Browse Prior Art Database

Method of Detecting Printer Inactivity

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000046453D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-07
Document File: 3 page(s) / 63K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Fitch, DG: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

In an impact printer/typewriter, the ribbon is moved to a visibility position to allow the operator to view the output during periods of printer inactivity. The "view text" function of the printer/typewriter mechanism determines or specifies when the ribbon should be moved to allow the printed output to be examined by the operator. Another function of the inactivity time out is to place the printer in a "low power consumption" mode. This function is applicable even for printers not employing a "visibility" position for the ribbon.

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Method of Detecting Printer Inactivity

In an impact printer/typewriter, the ribbon is moved to a visibility position to allow the operator to view the output during periods of printer inactivity. The "view text" function of the printer/typewriter mechanism determines or specifies when the ribbon should be moved to allow the printed output to be examined by the operator. Another function of the inactivity time out is to place the printer in a "low power consumption" mode. This function is applicable even for printers not employing a "visibility" position for the ribbon.

An efficient method of realizing a view text function is diagrammatically illustrated in Figs. 1 and 2. It is most applicable, but not limited to, peripheral microcontrollers. Fig. 1 illustrates the view text sequence employing a peripheral microcontroller or microprocessor. Assume, for example, that the printer is printing and the ribbon position is high, as illustrated by the line labelled "ribbon position." If printing stops as by the arrow indicating a short pause, and printing resumes again at a predetermined point such as by the second arrow indicating print, and then the pause occurs in printing, the controller will request a ribbon drop from the host which can either reject or accept the request depending upon its knowledge of forthcoming activity. In the illustration of a medium pause, the host processor rejects the drop because it has knowledge that printing will resume shortly. The knowledge of the resumption of printing occurring shortly can be built into the host processor or taught to it as by the operator's speed of normally handling textual-type material. Thus, if the operator has a certain input rate which is predetermined, the amount of pause between printing cessation and the resumption thereof may be taught to the machine so that with a medium pause a request for dropping the ribbon for view text will not be accepted and the drop will be rejected because history tells the processor that printing will soon resume. In the instance of a long pause, as, for example, by the arrow entitled "long pause," the controller requests a ribbon drop from the host, and in this illustration, because the pause is longer and the host recognizes that no printing will occur for some time, the drop will be accepted. Under these conditions, printing does not occur until the forthcoming print request (the last request for print on the right side).

In the method employed, the search for periods of printer inactivity is accomplished by the peripheral microcontrollers which drive...