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Back when the RISC printing system was developed Archimedies 3xx and 4xx machines didn't even have free enough memory to compose a 300dpi A4 page, so had to split the job up in to strips, rendering the image multiple times and sending the results to the printer before moving on to the next one.

Claiming a buffer large enough for a whole page is a far more efficient way to achieve the task, and makes it easier to support high quality rendering and generate the data for a wider range of printers. As these days 512MB is the absolute minimum in any type of remotely modern computer, a mere 64MB (enough for 2400dpi A4 page), can always be claimed from VM system, so there is absolutely no point making the code more complex to use less memory.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/2/09 9:43AM
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