Welcome Guest.   Make a donation to an author on the site August 27, 2014, 08:13:19 PM  *

Please login or register.
Or did you miss your validation email?


Login with username and password (forgot your password?)
Why not become a lifetime supporting member of the site with a one-time donation of any amount? Your donation entitles you to a ton of additional benefits, including access to exclusive discounts and downloads, the ability to enter monthly free software drawings, and a single non-expiring license key for all of our programs.


You must sign up here before you can post and access some areas of the site. Registration is totally free and confidential.
 
Check out and download the GOE 2007 Freeware Challenge productivity tools.
   
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2 3 Next   Go Down
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
Author Topic: IDEA: SuperDuperRoboPrinter  (Read 16782 times)
testingman1
Participant
*
Posts: 11

View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« on: September 05, 2009, 03:17:35 PM »

Hello This is my very first post.  I hope my idea isn't too lame...  What about a proggy (definition of a proggy: Ancient English for program...maybe it was easier to say program after all....  undecided )  that can scan a "C:\Print_Jobs" folder for any files that are put into it and then print them out using the default printer and maybe the default program for that file type... if practical...

...hmmm maybe not for all file types.. that would be impossible.. how about just for jpeg, bmp, tiff, txt, rtf, doc, and other simple files like that.  I think a program like that would be super cool. 

...and while we're at it, how about adding the ability to schedule the run time so that you can collect all of your files in nice big batches and then print them all at the end of the day or the end of the week in a big lump.

...and since this is a dream anyway, how about adding the ability to shred the files after they are printed so you can keep your Print_Job folder Nice and tidy.

...what the heck... Lets add a logo that says, "D C Printerator" and have an animated gif playing Michael Jackson doing a moon walk while it works... (okay okay...... I'm just kidding on this one folks...but wouldn't it be interesting though... cheesy

I am a neophyte batch scripter so to me this project is an impossible beast but I wonder if its possible for you code munchers out there.
Logged
mouser
First Author
Administrator
*****
Posts: 33,278



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2009, 04:28:15 PM »

welcome to the site, and good first post!

it's a great question.. but! there are some tools to do this already, free ones and commercial ones i think.
let's see if we can't find a few existing ones and then see if it makes sense for someone to write another.
Logged
lanux128
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 6,088



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2009, 04:43:22 PM »

as mouser mentioned, there exists several tools that come close. you may try iPrint or FinePrint but both are commercial apps. on the freeware side, the only ones i know are for handling text files such as PrintFile or TxtPrint.
Logged

testingman1
Participant
*
Posts: 11

View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2009, 05:17:05 PM »

Thanks for the replies even on a Saturday!!  I wasn't expecting to hear a response until sometime next week.  Wow....  Well I remember the good old days of PrintFile but sadly I never could get it to work with anything more than plain txt files and it would sputter on my printer for some reason... As far the commercial apps go, well um... I was hoping that this could be another proof of concept type of thing where we can see that this sort of project really isn't as hard as it seems...   I'd like to think of it as my batch file ascension project that will lift me out of my current low level batch world and move me into the realm of the coding initiates...  I'm not really looking for a Rolls Royce or am I?       cheesy

Am I wrong to think that this is a batch script on steroids?  If it is, then lets give it some Cough Medicine in high doses and I'm sure it would work like a charm... tee hee hee (Oh dear that sounded cheesy even to me...)

Anyways... I had a glance at the FinePrint and the iPrint proggies and they don't seem to hold a candle (er... lightbulb) to my SuperDuperRoboPrinter Project.  Just think... With this DC Printerator, you could simply save your files to this "magic folder from any program and then schedule your Printerator to Attack at a certain hour and then as you chant "By the Powers of Grayskull"... whabang!  The printer will start chirping for the rest of the afternoon while you go to enjoy watching reruns of McGuyver and Superman.... Am I missing anything?   undecided

Logged
mouser
First Author
Administrator
*****
Posts: 33,278



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2009, 05:18:55 PM »

don't get me wrong -- i wasn't suggesting this might not be a good (great?) project for a dc member to work on.  i just think the first step before coding is to do a thorough look at what already exists.  then you have a better idea if there is really a need for a new program, and what features would be useful.
Logged
testingman1
Participant
*
Posts: 11

View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2009, 05:22:59 PM »

It's no problem mouser, your point and that of Lanux were well taken and I hope this can turn into a really neato creation. smiley

....I would like to contribue my 20 cents worth of info to this project... Just in case commandline parameters for common programs might be useful for this... Here they are from Someone I consider a king of Batch...

http://www.robvanderwoude...mandlineswitches.php#Word

...and then he started speaking a foreign language on one of his pages.... Foreign to me anyway  embarassed ... This might be of some use for this project too...
 http://www.robvanderwoude.com/printfiles.php

Sorry about the posting mess I have created below... I just wanted to condense all of my over excited yapping into a single post...  embarassed
« Last Edit: September 05, 2009, 09:41:48 PM by testingman1 » Logged
awopbamboo
Honorary Member
**
Posts: 112



see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2009, 02:52:03 AM »

This should be quite simple for applications that use/support the print or printto api call (Word Excell etc all supoprt it and many other apps). Using this method means the user does not have to manually choose the executable etc to use to print a doc, plus even if they do know, they won't have to find out what 'print' parameter to use when running the application, thats even if there is an option available.

This Superdooperthingy seems fairly easy enough to do (assuming I understand it properly). I would though make a suggestion.  Rather than having the app itself always running and checking your 'print_files' directory periodically, I'd suggest scheduling it as a daily task using the windows scheduler of a.n.Other.  It seems pointless re-inventing the scheduling wheel.

So, if you like, I'm happy to give it a go, to create an app that will print files in a particular directory. 

J.
Logged

_____________________________________________
J.
tomos
Charter Member
***
Posts: 8,463



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2009, 06:01:56 AM »

I would be very interested in this as well -
-
over the next few months I'm finishing two big jobs and will need to print about a hundred TIFF files and literally hundreds of PDF files.
Ideally I would like to be able to print all the files in a selected folder and to be able to include sub-folders as well
but
if I had to move the files around in order to print them I wouldnt particularly mind  cheesy
Logged

Tom
awopbamboo
Honorary Member
**
Posts: 112



see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2009, 06:55:41 AM »

OK, I'll try and knock something up a bit later today.

"I'll be back"
Logged

_____________________________________________
J.
lanux128
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 6,088



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2009, 07:00:41 AM »

glad to see the idea picking up.. seems like you're on the right track,testingman1. thumbs up
Logged

testingman1
Participant
*
Posts: 11

View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2009, 01:04:58 PM »

Yip yip hurray.  Yip Yip Hooray!  First thanks to the moderator for cleaning up my double post about the Printerator.  Next I am super excited to see that this might help others.  I can hardly wait now.  Hi Awopbambo!  Using the Task Scheduler is still great, its just that my wild imagination has options that seem much easier to access than even the task scheduler but if that would be too hard... then we can leave that alone for now...  Really... its not a problem...  Sad ... really... jk  cheesy  But I'll just yapp about it anyway... if that's fine...  

I was thinking that maybe we could have few drop down boxes that have options for a delay for the SuperduperRoboPrinter (just Printerator for short).  These drop down boxes would say something like Print in 5,10,15,30,45,or sixty minutes.  Another drop down box would have the option to print in hours, and a last drop down would have options to print in days.  I think weeks is a bit outlandish... but what the heck... how about a drop down box to choose to print the files weeks later just in case the printer is in a bad mood.  

Okay... now that the imagining is done the imagining is almost done... is it hard to add the ability to include commandline switches so that this SuperduperRoboPrinter can be fed different folders and added to .... wait for it.... A batch script!  Oh... now that would be sheer bliss!

...am I making the SuperDuperRoboPrinter an impossible creature now?  There is one more thing I wonder how hard it is to do.... Can the SuperDuperRoboPrinter have an option for the user to simply Type when they want the files to print and would that be easier than the drop down box?  For example... Could the user just type.. Monday 4:00 pm and have the files print exactly at that time?  Now I know I'm dreaming...

Alright... please ignore any ideas I have added that would make this Printerator too difficult to fly.  At the very root of all this gibberish, I just want to see how easy it is to make a tool that can watch a folder on a schedule and print all of the common file formats in that folder.  I love tomo's idea of being able to print the subfolder stuff as well but it seems that might be more difficult... sort of like my daydreams above... whether that schedule is made with the Task Manager or not is not absolutely important.  Nice but not urgent....
« Last Edit: September 06, 2009, 01:06:30 PM by testingman1 » Logged
awopbamboo
Honorary Member
**
Posts: 112



see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2009, 03:29:58 PM »

Whoooaaaa....

Ok, lets go back to the start!  All the stuff you have mentioned above is possible, lets just take it slow!

Ok, attached is a 'first attempt'.  It seems to work file and I have happliy printed word docs, excel spreadsheets, jpgs etc... So, it seems to work at least.

Give i a go, comment and we'll go from there.

File attached with instructions.

J.



* SuperDuperRoboPrinter20090906.zip (169.2 KB - downloaded 262 times.)
Logged

_____________________________________________
J.
testingman1
Participant
*
Posts: 11

View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2009, 08:03:25 PM »

Oh my... am I dreaming?  I totally didn't expect such a rapid response... Thanks for taking up this project awopbambo!  The thing actually works!  I tested out the SuperDuperRoboPrinter Version 1 and I have a few observations to share.  I put a few images in my Print folder and I browsed to the folder and then I selected my printer and hit the magic "check now" button and then I heard the chirping in the background.  chiiiirp  hummmm  chirppp hummm...  smiley The pictures spit out with really nice quality and looked good.

Is it easy to add the following?

A toggle button that can turn full page printing on and off.  When its on it will bypass the irksome printer dialog window that pops up asking which layout I want for the picture... 1 on a page,  4 on a page, etc....

Can the program start in a normal window instead of minimized and what is the error message about that says.. "The operation has completed successfully?"  

By the way.. just in case anyone cares to know... This SuperDuperRoboPrinter even handled a .PSD file without a hiccup!  When will I ever be able to accomplish these kinds of scripting feats...  undecided
« Last Edit: September 06, 2009, 08:05:39 PM by testingman1 » Logged
awopbamboo
Honorary Member
**
Posts: 112



see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2009, 11:58:56 PM »

Morning,

With the printer dialog page, that'll be the app thats actually doing the printing thats asing that... So, I'll have to look into if it can be by passed...

It only starts minimised if you run with the /check parameter doesn't it?  I did that so the screen wouldn't annoy you if you had it in a batch file. I'll add a command line parameter to run minimised, but default it so that it is not.

The message "The operation has completed successfully?"  is (I think) where the settings are being written to the registry for the first time.  Has it only given you this message once? i.e. the first time you ran it? Should be easy enough to sort.

I'll look at the other options you mentioned later on too.

Cheers

J.
Logged

_____________________________________________
J.
testingman1
Participant
*
Posts: 11

View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2009, 07:19:04 AM »

Hi awopbambo!  No it runs minimized in the normal execution of the proggy.  With the /CHECK parameter, it started minimized but it failed to run...

The error message that says "The operation has completed successfully?" pops up every time its run even without the /check parameter.  I have tried /CHECK and /check.  I don't know if it matters but I tried both just to be safe.  I also tried /? just to see if it would tell me what to do but I guess that's not really important...

By the way if the toggle button for the printer dialog is too much of a headache, maybe bypassing it altogether would work fine...

I have no idea how you are building your program... but I use nircmd on all of my computers for batch scripting so I thought maybe it's ability to send keys might help here... Maybe it (or something like it--I heard AutoIt can do similar things but I was too scared when I looked at the program.  embarassed) could press enter when the print dialog appears so that the printer's default choice would be picked.  --please remember that I am not a code muncher so I have very little idea of what I am talking about... I'm just yapping again...  embarassed

Logged
awopbamboo
Honorary Member
**
Posts: 112



see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2009, 07:41:34 AM »

I'll have to experiment.  Problem is, each program that prints may or may not have the print dialog.  Also, they may or may not work in different ways...  Let me have a play with that.

I've changed it now so it doesn't minimise.
There is a simple scheduler, that allows you to schedule it to run in a given number of mins, hours, days or weeks.  And, to set it to reoccur after that given time (i.e. run the check every 12 hours).  Its a little crude, but works and avoids having to use the Windows scheduler.

The main problem at the moment is the print dialog you have coming up, none of my apps that are being printed through have come up with a print dialog!  So, I'm trying to recreate it at the moment so I can try and get round it for you.

I won't bother uploading an update yet, as the scheduler is only 90% complete, may as well wait until it is finished.

Also, the "The operation has completed successfully" is puzzling as its not the app showing it!  It did happen once with me, but as I said, it was just the first time it
Logged

_____________________________________________
J.
awopbamboo
Honorary Member
**
Posts: 112



see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2009, 07:42:12 AM »

oops, ran so I assumed it was the registry update.  I'll look into that too....

Be back later.
Logged

_____________________________________________
J.
testingman1
Participant
*
Posts: 11

View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2009, 01:25:17 PM »

Hi again awapbamboo!  Ooops I spelled it wrong again... I just realized that I have mutilated your screenname in almost every post till now and then I did it again.. oh dear.. Anyways..  I can hardly wait to see the scheduler toy!  I've got my fingers crossed and I'm whispering assurances to my Windoze machine and reciting incantations so everything will work out well! 
Logged
awopbamboo
Honorary Member
**
Posts: 112



see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2009, 03:31:05 AM »

I think all the problems are sorted, except this blasted printer dialog that comes up for you.  unfortunetly, it doesn't come up for me (we must have different applications assiciated to different file types).  I'm wondering if thats purely what the 'fix' will have to be, unless I can duplicated it, i.e. associate the file with an application that does not come up with a print dialog.

I could try and do one of the methods you suggested, such as send the 'Enter' key a second or so after sending the file to be printed, so that effectively 'hits' the OK button.....  I think that'll work for most things.  To me though, it seems untidy.

I really want to duplicate what you are getting, does it come up with the printer dialog for all file types you try to print or for just certain types? (I assume its certain types), if so, what file types and what application are they associated with?

Thanks

J.
Logged

_____________________________________________
J.
testingman1
Participant
*
Posts: 11

View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2009, 05:56:12 AM »

Morning awopbamboo!  Aha I got it right this time by copying and pasting your name.  hehehehe. 

The printer dialog monster is popping up when I try to print images but it seems they are associated with Photoshop...   Which program should I associate it with to get rid of the dialog box?  What program do you have associated with your images?
Logged
testingman1
Participant
*
Posts: 11

View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2009, 06:57:07 AM »

Okay I found that the diaolog windows is labeled "Print Pictures"  and it seems to only pop up for files that are not Photoshop files... I was wrong in my previous post.  The options in the window are to "print" or "cancel" and the default choice is what I want anyway to print a full page image. 

Here is what it looks like..  I hope this attach button thing works...





* Print Dialog.PNG (133.82 KB, 683x503 - viewed 270 times.)
Logged
tomos
Charter Member
***
Posts: 8,463



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2009, 07:29:44 AM »

Hi awopbamboo Thmbsup
I'm just after trying it out (win XP SP2)

I tried with PDF JPEG TIFF files

  • PDF goes to printer nicely
  • With the PDF: When I click 'Check now' the 'Finished' message shows immediately but about a second later a window shows briefly - I can only see the frame and the menubar but it's Adobe Reader and is opened in the background with no file - if Reader is already open it doesnt change (or open new instance) but shows briefly on top as described above. None of which bothers me - just reporting in case it helps any!
  • Both image files were not sent to the printer at all. They opened in windows explorer ('picture & fax viewer') - both these filetypes are associated with the Directory Opus viewer so that could possibly be a Dopus [version 8] problem too. On second attempt only one file opened but otherwise no change

I can experiment later with changing file associations to see if that helps
Logged

Tom
awopbamboo
Honorary Member
**
Posts: 112



see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2009, 07:32:46 AM »

Don't worry about chaning file associations or anything.

I have found a way to print the images straight off with no prompt or dialog.  It'll take me a little while to make the change, but I'll upload the new version soon.

J.
Logged

_____________________________________________
J.
awopbamboo
Honorary Member
**
Posts: 112



see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2009, 10:03:15 AM »

I'm nearly there I think.

Ok, attached is a new version, I have not yet updated the readme so I have only attached the executable to this message.

I have fixed the issues you reported above.  And added a simple scheduler.

You are able to schedule a check in mins, hours, days or weeks.  And, there is a 'Reoccurance' flag, so you could say schedule it to run once every hour forever.  Is basic, but it does the job.

Now the printing dialog issue....  It wasn't going to be easy to try and control the print dialog that comes up.  As we wouldn't know which putting needs pressing to continue printing etc...  So, what I have done is force it to use the windows imageviewer to perform the printing IF the file is a particular image type.  This 'particular' types are known by a simple list (shown on screen) that you can add to.  if you can view the image with the viewer, it should be able to print it.  Some apps (Paint Shop Pro) for instance, seem to print psp files file without the dialog anyway, so I think there is a bit of trial and error.

Have a go of it and see if its getting close to what you wanted, also, anyone else that has a spin, I'd appreciate any feedback to and get it totally working.  I think it is getting there.

J.

* SuperDuperRoboPrinter.exe (185.5 KB - downloaded 179 times.)
Logged

_____________________________________________
J.
testingman1
Participant
*
Posts: 11

View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2009, 10:34:31 AM »

Hi again awopbamboo!  I'm very sorry that I haven't been able to reply until now.  I downloaded the new and improved SuperDuperRoboPrinter and it is really is a SuperDuperRoboPrinter now!  The scheduler is really neat.  Thmbsup  I am using a Vista machine from Windoze... so the Image viewer seems to have changed.  But this thing prints standard files really nicely.  It seem to like files that have been hijacked by specific programs like Photoshop psd files.  I haven't tried any document files yet.  I'll test it some more soon. For now this thing is really doing great! I'll comment back when I've tested a few more things than just printing jpegs and bmps. 

I have some free icons you might like for this little proggy.  I got them on free sites from the intwernet.  smiley  I've attached them as a zip file. 

* Icon Ideas.zip (852.51 KB - downloaded 157 times.)
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 Next   Go Up
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  

DonationCoder.com | About Us
DonationCoder.com Forum | Powered by SMF
[ Page time: 0.049s | Server load: 0.44 ]