U-PRINT & U-PRINT G
DIGITAL DEVICES CORPORATION
430 Tenth Street, Suite N205
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 872-4430 or (800) 554-4898
16K (expandable to 32K) $89.95
By Charles Bachand
Once in a while I'm handed two products that on the
surface-seem quite similar, but, on further investigation, they're revealed to
be like the proverbial apples and oranges. This was the case with the two new
printer buffers reviewed here. Both devices replace the Atari 850 interface
module, and both contain RAM that holds data being sent to the printer, but
there the similarities end. Who said a reviewer's life was an easy one?
The U-Print can be thought of as an UPrint G. interface-with a bunch of goodies thrown in (the UPrint G. also retailed for $89.95). Digital Devices appears to have won "The Battle of the Atari Interfaces" by giving their little black box several features normally associated with more expensive brands.
1. U-Print has two Atari connectors, in order to allow the use of the old 410 program recorders. The extra connector was sadly lacking on the UPrint G., and it's inclusion here will make quite a few people happy.
2. Total cable length has been increased-there are over 6 feet! This will allow you to locate the printer almost anywhere in the room, not just on that little coffee table situated 6 inches from your computer.
3. While the old UPrint G. had no provisions for internal print buffering, U-Print comes with a 16K buffer built in. The buffer size can be expanded to 32K by the user via the insertion of two extra 4164-15 dynamic RAM chips. Digital Devices allows you to do the memory upgrade yourself, simply by removing four screws and inserting the new IC chips into their sockets, all without voiding the warranty -provided that the memory chips you use were supplied by Digital Devices.
4. Multiple copies of documents (up to 255) can be produced by the simple push of one of two buttons on the interface. If you need five copies of a letter, just push the COPY button five times before sending text to the printer.
5. If you wish to abort a printout once it has begun, simply press the other button on the U-Print, marked RESET. The interface will be returned to its power-up condition.
Our review copy of U-Print came with the 32K memory option and has increased my productivity by the mere fact that I no longer have to wait while my computer talks to a slow printer. It only took 20 seconds to send the text for this review to U-Print, and it took my printer over four minutes to actually print it out-but I was able to get back to