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Lexmark 2050 Color Jetprinter Linux Driver

The Lexmark 2050 is a fine printer: two seperate cartridges, up to 600dpi, full
color printing capabilities and cheap. At least it was cheap, as you cannot buy
it any longer. But if you already have one and want to use it with Linux, here
the right driver can be found.
Unfortunately, Lexmark decided to design the 2050 as a Windows GDI printer. The
protocol is proprietary, so there is not any documentation available.
Fortunately, as it is a very simple protocol, it has not been an unsolvable
problem to reverse engineer it by printing to a file using the Windows driver.

The protocol uses a short initialization sequence to set up the printer and
load a page. After that, bit patterns with their own header are sent to the
printer, usually followed by a sequence to transport the paper to the next
vertical position. The bit patterns have one bit for each pen in the cartridge.
The bits are in the reverse order of the pens in one column of the sweep; the
uppermost pen last, then up to the last pen, after that the next column.Certain
bytes in the header set the horizontal start position and the number of columns
to print. A checksum, the complete number of bytes for one sweep including the
header, has to be present in the header to make the printer accept the data.

Color printing is nonetheless a difficult issue. As there are three colors in
the color cartridge, there is only a third of the pens available for each
color. There is also a gap inbetween two colors and magenta is disaligned
as to the other colors. Yet all three colors are printed in one sweep, so there
have to be some arithmetics.
Optimization of white spaces is also handled by this driver by reducing the
sweeps to their minimum width and transporting vertically over completely empty
lines in just one sequence.

The driver filters GhostScript output to the Lexmark protocol. The input format
is bitcmyk. The driver simply reads the standard input, converts it and then
sends the data to the standard output. This has been successfully tested with
GhostScript 5.10, which is included in Debian 2.2.



After you have downloaded the tarball with the sourcecode, you have to extract
its contents into a directory of your choice by typing

		tar zxvf c2050-0.1.tar.gz

Then you have to compile the code to get the binary for your system. This is
done simply by typing


If you are root (you should be root while installing new software in most cases
anyway) you can now copy the binary to its destination, which is /usr/bin/c2070
by typing

		make install 


To print Ghostscript example type (/dev/lp0 may be writable by the
current user):

gs -q -sDEVICE=bitcmyk \
   -r300 \
   -dDITHERPPI=150 \
   -dNOPAUSE \
   -dSAFER \
   -dBATCH \
   -sOutputFile=\|c2050 \
   /usr/doc/gs/examples/ > /dev/lp0

or use ps2lexmark script:

ps2lexmark < /usr/doc/gs/examples/ > /dev/lp0