Small Font

By Terry Davies


Issue 25

Jan/Feb 87

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The Atari 1029 is a fine little printer, but it's a pity that there's no provision for small printing which is really essential for producing labels of a reasonable size with a disk directory. Well! Fear not Atari 1029 owners, with the 1029 Small Font subroutine you too can print tiny - well, at least smaller! - like the more expensive printers.

It's done by switching on the printer's bit image capability, (graphics!). This program - which contains the 1029 Small Font subroutine - is a disk directory reader and label printer. It reads the directory and puts the information in a string and, depending on the letter or number in the string that is being printed, the computer reads the correct data to produce the right tiny letter.

The character font - which is what the data to produce the small letters is called - forms all the letters and numbers in only three columns each, with a blank column to produce a space between the letters. The way the 1029 printer normally reads a character is shown in Figure 1. A matrix of 5 columns and 7 rows is used with the data as the decimal equivalent of the binary number reading up the column. Just add up the numbers where the 1 occurs. Referring to Figure 1, column 1 would be 1 + 2 + 4 + 8 + 16 + 32 = 63 and column 2 would be 8+ 64 = 72.

The tiny font has a matrix of 3 rows and 5 columns as shown in Figure 2. Here column 1 is 1 + 2 + 4 + 8 = 15 and column 2 is 2 + 8 + 16 = 26.

The DATA lines in the routine relate to the ATASCII value of each character plus 700. For example, the ATASCII code for A is 65 so the DATA starting at line 765 in the 1029 Small Font subroutine is as follows:

765 DATA 65,15,26,15,0

The first DATA statement, 65, is the ASCII code for the letter A and is just a check number then three numbers 15,26,15 are the data for the letter A and finally a zero produces a space between the letters. The program reads a letter in the string to be printed and then sets the pointer to read the data (RESTORE) to line 700 + decimal ASCII code.


The label printer is designed to print on 60 x 32mm (2 3/8ins. x 1 1/4ins.) labels, produced by Fisher Clark serial number SR603W, which are just right for disks. IF there are more than 16 entries on the disk then the words 'DOS files' don't appear so you can get the additional files on, and even though there may be more on the disk only a maximum of 20 files will appear on the label.

The program will work on DOS 3 also, but it's not interchangeable which means if it's on DOS 2 or 2.5 it won't read DOS 3 or vice-versa because the directories are in different places and in different format on the disk.

Well there you are. I hope this gives you an insight into the working of your Atari 1029 printer. You can use the Small Font subroutine with anything you like, just put the text in a string and GOSUB.

All REM statements can be safely omitted as no GOTOs or GOSUBs point directly to them.

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