Printing

Most people assume that the PalmPilot can’t print directly to a printer. But two shareware programs let you hook up certain kinds of printers directly to the PalmPilot. Both are included on the CD-ROM that comes with this book.

PalmPilot printing isn’t nearly as seamless as faxing or beaming, however. The PalmPilot’s only port is its HotSync jack (at the bottom of the unit), and its only cable is the HotSync cradle (or HotSync cable). This cradle acts as a serial port; unfortunately, most printers today have parallel ports instead.

If you want to make your PalmPilot access your printer, then, these are your options:

  • Use Your PalmPilot’s infrared feature. If your printer also has an infrared transceiver, such as those from HP, Canon, or Citizen, this is an ideal setup—just point the palmtop at the printer to create your printout. PalmPrint, described in the next section, does an excellent job of this kind of wireless printing.

  • Hope that your printer also has a serial port. Many do, even though they’re largely unused.

  • Even if your printer has a serial port, it’s likely to have the wrong number of pins. The usual printer serial port is a female DB-25 connector, which has two rows of pins (13 and 12 in each row). The end of the HotSync cradle cable is, alas, a DB-9, with 5 and 4 rows of pins, respectively. It’s your job to buy the appropriate adapter (from an electronics or computer store)—a DB-9 male to DB-25 male adapter—that lets you connect the HotSync cable to the printer ...

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