Tough one, about two way printer or something...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by SpaceMagic, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000

    SpaceMagic

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    #1
    Hey all,

    Right, this is a tough one, I'm trying to think it through.

    Dad has a computer at work which does not run an OS as such, but rather a more or less DOS system which runs a set program which then receives data (via serial) automatically prints to a printer (via parrallel). The problem is, as this is a pretty autonomous procedure there are rarely people watching the machine. Today however the printer ran out of paper and once the file is sent to the printer it isn't recoverable (the program does not save anything).

    Now, I was thinking, is there a way perhaps (or any methods you can think of) of putting a mac mini in the middle of the process (between computer and printer), which will think its a printer or something, so it'll take the file print to PDF and then also print to the printer.

    Or is there something similar, something which can go inbetweeny. If not we have to reprogramme the computer to also save, but the company want £6k, $11.5k... which they're not very happy about paying.

    Thanks for any ideas,

    MagiX
     
  2. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    squarefrog.co.uk
    #2
    I'm no programmer, but what you want to do sounds like a big job. Thinking about it logically - i'd say you'd need some kind of parralel to usb lead/converter. Then you'd need a program that could interpret the results coming through. This will be a problem if its not a standard text (like ascii). Combine the cost of the lead (if they even exsist), drivers, programmer to make your program, the mac mini, monitor keybaord and mouse, with the man hours setting it all up, it might be more worthwhile just paying the company to enable saving.

    Maybe someone else will be able to offer more advice.
     
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #3
    There used to be parallel print buffer boxes (BuffaloBox was one) that had a small amount of memory in them and could take several pages from the parallel output of the computer and queue them up for the printer. This might act as a "cache" for a small number of pages to tide you over a paper-out.
     

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