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config.bbx hp escape codes column off page

© December 2004 (various authors)

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From: "Brian K. White" <linut@squonk.net>
Subject: Re: Help Config.bbx printer description
References: <3A4CF817.6113F24B@byronmedical.com> 
Date: Sun, 31 Dec 2000 06:44:29 GMT

Byron Medical wrote:
> Hello all,
>  My printer won't print some reports properly, a collum is off the page.
> The printer is an HP8100 Laserjet. I know that to get the program FACTS
> to print properly I have to edit the config.bbx and then add it through
> FACTS. Here is what I'm looking at when I open config.bbx in VI:
> alias PL ">lp -dhp8100a -onobanner -s 2>/dev/null" "HP Laser Jet"
> CR,SP=1B451B266C3636703265372E36633636461B2661306C3133324D1B2873313648,
> CP=1B451B266C316f363670352E3435431B2873313648, CPCOLS=177 , SPCOL=132
> I understand everything in the string upto "HP Laser Jet", then
> thereafter I am only guessing.
> CR,SP=1B451B266C3636703265372E36633636461B2661306C3133324D1B2873313648,
> CP=1B451B266C316f363670352E3435431B2873313648, CPCOLS=177 , SPCOL=132
> I assume I'm looking at a string of hexadecimal numbers. Does this
> description need to be written in hexadecimal? What does "CR,SP=  CP=
> CP=  CPCOL=  SPCOL=" stand for? Which one should I edit to get the
> coullm width to fit on a page (8.5x11) properly
> Could some one be kind enough to give me a little guidence?
> Thanks
> Byron

SP = Standard Print, it is a human readable representation of a sequence
of escape codes, in hex, to send to the printer to initialize it and/or
switch it into standard print mode (as opposed to Compressed Print mode)
same coes for CP=  it's a init sequence for compressed print

probably you can guess the rest now...
SPCOL is the number of columbs available in standard mode
CPCOLS is the number available in compressed mode.

every 2 characters is one hex value, and no I don't think you need to
change the way it's written at all, though you may need to edit *what* is
written, as in, you may need to change what codes are sent to the printer.
in the above SP= and CP= strings, 1B is hex for the <escape> character.
also known as octal 33 or \033 or decimal 27 or , in bbx, CHR(27). so you
can see the string is a string of escape codes.
<esc>something <esc>somethingelse ...

A little time spent with your nose in the manual to that printer will show
you what all the string does to the printer, and probably will hint at the
adjustment you should make, either to the init string, or the program.

This gives rise to a few questions you must answer before I can answer
your first question.

1) In what mode are you losing characters off the side of the page?
(compressed or normal) (compressed, in this context just means a smaller
font, 17 characters per inch, instead of the normal 10)

2) where does printing start on the left side of the page? Is it possible
someone just buggered up the tractor feed or something so that the paper
is further to the left than it could be?

3) does the printing continue printing right off the edge of the page or
does it stop at some margin? (actually I forgot you said laserjet here,
this and the previous question really only apply to dot matrix)

4) do you lose characters in both standard and compressed, or just one or
the other mode?
   4.a - if you only lose characters in compressed mode, is compressed
mode really working? (are the characters smaller?) 
   4.b - if you are only losing characters in standard mode, is there an
escape code you can use to put the printer into 12cpi for "standard"
instead of the default 10cpi? this would make standard text a little more
compressed and perhaps your missing characters would all fit then.

5) if this is 8.5x11 paper in normal portrait orientation, the usual
numbers for number of columbs in compressed and standard modes is 132 and
80, not 177 and 132. if the printout is in landscape mode I don't know
what the numbers are, but 132 sounds right for standard mode in landscape

Also: If FACTS is anything like Prosper (FACTS is the successor to
Prosper, and it is very similar, but there are obviously differences since
it's several generations newer)
then I doubt you have to edit the config.bbx directly, you just make your
changes in the system maintenance menu --> file maintenance --> printer
configuration, then "create new bbx config file" by pressing C on that
screen. You have to be root in order for the "create new bbx config file"
to work.

Also-Also: at least with Prosper, though bbx uses "config.bbx" by default,
Prosper actually used it's own "config.ssi" so editing config .bbx may not
have any effect unless you use bbx outside of running FACTS.

Also-Also-Also: Unrelated to printing, but concerning bbx and config.bbx,
I happen to have developed a scheme to allow unlimited telnet and xterm
bbx sessions if your version of bbx is as retarded as mine is. my old bbx3
actually kept a configuration line for each _tty_ in the config.bbx, and
this made xterms and telnet impractical since you can quickly use up many
more ttys than possible to put in the config file.
What I did was write a new start script that makes it's own copy of
config.bbx that has no terminal alias line in it at all, and adds one
terminal line to the end for itself, then launches bbx with using that
config file. it erases the file on exit. works great. 
Hopefully any newer version is not so retarded, but just in case it is,
you might be happy to know there is a work-around. Let me know if you need
the details.

Brian K. White                   https://www.squonk.net/users/linut
filePro BBx  Linux SCO  Prosper/FACTS AutoCAD  #callahans Satriani

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