Subject: Re: bpp and lpvi
To: None <>
From: der Mouse <mouse@Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA>
List: port-sparc
Date: 01/16/2000 14:05:23
I wrote stuff about a SPARCprinter and a SUNW,bpp/SUNW,lpvi card,
asking about drivers and such.

Michael Wolfson <> replied explaining which connector
is which and such, saying in particular

> If you search for lpvi on the web, you can also come across the
> pinouts for the lpvi port.

> SparcLinux has a lpvi driver.

I haven't been able to find either; perhaps I'm just no good and
ferreting stuff out on the Web.  Do you (does anyone, for that matter)
have a more detailed pointer to either of these?

>> but I have no idea how to test it; there is no bpp manpage

> Yeah, it's pretty annoying -- users keep posting 'how do I use bpp',
> and programmers respond 'it's untested, but just add it to your
> kernel'.  I don't think anyone's even figured out what the proper
> major and minor device numbers are for it.

Well, that much at least I can manage.  sys/arch/sparc/sparc/conf.c
makes it clear it's major 107, and dev/sbus/bpp.c indicates that the
minor number is the bpp unit (bpp0 = minor 0, bpp1 = minor 1, etc).

So "mknod /dev/bpp0 c 107 0" (plus chmod if you feel so inclined).

Mark Newton <> quoted me and wrote

>> What about the lpvi, does anyone have any clue?  [...]  I can try my
>> hand at writing a driver for it, whatever it is....

> I believe it'll be difficult.  [...]  It's been a while, but from
> memory there was a kernel driver which actually interpreted
> postscript, rasterized it, and dumped it out to the printer.  Think
> of the latest generation of cheap-and-nasty Windows printers which
> speak GDI and use the host's CPU to do rasterization and you'll have
> some idea of what I mean.

I have no problem with them (winprinters) except the undocumented (and
hence unsupported except on binary-only commercial bloatware)
interface.  My current printer is a Canon BJ-200, which in general has
to be fed bitmaps; this would be no worse.

Mark Newton <>, in another message, wrote

> Incidentally, it's been a while, but I think one of the reasons Sun
> called the printer a SPARCprinter is because it actually has a SPARC
> in it (mouse, wanna pull it apart and find out?)

Once it's home, sure.  (The printer was a bit big to pop in my
backpack, so it's not actually made it home yet.)

> If so, I wonder if NetBSD can be convinced to run on it? :-)

Is the MMU on-chip on the SPARC?  If so, it might be possible (heavy on
the "might").

If I can track down enough doco, I may be able to make something work.

I do have a kernel with the bpp driver in it now, and I have the
Centronics connector hooked up to the aforementioned Canon BJ-200
(which I've been driving off my one Intel box).  When I try to send
stuff to /dev/bpp0, nothing happens - the printer doesn't blink and the
process hangs for minutes.  (Interruptibly, fortunately.)  I haven't
yet dived into finding out why; that's next....

					der Mouse

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