Subject: Re: Various ramblings...
To: Bill Studenmund <>
From: Monroe Williams <>
List: macbsd-general
Date: 08/22/1995 18:53:25 (Bill Studenmund) writes:
>I just got a copy of Ghostscript to work with the DeskWriter and friends.
>The problem with it is that the serial ports don't work well. There are a
>number of people working on the problem, though no success yet.

What sort of problem are you having with the serial ports?  I run PPP
at 38400 with hardware handshaking, and it seems to work fine.  Is the
Deskwriter stuck at 57600 like the Stylewriter?  :-(

>Isn't the stylewriter basically a Canon BubbleJet? Or am I way off? There
>is an existing BubbleJet driver which might be a good inspiration.

The Stylewriter definitely uses the Canon Bubblejet print engine. I _think_
that the folks at Apple, bless their little hearts, built a proprietary
controller and attached it to the print engine. Therefore, I can use
standard Canon ink cartridges (sp?), but drivers are another story

I'll take a closer look at the Bubblejet driver in ghostscript.  Who knows?
Maybe Apple did something sensible for once.  ;-)

>Are you sure about the command to get the status byte? That seems too
>weird to me. It's not what the DeskWriter does. The DeskWriter's method
>is what I'd copy if I was making a printer. Though if the book says
>this command exists, I sit corrected. :-)

I'm not sure about anything. It seems pretty wierd to me too, but it's the
only way I've found to print an entire page. I don't know if this was clear
from my last message, but I don't have a book on this printer. I'd love to
find one. As far as I know, Apple hasn't published the control codes
anywhere. All of the information I have comes from watching what the Apple
drivers do and experimenting with the printer itself. (I haven't found a
way to put the printer into a 'line printer' mode where it just prints
text, either. That would be really nice for listings and such...) 

>The DeskWriter sends a status byte every other second. If the printer
>is busy, one letter comes back. A different one says "waiting".  A
>third says out of paper, a 4th off line, etc. But handshaking is done
>via hardware flow control (which, unfortunatly, I can't really get
>to work at the moment).

The Stylewriter actually works similarly: sending this 'status poll'
command causes the printer to send back a single byte. If it is ready for
more data, the byte is 0xA0. If it's busy doing something, various other
bytes are returned (0x90 and 0x10 seem to be error conditions, and there
are many others). The serial connection must be at 57600 baud, _no_
handshaking. (I have watched the Apple drivers specifically turn off
handshaking, and turning it on doesn't do anything helpful.)

>> Someone on the list was talking about making netatalk work under NetBSD,
>> but I never saw anything about it after an initial post a while ago. Did
>> this ever happen? I took a quick look at the netatalk sources, and it looks
>> like the kernel stuff is just a Loadable Kernel Module, but it's written
>> for SunOS; I'd have quite a bit of learning to do before I could even think
>> about making a NetBSD version. (Do lkm's even work in NetBSD/mac68k? They
>> don't seem to be enabled in any of the default config files...) 

>Hmm. What does this code do? Where did you get it?

According to the docs, it implements an Appletalk protocol stack under
unix, along with some of Apple's printing and file-sharing protocols. I got
it from:

>(Somewhere) there is a version of X11R6 pre-built for MacBSD. I think on
>puma, or on I got it, and it works well.

I know. I'm using it too. I would like the patches so I can fiddle with and
recompile parts of it, like the X server. 

>Good luck!
>Take care,

Thanks.  Good luck yourself!
-- monroe