, Epson's, and Okidata's. Epson's seem to
> have become the most popular of those three, and continue to be included in
> some printers made by manufacturers other than Epson, Brother in particular,
> which is why I bought what I bought, and never consider buying HP for
> personal use.

I remember reading that FreeDOS 1.1 has some measure of USB support.  I 
have not tried anything USB myself yet.

But of course there is still the question of talking a language that the 
printer understands.

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