[PARPORT] Problem: plain jane Centronics won't go

Phil S (pasacki@sandia.gov)
Mon, 17 Jan 2000 08:48:37 -0700

I have an old NEC Silentwriter Model 95f printer (PostScript) that I'd like to
use under Linux (current 2.2.5 a la SuSE 6.1) hooked up to the parallel port.

I'm having trouble getting it to work at all under Linux.

The printer's manual claims that it supports a Centronics parallel
port interface. (It also supports a serial and Appletalk interface
through it's AIM, Automatic Interface Monitor, but nothing is hooked
up except the parallel port.) They even have pin diagrams that I'd be
happy to reproduce if it would help the diagnosis or the prescription.

When I try to "lpr afile", the LCD display on the printer says, successively,

        "READY PS"
        "PROCESSING" (1-2 sec)
        "WAITING" (15-30 sec)
        "READY PS"


[1] cat /proc/parport/0/*

        MODEL: Unknown device;
        MANUFACTURER: Unknown vendor;
        base: 0x378
        irq: none
        dma: none
        modes: SPP

[2] dmesg says

        parport0: PC-style at 0x378 [SPP]
        parport0: no IEEE-1284 device present
        lp0: using parport0 (polling).

[3] To get the printer to work even under Win95, I had to change the
BIOS setting to SPP from one of the 3 or so EPP, ECP other choices
that were also available.

[4] My conf.modules is fairly stock and includes the magic line
        alias parport_lowlevel parport_pc
    that some have suggested is needed to get various printers to work.

What should I try to get this thing to work? Are the stock kernels
more ready to probe a more advanced IEEE-1284 device and too ready to
punt on my Jurassic printer? Do I need to rebuild the kernel in a
special way?

Phil S.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Mon 17 Jan 2000 - 10:55:31 EST