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Hardware: Printing
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Chris Bourne


LINGUISTS will welcome Polyprint from Cambridge MicroElectronics. As well as being an Eprom-based Centronics printer interface it gives instant access to six different international character sets, any one of which can be displayed on screen in place of the standard Spectrum set.

It can be used with Tasword 2 and will display the same international characters in both 64 character and 32 character modes.

The international characters are based on those used by the Epson '80 series of printers, the RX80 and FX80, so the printer can easily reproduce them. They are French, German, Danish (Denmark I), Swedish, Italian and Spanish. The screen copy routine is also set up for Epson compatible printers.

It is one of the most user-unfriendly interfaces I have used for a long time. On power up you must enter the sequence OUT 959,255: OUT 959,120: OUT 703,128: RANDOMIZE USER 15360, to direct LPRINT AND LLIST.

Changing character sets is performed by a single OUT command, apart from Italian, which requires another long Basic line; the printer must be switched separately. The COPY command is implemented using a RAND USER statement, and only one size is available.

Linguists apart, it is difficult to know to whom Polyprint will appeal. Having different character sets is useful but only one can be used at any one time which is potentially limiting.

Tasword 2 is available in a number of different languages, including Dutch, Flemish, Cyrillic and Icelandic.

The main drawback to Polyprint is the price, £51.69, which compared to the Kempston 'E' and Euroelectronics LPrint III is high. Contact Cambridge MicroElectronics Ltd, One Milton Road, Cambridge.

Not Rated