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Printing from DOS

ActorActor Posts: 438Member
I have an older computer that has no printer. Is there any way to connect a printer to it. I mean I could buy an old printer with a Centronics connection and hook it up but where would I find a driver. Is it possible to find a driver for a new printer?

Right now if I want to print something I print it to a file on a 3.5" floppy, take the floppy to my almost new WindowsXP and use Notepad to print it. It would be handy to be able to print directly from the DOS machine.

Comments

  • HackmanCHackmanC Posts: 441Member
    If that computer is that old, and you are running DOS applications,
    maybe you don't need a driver. If you use Notepad to print it almost
    sure it only contains (12)FF || (10)LF || (13)NL || (8)TAB && Normal
    ASCII Chars. All oldies Panasonic, Epson, parallel printers can
    handle it without drivers. And the new HP, Canon, etc can handle it
    without drivers too. But I'm almost sure those are USB.

    If you are using old DOS applications like Word Perfect 5.1,
    Professional Write, Banner, DOS Graphics, those already has ESC[P2
    drivers, and the same oldies Panasonic, Epson, can handle it too.
    And the new HP, Canon, can handle ESC[P2 & PostScript Level II.

    [color=Blue]I you only have parallel ports, there are some new HP Printers which
    still have Centronics support. And can handle PostScript/II HP like the
    HP Deskjet 5650 (Inkjet). The oldies applications have at least the LaserJet II
    with PostScript Level I/II drivers.
    [/color]


    [red]Good luck![/red]
    [blue]Hackman[/blue]
  • KarmashockKarmashock Posts: 2Member
    : I have an older computer that has no printer. Is there any way to
    : connect a printer to it. I mean I could buy an old printer with a
    : Centronics connection and hook it up but where would I find a
    : driver. Is it possible to find a driver for a new printer?
    :
    : Right now if I want to print something I print it to a file on a
    : 3.5" floppy, take the floppy to my almost new WindowsXP and use
    : Notepad to print it. It would be handy to be able to print directly
    : from the DOS machine.
    :
    First the easy part:
    It's very easy to send Dos print commands to any printer on the network. With the "net use" command. If "net use" doesn't work in that version of the OS then I'm sorry for wasting your time... and I suspect you're screwed unless you get a 3rd party program.

    Anyway, the command is :

    Net Use /lpt1 \name of computerprinter

    That command works in machines back at least to windows95. Anything older then that is before my time.

    Now the hard part:
    All the old dos programs used "print codes" instead of drivers. That is codes would be embedded in the text that would change font, style, size, etc. Make sure you have a printer that can handle the print codes you're using. As you're printing from Notepad it doesn't sound like the text is formated. In this case the print codes "may" not be important. There are free/pay programs you can get that "capture" such commands, process them, and then pass them on to incompatible printers. My experience has been however that they're very slow and frequently don't work very well. I've also never been able to get one of them to process any kind of print code. Something like that might work for you though if you don't mind it taking 30 seconds to start and don't use print codes.


    Good luck.
  • ChinkhaChinkha Posts: 2Member
    : Anyway, the command is :
    :
    : Net Use /lpt1 \name of computerprinter
    :
    : That command works in machines back at least to windows95. Anything
    : older then that is before my time.

    I'm playing around this problem two weeks already. "Net Use lpt1" trick is good but ... useless.

    I put this command, operation system reported that LPT1 is redirected, my DOS application created reports .... and silence .... Printer prints nothing at all in most cases but sometime eject blank paper sheets.

    I googled and found claims the source of my problem is in my printer which is not DOS-compatible device and cannot print plain text.

  • ChinkhaChinkha Posts: 2Member
    It appears my problem is a common known conflict between modern printers and old DOS programs. I found several articles cover this question.

    There are several third-party software utilities which
    announce DOS program printing support (dosprint, dosprn, printfil)

    I evaluated them and I am not to be particularly enthusiastic. One of them
    print text files only, another did nothing at me, next printed
    corectly text part of my document but garbage instead of a graphics.

    At last I choose a dosprn [link=http://www.dosprn.com]dos print[/link] utility for me. It printed my text and charts more or less correctly and it is the most inexpensive between competitors. Unfortunately dosprn has no
    'print preview' option but in the final analysis I don't need in this
    feature extremely.

    : I googled and found claims the source of my problem is in my printer
    : which is not DOS-compatible device and cannot print plain text.

  • alonrozalonroz Posts: 1Member
    My accountant is using mostly DOS software, and I've found him a program that fixes all the DOS issues on XP and even Vista, including printing to M-F printers.
    Try it out, should work for you:
    [link=http://www.taocs.co.il/exdos]http://www.taocs.co.il/exdos[/link]
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