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Re: Printer memory [Was: RE: [Groff] slack4, groff and ps]

From: Miklos Somogyi
Subject: Re: Printer memory [Was: RE: [Groff] slack4, groff and ps]
Date: Mon, 17 Oct 2005 20:00:54 +1000

In the distant past I used troff with lots of math and printed on a PS laser with 8 MB memory and a 16 MHz processor, without the slightest problem. Nowadays there are lots of complaints regarding sloooow printing,
for which HP's panacea is huge memory and a faster processor.
Partly fair enough, memory is so cheap nowadays, even colour lasers are getting in the right price range. Still, how comes that we got away with 8 MB then and the new recommendation is above a hundred?

When HP talks about PS they don't mean PS. They mean PC generated PS, and the difference is staggering.
Once I looked at a PS file of a very simple single PowerPoint slide.
It was some 12,000 lines long and required some 90 sec CPU time on my printer's 100 MHz CPU. A 30 line hand-written program generated the same picture in 0.2 s CPU time.

groff's PS is quite all right , so (as long as you are not printing huge embedded images) your
old printer will be just fine.
It is true that PC PCL is kinder on the printer than PC PS. That's because PCL is such a simple thing that it
is more difficult to abuse than the highly complex and capable PS.
PS can do wonderful things and, if not abused, it has no huge memory requirements and is fast.


On 17/10/2005, at 8:17 AM, Daniel de Kok wrote:

On Sun, 16 Oct 2005, (Ted Harding) wrote:
The only thing I specially did (and indeed have done ever since),
since the machine was so weak, was to buy a PostScript printer.
With that, the PostScript output from groff went straight to the
printer and did not require conversion in the computer to another
printer language.

This makes me wonder. I am still doing conversion to PCL, either through grolj4 or Ghostscript, because the printer memory requirements are lower for printing PCL than PS (according to HP). Does anyone have some advise on what amount of printer memory would be OK for doing direct PS printing without too many printing delays? I have a LaserJet 5.

-- Daniel

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