Serial printers

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Re: Serial printers

Post by daleadmin » Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:04 pm

For those of you who think that the incidence of serial printer foolishness is dropping off here is an email I received today.
Hi Dale,

I know you don't like serial printers but I love em and to date have had no problems at all really. And the trouble is if you exclude them you're missing out on half of the printing hardware that's available out there - and I also bank on the fact that because you talk them down, that helps keep the price low as well ;-)

Take a look at the attached pics.

Rcpt1.jpg shows how nicely a normal receipt (2) and a gift card (1) print on a parallel printer (Epson thermal).

Rcpt2.jpg shows what's happening on a serial printer (CBM thermal). There has always been a small problem on a normal receipt (3) where indicated because of a missing LF before the underline above the total row but this has never caused a major problem and I've always just lived with it. However, the gift card and its accompanying receipt aren't printing at all. There's no formatting at all and the paper cut commands aren't present either.

Can you do anything?


Followed by some graphics of some receipts.

To which I replied

Let's see here, you are the 3rd email I have received today about a serial printer not doing something correctly. BTW, the total number of emails I have received about parallel printers messing up over the last 7 years still stands at zero.

I am glad that serial printers are working perfectly for you except of course you are sending me an email about a serial printer not working perfectly. (At this point Dale beats his head against his desk until it starts to bleed.)

So I guess you are correct in that a serial printer works just as fine as a parallel printer and that the dozens of emails and phone calls I get every week asking for help with serial printers are just an illusion on my part, they don't really exist, including this one. But I will answer this one anyway.

While I cannot think of anything more fun than fruitlessly spending hours, days, or weeks trying to untangle the knotted, vine encrusted problems that you are having with your serial printer my wife, family, and mental health professionals have all insisted that that I no longer attempt this. Plus my employer really wants me to come into work on a regular basis instead of devoting all my time to the arcane mysteries of serial printers. So I am left with only one solution to your problems which has a 100% success rate and will work instantly. GET A PARALLEL PRINTER!

See, problem solved.

Anything else I can help you with?

When will this nightmare end?

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Re: Serial printers

Post by RollerBall » Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:15 am

Dale, may I suggest that the problems experienced by many (most?) people with serial printers is because they could not tell a Baud from a Big Mac and for whom the notion of a Stop Bit is a totally closed book.

You're implying by posting this that the problem is to do with the serial printer per se when actually you know it isn't - it's to do with the print formatting of the gift card. As usual, everything else prints just fine, it's only the new feature that's giving the problem.

So OK, we just have to accept that gift cards only work on parallel printers.

By all means do everything you can to discourage everyone who can't tell their Parity from their elbow from using serial printers - ever. But you're doing serials and, incidentally, DHPOS which works perfectly well with serials IF SET UP CORRECTLY, a big dis-service if you say they are rubbish.

Keep the faith! ;)

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Re: Serial printers

Post by daleadmin » Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:50 pm


I am not saying that serial printers are rubbish. They are the finest printers ever conceived by the mind of man. They are non-fattening, do not pollute, and will probably cure cancer. They must WAY BETTER than parallel or USB printers because I never hear from people who use them.

All I am trying to do is to stop the phone calls and emails from folks who want me to devote the rest of my life to solve their serial printer problems.


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Re: Serial printers

Post by peewee3ie » Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:41 pm


You should have a fixed setting for serial printers so people who want them have to get the shop or person :D to set the setting ie buad rate, stop bits, party, and what ever after that. and the serial printer problem sould go away. I think you should try it to see what would happen.

The setting I use on my serial printers when use them with any software is as follows:--

baud rate: 9600 (speed)
party: N(none)
data bits: 8
stop bits: 1
Tony McGuire
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Re: Serial printers

Post by IAN » Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:51 pm

agreed that would be a good idea..
from what i seen it confuses the heck out of some people. sometimes thermal printers dont need changing when bought second hand and allmost all are that setting from new!
at least if you fix the setting they have to use the manual for their printer and if they cant solve it they gotta call their supplier/brand dealer and NOT you :)

as a fact dale.... this is what i can get to work using parallel, com and network printing with pos in dos and windows
i got
2, LPT dot matrix ( only1 but both printers work in windows)
1, LPT/com thermal (can only get work in com.)(LPT and com works in windows fine but pos either dont work or screwed up)
3, com thermal printers all work great
2, LPT/com/(1network using aprint) laser printers can get all running as long its not LPT
1, USB inkjet works only with Aprint

you see i have very little success with LPT, pos in dos thats even using 4 different pc's to test most hardware.

dont forget in dos the mode command (i'd typically say) is allways best to load and use before pos loads just dos can do strange things so make a bat file set the MODE command then pos. has worked every time with me, windows can play funny buggers with the speed too i usually disable it in the bios and then no conflict between bios settings and what windows wants it.
what i have:
citizen something old, start ls200,
star something thermal,
3 axiohm something thermals,
hp-iiip, hp4+m,
dell something all in one.

3 home brew pc's 2 AMD sockets, 1 intel, 1 laptop intel. specs being between 200mhz intel and 1300mhz athlon.

ahh my few pence worth

(Everything i say is a lie! so am i telling you the truth?)

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