[Scribus] [OT] laser printer

Craig Ringer craig
Sun Apr 30 06:28:38 CEST 2006

Frank Cox wrote:

>On Sat, 29 Apr 2006 18:51:31 +0200
>Sergio Cambra <sergio at ensanjose.net> wrote:
>>I want to buy a laser printer, but I don't know what is the importance of 
>>the memory RAM in a laser printer.
>Simply stated, the more RAM you have in the printer, the more detailed the page
>can be that you print.  A laser printer holds the entire page in its memory at
>one time
Are you sure?

I've had laser printers with a whopping 4MB of RAM that can print a 
600dpi A4 page. Their ability to process a job without choking seemed to 
depend mostly on the contents of the job and the app that produced it. 
For example, huge TIFF images from QuarkXPress tended to stop it in its 
tracks, but Acrobat Reader's progressive rendering option could send the 
same job to the printer with the same options with no problems.

It seems like printers can progressively render the pages so long as 
some conditions are satisfied. I've never understood quite _how_ they 
can do that, but I just don't see any other way for a 4MB printer to 
handle a job like that.

Also, if you're not using PostScript as the final printer language, 
memory is potentially much less of an issue. IIRC PCL is quite RAM 
efficient and is oriented toward progressive rendering; most other 
printer languages are lower-level control languages that send the 
printer raster data directly. That said, for reliability it's hard to go 
past a printer with a genuine Adobe PostScript RIP... but be VERY leery 
of "PostScript emulation". Very.

Craig Ringer

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