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#110329 - 07/17/17 01:49 PM Where to output images of graphic printers?  
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fulivi Offline
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fulivi  Offline
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Hi,

a quick question for someone who knows the MAME sources better than me.
Is there any support in current version for sending the graphic output of printers to a file?
I mean something like an "automatic" PNG snapshot of the image coming out of a graphic printer.. There's a skeleton driver for Apple Laserwriter but I couldn't find there any hint about how the author was planning to output the "printed" pages.
I'll work on HP85 integral printer in the future but at the moment I don't know how to store the printed (graphic) image in a file.
I know that you can already capture the output of a Centronics port, but this only stores the byte stream between computer and printer. And an integral printer doesn't even have such a port somewhere..
Thanks.
--F.Ulivi

#110331 - 07/17/17 02:34 PM Re: Where to output images of graphic printers? [Re: fulivi]  
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R. Belmont Offline
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There is a plan for "virtual paper" that can be saved or printed, but it's completely not implemented. The existing Epson drivers just show a single page in a window and overwrite it if you print more than one page.

If you can see this topic, I laid out roughly how I imagine it working: http://forum.mamedev.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=14

If not, LMK and I'll copy/paste.

#110333 - 07/17/17 04:22 PM Re: Where to output images of graphic printers? [Re: R. Belmont]  
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fulivi Offline
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fulivi  Offline
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Yes, please, could you copy it for me? I have no access to that forum.
Thanks.
--F.Ulivi

#110337 - 07/17/17 07:20 PM Re: Where to output images of graphic printers? [Re: fulivi]  
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R. Belmont Offline
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Since it appears printing is about to become a thing (I wrote in 2014, LOL), I think we need to start thinking about a generic printer abstraction. I'm thinking this should have an architecture similar to the debugger where we have OSD-level code handling the platform specifics of what is otherwise a generalized abstraction.

The general idea:
- An emulated printer creates a new printer abstraction by giving the color depth and either the absolute pixel resolution of a page or paper size plus DPI.
- The abstraction would supply both continuous-feed and discrete-page modes. In a concession to the reality of modern printers the output would ultimately be split into pages either way.
- Each time you start a page you get a new page bitmap to draw on (a core bitmap so you can use drawgfx stuff on it?)
- OSD would provide a window similar to a PDF viewer where you view one page at a time with a strip of page thumbnails on the side of the window, and the ability to send one or more pages to the system's actual printer. A 'quiet mode' where it doesn't show the printer window unless the user requests it would be handy, as would a 'just go ahead and print everything to the system's real printer without user interaction' option.
- Obviously some way for the user to discard pages they don't want and save memory would be useful as well.
- Optional green-bar paper emulation mode? smile

This is by no means completely thought out, it's more of an idea sketch that I think could be workable.

#110340 - 07/17/17 08:14 PM Re: Where to output images of graphic printers? [Re: fulivi]  
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robcfg Offline
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robcfg  Offline
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If emulating printers is out of the question, it would be nice to be able to supply images of desired character sets.

At Cpcwiki.eu we have scans of several printers' boards and rom dumps.

I can gather them for you and upload a zip file to the location of choice.

#110341 - 07/17/17 08:31 PM Re: Where to output images of graphic printers? [Re: fulivi]  
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R. Belmont Offline
R. Belmont  Offline

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It's absolutely not out of the question, but ROM dumps and schematics of printers are hard to come by (the schematics are especially important).

#110342 - 07/17/17 08:48 PM Re: Where to output images of graphic printers? [Re: fulivi]  
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robcfg Offline
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robcfg  Offline
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I think we have some schematics/service manuals of Amstrad DMP printers. Let me gather the info and I'll post the link here.

I know it will be quite a longshot, but emulating printer sounds would be awesome!

https://youtu.be/pG8RAbWs1yo

I'm thinking that daisywheel printer fonts should be stored as svg or ttf files.

#110343 - 07/17/17 09:23 PM Re: Where to output images of graphic printers? [Re: R. Belmont]  
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Darkstar Offline
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Darkstar  Offline
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Originally Posted by R. Belmont
- Optional green-bar paper emulation mode? smile

Yes, please! Also emulation of the punched-hole strips at the sides, and a way to rip them off by using drag&drop. And a simulation of the sound of perforated paper ripping :-D

#110344 - 07/17/17 09:55 PM Re: Where to output images of graphic printers? [Re: fulivi]  
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robcfg Offline
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robcfg  Offline
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Ok,
Here is the info on Amstrad printers I gathered from Cpcwiki.eu (I did many of the dumps and scans anyway :D).


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