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Printing with Amiga Forever 1.0 to 2009



Q: With an old version of Amiga Forever (1.0 to 2009), how do I configure the Amiga emulation to print on a Windows system? Can I do low-level parallel port I/O?



Amiga Forever 1.0 to 2009

If you have a newer version of Amiga Forever, please refer to this article:

The options outlined below are more technical and of specific interest when using versions of Amiga Forever prior to the 2010 version.

In general, to print from the Amiga environment you need to set the proper Amiga printer driver in the Amiga Printer Preferences and configure the emulation so that the Amiga printer output is sent to the correct printer port on the PC, or that it is redirected (spooled) to a file, from where it can be processed at a later time.

If you do not have an Amiga printer driver for your printer (which is likely, as the Amiga is not supported any longer by major printer manufacturers), then you can use an Amiga PostScript printer driver, and let the emulation layer convert the PostScript output to a format that can be processed by your Windows printer drivers.

Additional options to redirect the printer output to file, and to give Amiga applications low-level access to the parallel port, are also available.

Windows Printer Ports

Before you configure the emulation software make sure that you know the name of the port to which your printer is attached. If your printer is connected to the parallel port, the port name is usually "LPT1". If your printer is connected to the USB port, then the port name may be something like "LPTUSB1", "EPUSB1", etc. You can find out the name of the port by right-clicking the name of the printer in the Printers section of the Windows Control Panel, and selecting Properties.

Regardless of whether you wish Amiga applications to print directly or instead have their output spooled to a file, if your Amiga applications or printer driver need to open the parallel.device, as is common, you have to configure the emulation software so that emulation of the Amiga parallel port is enabled and associated with a valid Windows printer port. This is done as follows:

  1. Select the manual "WinUAE Configuration" option in the Amiga Forever launcher.
  2. Load the configuration you wish to change (select it, and click Load)
  3. In the Game and I/O Ports tab, select the printer in the Printer field
  4. Back in the Configurations tab, select Save.
  5. Click OK if you wish to start the configuration to test it, or Cancel to exit.

Once the port has been configured, and if the Amiga Printer Preferences were set to use the parallel port, the printer output generated by your Amiga applications will be redirected to the desired PC port. Input from the printer is in general not supported by the emulation software, and is never required by applications which use the Amiga printer drivers.

Amiga Printer Drivers

It may not always be easy to find an up-to-date Amiga printer driver for your PC printer. Third-party Amiga packages like Studio Professional and TurboPrint include a wider choice of high-quality Amiga printer drivers than the Amiga operating system, and they also support redirection to a file, which may be useful when it is not possible to directly send the printer output to a local port.

Low-Level Access to the PC Parallel Port

Some Amiga applications require low-level access to the parallel port hardware. This includes programs that use their own printer drivers, and programs that interface to certain parallel port devices other than printers.

WinUAE as included in Amiga Forever and higher includes support for ParaPort (which at the time of the Amiga Forever release was freely available for personal use). ParaPort is a Windows parallel port driver that enables low-level access to the parallel port. Once ParaPort has been installed, you can choose a PC parallel port (e.g. LPT1) in the WinUAE port settings.

With ParaPort, Amiga applications that bypass the Amiga printer drivers and reference the hardware directly are in general able to perform parallel port I/O, including bidirectional transfers.

Amiga Forever Print Spooler

Amiga Forever 6.0 to 2009 include a print spooler which employs the Amiga CMD functionality to redirect the output of the Amiga parallel port to a file. This may be useful where direct output to the printer is not possible, or desirable.

If you open a Shell window and enter the EnablePRTSpool command, all printer output will be redirected to one or more files. The the file can then be printed by selecting the Amiga Forever/Print Spool command from the Windows Start menu. If you are not using LPT1 as the printer port, right-click "C:\Program Files\Cloanto\Amiga Forever\WINDOWS\Print Spool\print.bat" (or whatever path was used to install Amiga Forever), select Edit and replace "LPT1" with the name of the port you wish to use.

If you decide to redirect the Amiga printer output to a file, you can also manually sent the file to a printer using the following command from a Windows Shell:

copy /b filename portname:

You can use Windows file pattern matching to copy multiple files to the printer port.

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Article Information
Article ID: 16-126
Platform: Windows
Products: Amiga Forever
Additional Keywords: None
Last Update: 2015-05-27
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