Turboprint solves print quality on Apollo P-1200 printer
At the risk of upsetting GNU purists, might I suggest all boxed distributions of Linux, including Libranet, should bundle Turboprint (www dot turboprint dot de forwardslash english) so that users can get decent quality printing 'out of the box' with cheap colour inkjets from Canon, Epson and HP. Although proprietary, it is cheap (only EUR 29.95 / approx. US$ 35) and there is a free download version with reduced functionality.
I made the mistake of buying an Apollo P-1200 (HP DeskJet 420C clone) as I had to have a cheap replacement printer with a parrallel cable for compatibility with Windows 95. The 'recommended' Linux driver pcl3 gave me a dark, ink-stained mess instead of a nice colour photo. Attempts at gamma correction / fine tuning of GhostScript didn't work.
In desperation I tried Turboprint. At last a Linux printer driver that prints pictures properly instead of an ink-stained mess at 300x300 DPI on my Apollo P-1200 using the HP 500C Turboprint driver.
Their otherwise excellent documentation is missing a few points that might
confuse the naive Linux user.
(1) Make clear that the user must put the tgz file in the / (top) directory and
tar -xzf it from there so that when the ./setup script is run the files all go
in the correct directories.
(2) Assuming the colour cartridge is in the printer by default in the Apollo
P-1200,(you have to physically swap the cartridges in the Apollo P-1200), you
MUST set the Cartridge to 'Color' by running xtpconfig BEFORE attempting to
print anything or troubleshoot.