Bubble Jet And PC

By Terry Mulcahy

Originally published in EUG #27

For many years I have been using the following with complete satisfaction: BBC B, Challenger Disk Drive, Computer Concepts' ROM-Link integrated system (Interword, Interbase, Spellcheck, etc) and a Mannesmann Tally 9-pin dot matrix printer.

For better quality of print, I would now like to update to a modern inkjet or bubble jet printer. Before buying, I borrowed such a printer from a friend to make sure it was compatible, but was unable to get it to work. It was suggested that I may need a "printer driver", which I assume is a program on disk. Could anyone please advise me where such a driver may be obtained?

I am also toying with the idea of buying a modern PC, which would probably run Windows. If I were to do so, could my existing files (in particular word-processed ones) be transferred to the new machine? I would still keep my BBC B of course because of my familiarity with it and its extreme versatility.

Any advice on the above problems would be greatly appreciated.

Terry Mulcahy

I have asked a friend who knows a bit about printers about the bubble jet and he has said that there is really no reason why it shouldn't have worked but perhaps a reader has more experience with such a printer?

Transferring word processor files from a BBC to a PC should be possible. It's mainly a case of getting the right software and the right cable between both serial ports. Chris Richardson of 8 Bit Software has been looking into this for some time and I recollect that he succeeded in creating such tools in the end.

There are, or were, a few BBC B emulators for the PC around. I think they may be available on the shareware market. You just have to look for them.

I don't know how much experience you may have of a PC but can I advise you to be careful - especially about being dazzled by features and fancy graphics. PCs are expensive and many people I know have found themselves disappointed after the excitement has worn off.

Having said that, I have a PC that I use for work and it is OK. I had to find a decent word processor after trying a number of different ones that were just too laborious for my liking. The one I have now is called GALAXY and it is like an updated version of View. It suits me fine.

Gus Donnachaidh, EUG #27