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Need driver for IBM Personal Wheelwriter 2 (typewriter)

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Izlude    91

Hi all, I obtained a personal wheelwriter 2 from goodwill some time back, but just recently got a cord for it. Connectivity is 36pin centronics (behind the printer/typewriter) to the back of the laptop running win98SE (25pin parallel). I installed the generic IBM Personal PageWriter driver just to see what would happen. It does communicate, but sends out an error message on the paper.. kinda like a BSOD, but in paper form lol. It prints this message.. FOREVER.  I was curious to see how long it would go, it went about 5 pages and showed no signs of stopping.

SO... What generic kind of driver do you suppose I could use for this?  Originally, IBM gave you the option to upgrade these typewriters into printers, which apparently is the case here. It has all the upgraded buttons and labels. Really cool piece of hardware. I really miss my dot matrix, so this fills the gap. Would love to have it printing just for novelty at the shop. Typewriters website sells these as well as the upgrades to turn them into printers, but they didn't give any kind of answer... and the web only seems to talk about reverse engineering them (only for those who didn't get the upgrade option, and want to use an arduino).  Nothing about using what's already available.

Here's what's on the sticker inside the typewriter:

MachineType: 6781   s/n 11-rky79

LEXMARK Actionwriter

 

And here's a piece of the error message that started to print:


!PS-Adobe-3.0

Title: Untitled Notepad

BeginProlog
BeginProcSet: Pscript_Win_ErrorHandler 1.0 1

currentpacking where pop/oldpack currentpacking def/setpacking where pop

current...blablabla.. (more of this nonsense for 5 more pages)

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Circaflex    3,428

Unfortunately, I don't have any info for you, but this did seem like an interesting topic. Do you have any pictures of this beast?

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+DevTech    1,252
1 hour ago, Izlude said:

Hi all, I obtained a personal wheelwriter 2 from goodwill some time back, but just recently got a cord for it. Connectivity is 36pin centronics (behind the printer/typewriter) to the back of the laptop running win98SE (25pin parallel). I installed the generic IBM Personal PageWriter driver just to see what would happen. It does communicate, but sends out an error message on the paper.. kinda like a BSOD, but in paper form lol. It prints this message.. FOREVER.  I was curious to see how long it would go, it went about 5 pages and showed no signs of stopping.

SO... What generic kind of driver do you suppose I could use for this?  Originally, IBM gave you the option to upgrade these typewriters into printers, which apparently is the case here. It has all the upgraded buttons and labels. Really cool piece of hardware. I really miss my dot matrix, so this fills the gap. Would love to have it printing just for novelty at the shop. Typewriters website sells these as well as the upgrades to turn them into printers, but they didn't give any kind of answer... and the web only seems to talk about reverse engineering them (only for those who didn't get the upgrade option, and want to use an arduino).  Nothing about using what's already available.

Here's what's on the sticker inside the typewriter:

MachineType: 6781   s/n 11-rky79

LEXMARK Actionwriter

 

And here's a piece of the error message that started to print:


!PS-Adobe-3.0

Title: Untitled Notepad

BeginProlog
BeginProcSet: Pscript_Win_ErrorHandler 1.0 1

currentpacking where pop/oldpack currentpacking def/setpacking where pop

current...blablabla.. (more of this nonsense for 5 more pages)

the driver is attempting to send PostScript code to the printer which makes it smell like you have the wrong driver since it it hard to imagine a line-printer type of device containing a PostScript processor like a laser printer...

 

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+DevTech    1,252
8 minutes ago, DevTech said:

the driver is attempting to send PostScript code to the printer which makes it smell like you have the wrong driver since it it hard to imagine a line-printer type of device containing a PostScript processor like a laser printer...

 

Maybe I'm wrong, this page seems to suggest a PostScript based hardware:

 

https://github.com/antonizoon/archivis.me/wiki/IBM-Wheelwriter-PC-Printer-Option

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7WYx7u6HJh_YldlaElzS0hqMW1UUTVWbGN4a04yM05TRWNj/view

 

If so, the printer is not getting the type of PostScript it is expecting

 

But I' still having a hard time imaging a non-graphic printer needing PostScript 

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+DevTech    1,252

Also, I'm undecided about the "coolness" factor of this. You can still get giant dot matrix printers I think, and giant old Plotters might be a bit cooler yet..

 

So, how about a large 3D printer that outputs a line of 3D raised text all day sort of like an inverted "Printing Press" from the Gutenburg days...

 

Or maybe a holographic display that "prints" out receding Star Wars type text?

 

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Izlude    91

These klunkers are definitely fun to use. If I ever get a dot matrix again, I'd love to play music on it like this:
(but anyway, I'll keep checking around the web and check back here if anyone finds a solution before me)
Thanks for the input ;)
 

Other

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+goretsky    923

Hello,

 

Check the "Printing from Windows (Generic/Text Only Driver) section of this page: https://wiki.bibanon.org/IBM_Wheelwriter/Options/PC_Printer

 

That sounds like it might work.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

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Izlude    91

Thanks, that's almost got it working!!!

Generic Text Driver definitely makes it print only what I have typed into notepad or wordpad, however each time it types a character, it back spaces and types on top of that same character, creating a big black dot on the page.

I did get it to perfectly print from DOS by just pressing PrtSc, no spacing issues at all.  I'll see if I can grab a DOS based word processor. Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction.

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+DevTech    1,252
On 10/18/2018 at 2:12 AM, Izlude said:

Thanks, that's almost got it working!!!

Generic Text Driver definitely makes it print only what I have typed into notepad or wordpad, however each time it types a character, it back spaces and types on top of that same character, creating a big black dot on the page.

I did get it to perfectly print from DOS by just pressing PrtSc, no spacing issues at all.  I'll see if I can grab a DOS based word processor. Thanks again for pointing me in the right direction.

So all the docs are murky and primed with errors so some "trial and error" is to be expected.

 

So the IBM conversion kit was just expensive for no reason other than "IBM" and did not include a PostScript CPU/RAM etc - good. You saw the PostScript code because you had the wrong driver which expected a PostScript printer.

 

So the new doc says COM1 which is weird since parallel Centronics was LPT1 but Daisy Wheel printers were often serial port based.

 

The backspace thing seems like weird control codes which smell like either:

 

A) there is a setting to ignore the top bit with a 7 bit setting on the cable or printer or driver

 

B) there might be an "echo" setting of some sort based on COM1 standards so make sure you try LPT1

 

It's a real strain to recall those old days and the myriad of tricky settings and ports and interrupts and jumpers everywhere and obscure little switches you would flick with a pencil on the circuit board and if anything was wrong in all that config, nothing would work!

 

I miss it for a millisec or two...

 

 

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