This blog has been quiet not because interest in QDOS, smsq/e and things QL has waned but because all available spare time has been used up in writing some software that allows a QL system with a reliable serial port to print to the Wifi printer here at QL heaven. The solution is similar to the RetroPrint project but is mainly software based, although a RPi is still needed for the Wifi part.
Parts required are a RPi, a null modem cable to a serial Pi hat or a serial to USB cable. The rest is software as follows:
On the RPi connect the RPi to the Wifi network, and install the RPi serial port on its expansion pins or on one of the USB ports. This can be done through the raspi-config program on an upto date installation. Then install the CUPs printer driver, good guidance for this can be found in early Magpi magazines volumes 11 and 12.
Then install the python cups bindings and next write the python software for the RPi to catch and send files transmitted via the serial port to the printer and write the SBasic to send files through the serial port of the QL.
Simple? No not really. Many document files on the QL are text, some are html and many are Quill doc files. The good news is that CUPs can handle text and html and postscript files natively, so send these with the appropriate commands and viola they print out.
Quill docs are something else. There are a number of Quill doc stripper programs but typically these lose text formatting which is unsatisfactory.
So a Quill to postscript filter was constructed based on Marcel Kilgus MPS_bas program and the result today :
It doesn't look like much and the formatting while acceptable is not exactly as in the original.
Anyway using this as a printing system gives quite good contol of printouts.
The system is still a work in progress as CUPs has Courier, Times , Helvetica fonts built in.