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Q: using an MSDos programme to print thro a USB port ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: using an MSDos programme to print thro a USB port
Category: Computers
Asked by: deg-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 22 Apr 2003 11:26 PDT
Expires: 22 May 2003 11:26 PDT
Question ID: 193906
I have used an MSDos programme for many years. It has all my data,
lecture and sermons notes and diary on it. I have just upgraded to a
TOSHIBA Portege 3500 Tablet PC for convenience in travelling. I wanto
to use the old programme to print on a Canon BJ-10sx orinter which has
4 type faces accessed by buttons. Is there some way I can transfer my
old MSDos programme and still use the printer?

Request for Question Clarification by feilong-ga on 22 Apr 2003 12:02 PDT
Hello Deg,

Could you please tell us:
What that MS-DOS program is? What's the name?
What is the extension of the files it creates - for example, is it
What is the total size of your files created by this program?

Since your question is:
"Is there some way I can transfer my old MSDos programme and still use
the printer?"

In case it's not possible and the answer is a definite no, are you
willing to change and learn a new program that can also access the
files created by your old DOS program? Are you also prepared to get a
new printer, in case your Canon BJ-10sx is not compatible with your
new tablet PC?

Please respond to this clarification request so we can proceed. Thank

Subject: Re: using an MSDos programme to print thro a USB port
Answered By: snapanswer-ga on 22 Apr 2003 20:43 PDT
In most cases, Windows XP should be able to launch your DOS
application by using its DOS Compatibility Mode.  Hopefully, getting
your DOS application to run should not be a source of difficulty for

However, once your DOS program is running in Windows XP, you still
need to:
1.  Allow your Tablet PC to communicate with your printer.
2.  Enable your DOS program to generate printer output (usually to
LPT1) in a way that Windows XP will understand ("capture") and
redirect to your printer.

The USB-to-Parallel Converter Cable that lyrrad-ga mentions below is
probably your cheapest option.  However, you may prefer to take
advantage of your Tablet PC's built-in 802.11 Wireless abilities and
easily connect your printer to a Wireless print server.  This would
allow you to print from various locations in your workspace, without
attaching a printer cable to your Tablet PC.

Finally, for the sake of completeness, I have included a link to a
Wireless Cable Modem Gateway with built-in print server.  This device
is only a good match if you have (or plan to have) your cable company
provide your Internet access.  In that instance, this is a nice choice
since it would allow your Tablet PC to wirelessly print AND wirelessly
connect to the Internet.  Of course, if you use DSL or telephone lines
to connect to the Internet, a Cable Modem Gateway is not a good choice
for you. $ 25 USB-to-Parallel Converter Cable $118  Linksys EtherFast Wireless Print Server WPS11

Comp-U-Plus: $230  Motorola SURFBoard Wireless Cable Modem Gateway

Regardless of which device you select to allow your Tablet PC to
communicate with your printer, you need to "capture" your DOS
application's print output and have Windows XP redirect it to your

For this example, I have named the device that your printer is
connected to "deg" and I have named your printer "canon".  You can use
other names that match your existing configuration, if you prefer.

1.  Make sure that normal Windows XP applications can print to your
printer.  You want to verify that normal print operations a
functioning properly before trying to setup DOS printing.

2.  Share your printer.  If you have chosen a print server discussed
above, the setup for that device has probably already shared your
printer for you.

However, if you are using the USB-to-Parallel cable, you will probably
need to enable sharing for the printer.  Right-click on the icon for
your printer, and you should be able to access the "Sharing" tab for
your printer.  You can find your printer icon at:  Start | Control
Panel | Printers and Faxes

3.  Before starting your DOS application, issue the following command
at the command prompt:
net use lpt1 \\deg\canon /persistent:yes

(You can access the command prompt at Start | Run.  Enter cmd in the
"Open" box).

4.  Start your DOS application and direct its print output to LPT1.

The following articles provide more details about printing from DOS

Microsoft Knowledgebase Article #314499:
"How to Print to Network Printer from an MS-DOS-Based Program";en-us;314499

"WordPerfect for DOS: Printing from Windows"
(While the details of this article are targeted at WordPerfect for DOS
users, you will find that the general approach can be applied to
printing from other DOS applications.)

Search Strategy:  Find information about capturing DOS printer ports
in Windows XP and find devices that allow a Tablet PC and Parallel
printer to communicate.

Search Terms:  Windows XP DOS Print USB capture port

I hope that you have found this information useful and easy to
understand.  If you have any questions about this information, please
do not hesitate to post a clarification request prior to rating the

I recognize that I do not have complete details about your
configuration and needs.  If you need additional help in finding a
solution for your setup, I will be happy to try to help further.
Subject: Re: using an MSDos programme to print thro a USB port
From: lyrrad-ga on 22 Apr 2003 16:17 PDT
You need to use an USB to parallel port adapter to use that printer
with your new tablet PC.

It's good that you want to stay with a parallel port based printer
with your DOS software.  USB printers can be a headache with DOS
software since they often require you to install the printer twice
(once as USB and another as LPT with the "net use" command forming a

I have had much success using DOS software with NT based operating
systems like XP.  Sometimes there are some problems with path
statements and distorted display, but there is usually a solution.

I can understand your reluctance to switch software.  Lets keep as
many worms in the can as possible.  I hope that this helps and saves
you a few bucks.

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