Mottek: 2003-10-23

LPR Driver

There was an interesting discussion on NewtonTalk on printing. I do not print very much anymore - it was exciting in the beginning, with devices such as the toilet roll printer that worked with the ZX Spectrum, or the first inkjet printers - but the amount of material I would have to print for doing my work is simply too high.

But on the other hand, a challenge is a challenge, no matter how you look at it! So I investigated how much it would take to enable TCP/IP (or rather, lpr) printing from the Newton. And it seems quite feasible. Praise the NewtonOS again for that. A lpr printer driver would be a subclass of the TPSPrinterDriver protocol class, similar to the TPSPAPPrinter which does AppleTalk printing. I played around a bit, and got a dummy printer class working. It only needs the code to initiate the connection and send some data. Unfortunately, connecting over TCP/IP requires grabbing a link and doing a DNS lookup, something which wasn't really planned in the current printing process. I guess it would have to be done via a proto patch of the printing transport...