Printing using your Psion Epoc PDA.
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Epoc printer support notes.
Psion Epoc Printer Support
You can print some pretty fancy documents if you use the PsiWin to allow your Psion to print via your Windows computer. Pretty much any Windows printer should work then.
The Psion range is one of the few miniature computers that comes with printer support included, and that has an optional parallel printer cable. However, the number of printers that can be used is very limited. If planning to print direct from your Psion, you must ensure that you obtain a suitable printer, as unlike Windows users, you are unlikely to be able to obtain a printer driver from the printer maker.
Psion provide support for the following printers:
- Canon Bubble Jet (BJ mode)
- Canon Bubble Jet (LQ mode)
- Citizen PN60 portable ink jet
- Epson LQ-860
- HP Deskjet 340
- HP Deskjet 660C
- HP Laser Jet 3
- HP Laser Jet 4
- Fax (all fonts available)
- General, for really dumb text printers
- Via Windows computer and PsiWin, any Windows supported printer
Printer drivers often will work with compatible printers. For example, the HP 660C driver may work with HP 550C, 560C, 660CSe.
I don't know which printers emulate which others, but your printer manual or manufacturer should have a list.
If your printer can not emulate one on the list, you will need to obtain or write an Epoc printer driver for it. Andrew Johnson is the only person I know of producing Psion printer drivers, although Sander van der Wal produces a PDF printer driver utility for producing PDF files. Psion were rumoured to have a WRD kit for doing your own printer devices (I haven't checked it).
Other Printer Drivers
Andrew Johnson is the person doing all of these so far. They generally add much better support than the native Psion drivers.
- Canon BJC-80 Printer Driver (LQ emulation)
- Andrew Johnson adds Prestige font, shadow and outline fonts. Great! 7 colour graphics printing. Different versions for ER3 and ER5. The files are BJC80-ER3-17.zip and BJC80-ER5-17.zip (the 17 is version 1.07) Works with BJ10sx, BJ30, BJC50, BJC55, BJC80, BJC85, BJ200ex, BJC250, BJC4550 and Epson Stylus Colour II (but not non-ESC/P2 models). www.aps.anl.gov/~anj/bjc80/
- Canon eXtended Mode
- Experimental EPOC bitmap font output, can do landscape. www.aps.anl.gov/~anj/bjc80/cxm.html
- Epson ESC/P2
- Untested add-on for US only model ESC/P2 printers with TrueType fonts built in. PDR file makes use of this font technology. www.aps.anl.gov/~anj/bjc80/epson.htm/
- HP PCL5 DeskJet and LaserJet
- Andrew Johnson. Much better support for PCL5. Works well with HP Deskjet 340 and 660C printers, less ink wasted. Tamer Catalkaya reports Andrew's drivers also work with the HP350cbi portable printer with IrDA adaptor, and with the HP2100LJ with built in IrDA, using Netbook, 5mxPro and Revo. www.aps.anl.gov/~anj/pcl5
- Andrew Johnson. Basic Postscript fonts www.aps.anl.gov/~anj/ps
- Postscript (35)
- Andrew Johnson. For Postscript printers with 35 fonts. Works well with my HP 5MP LaserJet. www.aps.anl.gov/~anj/ps
- Sander van der Wal. Create Adobe(R) Acrobat(R) files, also know as PDF files, on your Symbian OS powered device. Pdfprinter is a printer driver, this means that almost all programs that can print, can now also be used to create PDF files in the device itself. Version for Psion and compatibles (www.mBrainSoftware.com/Psion/PdfPrinter/PdfPrinter.htm), and one for the Nokia 9200 Series Communicator PdfPrinter can create PDF 1.2 (Acrobat 3.x), PDF 1.4 (Acrobat 4.x) and the latest PDF 1.4 (Acrobat 5.x) files. Resulting PDF files are compressed for maximum storage utilisation and minimum transfer costs. You can also encrypt files (including 128 bits encryption), set passwords and prohibit unathorised access and/or changes to the PDF file. Included in the release is a version for the respective emulators, which means that you can create PDF files on your PC too. You can also download a demo version of PdfPrinter. The demo version will expire at 1 December 2002. (www.mBrainSoftware.com/Nokia/PdfPrinter/PdfPrinter.htm)
Printers, portable, or with IrDA
Placeholder for notes on suitable Epoc compatible portable printers.
- Pentax PocketJet 200
- Pentax Technologies PocketJet 200, a small 500 gram thermal printer. Includes IR, but there have been reports of problems with PDAs accessing it. The company also have IR cable adaptors.
- Canon BJC50
- IrDA, 900 grams, built in Lithium-Ion battery. Four colour print head. Optional dedicated black head.
- Canon BJC80
- Older model of the BJC85. Parallel port, not USB, so it is perfect. Includes IrDA port. Optional NiMH battery kit.
- Canon BJC85
- IrDA 1.1. Four colour print head. 720x360 dpi. Optional dedicated black cartridge. 5 ppm. Parallel and USB interfaces. Optional NiMH battery kit.
- Hewlett Packard 5MP LaserJet
- IrDA Postscript and PCL compatible small office laser printer, works well with Epoc. IrDA, two parallel, one Appletalk port. (HP 5M should work with PCL driver, but lacks Postscript.)
Font Utilities and Hints
Fonts can be changed in Epoc 32 systems, although adding new fonts is not intuitive without using additional programs like Font Machine.
Epoc fonts are basically intended for the bitmapped display and thus are bitmapped rather than vector graphics as used by Postscript and TrueType. The standard fonts are Arial, Times New Roman, and Courier New, all using Windows Latin 1 code page (CP1252). Each is pre-rendered and provided in ROM in 24 different pixel heights. Above these sizes, fonts are scaled and the results are not elegant. There are also symbol fonts specific to some applications, such as Symbol, Calc, Eikon, Calcinv and Digital. (Note, scalable vector fonts are supported in Symbian Release 6).
You can bitblit an existing bitmap efficiently (at the expense of memory storage) especially if the source and destination formats are the same. Bitmaps work well for display on a low performance system, provided you don't have too many fonts.
Bitmapped fonts are not a good match for printers, and can be very inefficient for transfering over a slow connection. Printers often contain the standard fonts or something very similar.
Applications can install fonts, and they are then available to all applications from a shared heap.
If you port or create some fonts in Psion's GRD format, you could install them yourself. The font .grd files are held in System/Fonts and you just warm reset your Psion. However check Alexander Zavorine's site below for some existing fonts, and utilities to assist in creating fonts.
Even easier, Sander Van Der Wal's Font Machine (below) makes the entire process less complex.
- Advanced Font Handling
- Alexander Zavorine's site is the place to start looking. Has several alternative system fonts, and many handy ideas. Good stuff. Fonts so far are an Arabic, Symbol, Tolkien runes, Bungalow, Zapf Dingbats, Comic Sans MS, and a Math Symbol font. Insert math symbols into your documents. Tells how to transform Truetype fonts into Epoc fonts, using ttf2bdf utility from site. OPL code for loading fonts dynamically. geocities.com/zavorine/
- Dynamic Font Loading
- Alexander Zavorine suggests fonts could be loaded dynamically, and
gives this example OPL code showing how to do it. The program must be
running while you need the font.
Proc loadit: LOCAL FontId% FontId%=gLoadFont("C:\my_font.grd") Print "To exit and unload font hit any key ..." Get gUnloadFont FontId% EndP
- Uninstall GRD fonts
- Can't delete a downloaded font? Rename \system\fonts folder to something else. Then remove the font .grd file. Backup (just in case). Then soft reset. Rename the font folder to the original. Caution. If the Eikon shell is using a font, renaming and removing may crash the Psion (I haven't seen that happen).
- Font Machine
- Sander van der Wal has a new shareware utility called FontMachine to install additional Adobe Type 1 and True Type fonts on an ER5 system. This installs from a standard .sis file, although the install has to soft reset your Psion (so close your applications first). You will now have a Fonts icon in your Control Panel System display. You can delete font files after you install the fonts. You can preview fonts. Font Machine supports Epoc .grd fonts (naturally), but also Abobe bitmap fonts (.pfa, .pfb), Windows bitmap fonts (.fon, .fnt), True Type fonts (.ttf, .ttc) and OpenFonts. Just transfer any of these font types from your PC to your Psion. Open the Font Machine Fonts dialog, and it will install the font. Naturally your printer has to support the font, so use the Print to Fax settings (which permits all fonts). For printing, use Print to PC from EpocConnect, or if you have an appropriate printer, use Andrew Johnson's printer drivers. www.mbrainsoftware.com