For The Apple Richard Cornelius
The Printographer, by Stephen
Billard, is a utility program which
processes high-resolution images on the Apple II computer and sends
them to a printer. You can perform cropping operations on the
high-resolution screen and determine the format in which the image will
appear on the printer. The package comes with one disk including
instructions on how to make backup copies and a 27-page manual.
Operates With Any
The first question that many people will ask about The Printographer is, "Will it work
with my printer?" The answer is yes, indeed, if your printer has any
graphics capability. A powerful feature of the program is the ease with
which it can be configured to operate with just about any combination
of printer and interface.
If you have one of more than a dozen common
printers, you do not need to know any technical details of its
operation. From a menu, you can identify your printer and, if
applicable, the particular interface card that you have. This menu
automatically appears the first time you boot the disk. The printer
specifications that you select are then saved to the disk so that on
subsequent runs you are moved directly into the main program without
having to identify your particular printer again.
The manual explains how to rerun the
printer-selection program should you wish to run The Printographer with a different
printer. If your printer is not one of those on the menu, then you
explain how your printer processes information, but the program on the
disk still does most of the work.
performs its various cropping operations on the high-resolution screen
quickly and smoothly. Pictures can be cropped from the top, bottom, or
either side, or in a diamond or oval shape within the boundaries you
specify. Starting over again is accomplished by a single keystroke, and
the mechanics of operating the program are easy to understand.
However, I did encounter a problem. The cropping
instructions are given on the text page and include, logically enough,
the use of the question mark to return the instructions to the screen.
The first time through the instructions, I paid little attention to
them except to remember the use of the question mark.
Unfortunately, once I was on the high-resolution
page for cropping, the question mark generated only a beep from the
computer; I saw no instructions. Eventually I found that a CTRL-C would
send the program to a point from which I could return to the
instructions, but the first time through I had to reboot the disk just
to see the instructions again.
Easy To Use
Most of the program is very easy to use. The general
format employs the ESC key to move a highlighting identifier through
the menu and the RETURN key to actually select the item that is
highlighted. I was impressed with how easy it was to select a
high-resolution picture from among a mixture of Applesoft, text, and
binary files on one of my own disks. The
Printographer gave me a menu of only the highresolution images
on my disk. It even ignored other binary files that were not
The printing routines seem to work exactly as
specified. Pictures can be printed in normal or inverse mode,
vertically or horizontally on the page, magnified up to nine times, and
tabbed over on the page. Routines for doing this printing from your own
programs are available (not copy-protected) on the disk with
instructions in the documentation on how to use them. Images can also
be saved on a disk in one of three forms: a regular binary file, a
compressed version that saves space, or a printer image. If you have
the right printer setup, this last form allows printer spooling so that
the computer is not tied up while the graphics are being printed.
The documentation is clear and complete. It is not
packaged in a fancy (and expensive) padded binder, but it contains all
of the information that I would want to know about the software. The
primary part of the documentation is written so that no technical
knowledge of the Apple or printers is required. The appendices,
however, contain technical details such as writing your own printer
driver and memory management so you can use some of the Printographer
routines within your own programs.
The backup procedure seems to work well. Parts of
the disk are copy-protected. The disk, however, comes with its own
copying program which, according to the documentation, will make a
total of three backup copies of the disk. This copy program uses a
single drive, supposedly for assuring maximum reliability during the
copying process. The copy program works essentially like COPYA on the Apple System Master
All in all, The
Printographer is a useful utility which is relatively easy to
use. It comes with complete documentation. The program is not without
faults, but technical support is easy to obtain. The price seems in
line with the capabilities of the program. Its strongest feature is the
manner in which it can easily be configured to work with whichever
graphics printer you might happen to have.
Southwestern Data Systems
10761-E Woodside Avenue
Santee, CA 92071