LPRINTING Troubleshooting Guide

Troubleshooting Problems Printing from Forsythe to an Attached Printer


Updated 8/20/99

Table of Contents


Overview--What is an "attached printer"?

An attached printer, in Forsythe terminology, is one that is directly attached to a port on your microcomputer (Macintosh or PC).

Although this definition may suggest a printer dedicated to your personal use, the fact is that in many cases you can also consider a shared printer to be "attached." Any printer connected to your Mac or PC via LocalTalk or Ethernet, for example, can be treated as attached, and so can a printer shared via an A/B switch or a "smart" printer-switching device.

As a rule of thumb, if you can print from a microcomputer application (e.g., a word processor), you can probably also print to it from Forsythe using "attached printer" commands.

What command do you give to print from Forsythe to an attached printer? It depends on the Forsythe service you're using. Briefly:

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Symptoms and possible causes

Typical symptoms

If you run into a problem while printing from Forsythe to an attached printer, it's likely to manifest itself as one or more of the following symptoms:

Most-likely causes

If you have a problem printing to an attached printer from Forsythe, it could be that:

Less-likely causes

In rare instances your printing problem might be caused by one of the following:

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A Troubleshooting Roadmap

You can't print anything from Forsythe

You can print some Forsythe jobs, but not others

Your Forsythe session freezes or hangs after you give a print command

Forsythe indicates a successful printing, but you get no printout

You can print portrait but not landscape

You get a partial or garbled printout

You get a message saying "printer not ready"

You get an extra page

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Solutions for Most LPRINTING Problems

1. Make sure your printer is working

Check to make sure you can print from other microcomputer applications. If not, check to see if the printer is on and capable of passing its self-test. Check cable connections.

Do whatever it takes to activate local printing. For a Macintosh user, that may entail simply choosing the right printer in the Chooser or turning AppleTalk on or off; or it may entail replacing a cable, replacing a damaged printer driver, or fixing the printer.

For a PC user, that may entail replacing a cable, fixing the printer, or making sure you have the right printer selected.

2. Make sure you're using Samson

Users of Macintosh or PC microcomputers should be using Samson as their terminal emulation software. Samson supports both serial-line (modem and TIP) and campus Ethernet (SUNet) connections to Forsythe. MacSamson supports LPRINTing not only to directly attached printers, but also to any networked printer that can be found in the Macintosh Chooser. Samson for Windows and PC-Samson support LPRINTing to directly attached printers and are compatible with most LANs and can thus in some instances support LPRINTing to a networked printer.

NOTE: In theory, other VT100 terminal emulators besides Samson can support LPRINTing from Forsythe. In reality, some do and some don't. You are strongly urged to use Samson to connect to Forsythe whenever it's practical.

3. Set the right terminal type

Forsythe users who want to print to an attached printer must tell Forsythe what kind of terminal they're using by giving a SET TERM <terminal type> command.

Users of Samson software (Mac or PC) should always SET TERM SAMSON.

You can check your current terminal type with a SHOW TERM or SHOW SAMSON command given at the Command> prompt while logged on to your account.

If you've SET TERM SAMSON, as you should have --or if your #LOGON file has done it for you at logon time--Forsythe should report to you a terminal type of IBMPC or IBMPCC (for PC-Samson), or MACSAM or MACSAMC (for MacSamson), or WINSAMC (for Samson for Windows).

A SET TERM < ... > command lasts only as long as a Forsythe session. If you want a SET TERM < ... > command to carry over from session to session, you can include it in your #LOGON file, a file that executes every time you log on to your Forsythe account. But there's a risk to putting a SET TERM < ... > command in a #LOGON file. Often that's the very source of problems, because many users use more than one kind of terminal--yet a #LOGON file can use only one SET TERM < ... > statement. One solution is to put a special command in the #LOGON that prompts you for a terminal type. (The special command is XCALL LIB#SETTERM PUBLIC).

You can get more information about setting terminal types by typing HELP SET TERM, HELP SHOW TERM and HELP TERM at the Command> prompt.

4. Set the right printer type

Although in some cases you can get away with not telling Forsythe what kind of printer you're using, if you want anything more than plain, vanilla text printed in portrait mode, you'll have to give a SET LPRINT <printer type> command.

Here's a table to help you decide what printer type to set. Generally, if you have a laser printer with PostScript, then install the vendor's PostScript driver and set the Forsythe printer type to laserwriter. Note that you have to spell LASERWRITER, LASERJET3, DESKWRITER, etc., the way Forsythe expects to see them.


Printer                                             Printer Type           
HP LaserJet or LaserJet Plus                        laserjet               
HP LaserJet 2, no PostScript cartridge              laserjet2              
HP LaserJet 3, no PostScript cartridge              laserjet3              
HP LaserJet 2 or 3, with PostScript cartridge       laserwriter            
HP LaserJet 4, 5, or 6, using PCL driver            laserjet3
HP LaserJet 4, 5, or 6, using PostScript driver     laserwriter                                         
HP DeskJet                                          deskjet                
HP DeskWriter                                       deskwriter             
Apple LaserWriter, any model with PostScript        laserwriter            
Apple Personal LaserWriter NTR (PostScript)         laserwriter            
Apple ImageWriter, ImageWriter 2                    imagewriter            
Apple StyleWriter                                   imagewriter            


NOTE:   For Windows NT, we recommend that you install Windows' Generic/Text Only printer driver for Forsythe printing. If this printer driver will not be your default printer, be sure to select the Generic/Text Only printer in Samson's Printer Setup dialog box every time you print from Forsythe. If you do not have the Administrator privileges on your PC to install printer drivers, please contact your Expert Partner, RCC, or LNA.

As with SET TERM < ... >, you can include a SET LPRINT < ... > command in your #LOGON file to make the printer type permanent; but as with SET TERM, too, this can be a source of printing problems for users who move around among more than one terminal and printer.

You can check your current printer type by giving a SHOW LPRINT command at the Command> prompt. Don't be surprised if Forsythe reports "no local printer set"; in many instances Forsythe can send plain ASCII text to a printer without knowing the printer's type. But if you're having trouble LPRINTing, you should definitely try setting a printer type as a possible solution.

Keep in mind, for troubleshooting purposes, that a SET LPRINT < ... > command at the Command> prompt overrides a SET LPRINT < ... > previously executed in a #LOGON file. Likewise, if by accident two SET LPRINT < ... > commands get into a #LOGON file, the second overrides the first.

To make this change to your #LOGON file follow these steps (your commands are shown in bold):

  1. Command> use #logon
  2. Type: view
  3. You should now see a screen that looks like this:
    => 1 LOGON From LIB#LOGON 6 lines
    1. XCALL LIB#SETETERM PUB
    2. SET MODE NO ATTEN WARN=1
    3. SET JES NOTIFY
    4. IF (NEWMAIL) SHOW MAIL SUMMARY
    5. CLEAR EXEC
  4. Insert a new line between XCALL LIB#SETTERM. . . and CLEAR EXEC.
    Command> insert 1.1
    This inserts a line between lines 1 and 2. If you wanted to insert a line between 4 and 5, you would say insert 4.1 instead.
  5. Click on the newly created blank line and type: set lprint laserwriter
  6. Your screen will now look something like this:
    => 1 LOGON From LIB#LOGON 6 lines
    1. XCALL LIB#SETETERM PUB
    1.1 SET LPRINT LASERWRITER
    2. SET MODE NO ATTEN WARN=1
    3. SET JES NOTIFY
    4. IF (NEWMAIL) SHOW MAIL SUMMARY
    5. CLEAR EXEC
  7. Click your mouse back at the COMMAND> prompt and type: save * replace

5. Set flow control

NOTE: The information below on flow control pertains ONLY if you are using a serial connection (i.e., Forsythe or Unix Off Campus).

If you find that you can print some Forsythe jobs (e.g., short messages) but not others (e.g., longer messages or complicated Prism reports); or if you sometimes get incomplete or garbled printouts, this can be the result of not having flow control set, or of not having it set at the right links in the connection.

Flow control for modems

If you use a 2400-bps or faster modem capable of error correction and data compression, you need to have flow control enabled between Samson and your modem. Hardware flow control, in this case, is preferable to software--and hardware flow control is a default setting for many high-speed modems. But if you're a PC-Samson user you'll have to enable software flow control instead, because PC-Samson doesn't currently (February, 1998) support hardware flow control.

MacSamson and Win-Samson users should enable hardware flow control between MacSamson and their high-speed modem. But since some Mac-to-modem cables don't support hardware flow control, your first step is to make sure you have one that does.

Once you have the right Mac-to-modem cable in place, you need to enable hardware flow control in MacSamson. This can be done either by including the command SET FLOW HARD in your MacSamson dial-up script, or by choosing RTS/CTS as the Flow Control option in "Serial Port Settings" on the Serial menu, after you've started a session.

Lastly, check your modem's manual to verify that hardware flow control is the factory default for your modem. If it is, then you're ready to go. If not, find out what AT command is necessary to enable hardware flow control on your modem, and include it in your dialup script, or give the command directly to the modem after you've opened a session window.

NOTE: Generally, your Mac's modem should also be set to ignore changes in the Data Terminal Ready (DTR) signal. For most modems the command to set this is AT&D0. But since that's the factory default for most modems, you probably won't have to give the command.

PC-Samson users should enable software flow control between Samson and their high-speed modem. Since that's the default for Samson, you may not have to do anything other than verify that flow control is enabled.

Next you need to enable software flow control on your modem. Since that's rarely the default for a high-speed modem, you're likely to have to give an AT command, such as AT\Q0 or AT&K4, either in your dialup script or directly in your session window. Check your modem's manual to get the right command. Software flow control should be enabled in such a way that the modem processes XON and XOFF signals but doesn't pass them through to the remote modem. Consult your manual for more details.

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Solutions for Less Common Problems

Set the right printer port

Check for unwanted control codes

A fairly rare cause of partial or garbled printouts is the presence of unprintable control codes in the file you're trying to print. These can creep in as the result of uploading a non-plain text file from your word processor to Wylbur, for example. Fairly innocuous-looking characters such as asterisks ( ******* ) have also been known to hang up LPRINTing jobs. Look for codes between angle < > brackets. If in Page Wylbur (i.e., VIEW mode), look for fuzzy rectangles representing unprintable characters.

Replacing the RAW.DRV file in Windows 98

In Windows 98, printing may not occur because of an outdated Samson file. (This problem seems to occur on computers that have "clean" installs of Windows 98, as opposed to upgrades from Windows 95. If you have upgraded to Windows 98, you should refer to the other solutions before this one.) Here are the instructions for replacing Samson's RAW.DRV file (note that this will NOT affect the Windows 98 operating system in any way - this is a Samson file only).

  1. Download this raw.drv file into your Samson folder, allowing it to overwrite the old file. (Click on the RAW.DRV link, and select "Save file to disk," then make sure to save the file in the Samson folder - usually the C:\Program Files\Samson\ folder. When asked, allow the download to overwrite the old file).

    NOTE: if you would like to keep the old RAW.DRV file (an unnecessary procedure, but some people feel safer about it), then you should rename the old RAW.DRV file before downloading the new one - however, when you rename it, you should name it OLDRAW.DRV - not RAW.OLD, since Samson looks for any file named RAW - to keep Samson from getting confused between the old and new version.

  2. If the above step didn't solve the LPrinting problem, you should select "RAW" as the data type in your printer's "Spool Settings":
  3. If the above steps don't solve the LPrinting problem, you may want to make sure there are no other, conflicting RAW.DRV files on your computer. (From the Start menu, select Find, then Files or Folders. In the "Named" field, type raw.drv and click on the "Find Now" button. The search should reveal only the raw.drv file in your Samson folder. If it reveals others, rename them to OLDRAW.DRV.)

Call Customer Assistance for help with an unusual PC/printer combination

If you have questions about using a Windows PC/Postscript printer combination with Forsythe, submit an online help request form via HelpSU.

Miscellaneous tips

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