What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an Apple IIgs ROM 3's CPU?

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What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an Apple IIgs ROM 3's CPU?

Hi AppleFritter Members,

I was wondering whether you might know whether, if I could find a Cable (rather than needing to find a Cable plus a Signal Converter Device), - a Cable that on 1 of its sides has an "8 Pin Mini-Din" Male Connecter to connect to the Apple IIgs ROM 3 CPU's round Printer Port (Female), and on the other of its sides has either Angel a USB Female Connecter or (B) an Ethernet (I think Male) Connecter; (the 2 types of Ports available to connect to the Current-Day printer that I have in mind), that I'd be able to print on this printer directly from an Apple IIgs ROM 3's CPU?

I should note that this Current-Day Printer, to which I'd like to connect an Apple IIgs ROM 3, is not a Dot Matrix Printer, as the printers that I believe most often were utilized with the Apple IIgs ROM 3 were.

I have seen in a list of peripheral devices that were available to be sold by Apple Computers along with a new Apple IIgs ROM 3, which included an Apple Laser Printer. So does this mean that the Apple IIgs ROM 3 CPU's "8 Pin Mini-Din (Give The Dog A Bone)" round Female Printer Port did connect directly to Laser Printers, as well as to Dot Matrix Printers?

If a Signal Converter Device also is required in order for this printer to recognize the printer data being sent (I suppose black and color data as well for printing), then my experience has been that such a Signal Converter Device could be more expensive than buying an automatically-compatible printer for the Apple IIgs ROM 3's CPU, such as the Apple ImageWriter II Color Printer.

Whether or not I utilize a printer that I've often seen along with the Apple IIgs ROM 3 (such as the [Dot Matrix] Apple ImageWriter II Color Printer), or a current day printer (if you think that a non-Dot Matrix Current Day printer would work with the Apple IIgs ROM 3's CPU), then do I need to install some kind of Printer Driver Software on the Apple IIgs in order to be able to utilize a given printer with it? Today's computers seem to require Printer Driver Software in order to work with any kind of printer.

Also, aside from the Apple ImageWriter II (Dot Matrix) Color Printer, do you know what the names of the other types of Apple printers are that were sold with (and automatically compatible with) the Apple IIgs ROM 3's CPU? Did any of these other compatible Apple printers use technology other than Dot Matrix (or Laser), such as some sort of Ink Jet type of Apple printer, or Daisy Wheel type of Apple printer?

Thanks - I appreciate any information about these questions that you might be able to reply with.

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Re: What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an ...

The serial port speaks one of two protocols - RS-422 or RS-232.

Neither is even CLOSE to USB or Ethernet. Therefore, you can't just make a Mini-DIN-8 to RJ45 or USB cable and expect it to work for that, because it won't work at all.

Here are the ways to print to a modern USB+ethernet printer, using an Apple IIGS, that I can think of:

1. Using a PC with software that can send serial port traffic to a USB port, or over the network. The com0com suite can do the over the network part.
2. Using some way to get the IIGS on a TCP/IP network (Uther is the easiest way), and using the Treehugger driver to add network printing support. However, this only works with GS/OS software (and then only software that natively supports the GS/OS printer framework), and with printers that have a GS/OS driver.

As for the printers that Apple sold that are relatively compatible (but there's no native support for any of them, other than raw text - ultimately, you need drivers, it's just that GS System 6.0.1 comes with a few drivers)...

ImageWriter II
ImageWriter LQ - a 27-pin version of the IW2
LaserWriter line, any of them should do - this gets a bit screwy, but at least they can support emulating an ImageWriter
The original StyleWriter - and NOTHING later - this is only useful with GS/OS software

There's also a driver for generic Epson-style printers, although most of those will also need a parallel card, or the printer will need a serial interface added. A fair amount of 8-bit software will support those, though, but maximum compatibility will be with an ImageWriter, or something pretending to be an ImageWriter, plugged directly into the printer port.

In any case, the CPU has no concept of what a printer is. It's just a CPU. It's not a printer interface, or a driver for a printer. Wink

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Re: What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an ...

I'm no expert, but I am afraid that bhtooefr is correct.
The IIgs will not handle a modern style printer.
There are currently no ways to hook up a USB card to one.
Believe me, I have looked high and low for some way to do this.
I settled for an ImageWriter II with a Sheet Feeder.
It may be dot matrix, but you don't have to use perf paper. Smile

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Re: What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an ...

Well, that's not entirely true, either.

Usually, if I'm on the IIGS, and I need to print, I'm probably in a GS/OS program. And, if that's the case, I've got the Uther, I've got Treehugger, and I've got Independence, a third-party printer driver package, with the LaserJet III driver installed.

And, that LaserJet III driver will work with any modern PCL5 or PCL5e printer, and will print in monochrome on any PCL5c or PCL 6 Standard printer (mainly because PCL5 has no concept of color, and that's what the LJ3 supports.)

My printer is a Brother HL-2070N, which natively speaks PCL5e, and also does Epson FX-850 and IBM ProPrinter XL protocols, as a bonus - basically, if you can get the data into it, anything can print to it.

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Re: What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an ...

An ebay seller says that the best printer for the Apple II was the NEC Spinwriter 3500 Deluxe.

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Re: What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an ...

Dot matrix printers are still being made. They are used for businesses that print out receipts in either duplicate or triplicate, and they use parallel interfaces. Most graphics and text software for Apple II's have built in support for the parallel interface. So technically, some modern printers work with Apple ]['s (that have a parallel interface card). Here are the ones that Epson currently sells (for example)http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/ProductCategory.do?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&oid=-8185. If you want nice text output get a daisy wheel printer, which also come in parallel interface. NEC made fine machines, but I've had several Juki/Juki-clones/relabeled daisy wheel machines, and those things are built like tanks!

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Re: What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an ...

Some modern and/or semi-modern printers (especially from HP) have Centronics (parallel) ports on them and act like some default older printer. For example, I have a HP DeskJet 1220C (circa 2007) that has such a port as well as USB. If you use it with the parallel port it will emulate an old HP laser printer and will print generic ascii streams and respond to HPPL (a text/tagged HP printer language. At one time a defacto standard). Something like that should work with the IIGS if equipped with a parallel printer interface. Cartridges are still readily available for it as they are used in some of HP's newer printers too, so should be available for some time.

Just so you know, such a printer might not be cheap. The HP 1220 cost over $600 back in 2007, and is a large format printer taking 13" wide paper.

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Re: What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an ...

Uhhhh... I doubt it.

There have been some changes to the parallel port interface since the advent of the IIGS. Like IEEE1284. Bi-directional communications on the parallel port.

Also, there are different printer languages for every brand of printer. such as:

ESC/P Raster and ESC/P 2 for Epson Printers.

Pictbridge.

PCL.

ESC/Page.

Canon GARO.

A more comprehensive list:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Page_description_language

I doubt that GS/OS includes the proper drivers for all these languages.

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Re: What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an ...

insanitor wrote:
Uhhhh... I doubt it.

LOL!

Yes, you can indeed doubt it if you wish. Not directed toward you in particular, but that's what's know as willful ignorance. An extremely common internet behavior. Like ... "Hey, I don't know this and I did not hear it from my buddies, so you're 100% wrong dude!"

As I said, I have a HP1220C, so It's not a guessing game for me. I've actually seen it work, so my own doubt has subsided a wee bit. Lol...

You actually mentioned PCL, which is what I meant before. My bad (HPPL is actually a plotter language. Also just plain escape sequences)

HP PCL requires no driver to use, you just need to send the escape codes/sequences. These are only needed to select different fonts, sizes, weights, formatting, graphics, etc... (depending on the PCL version). However, just sending an ASCII stream to it, it will print happily with the defaults.

If, as an Aplle II user you need fancy fonts and such, PCL definition documents are readily available on the internet and it is quite easy to incorporate PCL into your programs. Before the advent of packaged drivers, this is how we did it. You have to realize that most of these printer control languages got their start back when Bill Gates was playing with Teddy bears. How do you think us old dinosaurs made fancy print on our CP/M machines, PDP-11s and IBM system 360s? We used things like PCL and embedded the escape sequences in our programs.

However (now, you might want to close your mind again) I have indeed hooked it up to my Apple IIe's parallel port, done a pr#1, and typed list, and the printer happily prints the listing. No drivers, no fuss, no muss. That being said, I prefer endless tractor feed paper for program listings. That's why I use an Epson FX850 for my 'vintage' computing needs.

If you want to expand your knowledge a bit you can always download and open the HP1220C manual. It is heavily oriented towards Windoze and Mac, but if you dig deep enough, the information is there. You will see that it is HP PCL 3 compliant and the parallel interface is indeed both IEEE 1284 and Centronics parallel compatible.

Oh, BTW GS/OS probably has some level of HP PCL driver for it. After all, PCL 1, 2 and 3 were around then.

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Re: What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an ...

I post something which has only a slight contrast to what you said and all of a sudden I get insults. Since I am not willing to take this conversation to a level that the admin will probably not approve of, then I'll just say this:

HP Printer, one model. Your particular model. Or, any model that speaks the same language that HP printers do.

They will work. You were not sure before:

BillO wrote:
Something like that should work with the IIGS if equipped with a parallel printer interface.

Now you are:

BillO wrote:
I've actually seen it work, so my own doubt has subsided a wee bit

Magic. Ok, fine.

Same goes for Epson.

But there's something missing here.

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Re: What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an ...

insanitor, I was not insulting you as I had explicitly stated, just making an observation about exchanges on the internet.

I was originally talking about:

Quote:
Some modern and/or semi-modern printers (especially from HP)

Then specifically:

Quote:
For example, I have a HP DeskJet 1220C (circa 2007) that has such a port as well as USB

And I said:

Quote:
Something like that should work with the IIGS if equipped with a parallel printer interface.
Not "it might" or "maybe would" or "if magic is used", but "it should". As in "probably will". It would be easy to look up the meaning of the word. The only reason I did not say definitely is because I do not have a IIgs, but if it has a parallel port, I can't see any reason why it would not work. It should.

In addition, my use of:

Quote:
I've actually seen it work
was in general terms, which I went on to specify with an example
Quote:
I have indeed hooked it up to my Apple IIe's parallel port, done a pr#1, and typed list, and the printer happily prints the listing
But I think you know that.

The truth be told I have used it with several other vintage computers until I got my Epson. It should not matter what the computer is if it can send an ASCII stream through a Centronics type parallel port.

But never mind. You win. I'll admit you know way. way more about all this stuff than me, for sure.

I'd also like to apologize to the OP for taking his thread off topic. My initial post was only an attempt to help him find a printer until is was put in doubt by an expert.

But I beg, what is missing?

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Re: What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an ...

Some printers require the IEEE1284 specification to function. So says the manual for my Epson Stylus Color 860 - which speaks the ESC/P Raster language. Although I would have to admit that what the manufacturer says will not work is not always definite.

I must admit that I am in the guessing game also - but only in saying what I originally pointed out. That being that there is no way a IIGS will have the capability to speak to all printers which happen to have a centronics port. Mathematically, it's not a good bet.

The real issue here is whether or not:

A) Is our guessing of what might work equivalent to what WILL work.

Dirol Are there drivers for the iigs which will work for all of these languages.

C) What kind of output are we expecting if this is done. Will we get some graphic printout or are we getting only text.

We are walking on a road of guessing and in doing so we miss the greater saying - that being the fact that wrong conclusions are usually the result of a lack of comprehensive analysis.

If we continue to maintain the idea that if it should work therefore it will work then we are just not contributing anything definite.

There was a movie quote I remember - "assumption is the mother of all *******" but you get my drift.

What's missing? Well, you have identified exchanges on the internet - specifically to what I said. Well, I believe that another type of exchange on the internet is using non sequiturs.

I am not claiming to be an "expert". I only say things due to instinct. Which I often confuse with guessing but in my experience, both are the same. I am usually correct about these things.

But let me be clear. I did not say that no newer printer would ever work on a iigs. Nor did I say that nobody should try. I only expressed doubt that the iigs will be compatible with all these languages.

In fact, despite my doubt, if someone has the time and money, I would rather encourage experimentation since I cannot. I don't have the time or money. But if someone says that a printer I have will work with my IIGS or IIE then I'll try it. I mean, what the heck, right?

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Re: What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an ...

Probably mostly unhelpful, but *some* Apple IIgs software supported using Appletalk networked Postscript printers (IE, Laserwriters). You can still buy Postscript laser printers, so in principle you should be able to print to one. The difficulty is going to be the neworking part. At a minimum you will probably need a Localtalk to Ethernet bridge, and that's assuming you can still find a network printer that supports classic Appletalk-over-Ethernet; I know HP still made some printers that did until just a few years ago, but I'm too lazy to look up if anything they sell today *still* supports it.

If you absolutely can't find a printer that you can Appletalk with directly (over a bridge) you may still have a chance if you're willing to add, say, a Linux server with NetaTalk to the mix; Netatalk can set up network shares that route print jobs to the Linux boxes' print queues. With *this* ability you could in principle actually be able to use just about any non-Postscript printer, as the standard Linux printing infrastructure generally includes a Postscript emulator ("Ghostscript"), but, again, you'll *probably* be limited to IIgs software that can actually generate Postscript, which isn't a lot... although again, that's *probably*:

In order to extend the amount of IIgs software that could make use of networked Postscript printers Apple sneakily included an ability to download an Apple Imagwriter emulator into the RAM of a networked printer. If you dig around enough for mailing list traffic on the subject you'll find some discussion about leveraging this emulation on newer/non-Apple printers, and the short version is that it works *some* of the time but you may need to make some tricky configuration changes to the printer that may or may not be possible to replicate on a new model. There are also some vague claims that people have actually gotten *this* to work with NetaTalk/Ghostscript as the target, but a quick Google didn't turn up any simple recipies for doing so. So... again, using something like this it might be possible to use just about any arbitrary printer with a IIgs in some capacity but it's going to be a lot more complicated than just plugging in a cable.

(Footnote: One thing I was almost positively sure existed in some form was an Imagewriter or Epson MX/FX/LQ filter package that would let you set up a print queue that directly emulated one of those printers by rendering print jobs into graphics files which you could then pipe to your main printer driver. Unfortunatly my Google-Fu turned up nothing; I would *swear* these exist but until I can dig up the URL for one it's sort of a moot point. *If* you could find such a program then, again, presumably you would be able to set up a NetaTalk printer share that could use it. Still going to need that extra computer and Localtalk bridge in between the printer and the IIgs, though.)

Of course, this discussion is probably entirely moot given this post is from 2011 and the OP's sig is "Please Delete This AppleFritter Account". I'm curious what prompted this being dredged up.

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Re: What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an ...

The discussion is always useful. Especially if something new is discovered.

Your information seems to fit that bill.

I also discovered I own a Samsung laser printer. My daughter dropped it off to me. Apparently I bought it for her when she went off to university. Besides USB, it also has a parallel port on it. I will hook it up to my IIe to see if it will print, possibly tomorrow. The documentation for it is unclear as to whether it would or not so a test is in order. I did just find out that toner cartridges are still available for it as they are used in several newer printers too. This particular printer is about 6 years old.

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Re: What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an ...

Interesting. But AppleTalk/localtalk or whatever the networking protocols that were invented by Apple confuses the hell out of me. Particularly the way the components hook up and which hardware devices are needed and what the drivers do. I can't figure out if one is made for an early mac, will it work on a iigs or it if was made by a different company, would it be compatible with a iigs? And the phone wires. What's the deal on those? And what about the iie workstation card? What compatibility differences are between that and GS/OS...?

--Confused

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Re: What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an ...

Unfortunately the Samsung does not work Sad

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Re: What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an ...

Unfortunately most *cheap* laser printers (IE, the ones consumers usually buy) don't emulate anything useful to a IIgs user or even necessarily even work as dumb text printers. (Out of curiosity, what model are you dealing with?) The printers that might still have a chance of working with a IIgs are "industrial strength" models with selling prices in the, I dunno, at least $500 and up category.

For instance, here's a Samsung that has Postscript, IBM ProPrinter, and Epson emulations. It should be possible to make it work with almost anything. But it's not particularly cheap.

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Re: What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an ...

Samsung ML-2510

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Re: What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an ...

BillO wrote:
Samsung ML-2510

Yeah, that appears to be an "SPL-only" printer. (AKA, a variety of what are commonly called "Winprinters", although most do have drivers for CUPS these days; IE, OS X and Unix/Linuxoids.) Printers like that are going to be pretty completely useless when interfaced directly to a IIgs. Lasers that include, say, the once-standard HP PCL4/5/6 emulations (still relatively common on higher-end printers) can at least sort of behave like dumb line printers* but GDI printers only print properly formatted raster graphics data; they often don't even have an onboard character generator or have any other concept of "plain text.

*(Although it's sometimes necessary to, for instance, force form feeds in order to get them to render each page, which makes them awkward if you're doing things like listing from BASIC and expecting the printer to simply shovel on through paper and eject the page when it's printed more than X-many lines on it. Once upon a time in another life I wrote some GWBASIC programs for DOS that would send codes to an HP PCL4-or-up printer that would set it up so it could semi-emulate a wide carriage "dumb" dot matrix printer by setting a smaller font and changing paper orientation to landscape. Once set up that way it'd let the office use the laser to print reports from an old DOS accounting program in a form that was easier to file than wide-carriage fanfold paper. Obviously something like that doesn't help you if you're trying to print graphical data, which would be just about anything from GS/OS programs.)

The other way to attack this problem, obviously not a popular one for a true diehard of course, would be to run the programs you want to get prints out of under the GSport emulator; it includes Epson LQ and Imagewriter II emulation that can generate bitmap or postscript files that can then be printed on a modern printer via the host OS. GSport also includes AppleTalk networking support; if you can lay your hands on a Localtalk->Ethernet adapter and whip up an NetaTalk server (there are prebaked VMs for that) to facilitate the file transfer from your real IIgs this might be the most practical solution.

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Re: What is needed to utilize a current-day printer with an ...

Use the Harmonie drivers with ANY PCL 5 compatible standalone (i.e. NOT a WinPrinter) HP printer, preferably laser.
See: http://www.whatisthe2gs.apple2.org.za/harmonie-2-1 for software and the manual.
Pointless is a useful program that removes jaggies in early postscript implementations
See: http://www.whatisthe2gs.apple2.org.za/pointless-v2-0
HP LaserJet 4m, 5M and newer even have optional JetDirect and MIO cards available with Appletalk interfaces, as well as duplexers - see ebay.
You will need: a Postscript SIMM, max out the printer memory, a printer cable, and a good word processing or graphics program that works with these drivers.
Google is your friend!

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