TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Winter 91 - PRINT HINTS WITH LUKE & ZZ

PRINT HINTS WITH LUKE & ZZ

ZZ speaks

Once upon a time, in an engineering department far, far away, the great implementors (GIs) ran across a problem with their Frankensteinian monster. They had designed and built a powerful beast. A beast that had traveled great distances into unknown territories, and that had cut many new paths in the hot lead jungle. Many spoke of the creation, and it had become well known and respected in many lands and platforms. But the complexity that only the great implementors had dared to conceive was being challenged by the great hackers of the land. Many of them had conquered the secrets of the beast, and shared the knowledge of the great implementors. Soon, even mortal hackers would be able to control the beast. This would not do. . .

The GIs traveled far to find the infamous "field workers." They had already given the GIs the gift of dynamic, incomprehensible data structures, and the GIs were hopeful that they could provide something more. They could not. . .

At last, on their return from the field, they ran across a court jester. Like all good jesters, he was trying hard to find some fun. He tried to get the GIs to play a game with him. He tried Monopoly, Pictionary, even checkers, but the GIs were not interested (he did notice a little glimmer when he mentioned thermonuclear war, but not enough to be important). As a last resort, he finally said, "Pick a number." Suddenly, the great gods of arbitration came down on the GIs like a 5-ton weight. "Pick a number!" one of them shouted. "It's beautiful!" laughed another one. And soon they were off to the lab to implement their new discovery.

This folks, is the not-based-on-a-true-story story of the constant named iPfMaxPgs. This constant is part of the Printing Manager, and limits the number of pages that can be spooled (that is, written to disk) in one print job. In the old days, when even engineers at Apple were using floppy drives, the Print Shop came to the conclusion that there should be a limit on the number of pages you could print in a single job. If not, the user could easily use up all the disk space on the boot disk, which at the time, led to other, even more interesting problems. The decision to limit the number of pages was quickly followed by a decision to use the court jester's advice and "pick a number." The magic number is 128, and is referenced by the constant iPfMaxPgs.

So now, you are printing your favorite report, all 130 pages of it, and just to annoy your neighbors, you're printing to your ImageWriter II in Best mode. You've placed the printer next to the window in the bathroom where the acoustics are especially outgoing, and the window is open for the extra cooling effect (at least, that's what you told the neighbors). As the head rips across the bottom of page 128 like nails across the chalkboard, you are suddenly greeted with a Printing Manager error code. Sure, your neighbors are happy, but you still have two pages to go. You frantically dig for that suicide prevention number (that your neighbors have obviously borrowed), but decide instead that printing more than 128 pages in one job would be a great way to get new neighbors.

To print jobs longer than 128 pages, you simply treat them like multiple jobs, printing each set of 128 pages just like the first set. To make this even simpler, it would be nice if there was one line of code that told you when to close the current document and open the new one. Welcome to the MOD squad (or the % Club for you C dudes).

The MOD instruction is very useful for tracking sets of things, like the number of pages in a print job. Most people that have implemented a Macintosh printing loop (you can spot them by the gray hair and growing forehead) use some kind of page loop.

The following code fragments will show the flow of control using the MOD operator. The parameters of the Toolbox routines have been omitted for simplicity.

Before you knew enough words to type 128-page documents, you used to have a print loop that figured out how many pages you had to print and then printed them one at a time.

This works well for bothering neighbors, but you'll never get any For Sale signs with this technique. To print jobs larger than 128 pages, you need to call PrOpenDoc/PrCloseDocwithin the FOR loop. Whenever you reach 128 pages, you need to call PrCloseDoc to close the current document, and then PrPicFile to despool the (now full) spool file. Once this is done, a new document is opened, and everything continues as before.

FOR pageIndex := firstPage TO kNumberOfPages - 1 DO
BEGIN
    (* If we are on page number 128, 
       we need to close and reopen the document *)
    IF (pageIndex - firstPage) MOD iPFMaxPgs = 0 THEN
    BEGIN
        (* Make sure there is a document open before
           calling PrCloseDoc! i.e. if this is the first
           page, don't call PrCloseDoc... *)
        IF pageIndex <> firstPage THEN 
        BEGIN
            PrCloseDoc(...);
            PrPicFile(...);
        END;
        (* Now open a fresh, 128 page spool file. *)
        PrOpenDoc(...);
    END;
    (* Call PrOpenPage/PrClosePage for each page of the document. *)
    PrOpenPage(...);
    PrintAPage(...);
    PrClosePage(...);
END;
(* Finally, close the document and despool the spool file.*)
PrCloseDoc(...);
PrPicFile(...);
.
.
.

Pretty straightforward, but you'd be surprised how many developers the great implementors have caught with this one. Using the above method, you can safely print large documents on any device, without having to worry about overflowing the spool file. As for your neighbors, you could always put a Pause/Continue button in your Printing Status dialog, but then, where's the fun in that?

 
AAPL
$116.31
Apple Inc.
+1.64
MSFT
$48.70
Microsoft Corpora
+0.48
GOOG
$534.83
Google Inc.
-2.16

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Herald 5.0.1 - Notification plugin for M...
Note: Versions 2.1.3 (for OS X 10.7), 3.0.6 (for OS X 10.8), and 4.0.8 (for OS X 10.9) are no longer supported by the developer. Herald is a notification plugin for Mail.app, Apple's Mac OS X email... Read more
Firetask 3.7 - Innovative task managemen...
Firetask uniquely combines the advantages of classical priority-and-due-date-based task management with GTD. Stay focused and on top of your commitments - Firetask's "Today" view shows all relevant... Read more
TechTool Pro 7.0.6 - Hard drive and syst...
TechTool Pro is now 7, and this is the most advanced version of the acclaimed Macintosh troubleshooting utility created in its 20-year history. Micromat has redeveloped TechTool Pro 7 to be fully 64... Read more
PhotoDesk 3.0.1 - Instagram client for p...
PhotoDesk lets you view, like, comment, and download Instagram pictures/videos! (NO Uploads! / Image Posting! Instagram forbids that! AND you *need* an *existing* Instagram account). But you can do... Read more
SuperDuper! 2.7.3 - Advanced disk clonin...
SuperDuper! is an advanced, yet easy to use disk copying program. It can, of course, make a straight copy, or "clone" -- useful when you want to move all your data from one machine to another, or do... Read more
MacJournal 6.1.5 - Create, maintain, and...
MacJournal is the world's most popular journaling software for the Mac. MacJournal 6 adds a calendar mode that show entries from any journal, geolocation, word count, and progress tracking, as well... Read more
Skim 1.4.10 - PDF Reader and note-taker...
Skim is a PDF reader and note-taker for OS X. It is designed to help you read and annotate scientific papers in PDF, but is also great for viewing any PDF file. Skim includes many features and has a... Read more
FontExplorer X Pro 4.2.2 - Font manageme...
FontExplorer X Pro is optimized for professional use; it's the solution that gives you the power you need to manage all your fonts. Now you can more easily manage, activate and organize your... Read more
SoftRAID 5.0.5 - High-quality RAID manag...
SoftRAID allows you to create and manage disk arrays to increase performance and reliability. SoftRAID's intuitive interface and powerful feature set makes this utility a must have for any Mac OS X... Read more
DEVONthink Pro 2.8.2 - Knowledge base, i...
Save 10% with our exclusive coupon code: MACUPDATE10 DEVONthink Pro is your essential assistant for today's world, where almost everything is digital. From shopping receipts to important research... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Sago Mini Road Trip (Education)
Sago Mini Road Trip 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Go for a fun-filled drive with Jinja the cat. Pick a destination, select a vehicle and hit the road. What will Jinja... | Read more »
New Tower Defense Game, Kingdom Rush: Or...
New Tower Defense Game, Kingdom Rush: Origins, is Available Today Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 20th, 2014 [ permalink ] iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad | Read more »
Sunburn! (Games)
Sunburn! 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Your ship is gone. Your crew is scattered. One option remains. Gather your crew... and jump into the sun. Reunite your... | Read more »
Tapventures Review
Tapventures Review By Jennifer Allen on November 20th, 2014 Our Rating: :: ODDLY COMPELLINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Tapventures is an increasingly hands-off one-tap RPG, but expect it to hook you despite your... | Read more »
Who Wore it Best? The Hunger Games: Girl...
With The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 out this weekend, Who Wore it Best? pits two Hunger Games tie-ins, Girl on Fire and Panem Run, against each other in a brutal and pointless fight to the death. I wonder where we got that idea from? | Read more »
Ironkill Review
Ironkill Review By Jennifer Allen on November 20th, 2014 Our Rating: :: LACKLUSTER PUNCHINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Ironkill is a freemium focused fighting game that doesn’t offer particularly thrilling fights... | Read more »
Real-Time Multiplayer Match-3 RPG Crusad...
Real-Time Multiplayer Match-3 RPG Crusaders Quest Set to Launch Next Month Posted by Ellis Spice on November 20th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Checkpoint Champion Review
Checkpoint Champion Review By Jennifer Allen on November 20th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SPEEDY DRIFTINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Checkpoint Champion is a drift-focused racing game that’s ideal for short but fun gaming... | Read more »
MediaFire iOS 8 Native Update Brings New...
MediaFire iOS 8 Native Update Brings New “Power Upload” Feature to iPad and iPhone Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 20th, 2014 [ | Read more »
Mark of the Dragon Review
Mark of the Dragon Review By Nadia Oxford on November 20th, 2014 Our Rating: :: TRAIN YOUR DRAGON FOR WARUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Mark of the Dragon is a bit rough and scaly, but flying into battle on the backs... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

64GB iPod touch on sale for $249, save $50
Best Buy has the 64GB iPod touch on sale for $249 on their online store for a limited time. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale price for... Read more
15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $17...
 B&H Photo has the 2014 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1799.99 for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. B&H will also include free copies of... Read more
New Logitech AnyAngle Case/Stand Brings Flexi...
Logitec has announced the newest addition to its suite of tablet products — the Logitech AnyAngle. A protective case with an any-angle stand for iPad Air 2 and all iPad mini models, AnyAngle is the... Read more
2013 15-inch 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pro availa...
B&H Photo has leftover previous-generation 15″ 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pros available for $1499 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $500 off original MSRP. B&H will... Read more
16GB Retina iPad mini on sale today for $199,...
 Staples has 2nd generation 16GB Retina iPad minis on sale for $199 on their online store for a limited time. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if... Read more
Developers Start Designing Apps for Apple Wat...
Apple has announced the availability of WatchKit, software that gives developers a set of tools to easily create experiences designed specifically for Apple Watch. Apple’s developer community can now... Read more
C Spire Launches iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 o...
C Spire has announced that iPad Air 2 with Wi-Fi + Cellular and iPad mini 3 with Wi-Fi + Cellular are now available on its 4G LTE network. C Spire offers both new iPads with a range of data plans... Read more
Are You On Your Last PC? – The ‘Book Mystique
Will your current PC be your last? Quite possibly so if you define “personal computer” as a traditional desktop or laptop form factor machine according to some commentators. So then, the upshot that... Read more
Save up to $180 on MacBook Airs with Apple re...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Airs available for up to $180 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more
16GB iPad mini available for $219, save $30
Walmart has 16GB iPad minis (1st generation) available for $219 on their online store. Their price is $30 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free store pickup (if available). Price for online orders... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Store Leader Program - College Gradu...
Job Description: Job Summary As an Apple Store Leader Program agent, you can continue your education as you major in the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Project Manager / Business Analyst, WW *Appl...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.