New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?) - VMS

This is a discussion on New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?) - VMS ; Just a note if any of you are still spec'ing LaserJet printers for use on VMS systems. I'm not aware of any available PCL6 support info or libraries on VMS (PCL5 either for that matter, but its easy enough to ...

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Thread: New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

  1. New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

    Just a note if any of you are still spec'ing LaserJet printers for use
    on VMS systems. I'm not aware of any available PCL6 support info or
    libraries on VMS (PCL5 either for that matter, but its easy enough to
    roll your own with that).

    We've used PCL (3, then 5) as our primary 'print forms' language for
    16 years. HP hasn't always made that easy as their backward
    compatibility has been less than stellar, and their penchant for
    producing badly crippled firmware in their low end printers has also
    not helped. Soft fonts were a particular problem over the years as
    certain low end printers refused to load them; these limitations were
    often not documented; we found out 'in use'.

    The newest printer we've tried to use is the P2015-N. There is one,
    and only one note, indicating a font limitation: 45 scalable fonts
    (PCL6), 35 scalable fonts (PS), 11 Scalable fonts plus 11 lineprint
    fonts (PCL5e).

    None of the scalable fonts available to PCL5e have proportional
    spacing. This printer has been crippled back to a fixed pitch dumb
    printer for anyone not running a PCL6 driver. It is NOT their bottom
    line stuff; its in the mid-range. And not suitable to our forms
    printing needs.

    At the same time, the HP developer website that was supposed to
    provide links to the various PCL5/PCL6 specs and docs has apparently
    been lobotomized. All my searches ended up going to dead pages or to
    the hp.com pages with the PCL5 docs; nothing on PCL6. If anyone knows
    where the PCL6 developer or spec docs are I'd appreciate a heads-up.
    In the meantime these printers are sidelined while we locate some real
    LaserJets that haven't been crippled into PC toys.

  2. Re: New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

    On Oct 8, 8:48*am, Rich Jordan wrote:
    > Just a note if any of you are still spec'ing LaserJet printers for use
    > on VMS systems. *I'm not aware of any available PCL6 support info or
    > libraries on VMS (PCL5 either for that matter, but its easy enough to
    > roll your own with that).
    >
    > We've used PCL (3, then 5) as our primary 'print forms' language for
    > 16 years. *HP hasn't always made that easy as their backward
    > compatibility has been less than stellar, and their penchant for
    > producing badly crippled firmware in their low end printers has also
    > not helped. *Soft fonts were a particular problem over the years as
    > certain low end printers refused to load them; these limitations were
    > often not documented; we found out 'in use'.
    >
    > The newest printer we've tried to use is the P2015-N. *There is one,
    > and only one note, indicating a font limitation: *45 scalable fonts
    > (PCL6), 35 scalable fonts (PS), 11 Scalable fonts plus 11 lineprint
    > fonts (PCL5e).
    >

    I ran into the "no PLC6 documentation" about a year ago in trying to
    figure out what the printer reset string was supposed to be.

    As far as I could figure out, if you need to use PCL6, you must use
    Windows and it's PCL6 driver.


    Sean

    > None of the scalable fonts available to PCL5e have proportional
    > spacing. *This printer has been crippled back to a fixed pitch dumb
    > printer for anyone not running a PCL6 driver. *It is NOT their bottom
    > line stuff; its in the mid-range. *And not suitable to our forms
    > printing needs.
    >
    > At the same time, the HP developer website that was supposed to
    > provide links to the various PCL5/PCL6 specs and docs has apparently
    > been lobotomized. *All my searches ended up going to dead pages or to
    > the hp.com pages with the PCL5 docs; nothing on PCL6. *If anyone knows
    > where the PCL6 developer or spec docs are I'd appreciate a heads-up.
    > In the meantime these printers are sidelined while we locate some real
    > LaserJets that haven't been crippled into PC toys.



  3. Re: New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

    On Oct 8, 11:33*am, s...@obanion.us wrote:
    > On Oct 8, 8:48*am, Rich Jordan wrote:
    >
    > > Just a note if any of you are still spec'ing LaserJet printers for use
    > > on VMS systems. *I'm not aware of any available PCL6 support info or
    > > libraries on VMS (PCL5 either for that matter, but its easy enough to
    > > roll your own with that).

    >
    > > We've used PCL (3, then 5) as our primary 'print forms' language for
    > > 16 years. *HP hasn't always made that easy as their backward
    > > compatibility has been less than stellar, and their penchant for
    > > producing badly crippled firmware in their low end printers has also
    > > not helped. *Soft fonts were a particular problem over the years as
    > > certain low end printers refused to load them; these limitations were
    > > often not documented; we found out 'in use'.

    >
    > > The newest printer we've tried to use is the P2015-N. *There is one,
    > > and only one note, indicating a font limitation: *45 scalable fonts
    > > (PCL6), 35 scalable fonts (PS), 11 Scalable fonts plus 11 lineprint
    > > fonts (PCL5e).

    >
    > I ran into the "no PLC6 documentation" about a year ago in trying to
    > figure out what the printer reset string was supposed to be.
    >
    > As far as I could figure out, if you need to use PCL6, you must use
    > Windows and it's PCL6 driver.
    >
    > Sean
    >
    > > None of the scalable fonts available to PCL5e have proportional
    > > spacing. *This printer has been crippled back to a fixed pitch dumb
    > > printer for anyone not running a PCL6 driver. *It is NOT their bottom
    > > line stuff; its in the mid-range. *And not suitable to our forms
    > > printing needs.

    >
    > > At the same time, the HP developer website that was supposed to
    > > provide links to the various PCL5/PCL6 specs and docs has apparently
    > > been lobotomized. *All my searches ended up going to dead pages or to
    > > the hp.com pages with the PCL5 docs; nothing on PCL6. *If anyone knows
    > > where the PCL6 developer or spec docs are I'd appreciate a heads-up.
    > > In the meantime these printers are sidelined while we locate some real
    > > LaserJets that haven't been crippled into PC toys.


    There are entries in the ITRC forums from late last year that point to
    an HP developers website, with drilldown info to get to the PCL
    documentation. The site is still there, but none of the mentioned
    links are available, and a search from that page only pulls up hp.com
    pages with no info on PCL6.


  4. Re: New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

    Rich Jordan wrote:
    > Just a note if any of you are still spec'ing LaserJet printers for use
    > on VMS systems. I'm not aware of any available PCL6 support info or
    > libraries on VMS (PCL5 either for that matter, but its easy enough to
    > roll your own with that).
    >
    > We've used PCL (3, then 5) as our primary 'print forms' language for
    > 16 years. HP hasn't always made that easy as their backward
    > compatibility has been less than stellar, and their penchant for
    > producing badly crippled firmware in their low end printers has also
    > not helped. Soft fonts were a particular problem over the years as
    > certain low end printers refused to load them; these limitations were
    > often not documented; we found out 'in use'.
    >
    > The newest printer we've tried to use is the P2015-N. There is one,
    > and only one note, indicating a font limitation: 45 scalable fonts
    > (PCL6), 35 scalable fonts (PS), 11 Scalable fonts plus 11 lineprint
    > fonts (PCL5e).
    >
    > None of the scalable fonts available to PCL5e have proportional
    > spacing. This printer has been crippled back to a fixed pitch dumb
    > printer for anyone not running a PCL6 driver. It is NOT their bottom
    > line stuff; its in the mid-range. And not suitable to our forms
    > printing needs.
    >
    > At the same time, the HP developer website that was supposed to
    > provide links to the various PCL5/PCL6 specs and docs has apparently
    > been lobotomized. All my searches ended up going to dead pages or to
    > the hp.com pages with the PCL5 docs; nothing on PCL6. If anyone knows
    > where the PCL6 developer or spec docs are I'd appreciate a heads-up.
    > In the meantime these printers are sidelined while we locate some real
    > LaserJets that haven't been crippled into PC toys.


    He, yes it's an sad development.

    I've been looking into some printing problems at a site lataly
    where they had problems printing national swedish characters (┼─Í)
    using 7-bit ASCII (some ISO-11 char table or something like that).

    I got a P2015-N for my in-office tests. Now, you're perfectly correct
    that everything, the printer isself as well as the docs, have been
    simplified into some dumb-PC-user version. I had severe problems
    locating such simple things as the name of the "local printer"
    used by the LPD...

    Anyway, in this particular case it all boiled down to the use
    of a character set command "(91S" that only could be found
    in some old manual for some OKI laser not sold anymore. After
    checking with the customer they verified that yes, they had used
    OKI printers many years ago...

    A few changes in the COBOL source (where all PCL command
    are hardcoded, over 600 ESC-sequences in one singe COBOL source)
    it worked fine on the P2015-N and on the printers at the site,
    mainly Xerox lasers.

    Well, maybe it didn't helped you, but I do understand your
    problem... :-)

    Jan-Erik.



  5. Re: New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

    In article <28938c35-38f6-4258-afb2-3ce828858350@a18g2000pra.googlegroups.com>, sean@obanion.us writes:
    >On Oct 8, 8:48=A0am, Rich Jordan wrote:
    >> Just a note if any of you are still spec'ing LaserJet printers for use
    >> on VMS systems. =A0I'm not aware of any available PCL6 support info or
    >> libraries on VMS (PCL5 either for that matter, but its easy enough to
    >> roll your own with that).
    >>
    >> We've used PCL (3, then 5) as our primary 'print forms' language for
    >> 16 years. =A0HP hasn't always made that easy as their backward
    >> compatibility has been less than stellar, and their penchant for
    >> producing badly crippled firmware in their low end printers has also
    >> not helped. =A0Soft fonts were a particular problem over the years as
    >> certain low end printers refused to load them; these limitations were
    >> often not documented; we found out 'in use'.
    >>
    >> The newest printer we've tried to use is the P2015-N. =A0There is one,
    >> and only one note, indicating a font limitation: =A045 scalable fonts
    >> (PCL6), 35 scalable fonts (PS), 11 Scalable fonts plus 11 lineprint
    >> fonts (PCL5e).
    >>

    >I ran into the "no PLC6 documentation" about a year ago in trying to
    >figure out what the printer reset string was supposed to be.
    >
    >As far as I could figure out, if you need to use PCL6, you must use
    >Windows and it's PCL6 driver.
    >
    >
    >Sean
    >
    >> None of the scalable fonts available to PCL5e have proportional
    >> spacing. =A0This printer has been crippled back to a fixed pitch dumb
    >> printer for anyone not running a PCL6 driver. =A0It is NOT their bottom
    >> line stuff; its in the mid-range. =A0And not suitable to our forms
    >> printing needs.
    >>
    >> At the same time, the HP developer website that was supposed to
    >> provide links to the various PCL5/PCL6 specs and docs has apparently
    >> been lobotomized. =A0All my searches ended up going to dead pages or to
    >> the hp.com pages with the PCL5 docs; nothing on PCL6. =A0If anyone knows
    >> where the PCL6 developer or spec docs are I'd appreciate a heads-up.
    >> In the meantime these printers are sidelined while we locate some real
    >> LaserJets that haven't been crippled into PC toys.


    Greetings Professor Faulken...
    Weendoze is a strange game! The only winning move is not to play!

    Send that printer *BACK* to HP with strongly worded message that you
    need support for something other than the Redmond game console! In
    the mean time, I will lament the purchase of my d|i|g|i|t|a|l LNCO2
    that has been rendered useless by HP without a source of consumables
    to keep it functioning. If I *DO* ever purchase another printer, it
    will most certainly NOT be an HP model.

    --
    VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)COM

    .... pejorative statements of opinion are entitled to constitutional protection
    no matter how extreme, vituperous, or vigorously expressed they may be. (NJSC)

    Copr. 2008 Brian Schenkenberger. Publication of _this_ usenet article outside
    of usenet _must_ include its contents in its entirety including this copyright
    notice, disclaimer and quotations.

  6. Re: New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

    On Oct 8, 12:11*pm, Jan-Erik S÷derholm
    wrote:
    > Rich Jordan wrote:
    > > Just a note if any of you are still spec'ing LaserJet printers for use
    > > on VMS systems. *I'm not aware of any available PCL6 support info or
    > > libraries on VMS (PCL5 either for that matter, but its easy enough to
    > > roll your own with that).

    >
    > > We've used PCL (3, then 5) as our primary 'print forms' language for
    > > 16 years. *HP hasn't always made that easy as their backward
    > > compatibility has been less than stellar, and their penchant for
    > > producing badly crippled firmware in their low end printers has also
    > > not helped. *Soft fonts were a particular problem over the years as
    > > certain low end printers refused to load them; these limitations were
    > > often not documented; we found out 'in use'.

    >
    > > The newest printer we've tried to use is the P2015-N. *There is one,
    > > and only one note, indicating a font limitation: *45 scalable fonts
    > > (PCL6), 35 scalable fonts (PS), 11 Scalable fonts plus 11 lineprint
    > > fonts (PCL5e).

    >
    > > None of the scalable fonts available to PCL5e have proportional
    > > spacing. *This printer has been crippled back to a fixed pitch dumb
    > > printer for anyone not running a PCL6 driver. *It is NOT their bottom
    > > line stuff; its in the mid-range. *And not suitable to our forms
    > > printing needs.

    >
    > > At the same time, the HP developer website that was supposed to
    > > provide links to the various PCL5/PCL6 specs and docs has apparently
    > > been lobotomized. *All my searches ended up going to dead pages or to
    > > the hp.com pages with the PCL5 docs; nothing on PCL6. *If anyone knows
    > > where the PCL6 developer or spec docs are I'd appreciate a heads-up.
    > > In the meantime these printers are sidelined while we locate some real
    > > LaserJets that haven't been crippled into PC toys.

    >
    > He, yes it's an sad development.
    >
    > I've been looking into some printing problems at a site lataly
    > where they had problems printing national swedish characters (┼─Í)
    > using 7-bit ASCII (some ISO-11 char table or something like that).
    >
    > I got a P2015-N for my in-office tests. Now, you're perfectly correct
    > that everything, the printer isself as well as the docs, have been
    > simplified into some dumb-PC-user version. I had severe problems
    > locating such simple things as the name of the "local printer"
    > used by the LPD...
    >
    > Anyway, in this particular case it all boiled down to the use
    > of a character set command "(91S" that only could be found
    > in some old manual for some OKI laser not sold anymore. After
    > checking with the customer they verified that yes, they had used
    > OKI printers many years ago...
    >
    > A few changes in the COBOL source (where all PCL command
    > are hardcoded, over 600 ESC-sequences in one singe COBOL source)
    > it worked fine on the P2015-N and on the printers at the site,
    > mainly Xerox lasers.
    >
    > Well, maybe it didn't helped you, but I do understand your
    > problem... :-)
    >
    > Jan-Erik.


    This particular site has always been all genuine LaserJets. They
    started with IID and 3D printers and worked up to current. We do have
    issues sometimes when a (different) customer gets a 'great deal' on a
    Canon or Brother or somesuch, or when some walk in salesman talks them
    into some other wonderful new printer and they call us when "your
    program doesn't print right", but outside of soft font loads, they've
    been minor. Yeah you have to tweak a program sometimes, or spend time
    on the phone with the new printer tech support informing them that
    their PCL compatibility is not so compatible. Once we even got Canon
    and Ricoh both to issue firmware updates to fix problems our
    requirements exposed.

    HP can't be bothered, and thats been the case for many many years. If
    documented PCL5 code that worked in your LJ3, LJ4, LJ5, 4si, 5si,
    4000, 8000, etc printers causes a 2100 to lose its mind, well then
    don't DO that. Don't do what? Use the printer? Pretty much the only
    choice.

    With this P2015 toy we can't print a proportional font from VMS. That
    is a lack of compatibility that makes all the third party copycats
    look like paragons. And this printer is listed at the low end of the
    'middle tier' small business printers. We have always been safe
    getting these before; its the 'desktop' and personal printers that
    were seriously crippled in the past. The disease is moving up the
    chain.

  7. Re: New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

    VAXman- @SendSpamHere.ORG wrote:

    > Send that printer *BACK* to HP with strongly worded message that you
    > need support for something other than the Redmond game console! In
    > the mean time, I will lament the purchase of my d|i|g|i|t|a|l LNCO2
    > that has been rendered useless by HP without a source of consumables
    > to keep it functioning. If I *DO* ever purchase another printer, it
    > will most certainly NOT be an HP model.


    Nme *one* other *current* printer mgf that doesn't do exactly
    as HP...

  8. Re: New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

    >...
    > At the same time, the HP developer website that was supposed to
    > provide links to the various PCL5/PCL6 specs and docs has apparently
    > been lobotomized. *All my searches ended up going to dead pages or to
    > the hp.com pages with the PCL5 docs; nothing on PCL6. *If anyone knows
    > where the PCL6 developer or spec docs are I'd appreciate a heads-up.
    >...


    According to http://www.maths.usyd.edu.au/u/psz/ps.html the PCL 6
    manual was at http://www.hpdevelopersolutions.com/...l_ref20r22.pdf,
    so a search for xl_ref20r22.pdf gives http://www.fea.unicamp.br/pclcount/docs/xl_ref20r22.pdf.
    A quick glance at it tells me that I am glad I never had to get into
    PCL 6. The page http://www.piclist.com/techref/language/pcl/6.htm has
    a couple of corrections/comments for the examples in the manual.

    Peter Weaver
    www.weaverconsulting.ca www.openvmsvirtualization.com
    www.vaxvirtualization.com www.alphavirtualization.com
    Winner of the 2007 OpenVMS.org Readers' Choice Award for System
    Management/Performance

  9. Re: New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

    Just a sideline note/question:

    Is this the "PC" mentality that it is OK to go proprietary when it is
    Windows, but not OK when it is something else ?

    Postscript is the one fully documented and stable and upwards compatible
    printing language and has been for decades now. And while it is owned by
    Adobe and technically proprietary, the language is fully documented and
    easily available in books etc.

    If you're going to be developping business applications, do businesses
    really think about the impact of going "cheaper" PCL vs going with
    quality long term postscript ?

    And since PCL is inferior to postscript, and since postscript allows far
    more flexibility and thus makes is more productive for programmers to
    design forms and other postcript programs, it should have been easy to
    justify the extra cost of a printer vs the extra cost of programmers
    (especially since PCL keeps changing).

  10. Re: New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

    JF Mezei wrote:
    > Just a sideline note/question:
    >
    > Is this the "PC" mentality that it is OK to go proprietary when it is
    > Windows, but not OK when it is something else ?
    >
    > Postscript is the one fully documented and stable and upwards compatible
    > printing language and has been for decades now. And while it is owned by
    > Adobe and technically proprietary,


    And has license costs if you want to include a "interpreter"
    in your printer, not ?

    > the language is fully documented and
    > easily available in books etc.
    >
    > If you're going to be developping business applications, do businesses
    > really think about the impact of going "cheaper" PCL vs going with
    > quality long term postscript ?


    It's, as far as I've seen, far easier to write PCL-commands
    then Postscript code. In particular if you're "just"
    including some PCL commands in your otherwise text-only
    reports.

    > And since PCL is inferior to postscript,...


    Says who? Maybe in some ways. Not in other ways...

  11. Re: New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

    On Oct 8, 1:00*pm, Peter Weaver wrote:
    > >...
    > > At the same time, the HP developer website that was supposed to
    > > provide links to the various PCL5/PCL6 specs and docs has apparently
    > > been lobotomized. *All my searches ended up going to dead pages or to
    > > the hp.com pages with the PCL5 docs; nothing on PCL6. *If anyone knows
    > > where the PCL6 developer or spec docs are I'd appreciate a heads-up.
    > >...

    >
    > According tohttp://www.maths.usyd.edu.au/u/psz/ps.htmlthe PCL 6
    > manual was athttp://www.hpdevelopersolutions.com/downloads/64/358/xl_ref20r22.pdf,
    > so a search for xl_ref20r22.pdf giveshttp://www.fea.unicamp.br/pclcount/docs/xl_ref20r22.pdf.
    > A quick glance at it tells me that I am glad I never had to get into
    > PCL 6. The pagehttp://www.piclist.com/techref/language/pcl/6.htmhas
    > a couple of corrections/comments for the examples in the manual.
    >
    > Peter Weaverwww.weaverconsulting.ca*http://www.openvmsvirtualization.com...ualization.com
    > Winner of the 2007 OpenVMS.org Readers' Choice Award for System
    > Management/Performance


    Peter,
    thanks for the links. I think we'll still replace these printers
    but if we have to we can at least try some format mods to get things
    working.

    Rich

  12. Re: New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

    Rich Jordan wrote:
    >
    > Just a note if any of you are still spec'ing LaserJet printers for use
    > on VMS systems. [snip]


    Well, yes, with caveats.

    First and foremost, of course, is - it's HP. Strike one.

    Secondly, be careful of some newer LaserJets which offload some of the
    rendering to the host and contain only a very basic and limited engine /
    processor. Strike two.

    Thirdly, if you're getting into color printing, expect the HP units to
    ship with "sample" size toner cart.'s, while full-size or extended life
    toners can exceed the cost of the printer itself by as much as a factor
    of two. Strike three.

    HP's out - again!

    D.J.D.

  13. Re: New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

    In article <48ed22b5$0$9640$c3e8da3@news.astraweb.com>, JF Mezei
    writes:

    > Just a sideline note/question:
    >
    > Is this the "PC" mentality that it is OK to go proprietary when it is
    > Windows, but not OK when it is something else ?


    You got it. Even more paradoxical is the fact that many of the unix
    types who moved away from VMS because it is proprietary later moved to
    Windows. Go figure.

    > Postscript is the one fully documented and stable and upwards compatible
    > printing language and has been for decades now. And while it is owned by
    > Adobe and technically proprietary, the language is fully documented and
    > easily available in books etc.


    Indeed. It is also 7-bit printable ASCII. Thus, it is relatively easy
    to read and write PostScript files. I have some Fortran programs I use
    for making plots, for example.


  14. Re: New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

    On 2008-10-08 23:11, "JF Mezei" wrote:

    > [...]
    >
    > Postscript is the one fully documented and stable and upwards compatible
    > printing language and has been for decades now. And while it is owned by
    > Adobe and technically proprietary, the language is fully documented and
    > easily available in books etc.


    You can even get the Language Reference Manual for free from Adobe --
    look into the "developers area" at their web site and search for the PDF
    format manual.

    > [...]


    Michael

    --
    Real names enhance the probability of getting real answers.
    My e-mail account at DECUS Munich is no longer valid.


  15. Re: New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

    On 2008-10-08 23:20, "Jan-Erik S÷derholm" wrote:

    > [...]
    >
    > It's, as far as I've seen, far easier to write PCL-commands
    > then Postscript code. In particular if you're "just"
    > including some PCL commands in your otherwise text-only
    > reports.


    "moveto" is one of the less complicated PostScript commands ... ;-)

    > [...]


    Michael

    --
    Real names enhance the probability of getting real answers.
    My e-mail account at DECUS Munich is no longer valid.




  16. Re: New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

    On Wed, Oct 8, 2008 at 11:48 AM, Rich Jordan wrote:
    >
    > Just a note if any of you are still spec'ing LaserJet printers for use
    > on VMS systems. I'm not aware of any available PCL6 support info or
    > libraries on VMS (PCL5 either for that matter, but its easy enough to
    > roll your own with that).
    >
    > We've used PCL (3, then 5) as our primary 'print forms' language for
    > 16 years. HP hasn't always made that easy as their backward
    > compatibility has been less than stellar, and their penchant for
    > producing badly crippled firmware in their low end printers has also
    > not helped. Soft fonts were a particular problem over the years as
    > certain low end printers refused to load them; these limitations were
    > often not documented; we found out 'in use'.
    >
    > The newest printer we've tried to use is the P2015-N. There is one,
    > and only one note, indicating a font limitation: 45 scalable fonts
    > (PCL6), 35 scalable fonts (PS), 11 Scalable fonts plus 11 lineprint
    > fonts (PCL5e).
    >
    > None of the scalable fonts available to PCL5e have proportional
    > spacing. This printer has been crippled back to a fixed pitch dumb
    > printer for anyone not running a PCL6 driver. It is NOT their bottom
    > line stuff; its in the mid-range. And not suitable to our forms
    > printing needs.
    >
    > At the same time, the HP developer website that was supposed to
    > provide links to the various PCL5/PCL6 specs and docs has apparently
    > been lobotomized. All my searches ended up going to dead pages or to
    > the hp.com pages with the PCL5 docs; nothing on PCL6. If anyone knows
    > where the PCL6 developer or spec docs are I'd appreciate a heads-up.
    > In the meantime these printers are sidelined while we locate some real
    > LaserJets that haven't been crippled into PC toys.


    I have a PCL 5 manual on my desk.
    Good for looking stuff up when writing device control library modules.

    Most HP printers will respond positively to PCL 5 commands, although
    I've got to admit that PCL is even more positional than BACKUP.

    WWWebb

  17. Re: New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

    William Webb wrote:
    > On Wed, Oct 8, 2008 at 11:48 AM, Rich Jordan wrote:
    >> Just a note if any of you are still spec'ing LaserJet printers for use
    >> on VMS systems. I'm not aware of any available PCL6 support info or
    >> libraries on VMS (PCL5 either for that matter, but its easy enough to
    >> roll your own with that).
    >>
    >> We've used PCL (3, then 5) as our primary 'print forms' language for
    >> 16 years. HP hasn't always made that easy as their backward
    >> compatibility has been less than stellar, and their penchant for
    >> producing badly crippled firmware in their low end printers has also
    >> not helped. Soft fonts were a particular problem over the years as
    >> certain low end printers refused to load them; these limitations were
    >> often not documented; we found out 'in use'.
    >>
    >> The newest printer we've tried to use is the P2015-N. There is one,
    >> and only one note, indicating a font limitation: 45 scalable fonts
    >> (PCL6), 35 scalable fonts (PS), 11 Scalable fonts plus 11 lineprint
    >> fonts (PCL5e).
    >>
    >> None of the scalable fonts available to PCL5e have proportional
    >> spacing. This printer has been crippled back to a fixed pitch dumb
    >> printer for anyone not running a PCL6 driver. It is NOT their bottom
    >> line stuff; its in the mid-range. And not suitable to our forms
    >> printing needs.
    >>
    >> At the same time, the HP developer website that was supposed to
    >> provide links to the various PCL5/PCL6 specs and docs has apparently
    >> been lobotomized. All my searches ended up going to dead pages or to
    >> the hp.com pages with the PCL5 docs; nothing on PCL6. If anyone knows
    >> where the PCL6 developer or spec docs are I'd appreciate a heads-up.
    >> In the meantime these printers are sidelined while we locate some real
    >> LaserJets that haven't been crippled into PC toys.

    >
    > I have a PCL 5 manual on my desk.
    > Good for looking stuff up when writing device control library modules.
    >
    > Most HP printers will respond positively to PCL 5 commands, although
    > I've got to admit that PCL is even more positional than BACKUP.
    >
    > WWWebb


    I've been using a LaserJet 4000 with JetDirect card for a good many
    years now. I print from Windows, VMS, Solaris, and Linux. It's rock
    solid and has done everything I need it to do.

  18. Re: New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

    On Oct 9, 8:47*pm, "Richard B. Gilbert"
    wrote:
    > William Webb wrote:
    > > On Wed, Oct 8, 2008 at 11:48 AM, Rich Jordan wrote:
    > >> Just a note if any of you are still spec'ing LaserJet printers for use
    > >> on VMS systems. *I'm not aware of any available PCL6 support info or
    > >> libraries on VMS (PCL5 either for that matter, but its easy enough to
    > >> roll your own with that).

    >
    > >> We've used PCL (3, then 5) as our primary 'print forms' language for
    > >> 16 years. *HP hasn't always made that easy as their backward
    > >> compatibility has been less than stellar, and their penchant for
    > >> producing badly crippled firmware in their low end printers has also
    > >> not helped. *Soft fonts were a particular problem over the years as
    > >> certain low end printers refused to load them; these limitations were
    > >> often not documented; we found out 'in use'.

    >
    > >> The newest printer we've tried to use is the P2015-N. *There is one,
    > >> and only one note, indicating a font limitation: *45 scalable fonts
    > >> (PCL6), 35 scalable fonts (PS), 11 Scalable fonts plus 11 lineprint
    > >> fonts (PCL5e).

    >
    > >> None of the scalable fonts available to PCL5e have proportional
    > >> spacing. *This printer has been crippled back to a fixed pitch dumb
    > >> printer for anyone not running a PCL6 driver. *It is NOT their bottom
    > >> line stuff; its in the mid-range. *And not suitable to our forms
    > >> printing needs.

    >
    > >> At the same time, the HP developer website that was supposed to
    > >> provide links to the various PCL5/PCL6 specs and docs has apparently
    > >> been lobotomized. *All my searches ended up going to dead pages or to
    > >> the hp.com pages with the PCL5 docs; nothing on PCL6. *If anyone knows
    > >> where the PCL6 developer or spec docs are I'd appreciate a heads-up.
    > >> In the meantime these printers are sidelined while we locate some real
    > >> LaserJets that haven't been crippled into PC toys.

    >
    > > I have a PCL 5 manual on my desk.
    > > Good for looking stuff up when writing device control library modules.

    >
    > > Most HP printers will respond positively to PCL 5 commands, although
    > > I've got to admit that PCL is even more positional than BACKUP.

    >
    > > WWWebb

    >
    > I've been using a LaserJet 4000 with JetDirect card for a good many
    > years now. *I print from Windows, VMS, Solaris, and Linux. *It's rock
    > solid and has done everything I need it to do.


    Midgrade printers like the 4000 series were always safe bets. I don't
    know any that have run as long or reliably as the tank-like III/IIID
    printers (the 4s were the first ones to start cheaping down on the
    physical construction, though the 4si lasted many years at any of our
    customers that had one) but they were still pretty good. Where we
    first ran into problems was the low end printers after the 6 series;
    the 1100/2100 printers had crippled PCL interpreters, but you could
    not find that out from any pre-sales literature.

    Later you need to watch out for printers that don't state 'PCL5' or
    'PCL5e' support, which were the ones that used the host-based
    interpreter and were therefore useless without an HP driver. However
    the firmware crippling seemed to stay down in the personal desktop end
    of the product line. Now you need to make sure about PCL5/5e _and_
    font availability. Who knows what gotchas HP will be adding in the
    future. This is not a good thing. If you need to replace your 4000,
    be very careful what you settle on.

  19. Re: New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

    On Fri, Oct 10, 2008 at 10:22 AM, Rich Jordan wrote:
    > On Oct 9, 8:47 pm, "Richard B. Gilbert"
    > wrote:
    >> William Webb wrote:
    >> > On Wed, Oct 8, 2008 at 11:48 AM, Rich Jordan wrote:
    >> >> Just a note if any of you are still spec'ing LaserJet printers for use
    >> >> on VMS systems. I'm not aware of any available PCL6 support info or
    >> >> libraries on VMS (PCL5 either for that matter, but its easy enough to
    >> >> roll your own with that).

    >>
    >> >> We've used PCL (3, then 5) as our primary 'print forms' language for
    >> >> 16 years. HP hasn't always made that easy as their backward
    >> >> compatibility has been less than stellar, and their penchant for
    >> >> producing badly crippled firmware in their low end printers has also
    >> >> not helped. Soft fonts were a particular problem over the years as
    >> >> certain low end printers refused to load them; these limitations were
    >> >> often not documented; we found out 'in use'.

    >>
    >> >> The newest printer we've tried to use is the P2015-N. There is one,
    >> >> and only one note, indicating a font limitation: 45 scalable fonts
    >> >> (PCL6), 35 scalable fonts (PS), 11 Scalable fonts plus 11 lineprint
    >> >> fonts (PCL5e).

    >>
    >> >> None of the scalable fonts available to PCL5e have proportional
    >> >> spacing. This printer has been crippled back to a fixed pitch dumb
    >> >> printer for anyone not running a PCL6 driver. It is NOT their bottom
    >> >> line stuff; its in the mid-range. And not suitable to our forms
    >> >> printing needs.

    >>
    >> >> At the same time, the HP developer website that was supposed to
    >> >> provide links to the various PCL5/PCL6 specs and docs has apparently
    >> >> been lobotomized. All my searches ended up going to dead pages or to
    >> >> the hp.com pages with the PCL5 docs; nothing on PCL6. If anyone knows
    >> >> where the PCL6 developer or spec docs are I'd appreciate a heads-up.
    >> >> In the meantime these printers are sidelined while we locate some real
    >> >> LaserJets that haven't been crippled into PC toys.

    >>
    >> > I have a PCL 5 manual on my desk.
    >> > Good for looking stuff up when writing device control library modules.

    >>
    >> > Most HP printers will respond positively to PCL 5 commands, although
    >> > I've got to admit that PCL is even more positional than BACKUP.

    >>
    >> > WWWebb

    >>
    >> I've been using a LaserJet 4000 with JetDirect card for a good many
    >> years now. I print from Windows, VMS, Solaris, and Linux. It's rock
    >> solid and has done everything I need it to do.

    >
    > Midgrade printers like the 4000 series were always safe bets. I don't
    > know any that have run as long or reliably as the tank-like III/IIID
    > printers (the 4s were the first ones to start cheaping down on the
    > physical construction, though the 4si lasted many years at any of our
    > customers that had one) but they were still pretty good. Where we
    > first ran into problems was the low end printers after the 6 series;
    > the 1100/2100 printers had crippled PCL interpreters, but you could
    > not find that out from any pre-sales literature.
    >
    > Later you need to watch out for printers that don't state 'PCL5' or
    > 'PCL5e' support, which were the ones that used the host-based
    > interpreter and were therefore useless without an HP driver. However
    > the firmware crippling seemed to stay down in the personal desktop end
    > of the product line. Now you need to make sure about PCL5/5e _and_
    > font availability. Who knows what gotchas HP will be adding in the
    > future. This is not a good thing. If you need to replace your 4000,
    > be very careful what you settle on.
    >


    Back when I contracted at USPS, although I was in a system admin role,
    we also did tech support that first or second tier couldn't solve, and
    we did a slew of printer stuff.

    I have stashed someplace, a now-vanished page from the HP website
    which provided instructions on how to print a config sheet and a test
    page from every LaserJet they'd manufactured at that point in time.

    It was a marvelous reference- particularly when you were working with
    "non-technical" users.

    Someone had the nerve to write in there that the front panel menu
    structures were consistent across the LaserJet line.

    We all got a good laugh out of that one.

    WWWebb

  20. Re: New LaserJet fun (or upward compatibility? What is that?)

    On 8 Oct, 22:11, JF Mezei wrote:
    > Just a sideline note/question:
    >
    > Is this the "PC" mentality that it is OK to go proprietary when it is
    > Windows, but not OK when it is something else ?
    >
    > Postscript is the one fully documented and stable and upwards compatible
    > printing language and has been for decades now. And while it is owned by
    > Adobe and technically proprietary, the language is fully documented and
    > easily available in books etc.
    >
    > If you're going to be developping business applications, do businesses
    > really think about the impact of going "cheaper" PCL vs going with
    > quality long term postscript ?
    >
    > And since PCL is inferior to postscript, and since postscript allows far
    > more flexibility and thus makes is more productive for programmers to
    > design forms and other postcript programs, it should have been easy to
    > justify the extra cost of a printer vs the extra cost of programmers
    > (especially since PCL keeps changing).


    Fair comment perhaps, but there are fewer and fewer printers including
    Postscript support at the lower end of the price bracket. The one I
    have at home is a Brother printer which does both duplex and Brother's
    version of Postscript. So far, although DCPS doesn't understand what
    it is so can't do duplex, it's worked fine on VMS and windows and even
    Linux.

    Only issue I've had since I got it was that I had a lightning strike
    on my phone line which took out an ADSL router, a couple of low end
    network switches, a few PC cards and, yep, you got it, the network
    card in the printer. (

    Steve

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