From: Robert Gomberg To: All
I want to print bar codes on some work orders that are provided by my current package on the AS/400. My software vendor has a modification to its program that will print bar codes on the work order if I have an IPDS printer. When I went out looking at prices, they were in the $3,000-5,000 range. Why so much?
I can get a PC program that will print bar codes out of my 4019 for a couple of hundred dollars. I have a problem spending that kind of dough for a printer that I want to put in the machine shop. I've been told that the whole IPDS printer thing was something IBM came up with as a cash cow.
From: Michael Russell To: Robert Gomberg
IPDS is IBM's SAA data stream for printers. It is a very powerful data stream, in that it provides support for graphics, image, fonts, printer control, and (of course) text. IPDS was developed to support the Advanced Printer Function architecture that first existed in the mainframe world to handle high capacity printing. IPDS could be compared with PostScript. Just as you pay a cost for the functionality of PostScript, you pay the cost for the functionality of IPDS. HP LaserJet and IBM's 4019 Laser Printer support a less powerful data stream architecture.
One final strength about IPDS; unlike PPDS (IBM's Personal Printer Data Stream), PCL (HP's Printer Control Language) and PostScript, IPDS is capable of handling a dialog between the printer and computer -- all the others are simply commands sent to the printer.
Finally, it is possible to create non-overlaid (like certain 3-of-9 code) bar codes on the 5225 printer. The 5225 (the old shake&bake printer) had extensions to the standard SCS printer data stream which allowed you to create your own special characters. In DDS, it is possible to define special characters. Unfortunately, I don't think any of the emulation packages allow the 4019 to emulate the 5225 printer.