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AmigaOS 4.0 - Printing

It doesn't seem to matter what computer platform you are running or which hardware you are using, printing always has its issues, and AmigaOS 4.0 is no exception. The reason is that printers are mechanical devices which require a suitable software driver in order to make them work correctly, and due to the differences between one printer and the next, a driver that suits one model may not suit another, and so on for each printer manufacturer.

Most new printers are designed to operate under "Plug and Pray" in an MS Windows environment, with or without special drivers, while the drivers for Macintosh and Linux are released almost as an afterthought. None of the manufacturers bother to release Amiga printer drivers these days, so we are dependent on third parties to do it for us, and this obviously takes a lot longer, if at all. With so few machines to develop for and the range of printers its is hard to justify the cost and effort required.

The good news, if you can call it that, is that most of the printer drivers previously released with the Amiga Operating System have been rewritten to run native PPC, and most of the third party drivers written for the 68000 platform run quite successfully under emulation on the PPC platform. This might be fine if you have an old printer, in which case you should be able to get it working without too much fuss, although there are a few exceptions. On the other hand if you have a newer printer, finding a suitable driver can be difficult, although we have found that most Postscript compatible printers will work with the Amiga under both Amiga OS4.0 and Linux.

In addition, it was reported that some of the requirements for printing from Gx-SE/XE machines were different to MicroA1 machines under OS4.0 Update 3, but we do not know if this is still the case with AmigaOS 4.0 Final. Amiga Auckland doesn't have any MicroA1's, so we are unable to test for that environment, and would therefore appreciate feedback from MicroA1 users about their experiences, including successes and failures.

With AmigaOS 4.0 Final, you can print to a file or to real printers attached via the serial, parallel, USB or network ports, and while up to 10 different printers may be specified, each will require a different configuration. Alternatively you can use TurboPrint or Print Manager.

Disclaimer: Amiga Auckland have prepared the above information for the use of its members based on our experiences and as such is subject to revision at any time. Amiga Auckland cannot guarantee any of the information and cannot be held accountable for any issues that may result from using it.

Copyright 2006 Amiga Auckland Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: December 24, 2006.