[lug] Mounting a printer hard drive and accessing fonts

stimits at comcast.net stimits at comcast.net
Tue Feb 28 13:32:31 MST 2012

Dear Mr. Stimits,I can’t help with the hardware issue, but
even if you can mount the drive, your troubles are not over.  The font files
are almost always compressed and frequently encrypted.  It may be difficult to
get access.  It may be a fun detective challenge though.  Let us know how it
proceeds.When you say “non-emulation PS printer”,
what do you mean?  That it’s Adobe PostScript, or one of those imitators (one
of the ones I worked for)....

The printer was a certified Adobe PS printer, with PS being the
primary data stream. All other languages were emulations. It was
a Xerox high end office printer (expensive to buy, very reliable and
inexpensive to operate till it got damaged moving it). I bought it
a long time ago, and it died while moving it a few years back.

Until a recent layoff after a buyout, I was working with PostScript. Two
jobs back I wrote drivers that simultaneously output PS to Xerox and web,
and my most recent job I developed PS controller code (those machines
were so far beyond the ones Epson advertises as the fastest inkjets
in the world they aren't even in the same class...but of course you'd
need massive power requirements and a semi to carry one...a forklift
for the paper refills). They have linux inside, and even a cut down
developer's machine would typically have 16 of the fastest Xeon cores,
and upwards of 40 GB of ram, along with 15k rpm SAS. The actual
machines have the equivalent of the most amazing video card ever
built, and essentually a linux supercomputing cluster around them...it's
amazing technology. I'd love to have a computer monitor that runs
1200 dpi, is a meter tall, and several meters wide, that goes 9
miles of frames in a short time, in stereo (double-sided print).
It's almost scary how well linux works on these projects...I think if I
were to write a sci fi book with impressive artificial intelligence,
I might have to have a moment where the artificial intelligence
gives its linux kernel version...maybe version 42 :) And CUPS
would run whenever the AI decided to draw a picture.

So, I'm very aware of the probable encrypting, though compression
I can deal with. Since it is the original drive with the original content,
and the rest of the printer I paid for is dead and gone (recycled), I
figured I might as well give it a shot. Maybe it will be linux when I
plug it in...

It's funny when you go looking for fonts, that although several places
sell popular fonts and those fonts seem to be the property of whichever
commercial house sells them, they still charge more money for one
font set (like Helvetica, to my dismay) than an expensive office printer,
e.g., fonts which are popular go for around $800. I really can't afford
any of that, so I'll first try a $5 drive adapter, then maybe a low cost
ink jet with PS emulation and IPP.

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