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A9home USB printing in beta release

Published: 28th Sep 2007, 20:22:53 | Permalink | Printable

RISC OS 6 port coming along slowly

USB generic shotPrinting support is coming to the A9home platform, retailer CJE Micros confirmed this week. Gaffer Chris Evans said printing documents over a network and direct to a device will be possible, provided a suitable driver file is available.

The A9home USB-based printing system is known to support at least the Samsung CLP550 A4 colour laser printer, the Samsung ML1750 budget mono laser, the Canon iP4200 A4 colour inkjet, and the HP Laserjet 5000 A3 laser printer. Parallel port devices can be run through a USB-to-Parallel adapter.

Punters wishing to try out the updated printing system should email CJE Micros, quoting their postcode and A9home serial number. Users will be sent a new beta-version of the machine's USB stack, various modules and installation instructions. They will also need to download Printers 1.67a. Documents can be remotely printed using ShareFS, LanManFS or RemotePrinterFS, according to CJE Micros.

Up until now, A9home owners have struggled to print from their RISC OS 4.42-powered computers. It is hoped porting RISC OS 6 across to the ARM9-powered A9 platform will solve a number of OS-related issues reported by users. CJE Micros, who distribute the computer on behalf of developers AdvantageSix, admitted this work was behind schedule.

Chris said: "We would like to reassure owners that development of RISC OS 6 for the A9home is progressing, albeit not as fast as had been hoped. It will be made available as soon as physically possible. We apologise for the lengthy delay, and thank everyone for their continuing patience.

"Due to licensing issues we are not able to make the USB stack available for download from a web or FTP site."

A9home owner John Rickman, who quickly got his hands on the new printing software, said: "The installation was reasonably smooth, and I can now print to my CLP550 directly from the A9 instead of having to transfer files to another machine to print anything."

Update at 09:08 29/09/07
It's understood a printing-related bug within the Simtec RISC OS USB stack, used by AdvantageSix in the A9home was fixed a year ago and a beta version was first in the hands of a few testers about six months ago.


CJE Micros website The A9 website

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This is good news. Confirmation that development is continuing on the A9home is important as it helps stop the speculation to occurs when long periods of time go by without any official updates.

Nice to hear that development of RISC OS 6 for the A9home is progressing. I know this is taking a lot longer than many people expected but a big part of that is having the resources available to do the work. Once it is available I am optimistic that it will be a very positive for the entire RISC OS community.

 is a RISC OS Userstevek on 28/9/07 9:43PM
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Due to licensing issues we are not able to make the USB stack available for download from a web or FTP site..............

Strange I have that update for more as 6 months now,

As a Beta user from the beginning I really don't understand the way A6d is working... (several times they told me I would get more updates to test)

This so called update is from CJE (they are allowed to distribute this update -- in the netherlands we officially don't know anything) I wonder when the update which solves the problem of the vanishing sound will be available (because I know there is already a solution)

 is a RISC OS UserEasyKees on 29/9/07 2:04AM
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I have been pressing AD6 since May to send out an email such as this. I am pleased it has finally arrived. My only criticism of the email is the way CJE have used it for marketing purposes.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 29/9/07 7:59AM
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For clarification, any 32bit safe version of !Printers/!Printers+ (eg. the ones on RISC OS Ltd's website, through the Castle agreement, or !Printers+, I believe) should work on the A9, but the problem was with the support modules in non-Castle releases. This wasn't really an issue with things like UniPrint and GimPrint etc, although you still have to get the data to the printer (eg. via UniPrint or via network). As far as I know, people have been UniPrinting from A9s since day one, pretty much. In fact, with the A9 making a good network box, it is absolutely ideal for running UniPrint etc. I'm somewhat surprised that people are still having problems.

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 29/9/07 11:27AM
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In rely to arawnsley,

I think the problem with Printing on the A9home has been that there has never(from what I can tell) been any documentation with the A9home to say what version of !Printers is required and a link to where you get it from. Many people have just assumed that because !Printers was not supplied as standard that Printing was not available. I myself have been Printing from my A9home via the network for the past 2 years as many other people have. The update to the USB stack enables printing via USB (I'm not sure if either the earlier stack did not support this, or was simply buggy and not very good at it).

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 29/9/07 6:25PM
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How old is the A9 now? Two years? I believe it was announced at Wakefield 2005! And CJE have had it for sale for a very long time, and don't even mention the beta/alpha/unfinished state of the machine on their website. Doesn't anyone feel like they're being conned? 2 years down the road and still no local printing is, quite frankly, disgraceful.

 is a RISC OS Usernikgare on 2/10/07 7:40AM
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In reply to nikgare:

You wrote "2 years down the road and still no local printing is, quite frankly, disgraceful". However the whole point of the article is to say that local printing is now available, not moan that it isn't.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 2/10/07 8:32AM
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"Users will be sent a new beta-version of the machine's USB stack"

2 years down the road, and it's still beta! Any firm that treats their customers like this doesn't really deserve to have any, does it?

 is a RISC OS Usernikgare on 2/10/07 12:26PM
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Well they can still beat ROL with the promised upgrade :-)

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 2/10/07 6:22PM
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The long wait is in part due to the small size of the market. Faster development requires more resources up front. Unfortunately many of the people with appropriate skills are not able to commit the time required. Most companies aren't willing to expose themselves to the risk of paying for the development up front.

It also appears that despite what Acorn were saying about RISC OS being highly portable back in the 1990's, it was far from it. RISC OS was tied very closely to hardware and now we are paying for the way the OS was put together. To make RISC OS more portable a lot of hard work is has been done to abstract the OS / Hardware interfaces. The end user doesn't see this and the real benefit will only be seen by hardware developers.

ROL have been working to streamline the underlying components of RISC OS with RISC OS 6. This is progressing but again slowly due to limited resources. Once it is available for the A9home I am sure people will be feeling a lot more positive.

Having said that I believe an official statement on the A9home website wouldn't go a miss. RISC OS companies are terrible communicators!

If you look at the Amiga saga you'll see that things aren't so bad is RISC OS land.

 is a RISC OS Userstevek on 4/10/07 9:23AM
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The most work on portability was done with the RO5 HAL layer but unfortunately the wheel has had to be reinvented all over again in RO6 by ROL. We'll never get anywhere if our meagre development resources are wasted on duplication. Very soon people are going to be taking advantage of ROOLs source releases to port RO5 to other devices, but that will be no benefit to RO6s branch and vice versa.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 4/10/07 1:54PM
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