RE: CBM Printer History /compatibility

From: Ethan Dicks (
Date: 2001-12-22 04:38:32

--- wrote: 
> The emulator will be a MSDOS program which will be an extended feature to my
> 64HDD program...

> The printer
> emulation will simply read these file(s) and construct a bitmap image of the
> information (probably a BMP as this is the simplest format to create on the
> fly, but unfortunately the most inefficient with respect to space). The BMP
> of course can then be printed, viewed, etc. 

Personally, I'd look into Tom Boutell's GD library - it makes PNGs by letting
you write on a virtual canvas.  It used to write GIFs, but with the Unisys
patents...  Check, I think.  I used it for a web form to create
charts of sunrises and sunsets

Of course, the hard part is going to be getting the vectors for the characters
so the text looks right.

> It should also be able to add "enhancements" to the original such as large
> "paper width" and more "colours".

As long as the coordinates didn't overflow the command set, otherwise, you'd
have to define a new command language for extended use.

> One issue with the C1520 emulator as compared to other simple printers is
> that multiple secondary channels are opened to change modes, pens, etc. All
> these commands somehow have to be spooled into one file to define the "print
> job". If I simply opened one file for each channel the sequencing will no
> doubt be wrong when it comes to "printing" to the BMP.

So write it as an "event" log of all data (with the secondary address as the
first char, say) sent to the printer device number.  It does all go down the
pile in chronological order.  In effect, you'd have a "trace" of the session
between the C-64 and the "printer".

If you don't have one of the Osbourne-McGraw Hill IEEE books from way back,
I can recommend it.


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