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 Post subject: DOS and OKI parallel printer
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:10 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:24 am
Posts: 68
Hello
I am going to connect an OKI parallel printer to an old pc running a DOS accounting programme, no other operating system.

The computer just runs the DOS software and it had an OKI microline 521 printer attached by parallel printer cable. The printer has been replaced with a more upgraded model. Don't know what this new model is yet but when the printer is attached to the computer it just won't print anything.
Last time I upgraded from an OKI 320 to the 521 all I had to do was to plug the printer in and turn it on.

Sorry thats probably not much help. I won't know more until I see the job.
Any ideas would be appreciated.
Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: DOS and OKI parallel printer
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:21 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:50 am
Posts: 508
Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA
Ford wrote:
.... when the printer is attached to the computer it just won't print anything. ...

Likely because the DOS OS did not contain a driver recognizing/recognized by the printer or the printer is not working. Hopefully a DOS driver exists for the printer and you can find it. Otherwise, you will have to see what printers the new printer is capable of emulating. Sometimes that allowed other print drivers to be used in a fallback situation. Man it has been a long time since I thought about the 'good old' DOS days.

How you will test the new printer for functionality (unless it has some form of self diagnostic test) is beyond me unless you have a DOS environment (emulation? Even emulations can be problematic with I/O devices.).

Depends upon the DOS version too. And then there is the fair number of DOS projects floating around.

Good luck and look forward to hearing the tale of this adventure into the Jurassic.


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 Post subject: Re: DOS and OKI parallel printer
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:44 am
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Back in the DOS days there were no printer drivers as part of the OS. Instead each application talked to the printer directly, and thus required support for specific printers within the application. You couldn't replace a printer with another model unless the new printer was also supported in the application(s) (and they were reconfigured to support it) or it sufficiently emulated another printer that was supported. For example take a look at some of the complexities that might be involved to set up an OKI printer in Lotus 1-2-3 (one of the most popular DOS programs in history) back in the day: http://my.okidata.com/MANOL830.NSF/MOCC ... F100539B27

I would make sure you can print plain text to the printer with simple commands: http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000199.htm

Once you verify that the printer does actually work then you can see about trying to configure applications to use it. Let me know what you find, Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: DOS and OKI parallel printer
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:24 am
Posts: 68
Hello
Thanks so much for your replys
That's very helpful
The guy just won't move to a new system.
Its because what he has still works.

Thanks for the command links.
Once I know the model I can hopefully print a test page first from the printer.

I'm going there over the weekend.
I'll post back what happens.

There will come a point in time when technology has moved on and won't be compatible with the software anymore


Thanks
again


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 Post subject: Re: DOS and OKI parallel printer
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:51 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:24 am
Posts: 68
Hello
I got the printer working.
It was an OKI microline 721 plus
I made sure to turn on the printer first and I printed the factory settings then I turned on the pc and it worked without changing anything.
I wonder if there is an order to first turning it on. The customer had turned both on but the printer wouldn't print.
I suppose the pc's bios would need to detect the printer first.

But it is printing now from the application.
I did try the -dir prn- command from the C prompt but nothing printed.
But it still prints from the application, so I wonder why I can't directly print from the C prompt.


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 Post subject: Re: DOS and OKI parallel printer
 Post Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:44 am
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Glad it worked. There is no interaction between the BIOS and the printer so I don't think the power on order should have an effect from the PC perspective, but there may be issues on the printer side.

To print a DIRectory listing you would type "DIR > LPT1" at the command prompt, assuming the printer was connected to LPT1. Change the port to LPT2 or LPT3 if those are the connected ports. According to the ML721 manual that printer may also be connected via a Serial port (COM1, COM2, etc.) as well. Depending on the configuration some printers may then need a manual page "form feed" to have a partial page print (FF button on the printer). It's been a long time since I fired up a dot matrix printer! Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: DOS and OKI parallel printer
 Post Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:24 am
Posts: 68
Thanks
I'll try that command when I am there next
For now, the printer is still working.

Ford


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