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PostScript printers

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  • Michael Widener
    On a matter somewhat related to font formats... Who still makes a true PostScript desktop printer? Since Apple quit making printers, I ve been lost. I ve had a
    Message 1 of 5 , May 9, 2005
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      On a matter somewhat related to font formats... Who still makes a true PostScript desktop printer? Since Apple quit making printers, I've been lost. I've had a lot of trouble finding PostScript printers in the online product offerings. I conserve a LaserWriter 4/600 printer and an old Mac just so that I can continue to print true PostScript output. I'm suspicious of PostScript emulation. Am I right to be suspicious?

      If my question is too far off-topic for the list, I trust the moderator to step in and direct that replies go to me directly, off-list. Thanks...

      *****
      MIKE WIDENER, C.A., Head of Special Collections
      Joseph D. Jamail Fellow in Law Librarianship
      Tarlton Law Library, School of Law
      The University of Texas at Austin
      727 E. Dean Keeton Street, Austin, TX 78705-3224
      Phone: 512/471-7263; fax: 512/471-0243
      E-mail: mwidener@...
      Web site: http://tarlton.law.utexas.edu/rare/








      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ludwig M. Solzen
      I hope the moderator will agree that this issue is not off-topic at all. The RIP (rasterisation) forms the most essential link between digital prepress and
      Message 2 of 5 , May 9, 2005
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        I hope the moderator will agree that this issue is not off-topic at all. The
        RIP (rasterisation) forms the most essential link between digital prepress
        and press (apart from the production of appropriate photopolymer plates, of
        course).



        As far as I understood PostScript is a form description language, by which
        shapes are described 'mathematically'. Although not the single one ever
        designed, PostScript has gained the commercial monopoly because its
        developers at Adobe Systems Inc played the market game better than their
        competitors. Like other form description languages, PostScript uses Bezier
        mathematics to describe straight lines and curves, and so in different
        degrees (going from splines to nerbs &c). To render shapes, whether that be
        on screen or on paper (in the latter case by use of a printer or film
        setter), the arithmetic descriptions must be translated into a map of dots:
        a so-called bitmap. Such a map consists out of a grid of squares that may be
        black or white, 1 or 0. According to the relative number of squares per
        absolute surface, the shapes rendered on the grid will hold more or less
        detail. On screen there are usually only 72 dots (squares) for every inch; a
        regular laser printer will cope with at least 300 dots per inch (or DPI).



        Now, my Epson AcuLaser C1900 is claimed to have a resolution of 600 dpi.
        However, I notice that if I try to print a text, set in Bodoni (a PostScript
        font indeed!), 6 points, the serifs get lost, the lowercase o cut through
        and so on. Are these faults to be explained by the inapt resolution of my
        excellent laser printer? Should I invest in an over expensive 3200 dpi
        Linotronic film setter? I don't think so - 600 dpi is good enough, since I'm
        fond of printing on rough surfaced papers, where resolutions higher than
        that are wasted. So, what is the problem with my Bodoni 6 pts? This is what
        I think. My AcuLaser translates my layout postscript files not adequately to
        its 600 dpi grid of blackened or left open squares. This problem has a name:
        'hinting'. Perfectly vertical or perfectly horizontal straight lines do not
        form a problem: on the grid they will be translated into a consecutive pile
        of blackened squares. The problem is in the curves, notably when they are
        exceedingly fine, as in the hairlines of my Bodoni. If a curve crosses
        diagonally the bitmap grid, the translating software should decide which
        squares are to be filled in, and which not. If the grid holds too low a
        number of squares (low resolution), these decisions are challenged
        extremely. Somehow the translation must be helped in an intelligent way. As
        for fonts, this intelligence can be in the font file itself ('auto hinting'
        in truetype), but as for my other vector images, the intelligence must come
        from elsewhere. I'm said I could buy the interpreting intelligence that
        translates between my postscript input files and my printed output bitmap
        raster. It's a piece of hardware that usually comes with the expensive
        so-called PostScript printers, but is optional on most desktop printers. But
        maybe there is another, cheaper solution.



        But I too have a question, since I'm afraid my budget will not allow soon
        for the acquisition of a Linotronic or even a PostScript chip for my
        AcuLaser. Am I mistaken, or am I right that instead of sending my layout
        files directly to the printer, that I could load them in a bitmap image
        editor, let's say Adobe PhotoShop? If an .eps, .ps or .pdf file is converted
        into a .tiff bitmap, I presume the software must somehow make a RIP
        translation from splines into dots. May I assume as well that Adobe PS will
        do the job probably better than the driver of my Epson printer? And could I
        expect that if my pages are converted in this way, that my Bodoni 6 pt text
        will print excellent on my poor little 600 dpi machine?



        Ludwig



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Gerald Lange
        Mike Unless something has changed in the last several years I d think there would be plenty of PostScript printers around. New and used. Hewlett-Packard,
        Message 3 of 5 , May 9, 2005
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          Mike

          Unless something has changed in the last several years I'd think there
          would be plenty of PostScript printers around. New and used.
          Hewlett-Packard, Xante, and several others offer true 1200 dpi (which
          is camera-ready quality). At least the manufacturers say its "true,"
          as opposed to emulated. There are several printers that do emulate to
          1200 but I really have no idea of the difference in quality or of
          problems that could occur.

          I've had a 1200 dpi HP Laser Printer 5000N for about five years now.
          And have been extraordinarily pleased with its performance. The Xante
          has had a 2400 dpi printer out there for about the same length of time
          though I would suspect this is emulated at that high a dpi. I did
          inquire about this once and the tech said that 2400 is about as far as
          they can go as it requires special toner (as do 1200 dpi printers) and
          laser engine technology is maxed out at that point. Imagesetters on
          the other hand provide silver-based film negatives at 2400 to 5080 dpi
          (maybe higher by now).

          I find 1200 dpi quite useful as a prover as it shows me very nearly
          what the thickness of the letterform will be when printed letterpress
          with photopolymer plates. There you go, "somewhat related"!

          Gerald
          http://BielerPress.blogspot.com


          > On a matter somewhat related to font formats... Who still makes a
          true PostScript desktop printer? Since Apple quit making printers,
          I've been lost. I've had a lot of trouble finding PostScript printers
          in the online product offerings. I conserve a LaserWriter 4/600
          printer and an old Mac just so that I can continue to print true
          PostScript output. I'm suspicious of PostScript emulation. Am I right
          to be suspicious?
          >
          > If my question is too far off-topic for the list, I trust the
          moderator to step in and direct that replies go to me directly,
          off-list. Thanks...
          >
          > *****
          > MIKE WIDENER, C.A., Head of Special Collections
          > Joseph D. Jamail Fellow in Law Librarianship
          > Tarlton Law Library, School of Law
          > The University of Texas at Austin
          > 727 E. Dean Keeton Street, Austin, TX 78705-3224
          > Phone: 512/471-7263; fax: 512/471-0243
          > E-mail: mwidener@l...
          > Web site: http://tarlton.law.utexas.edu/rare/
        • Carole Aldrich
          It is my understanding that if you are using the Macintosh platform with OSX postscript printers are no longer necessary. The OS uses display postscript
          Message 4 of 5 , May 9, 2005
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            It is my understanding that if you are using the Macintosh platform
            with OSX postscript printers are no longer necessary. The OS uses
            "display postscript" which automatically creates the proper file for
            any printer. I do not get "jaggies" when I print to my Epson color
            printer which does not have postscript, so that tells me this is true.
            I have been using computers since 1985 and have experienced lots of
            problems with issues such as these. This problem is why I paid $6400
            for my first Apple Laserwirter. I believe that it is no longer
            necessary to have a postscript printer in order to print files
            correctly.

            Carole Aldrich
            carolealdrich@...
            909-625-7722
            909-625-9822 fax


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Michael Andrews
            Hi Converting from filetypes to TIF in order to flatten a postscript will, at best be only adequate, and in some cases adequate only for screen resolutions.
            Message 5 of 5 , May 10, 2005
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              Hi

              Converting from filetypes to TIF in order to flatten a
              postscript will, at best be only adequate, and in some
              cases adequate only for screen resolutions. It is
              very like flattening a type layer in Photoshop. Better
              than nothing, but only just.

              It is only partially effective in emulating what a RIP
              or a postscript chip can do for a specific printer.

              sorry

              michael

              --- "Ludwig M. Solzen" <ppletterpress@...>
              wrote:

              > I hope the moderator will agree that this issue is
              > not off-topic at all. The
              > RIP (rasterisation) forms the most essential link
              > between digital prepress
              > and press (apart from the production of appropriate
              > photopolymer plates, of
              > course).
              >
              >
              >
              > As far as I understood PostScript is a form
              > description language, by which
              > shapes are described 'mathematically'. Although not
              > the single one ever
              > designed, PostScript has gained the commercial
              > monopoly because its
              > developers at Adobe Systems Inc played the market
              > game better than their
              > competitors. Like other form description languages,
              > PostScript uses Bezier
              > mathematics to describe straight lines and curves,
              > and so in different
              > degrees (going from splines to nerbs &c). To render
              > shapes, whether that be
              > on screen or on paper (in the latter case by use of
              > a printer or film
              > setter), the arithmetic descriptions must be
              > translated into a map of dots:
              > a so-called bitmap. Such a map consists out of a
              > grid of squares that may be
              > black or white, 1 or 0. According to the relative
              > number of squares per
              > absolute surface, the shapes rendered on the grid
              > will hold more or less
              > detail. On screen there are usually only 72 dots
              > (squares) for every inch; a
              > regular laser printer will cope with at least 300
              > dots per inch (or DPI).
              >
              >
              >
              > Now, my Epson AcuLaser C1900 is claimed to have a
              > resolution of 600 dpi.
              > However, I notice that if I try to print a text, set
              > in Bodoni (a PostScript
              > font indeed!), 6 points, the serifs get lost, the
              > lowercase o cut through
              > and so on. Are these faults to be explained by the
              > inapt resolution of my
              > excellent laser printer? Should I invest in an over
              > expensive 3200 dpi
              > Linotronic film setter? I don't think so - 600 dpi
              > is good enough, since I'm
              > fond of printing on rough surfaced papers, where
              > resolutions higher than
              > that are wasted. So, what is the problem with my
              > Bodoni 6 pts? This is what
              > I think. My AcuLaser translates my layout postscript
              > files not adequately to
              > its 600 dpi grid of blackened or left open squares.
              > This problem has a name:
              > 'hinting'. Perfectly vertical or perfectly
              > horizontal straight lines do not
              > form a problem: on the grid they will be translated
              > into a consecutive pile
              > of blackened squares. The problem is in the curves,
              > notably when they are
              > exceedingly fine, as in the hairlines of my Bodoni.
              > If a curve crosses
              > diagonally the bitmap grid, the translating software
              > should decide which
              > squares are to be filled in, and which not. If the
              > grid holds too low a
              > number of squares (low resolution), these decisions
              > are challenged
              > extremely. Somehow the translation must be helped in
              > an intelligent way. As
              > for fonts, this intelligence can be in the font file
              > itself ('auto hinting'
              > in truetype), but as for my other vector images, the
              > intelligence must come
              > from elsewhere. I'm said I could buy the
              > interpreting intelligence that
              > translates between my postscript input files and my
              > printed output bitmap
              > raster. It's a piece of hardware that usually comes
              > with the expensive
              > so-called PostScript printers, but is optional on
              > most desktop printers. But
              > maybe there is another, cheaper solution.
              >
              >
              >
              > But I too have a question, since I'm afraid my
              > budget will not allow soon
              > for the acquisition of a Linotronic or even a
              > PostScript chip for my
              > AcuLaser. Am I mistaken, or am I right that instead
              > of sending my layout
              > files directly to the printer, that I could load
              > them in a bitmap image
              > editor, let's say Adobe PhotoShop? If an .eps, .ps
              > or .pdf file is converted
              > into a .tiff bitmap, I presume the software must
              > somehow make a RIP
              > translation from splines into dots. May I assume as
              > well that Adobe PS will
              > do the job probably better than the driver of my
              > Epson printer? And could I
              > expect that if my pages are converted in this way,
              > that my Bodoni 6 pt text
              > will print excellent on my poor little 600 dpi
              > machine?
              >
              >
              >
              > Ludwig
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been
              > removed]
              >
              >
              >
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