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[Computerbank] Printing to an ink-jet / bubble jet from slackware 3.5

Hi all,

Last weekend I was out helping a Computer Angels client configure her new
printer.  She has a Computer-Angles computer (486-DX2-33) with 16 mb RAM,
running slackware 3.5.  She was given some money by a friend to buy
a printer and subsequently had bought a Canon BJC-2100SP.

I visited her, and, having connected it up, spent several hours attempting
to get it to print.  Finally, I had to give up, promising to return later,
in order to get it working.

With her computer, I was not getting any response from the printer - even
after logging on as root and

cat somefile.txt > /dev/lp1

I got absolutely no response from the printer.

So then, I disconnected the printer cable, and typed:

cat somefile.txt > /dev/lp1

and the command blocked.  When I plugged the printer cable back in, it
unblocked - thereby indicating that
the computer was getting *some* response from the pritner - at least an
acknowledgement,  thus the computer thought it had sent something to the
printer at least. however there was nonetheless no response
from the printer itself - no attempts to load paper, or any other physical

Today, in preperation for tomorrow's visit to this client, I got another
Computer Angels computer configured with exactly the same software, and
connected my own HP-Deskjet 600 to it, in order to see if I could get it to
print.  Running the command:

lpr somefile.txt

certainly did *something* in that the printer went through the motions of
printing, except that it did not print anything resembling the contents of

I also tried running "Print Postscript Buffer" from within emacs where the
current buffer had somefile.txt.  Again, the printer came alive and fed
paper through etc, but again, what was actually printed on the page had no
resemblance to the contents of my file.

At this point, given that I can get some kind of response from this other
computer, it could be that there is something dicky with her printer port.
Alternately there could be something dicky with her printer (I shall take my
own printer tomorrow when I visit her so as to have a known working printer
to test with.

My questions however is this:

1. How does one go about printing straight text files under linux. What
configuration needs to be done?
2. How does one go about configuring a gnu/linux system such that it can
print postscript - or at least, documents that are not just straight text,
ie. with fonts, etc....from Netscape, or emacs?

As an aside, if anyone has heard of a problem whereby the symptom is that
even if you run the command (as root)

cat somefile.txt > /dev/lp1

A properly connected printer does nothing, I would be greatly interested in
any words of wisdom.

thanks heaps in advance guys. 8-)

David Buddrige.

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