cable doesn’t trail up stairs to the back room. Admittedly, my
cable is only a couple of feet long but it was all I could find
when the printer arrived.
The commented listing of EPRINT should be relatively simple
to follow but I shall explain some areas such as setting up the
PIO and printer. EPRINT by the way stands for Epson Printout
Ready In No Time or alternatively Extra Playing Round In Nascom
NAS-PEN, ZEAP etc.
When executed, the first questions asked involve what
software you want ta run the printer with. Dependent an the
replies, the vectors held in RAM for the ZEAP and NAS-PEN
output routines may be set to OUTCHA, the character output
routine. Unfortunately NAS-DIS has no RAM vector and so can
only use the printer (as with BASIC) by setting OUTCHA as the
user output routine. Needless to say, NAS-PEN or ZEAP must be
initialised before executing EPRINT or they will just overwrite
the vectors when ‘cold started’. If ZEAP is selected, then the
printer AUTO FEED EXT line will have to be disabled. This is
because while the ZEAP sends a CR and LF, the printer will
automatically do a LF on reception of the CR. Hence two LF’s
and double line spacing, very nice but paper is expensive.
NAS-PEN, and software using the user output routine will only
send a CR and so AUTO FEED EXT is left low unless ZEAP is
selected. A value stored in D is used to set this line later
Setting Printer Status.
Several questions are asked relating to the way you require
the printer to be configured. Many more variations could be
catered for (column width, print size etc.) but it becomes
tedious setting too many whenever you switch on or start using
some different software. You will usually configure the printer
the same way and anyway codes can be embedded in the text to
set anything else.
As mentioned above AUTO FEED EXT is controlled by the level
of that line, all the other features are set by sending control
codes to the printer. Before any codes are sent to the printer,
it is reset by holding INIT low for longer than 60
microseconds. There is no need to compensate for CPU clock
speeds (2/4 MHz. etc.) as all timing is done assuming a 4MHz.
clock and all delays may be exceeded without effect.
The length of page is set by ESC C nn (nn is a hex. value
The paper end detector is set on by ESC 9 or off by ESC 8.
This stops the buzzer going off while using single sheets which
is annoying because it is LOUD and buzzes for ages.
The printer is told to skip over the perforation at the end
of each page by ESC E 6. The 6 tells it to skip 6 lines which
with normal spacing is one inch. Note that the DIL switches
have been left to cause the printer to initialise in the NO
Having set all these conditions, the printer status is
tested and suitable messages output to the screen.