The following review
was taken from Your Spectrum issue 2
This unit was the only horizontally
fitted interface on test. A single PCB is sandwitched inside a small, standard 'plotting'
box; the result is not particularly attractive. A detachable ribbon cable, just over one
metre in length plugs on to the rear of the unit and although no key is provided at the
unit end, it would be difficult to plug it in the wrong way around. On the review sample,
the plastic frame of the PCB-mounted header had been cracked but no problems resulted.
Interestingly, this interface does the COPY processing internally - a ROM contains
suitable software for the printer chosen. Of the six remaining IC's, two had had their
idents removed and as they all appeared to be common devices, the reason may be that they
are rejects - which could bode ill for long-term reliability.
It seems almost churlish to call a single side of A5 paper a manual ! However, further
information is provided 'on-screen' once the software is loaded. Interestingly, there is
no mention of LLIST anywhere, yet it works !
The driver consists of a short (109byte) routine that forces itself to the top of memory
and then resets RAMTOP. All the rest of the processing is carried out by the ROM in the
interface. To prove that it really works, the tape includes a demo picture to dump - one
of those highly magnified views of a pimple ! The COPY program supplied with the review
sample was suitable for driving the Epson range as well as the Star DP510 and 515 printers
and the Shinwa CP80. Alternative software is available for the Seikosha GP100 and GP250X
printers, the Microline series and the last offering is for the Tandy CGP115 and MCP40
printer plotters which can provide (very slowly) copies in four colours. A new version of
the interface is due out shortly with a range of software built-in as standard.
Despite its rather shabby looks, the LPRINT worked well and the provisions of software in
ROM makes for faster operation. When your author passed comment on its appearance to a
friend he replied that he expected interfaces to look like that ! The price of the cable
is very high and it might be worth making your own. But apart from that, it offers good
value for money.