Browse Prior Art Database

Using a Facsimile Machine As a System Printer

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000119823D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-02
Document File: 4 page(s) / 144K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Daley, DJ: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Described is a general programming enabler which integrates industry standard Group 3 facsimile communications to a computer system. Facsimile communications can be integrated into existing or new computer applications by using a command interface provided by the product. Although primarily intended as an application enabler, the products simple command interface can function as a basic user interface for facsimile operations. With this product, computer system users can send their computer-generated printer output to any Group 3 facsimile node. Because the programming interface resides on the system, users in effect view remote facsimile machines as if they are output devices attached to the system. Outbound facsimile becomes analogous to remote printing at a facsimile node.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 50% of the total text.

Using a Facsimile Machine As a System Printer

      Described is a general programming enabler which
integrates industry standard Group 3 facsimile communications to a
computer system.  Facsimile communications can be integrated into
existing or new computer applications by using a command interface
provided by the product.  Although primarily intended as an
application enabler, the products simple command interface can
function as a basic user interface for facsimile operations.  With
this product, computer system users can send their computer-generated
printer output to any Group 3 facsimile node.  Because the
programming interface resides on the system, users in effect view
remote facsimile machines as if they are output devices attached to
the system.  Outbound facsimile becomes analogous to remote printing
at a facsimile node.  A facsimile node means any device which
supports Group 3 facsimile communications.  This could be a facsimile
machine, a personal computer with a facsimile card, or another
computer system which has this product installed.

      The outbound facsimile function provided by this product is an
extension of the computer systems print support.  The application
creates the data to send by generating a spooled output file exactly
the same as if that data were to be printed on the system printer.
Because this product uses spooled output files as source for outbound
facsimile, applications can take advantage of all the print and spool
support that is part of the computer's operating system.  It also
means that existing applications which produce printed output can
easily be modified to use the command interface, provided by the
product, to send spooled output directly to any facsimile node.

      A very important aspect of this product is its use of the
computer system print support.  The print support typically provides
an architected data-interchange between the host and an attached
device to allow the presentation of information.  Normally, the
attached device is a system printer.  Some specific examples of
printer data streams are SNA Character Stream (SCS), Intelligent
Printer Data Stream (IPDS), ASCII Data Stream, and Post Script.  Each
of these data streams are accepted by a set of printers to produce
paper output.  This process is shown in Fig. 1.  In this product, the
facsimile controller replaces the printer and instead of placing the
final output on paper, transforms the data in the printer data stream
into image data which is then converted to standard G3 format.

      This idea can be applied in general as depicted by Fig. 2.
This figure shows a similar process where the printer is replaced by
a transform step which converts or rasterizes the printer data stream
into an image format.  This image format is usable by a different set
of devices or applications, such as facsimile transmission or image
display.

      Because the image transform is applied to the system's pri...