can be achieved with software, which may greatly simplify
Plotting applications. The various software selectable options
are invoked by sending an ESCape code followed by specific
byte(s) to the printer. Underlining can be turned on or off at
will. The printer can be instructed to set the left margin of
the print area, and also the right margin, forcing the type to
wrap around when this position is exceeded.
For graphics, this printer can support a number of dot
densities. These are
|*||Dual den, dual speed||960||16||*|
|*||CRT graphics 1||640||8||*|
|*||CRT graphics 2||720||8||*|
These can all be accessed by using the appropriate ESC code,
followed by bytes indicating the length of the graphic code
following, then by the bytes of graphic information. As the
graphics are potentially very powerful. a cursory demonstration
of them would not do them justice, so I won’t attempt one. I am
looking forward to linking the FX80 to my still to be delivered
Climax Colour Graphics board to draw (via Suitable software!)
pictures in black and white of the screen contents.
The table of options printed above configure the FX80
so that it may be plugged in as a replacement for the IMP, with
the proviso that the EPSON provides its handshake at RS232
levels on Pin 20 of the Microbuffer RS232 connector, while the
IMP supplies it at TTL levels on pin 19. The level shifting
circuit is dealt with in detail by David in 80BUS News Vol 1,
No 3, p. 34.
As I am sure is obvious, I am very pleased with the
printer. It costs approx £425 plus VAT. and the 8k serial
buffer costs approx £125. A roll paper holder is strongly
recommended, and tractor feed would be necessary for label or
narrow form handling. Its speed of 160 cps is very impressive.
though it does slow down for twiddly bits. I suqqest that many
of its users will opt to drive it at 9600 or 19.2k baud. I look
forward to many years of service from it, when I have finished
customizing my text editor to allow for the differing spacings
and type densities. This is being written on a quickly cobbled
up set of patches to an existing text editor, but the printer
demands better than that!