Technical support: printers
The TurboDriver makes use of an enhanced queue system
which by default the standard Acorn printer manager cannot handle.
Computer Concepts has worked around this problem since January 1994, and a
list of changes required within the Acorn source were sent to Acorn at
this time. Since release 1.22 of Printers, the TurboDriver
installer has had to include the necessary !RunImage patches
for each subsequent version of Printers. We have now run out
of disk space and have requested that Acorn do make the alterations/bug
fixes we sent details of in 1994. Until then, the best version of
!Printers to use is 1.28c (RISC OS 3.1 & 3.5) and 1.45 (RISC OS 3.6).
Please be sure to alter the halftone settings when you change the
resolution of your printer within the printer driver configuration box.
The exact value to choose varies with printers but the correct value is
between an eighth and a tenth of the printer resolution (dpi).
For example, 360 dpi requires a 45 lpi halftone resolution and 720 dpi
requires 72-90 lpi. On Laser Direct only 600x600 and 600x300 dpi requires
53lpi - other 600 dpi printers require 60-62 lpi.
Colour Correction curves
When possible, it is always best to colour correct from an application
rather than the printer driver. As such, if you use Impression
Publisher or Style or ArtWorks, choose
the appropriate colour table within the preferences of these applications
and set the TurboDriver to 'Linear Tables'.
The latest versions of the TurboDriver, Publisher
and Publisher Plus will interact within each other and you
only need to configure the appropriate colour table in Publisher
or Publisher Plus - NB this does not apply to
Style. The TurboDriver will automatically
change to linear tables. This system works with the following software
release versions and later:
- Publisher 4.09
- Publisher + 5.09
- TurboDriver 4.04
Style and Colour Correction curves
Unlike Publisher which has a menu system for choosing
colour tables, Style requires some file copying to configure
for the appropriate printer setup. The following procedure should be
followed for configuring output from Style to a TurboDriver:
Once the TurboDriver has been correctly installed on your
system, a set of colour correction curves are held within the !System
folder. The exact path is !System.!CCShared.cmyk. (Open up
the !System folder by holding down Shift while
double-clicking on the icon).
Within the cmyk directory are a set of appropriately named
directories holding the colour-correction curves. For instance, BJ4000pp
contains the colour tables for the BJC-4000 TurboDriver when
using plain paper (hence pp; cp stands for coated paper). The HP and Epson
TurboDrivers hold appropriately named directories.
Assuming you had a BJC-4000 with a TurboDriver and you
wished to print from Style to plain paper, you would need to
configure Style to make use of the BJ4000pp
correction table. Here is the procedure:
- Open up the !System folder as outlined above.
- Open up Style by again holding down Shift while
double-clicking on the !Style icon.
- Double-click on the Resources directory within the new
window which appears.
- Double-Click on the cmyk directory within the new
window which appears.
- Copy (drag) the BJ4000pp directory from within the
!System.!CCShared.cmyk directory window to the !Style.Resources.cmyk
- You will notice that the Style cmyk
directory contains a directory called default. Rename this
to Old, and rename the BJ4000pp directory to
When you next load Style, the colour tables in use will be
for the BJC-4000 printing to plain paper. Don't forget to change the
TurboDriver to Linear tables.
Please remember that all printers and hardware faults are handled by the
manufacturer (or their approved agent) and when you encounter a hardware
problem, speak to them first.
Here are some pointers towards good maintenance of your printer:
- Do not keep an InkJet next to a radiator, or in an excessively hot
room. The print heads contain many tens of extremely small nozzles which
can all too easily dry up, giving the appearance of empty ink
cartridges. Sometimes repeated cleaning of the heads (using the printers
built-in cleaning features, not by removing the head and
wiping with a cloth) will clear the nozzles, but if the heads are too
blocked you may have to replace the head.
- Most Inkjet printers should be left plugged into the mains, with the
mains switched on. When finished with the printer you should
only use the printer On/Off button to place the unit in standby (just
like a video or television). There will be minimal power consumption,
and these units are very safe. If you do unplug from the mains, the
printer will probably initiate a full startup sequence when you next
switch on, which uses a significant amount of printer ink. For example,
the old BJC-800 would consume 7grms of ink from a 27grm cartridge each
time it was switch on at the mains.
- Should a page become stuck in a printer, or incorrectly feed, then
do not immediately try to drag the page from the mechanism.
First switch the printer off-line and try to use the FormFeed button to
eject the page. If this does not work, switch off the printer and
carefully remove the paper. Be especially careful of laser printers; the
corona wire is extremely thin and can easily be damaged and if so, your
printer will require an expensive service. Sometimes the printer may
continue to form feed, even when the paper jam has been cleared ad the
printer switched back on-line. In these cases you have no choice but to
switch the printer off at the mains, wait several seconds and
then switch back on again. This will fully reset the printer.
- If you want to abort a print job when printing to a TurboDriver,
do not simply press Escape and switch off the printer; the TurboDriver
renders code into printer commands extremely quickly, and with simple
documents it is quite possible that the complete document has been
rendered to printer codes. Instead, invoke the TurboDriver
queue window (hold down Alt while clicking with the left mouse button on
the TurboDriver icon on the icon bar), Adjust-click on the
Queue button within the dialog which appears, and finally click on
Delete all or Delete current as appropriate.
- Some people swear by ReInk kits, others swear at them. (ReInk kits
are kits which enable you to replace the contents of you ink cartridges,
rather than just throw them away; there are many suppliers of these
kits). The inks used by Inkjet printers are very finely formulated and
have to be controlled by an extremely small nozzle. Most manufacturers
do not recommend the use of ReInk kits
TurboDrivers and the PC Card
The PC Card can print through the TurboDriver cable if the
following procedure is followed:
- The PC Card is configured to print via the RISC OS print stream
(usually via LPT1).
- Printers (which contain your TurboDriver)
is run first. You can subsequently quit the printer icons from the icon
bar to save a little memory - the main printer driver 'engines' are
still retained in memory.
Do not configure the PC Card to make exclusive use of the
parallel port, ie, do not tick the 'Allow PC Card to access
parallel port directly' button. If you do so you will only output garbage
via the TurboDriver cable and will have to replace it with a
standard printer cable.
Similarly, do not tick the 'Ignore RISC OS printer stream'
button as this will also result in garbled output.
Sometimes the printer will stop printing but you can continue to print
from your applications, the output seemingly disappearing. If you check in
the Queue status window, more print jobs are being added to the queue
(assuming you try to print again), but they are not being fed to the
printer. This is called Queue stalling and is usually caused by printer
manager 1.22. Upgrading to Printers 1.28c or later will
address the tendency.
The TurboDriver/Laser Direct code has proven to very
reliable. However here are a list of possible errors, their cause and
- File Printer: not found
- This is caused by the application sending the print data to a
printout file, before actually creating the printout file. Due to
ambiguity in the RISC OS Programmers Reference guides, many software
houses made this mistake. All have upgraded their software, so if you
receive this error message, upgrade the application concerned.
- File handle is either illegal or has been closed
- This can be caused by a disk fault, but if you have a Laser Direct
system the installer may not have created a directory called LaserQueue
within !Scrap.ScrapDir.PrintQFS. Simply create the
directory within the PrintQFS directory and all will be
well. If the directory is present, verify the disc which
- Can't find !System (when running !install)
- Reasonably self explanatory. The TurboDriver installs
new code to the !System folder and so you must have a
!System folder on your hard drive or, if you use a
floppy-only computer, a disk which contains only !System.
You may need run (double-click) !System first to inform
the computer that this is the !System folder concerned.
Note: You should have only one working System
disc. Make sure you remove all other copies of !System
from your hard drive and working floppy discs. On older Acorn machines
(RISC OS 2 & 3.1) !System should only appear in the
first hard disc window. RISC OS 3.5/6 machines contain !System
within the !Boot application.
- The document contains a bitmap font, try again with
QuickText turned OFF (or similar message)
- Something of an embarrassment as we stopped using the term QuickText
when we developed the RISC OS 3.1 TD and LD. Part of the TD/LD speed
gain is achieved by using an optimised font manager which we wrote. This
font manager is very fussy over the data it receives and will
only render 100% correctly encoded Acorn outline fonts. Some
early Acorns fonts were bitmaps which means they were not scalable.
There are also some public domain fonts which are not
correctly encoded and although they are outline fonts, they are not 100%
correct. QuickText is now called 'halftone of text' and the button which
controls this feature is held within the Halftone options dialog for the
TurboDriver. Shift-Select click on the TurboDriver
icon on the icon bar, click on the Set button and then untick the
Text option in the halftone options area of the Halftone
options dialog (see page 15 of the TurboDriver manual for
- Queue Status window
- When first installed, the TurboDriver will
automatically open up the Queue Status window. This window displays
important information on the status of the printer and also shows you
what is happening to the print queue - what jobs are waiting to be
printed and where the data originated. It also gives you access to the
buttons to abort print jobs. Some people have asked that they be able to
permanently switch off the window, or have it open up in a different
place on screen. To do so, either close off the window or move it to the
position of choice, then press F12 and type *PQFS. Return
The new settings will be remembered. If you inadvertently close off the
Status window, Alt-Select click on the TD icon (on the icon bar) will
open it up again.
© Copyright Computer
Concepts: page last updated 1 Apr 1997
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