80-Bus News


May–June 1983, Volume 2, Issue 3

Page 24 of 59

As supplied, the printer comes with both friction and pin feed. The friction feed can handle roll paper and cut sheet, the pin feed can handle paper from 9 1/2″ to 10″. I don‘t think that it will handle the 9.25″ paper width of ‘A4’. Optional tractors are available to handle from 9″ down to 4″. There is a little more movement in the pinfeeds, but I’m not sure if it will take that intermediate size. If you are into roll paper feed (jumbo teletype rolls cost very much less than pin feed paper), then order the machine with the roll paper holder.

In its facilities. this printer offers a great deal. It prints using descenders, which greatly improves the legibility of lines. Normally, it prints in Pica, with 80 chars per line. it can provide Enlarged with 40 cpl, or Condensed at 137 cpl. Elite mode at 96 cpl, Enlarged Elite at 48 cpl and Enlarged Condensed are all readily available. It is also possible to print all characters in Proportional spacing, where each letter occupies only its correct width. Besides the above options, the printer can also print in Italics, which font can be printed in all the above spacings. But the good news I have kept until last – the printer can have up to 256 programmable characters! These need not all be programmed – it is possible to copy the standard character sets over to the 2k buffer used for the programable characters, and modify only those characters you wish. In this mode, one can access the characters in proportional or constant width modes, and print in the various weights of type illustrated in this review.

It provides 9 different alphabet options for the accent symbols required in other languages. Which one of these is set on powerup is determined by option switch selection. but they can all he accessed under software control. You will have noticed my use of à. This was achieved by switching to the French character set, where it replaces the @ sign. The only character get in which it cannot power up seems to be the version intended for Japan. This uses the standard ASCII set with \ replaced by ¥. Accompanying the FX80 is a substantial manual, spiral bound and nearly 200 pages thick. This explains, using a version of Microsoft BASIC, how to access all the different facilities of the printer. These programs will be easily adapted to the Nascom. Using XBASIC, it is only necessary to substitute PRINT £1; for the LPRINT commands. While printing plain text, the head whizzes along at 160 cps. Fancy printing slows if down somewhat, as does selection of the Quiet mode. This turns the printing speed down to 80cps, with a reduction in noise – but it is not terribly noisy anyway!

Print can be executed in a number of type weights. This example is in Emphasised, and this in Double strike. Not all styles are available in all faces, but there are sufficient for most purposes. Line feeds are software programable in a number of options, and form lengths can also be software selected. Both Horizontal and Vertical Tabbing are fully supported, the vertical option supporting up to eight different forms, each with different vertical tabbing positions. Reverse linefeeding

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