VMPS801 is a program which can be used in conjunction with the
VICE C64 emulator. The purpose is to simulate
a Comodore MPS801 matrix printer connected to the emulated IEC port of the emulated C64.
The output of VMPS801 is not physically printed; instead, it is saved as a sequence of
PNG image files.
Download VMPS801 (precompiled binary for Windows, current version 0.1 beta 4, updated on 05-Apr-2005),
if you believe that you need it. Source code available upon request.
VMPS801 requires an installation of ImageMagick to run (DLL version). For your convinience, an
appropiate version may be downloaded from
here; the license can be viewed
ImageMagick is a free (and excellent) software from ImageMagick Studio LLC;
for further information visit their web site at
To install VMPS801, simply unzip it into your VICE folder (recommended) or any other folder on
your disk (alternatively recommended). Make sure to preserve the directory structure. Please
note that VMPS801 requires an MPS801 ROM in the PRINTER folder. The ROM file which comes with
VICE (filename "mps801") is, in spite of it's outer appearance, not an MPS801 ROM! Therefore,
VMPS801 brings it's own ROM file (filename "mps801.fake")...which is also not an original MPS801 ROM
(for legal reasons), but at least partially behaves like the "real thing" (where it matters).
If you own an original MPS801 ROM, you may simply place it in the PRINTER folder, using the
filename "mps801.bin" (no need to delete the fake file; VMPS801 will automatically choose the right
one). The approach with the different filenames was chosen to prevent confusion and mismatches
between fake and real ROMs.
VMPS801 is a command line utility. If you don't know what that means, you have a problem.
To configure the VICE for printing, enter the Peripheal Settings dialog and set it up like this:
That way, all output which would, on a real C64, go to the printer, now gets recorded in the
file "viceprnt.out" (you may choose a different filename, of course).
Now get the VICE emulation to print something. If you use a graphic printing program
like Koala Printer, choose an MPS801 printer as output device. If you are done, close
VICE; this will flush the output buffers (otherwise, the print file may contain incomplete
Next, open a command line windows and launch VMPS801 like this:
VMPS will then generate one or more files with names like "viceprnt.out-001.png".
These files contain a simulated graphic representation of the printer out.
Unless, of course, a bug strikes.
VMPS801 has sort of a brief help text built-in. You can get it via:
VMPS801 does not simulate the nerve-shattering noise of the original MPS801. This is intended. Thank god!
VMPS801 is not a commercial product. VMPS801 comes without any warranty. VMPS801 is designed to overwrite files without asking, as mentioned in the documentation. Make sure that you understood the instructions and explanations. When in doubt, do not use this program.
You may contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put the word
VMPS801 in all capitals in your subject line (e.g.
VMPS801 doesn't correctly print with application xyz). This helps mail splitting and reduces chances that your message is unintentionally deleted, forgotten or lost.
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