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Thread: Problem printing form in a4v8

  1. #1
    Real Name
    Arthur D. Libin
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Problem printing form in a4v8

    I am running Alpha Four v8 in a DOS (NTVDM) parition under Windows XP, using an HP LaserJet 1100 printer. I can get a4 to print reports, but not a form, which is supposed to be activated by the letter "R" in the Main Menu.

    I am ablle to print from the DOS window by either of the following:
    a) COPY CON LPT1 (enter)
    --- message text ---

    - or -

    b) DIR > LPT1

    ... so my communication from the "DOS" machine, through XP, to the
    LJ 1100 seems to be working.

    Some reports seem to run OK, but I can not print the form by using the
    "R" key which is supposed to activate it.

    So I have narrowed down my problem area to one of the following:
    a) Configuration settings for the form and the printer
    b) General wierdness in the host-oriented HP 1100 printer driver
    c) Phases of the moon :-)

    Oh, yes...
    a) I am running the app in Win95 compatibility mode by changing
    the indicator in the shortcut's properties;
    b) For grins I increased the FILES= paramater in CONFIG.NT from
    40 to 175.

    I am beginning to run out of things to diddle in a4.

    Can anybody throw some light on this situation or ask more questions
    to throw additional light on same?

    This is getting old.oes anybody have any revelations on printing to a
    host-oriented laserjet from a NTVDM in Windows XP Media edition?

  2. #2
    Real Name
    Arthur D. Libin
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: Problem printing form in a4v8; SOLVED!

    I solved the problem: it was the HP LJ1100 (MS) host-based printer

    Many manufacturing companies have taken engineering shortcuts in order
    to be competitive and to be able to put a laser printer on your desktop
    for only a couple of hundred dollars. One solution is to remove two-thirds
    of the electronics from the printer and to migrate those functions to the
    host (or system unit). Here the processor is powerful, if not, in fact,
    multi-threaded. Memory is plentiful and cheap.

    All the printer has to do, really, is accept rasterized images from the "host"
    for the purposes of printing.

    Of course, this makes the printer driver a whole lot more complicated than
    your average driver. And, having had the pleasure of being a desktop
    support technician for laser printers in the home and small business arena,
    I am of the opinion that many of these drivers are complicated, buggy,
    difficult to install, maintain, and debug, and generally are poorly behaved
    in a complicated, multitasking environment.

    Of course, this is only my opinion.

    So having tried almost everything else, I finally tried another laser
    printer - a Brother that was also host-based. It printed, and I was
    able to proceed through my problem to other maintenance situations
    in this system.

    How and why the host-based driver for the HP LJ1100 failed... well I
    leave this to the more masochistic of the readers of this posting.

    Just be aware that you get a cheap laser printer, if you go this route,
    but will probably wind up paying for it with maintenance headaches.

  3. #3
    Real Name
    Arthur D. Libin
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: Problem printing form in a4v8

    It was the printer driver. Host-oriented printer drivers generally are, by my experience, less stable and more buggy than their "more vanilla"
    cousins. I switched to a Brother 5250DN, also host-oriented, but with a
    DIFFERENT set of problems, and it printed.

    But now I can't put it into "compressed" mode.

    I look at the HP 1100 and Brother 5250DN's drivers as two old men, both
    in the early stages of Alzheimer's. They will mostly perfform their
    duties, but have exceptions personal to their progression of their
    disease. So if the disease prfevents the HP from working, try anothe one which will print OK, but when you try to do something else, you may
    run into another type of problem.

    I realize this is a cynical way of looking at things, but if the theory
    works, use it!

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