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RE: Memory and printing

On 18-Nov-97 G. Kapetanios wrote:
> I am thinking of bying a laser printer but I have one question. I will be
> printing some large documents with lots of graphics in them. The files
> will have the postscript format. For example one file I recently printed
> was 6.2 Mb. The cheapest laser printer is HP 6L with 1 Mb of memory. Does
> this mean I will not be able to print  my files which are larger than 1
> Mb? Or doesn't it matter as long as my computer memory is large enough ?
> Any hint will be appreciated. 
>                                          Thanks
>                                          George 

Hi George,
With a PostScript printer what matters is that the printer memory is large
enough to hold the information required to compose 1 page, plus any
"global" PS code which the file requires. For a page consisting mainly of
text which only calls for the fonts that come with the printer, the page
requirement is only a few KB and there's no problem.

If you have graphics, or if you're downloading the font
definitions on the fly (as with TeX), then there are much greater
demands on printer memory. If you have a lot of graphics, then almost
certainly 1MB is not enough. 2MB is probably enough most of the time but
may sometimes be inadequate. 4MB is almost certainly adequate. As a general
rule, you can print PS files which are overall very big, provided you don't
exceed the printer's RAM for each page.

On the other hand, you can print PS on a non-PS printer provided you run a
PostScript->whatever interpreter on your conputer: this generates native
printer code, and all that is needed is that the printer can accomodate
whatever native code is required for each page (as it should, or take it
back). The computer can carry the burden of composing the page before
sending the native code to the printer. One possibility is ghostscript, but
this tends to suffer from font-rendering problems and can give disappointing
results if you need good-looking hard copy.

Hope this helps,

E-Mail: Ted Harding <Ted.Harding@nessie.mcc.ac.uk>
Date: 18-Nov-97                                       Time: 12:40:17

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