Genicom Enhances AS/400 Laser Connectivity

Genicom Corp (Chantilly, Va.) announced it will begin shipping Twinax and Coax adapters to its latest line of page printers, opening the door to combined LAN and AS/400 connectivity. The printers, Genicom's microLaser 320 series, are 32-page per minute laser printers that the company rolled out in November.

This is the first time Genicom has been able to provide a single product to the AS/400 market that works in a network and has Twinax, Coax and IPDS built into it, says Wayne Burstein, manager of market development for Genicom Corp.

Demand for page printers has been soaring among AS/400 sites, Burstein notes, adding, "A lot of it's being fueled by networking both from the AS/400 as well as PCs." While the AS/400 market still demands heavy-duty serial matrix printers, there's also demand from smaller shops for more sophisticated and graphical output, such as letters and brochures. Page printers that can provide up to 150,000 pages a month -- such as the 320 series -- fill this growing niche, he says.

Genicom's 320 printer also includes a built-in Web page that enables remote users to monitor the printer's configuration and status. "As long as know the IP address and the printer, you can pull it up on your browser and manage it," Burstein says. While this feature has become standard on the page printers, Genicom has not yet announced plans to add this functionality to matrix printers, he says.

Genicom has also been jointly developing new PostScript technology with Adobe Systems Inc. (San Jose, Calif.). The 320 series incorporates Adobe PostScript 3, which provides increased font capacity, graphic definition, and more efficient handling of complex images. The ongoing alliance with Adobe has enabled Genicom to add "more technical content and have more control over the configuration" of its page printers, Burstein says. As a result, the printers are more adaptable to the AS/400 and other server platforms, such as the RS/6000 and Windows NT on Compaq.

The Web-based control panel, Adobe support and other features are configured through Genicom's new Intelliprint controller architecture. Another enhancement made possible through this proprietary controller software and hardware is 1200x1200 dots-per-inch printing at approximately the same speed as a 600 dpi printer, Burstein says.

The Adobe feature also supports printing of PDF files, also an Adobe format used for the transfer of Web-based documents. Thus, Genicom is preparing for the convergence of the Web with network-based printing. "PostScript is becoming much more important in the printing world," Burstein says. "PostScript printing is fast, and has Web-centric features built into it."