ImageWriter Emulation

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macintricks's picture
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Joined: Jun 23 2007
Posts: 30

cwpc.gif certmaker.gif

Back in the late '80s when my school district heavily invested in Apples, two software titles were at the top of the list: The Children's Writing & Publishing Center by The Learning Company and Certificate Maker by Springboard. These titles were also "heavily" copy-protected, since they figured teachers would be unrepentant software pirates and share copies without a site license (which they did anyway under the radar).

I'm trying to recreate some of that awful clip-art and rasterized type we used to xerox for the school newsletter every week. Anyway, if somebody has Virtual II (Virtual ][) on their Mac OS X machine, would you mind letting me know if this works on its virtual ImageWriter II system? I can't get either the Writing & Publishing Center or Certificate Maker to even produce text capture output on any emulator I currently have (AppleWin, GSport, Catakig, IIe). The emulated software simply crashes, as if it was accessing an illegal memory address.

One note about GSport: I know it produces color printing output. I have successfully gotten The Print Shop and The New Print Shop to output color printing, even color mixing! But the above titles crash on it.

For The Children's Writing & Publishing Center:
ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/productivity/integrated/

For Certificate Maker:
ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/productivity/graphics/certificate_maker/

Just one more note:
I made physical disks out of the Writing & Publishing Center images for use on my Macintosh LCII with IIe Card. They boot properly and seem to output to a printer properly--there is no crashing or seizing when Slot 1 begins outputting data. So why seize under emulation? Hmmm...

AttachmentSize
cwpc.gif4.52 KB
certmaker.gif5.79 KB
print-dialog.GIF17.23 KB
printing-complete.GIF23.79 KB
page1.GIF237.7 KB
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Apple IIc, Macintosh LCII (Apple IIe Card), Macintosh IIci

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CWJ_Wilko's picture
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Joined: Jun 3 2015
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Re: ImageWriter Emulation

I just tried opening those disks up on Virtual II (running inside a Mac VM on my Windows machine - emuception!) and I can't seem to boot anything, keeps dropping to the monitor prompt. Not sure if it's my Virtual II configuration or what, they open fine on AppleWin?

AFAIK Virtual II is the only emulator with true Imagewriter support, AppleWin can only do plain text.

Someone else may have more luck than me.

It may also be possible to pipe the printer data coming out of the LCII into a modern PC via serial. I swear someone suggested this a while ago, I'll try dig up the post.

EDIT: Didn't know about Gsport, awesome.

macintricks's picture
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Joined: Jun 23 2007
Posts: 30
Re: ImageWriter Emulation

Yes, that thought did occur to me: to print over a serial cable to an emulator running on another computer to capture the printer commands. Then the command file could be "reprinted" through a simple BASIC program to the virtual printer. Except several other software titles seize up while printing in GSport, like Springboard Publisher and PublishIt. This makes me wonder if these programs are expecting a buffer overflow warning (Control-S) from the virtual ImageWriter to stop sending data. I would assume the virual ImageWriter has essentially unlimited buffer RAM. I do know that GSport will respond with the printer ID string when an ESC-? is sent to it.

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Apple IIc, Macintosh LCII (Apple IIe Card), Macintosh IIci

macintricks's picture
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Re: ImageWriter Emulation

Also, with the Writing & Publishing Center, the images I used to make the floppies said "clean crack". Make sure you start the Program Side A first. I sometimes mix it up with the Picture disks.

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Apple IIc, Macintosh LCII (Apple IIe Card), Macintosh IIci

macintricks's picture
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Joined: Jun 23 2007
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Re: ImageWriter Emulation

So, new development with the Children's Writing & Publishing Center on GSport...

It does print, and I had success using this disk image:
ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/educational/tlc_Childrens_Writing_&_Publishing_Center.zip

Although it's important to select "IIGS/Firmware" in the printer setup inside the Writing & Publishing Center, the problem seems to be stemming from using the "Your Card" slot selection in the Apple IIgs System Menu under Slots (press Ctrl-Alt-Esc in Windows). I switched it back to just "Printer" and printing suddenly worked.

Notice in the second image, the console window indicates an Imagewriter update, then a bitmap file appears in the GSport directory below. This setup seems to work in Windows XP, which I'm only using experimentally (as it's no longer safe).

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Apple IIc, Macintosh LCII (Apple IIe Card), Macintosh IIci