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Date:      Sun, 13 May 2012 19:19:12 -0500 (CDT)
From:      Robert Bonomi <bonomi@mail.r-bonomi.com>
To:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org, lumiwa@gmail.com
Subject:   Re: epson all in one
Message-ID:  <201205140019.q4E0JCT4061915@mail.r-bonomi.com>
In-Reply-To: <201205131738.19921.lumiwa@gmail.com>

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> From owner-freebsd-questions@freebsd.org  Sun May 13 17:40:24 2012
> From: ajtiM <lumiwa@gmail.com>
> To: freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
> Date: Sun, 13 May 2012 17:38:19 -0500
> Subject: epson all in one
>
> Hi!
>
> My got a new Epson WorkForce 545 which I connected through router and it works 
> for her but...
> Does anyone has experience with Epson ALL IN ONE printers on FreeBSD, please?

Some Epson 'ALL IN ONE' printers, 'just work'.  Others don't.

The one you have is, unfortuntely, in the latter category.

It uses a 'new' (apparently invented in 2005) _proprietary_ method for
communicating 'rasterized' images of page content to many of their dumb
'wimprinters', called "ESC/P-R".  Epson has a list of which of their 
printers use this protocol -- I'm not sure if it is _all_ the models they
offer, or not.  Given that they published a list (apparently not updated
since 2010), of modelssthat -do- use it, it would seem to be a reasonable
conclusion that _not_ all 'recent' models do.

Epson has a development kit, for writing ESC/P-Rdrivers.  see;
  <http://global.epson.com/innovation/universal_printing/driver_library.html>;

That page claims the library is portable to Linux in many variations -- so
it should be portable to FreeBSD with relatively minor effort.  For 'network'
printing, it just needs the Berkeley 'sockets' API.

The bad news, it requires an NDA to get access to the library,
*AND* it appears you cannot provide what you develop to others  -- Quote:
 
 "To use the ESC/P-R Library for development, an NDA agreement is necessary. 
  Epson will provide the ESC/P-R Library free of charge once the agreement 
  has been finalized.

  To use the ESC/P-R Library for actual commercialization, a license 
  agreement will be necessary."

Reading 'between the lines' on the ESC/P-R library, it is a 'standardized'
means of communicating with many/most of Epson's newer generation of
"winprinters".  The *host-based* driver has to _rasterize_ (convert from 
'text'/PS/PCL to a bitmap image for transmission to the printer) the page 
content before sending the bitmap to the printer.

Given that, the 'easiest' way out would be to write a 'device driver'
for Ghostscript, where Ghostscript did all the 'rendering' smarts, and
just called the driver to transmit the bitmap to the winprinter..



When shopping for a printer to use with any sort of a Unix-based (including 
Lunix and *BSD) system it is a GOOD IDEA(tm) to make sure that the printer
meets at least one of the following three criteria:
  1) supports the H-P developed 'PCL' printer language (And HPGL, the graphics
     language that is part of later versions of PCL.
  2) Supports Adobe's Postscript language, or a 3rd party 'emulation' thereof.
  3) is supported as an output device by the 'ghostscript' PS interpreter.

  (The 'ideal' printer supports -both- 1) and 2), _plus_ it will also directly 
   print PDF files.)

A printer that meets 1) _or_ 2) will work with -any- kind of system with 
virtually no effort.

These are things that you need to investigate BEFORE buying a printer.

An entire 30 seconds of online research for "{printername/model} specs'
turned up a web page that showed that the -only- 'language' that this 
printer speaks is "ESC/P-R".

The failure to mention PCL, or PostScript (or an emulation), would have
disqualified it -- for _me_, anyway -- from further onsideration.





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