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I've got a legacy system that I'm supporting. Currently there is a dot matrix printing a document from a parallel port. I need to split the print request, capture it in another device (I already have this device) but also allow the request to "continue" on to the printer.

Essentially I need one request to be sent to 2 devices and I need a "post-request" solution, I don't have any access to the source code, or even the computers (I've got physical access but not OS/Login access).

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Is the second device also a Dot Matrix? Will it correctly process the request as it is sent over the parallel cable? If not, you are going to have difficultly post request. I've done what you are trying on AS/400's but it was at the OS level, capturing the spool file and copying it to multiple printer queues. –  BillN Sep 22 '10 at 14:58
    
The second device is a capture device that processes the request and puts it on a file server as a .cap file. I could replace the printer, but I don't want to depend on the capture device alone. –  Dan Williams Sep 22 '10 at 15:02
    
Are you asking for a cable or splitter box? Because what is going out the cable to the Dot Matrix printer is the printing codes for that printer, as defined by the driver. Unless the second device knows those control codes, it's not getting a usable copy of the document –  mfinni Sep 22 '10 at 16:10

1 Answer 1

I have the perfect answer for you, and it's free. (Assuming that you're running Windows machines, you didn't bother to tell us.)

A.N.D. Technologies, Inc. MultiPrinter Port

I used this at an old company that wanted to do printing on three colors of paper and didn't want to pay for collated-colored paper. We bought two extra trays for a laserjet, and put one color into each. Then we made three printers, one dedicated to each tray. Then we made a MPP printer pointing at all of the first three printers. Worked a treat.

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Except that the OP said he doesn't have OS/login access so a software solution of this type probably isn't going to do what he needs. –  Dennis Williamson Sep 22 '10 at 15:53
    
OK, then this is really weird. Is he asking for a cable or splitter box? Because what is going out the cable to the Dot Matrix printer is the printing codes for that printer, as defined by the driver. Unless the second device knows those control codes, it's not getting a usable copy of the document. –  mfinni Sep 22 '10 at 16:07
    
Yup. This system was purchased as a turnkey. So I think it's DOS running on a 386 :) I'm not worried about the usability of the document, that's covered. We can replace the printer with the device we have, but we want the request to go to both the printer and the capture device. –  Dan Williams Sep 22 '10 at 16:12
    
What is the capture device? Does it have a parallel port? How is the data supposed to get there? If it's meant for this purpose, then the manual should tell you how to do this. Give us more details please. –  mfinni Sep 22 '10 at 16:14
    
The capture device is meant to replace the printer, so yes it has a parallel port. What I really need is a splitter for the parallel cable, I just didn't want to suggest it, as I thought there may be better solutions. –  Dan Williams Sep 22 '10 at 17:48

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