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PICList Thread
'[OT] Windows Printer Driver'
1999\04\23@153343 by Wagner Lipnharski

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Some PIC units would be used to produce a XY plotter table for a test
and measuring system, and there is no problem at all to do it.

The reason for the [OT] is that we are looking around to learn how to
produce the Windows Driver for it. Does anybody knows where can we start
to search for more information how it works, how to do, or also if there
is somebody that can do it for us? (paid of course).

The main idea is that the main Windows program generates a HPGL2 file
and "prints" it to this *printer driver* that will control the circuits
with the PICs connected via a parallel port.

Any idea?

Wagner Lipnharski
http://www.ustr.net

1999\04\23@162808 by DREITEK

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In a message dated 4/23/99 12:34:16 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
spam_OUTwagnerlTakeThisOuTspamEARTHLINK.NET writes:

<<
Some PIC units would be used to produce a XY plotter table for a test
and measuring system, and there is no problem at all to do it.

The reason for the [OT] is that we are looking around to learn how to
produce the Windows Driver for it. Does anybody knows where can we start
to search for more information how it works, how to do, or also if there
is somebody that can do it for us? (paid of course).

The main idea is that the main Windows program generates a HPGL2 file
and "prints" it to this *printer driver* that will control the circuits
with the PICs connected via a parallel port.

Any idea?

Wagner Lipnharski
http://www.ustr.net >>


Hi Wagner!

Yes I do have an idea......Don't

Check out http://www.winline.com.  These guys already have written a universal
windows driver that works with one helluva lot of plotters.  I use it myself
for several pen plotters.
Make your device emulate a plotter or a subset of a plotter and use this
driver to run it.  I have done this on a few machines I have worked on.
HIGL (Houston instruments Graphics Language) is easier to emulate than HPGL.
But either could be done without too much strain.

Good luck

Dave Duley
http://www.dreitek.com

1999\04\23@231153 by Brian Gracia

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At 02:32 PM 4/23/99 , you wrote:
>Some PIC units would be used to produce a XY plotter table for a test
>and measuring system, and there is no problem at all to do it.
>
>The reason for the [OT] is that we are looking around to learn how to
>produce the Windows Driver for it. Does anybody knows where can we start
>to search for more information how it works, how to do, or also if there
>is somebody that can do it for us? (paid of course).
>
>The main idea is that the main Windows program generates a HPGL2 file
>and "prints" it to this *printer driver* that will control the circuits
>with the PICs connected via a parallel port.
>
>Any idea?
>
>Wagner Lipnharski
>http://www.ustr.net
>

There is a book out that shows you how to write drivers for Windows.  I saw
it a Barns & Noble.

Brian

1999\04\24@040140 by Alan King

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 Your program will have to look like the *port* to whatever is
outputting the HPGL2, since the HPGL out IS the printer driver in every
program I've seen that does it.  Not sure how hard this is to do in
Windows, but much easier to make this goto file and have a seperate
program digest the HPGL and do the talking to the pics.
 HPGL output from most programs is VERY simple.  Docs from HP are ~$35,
but it's been a while since I last looked so you may be able to find
enough on the web by now.  Rich language, all kinds of commands, but
every program I've run across uses 1 percent or so.  Like points and
line segments.  They don't even use the built in arc commands, just send
a bunch of segments.  Pen selection, origin setting, and a few other
initialization and housekeeping commands are all I've ever seen used
except by HP stuff..  Direct it to a file and take a look in notepad and
you'll see how simple.  Draw a square and you'll see the goto, pen down,
four drawto points, and pen up easily in notepad.
Alan


> >The main idea is that the main Windows program generates a HPGL2 file
> >and "prints" it to this *printer driver* that will control the circuits
> >with the PICs connected via a parallel port.

1999\04\24@073206 by Raffaele Rialdi

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You have to distinguish two cases:
1. You want you system run on Windows 95/98 only.
In this case you can avoid supporting HPGL and you can write a
'simpler' protocol.
Windows printer drivers (also in NT) always receive metafile information
that correspond 1:1 to the GDI Windows graphic functions that all apps use.
So you don't necessarily need to write an HPGL driver if your hardware
doesn't understand it.

2. You want your system to be compatible with NT too.
In this case you have to support HPGL/2 (not HPGL) to avoid hard work
on NT. In fact Microsoft developed for NT 3 kind of Printer drivers
(PCL, PS, HPGL/2) so that you have to write only a mini-driver.

In addition you may have a companion solution: to write a port-driver
that receives HPGL/2 commands from the printer driver and translate it
in a simpler subset (or in binary commands) before writing it to the
parallel port.

I think the main thing is to establish how hard is to write a full HPGL/2
interpreter on your PIC system.

Good luck,
Raffaele


Raffaele Rialdi
Vevy Europe S.p.A.
Advanced Technologies Division






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