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Method of Providing Printer Sharing Transparency

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000040397D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-02
Document File: 2 page(s) / 13K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Skelton, MH: AUTHOR

Abstract

When a single printer is shared between multiple users, the appearnace of each user having his or her own printer may be given by the use of a method that stores the formatting parameters for each user. With the IBM TYPE 5218 printer driver program and its printer sharing scheme, each PC sharing the printer has its own PC memory resident copy of the printer driver program. This has the nice effect that the printer driver program in each PC remembers the user's formatting parameters such as pitch, line spacing, margins, emphasis print, etc. Then when the user prints something, even after other user's have printed something the printing has the same formatting as this user's previously printed document. Therefore, the printer sharing scheme is said to be "transparent" to the user.

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Method of Providing Printer Sharing Transparency

When a single printer is shared between multiple users, the appearnace of each user having his or her own printer may be given by the use of a method that stores the formatting parameters for each user. With the IBM TYPE 5218 printer driver program and its printer sharing scheme, each PC sharing the printer has its own PC memory resident copy of the printer driver program. This has the nice effect that the printer driver program in each PC remembers the user's formatting parameters such as pitch, line spacing, margins, emphasis print, etc. Then when the user prints something, even after other user's have printed something the printing has the same formatting as this user's previously printed document. Therefore, the printer sharing scheme is said to be "transparent" to the user. To contract this with a simple printer sharing scheme such as a manual switch and a TYPE 5152 Graphics printer, there is a big difference both in the location of the formatting function and in the user perception. The text formatter is in the 5152 printer (rather than in a printer driver program in each user's PC). For example, user A prints a document that sets the 5152 to 12 pitch, and then user B turns the switch and prints a document that sets the 5152 to 10 pitch, and user A then turns the switch back; the printer does not return to 12 pitch but stays and gets 10 pitch instead. With this simple arrangement the users clearly need to be aware that there are other people using the printer and take some action to assure that their printing is formatted the way they expect it to be. The transparency of the sharing offered by the 5218 and the printer driver program is a nice feature which could be provided when sharing printers which do their own text formatting, such as the 5152 and ProPrinter. The way to make this possible is to add some more intelligence to the printer sharing box. The sharing box needs to save a set of formatting parameters for each user. When a user is again selected after other users have bee...