PostScript Processing Speed Test (PPST)

Spread the love

I was looking around old web sites and found my very first version of this.

I thought it would be cool to talk about it.

Back in 1994, I wrote a program that could test the speed of your PS (PostScript) printer.

I called it PPST

I’ll leave the original read me here:

                    Files included in this archive

             PPST32.PS  The actual PostScript file to test speed.
             PPST32.RES Results for the most popular printer/devices.
             README.32  This file

    If you didn't get all of these files, you may get the file PPST32.ZIP
 from gaaj.cosmos.uottawa.ca in /public/ppst.

     How to use the PostScript Processing Speed Test (PPST)

        The simplest way of using this PostScript program is to simply
     send it to a PostScript printer to have the printer execute it.
     This will render a page output including the results of the test
     which give the relative speed of the tested printer and an Apple

        From DOS, you can type the command:
            COPY ppst32.ps lpt1
            PRINT ppst32.ps

        Replace lpt1 with whatever port is appropriate (LPT2, COM1) and
     you must issue a MODE command to set the baud rate if you are using
     a serial port (COMx).
        You musn't load the file in a wordprocessor (like WordPerfect) and
     then print it because that will simply print the words in the file
     instead of executing it.


        The idea first came in June 1991 when I started learning the
     Adobe PostScript printer language. I though that it would be 
     interesting to know how long it took for the printer to do a
     particular job. I wrote a small graphics program including the
     timing logic and thus was born version 1.0 of PPST. (I didn't
     name it that yet though).
        Considering all that, I though it would be interesting to have
     some sort of relative test similar to Norton's SI for the PC or 
     LAN Mark, but for a PostScript printer. Since there are so many 
     different things that control the speed at which a printer can
     output a page, you can't just judge it by it's processor, amount
     of memory, or engine speed. There's more to it than that, and I
     wanted to find out. This is when I wrote the first real PostScript
     Processing Speed Test. I called it version 2.0 based on the fact
     that it wasn't really the first one, as stated above.
         Once that was out, I started getting comments on the code and
     modified it so that it was a bit more meaningfull. By mistake, a
     bad version was released, version 2.1, which will not harm your
     printer, but will not give proper results. This is Why I jumped to 
     version 3.0. Version 3.0 only gave the relative speed of the tested
     printer relative to an Apple LaserWriter.
         After finally getting the numbers for the Apple LaserWriter II
     NTX and the QMS PS-2000, I released version 3.1 in January 1992. I
     started getting many replies from people all over the world, bugs,
     problems and suggestions for improvement. During this time I had
     a lot less time to work on this, so I didn't work on it until a lot
     latter. There was a range problem with the graphics test because the
     Adobe deffinition of the printable area is infinte and most printers
     implement that, but some do not and those errors poped-up, an example
     is the QMS 410. Although this problem is not critical, there was some
     concern expressed by owners of these printers and from their
     manufacturers. Also, when PostScript release 2 came out, the format
     for the version number was changed and if PPST31 is run on any Level
     2 capable printer, then the number will overlap the word "number".
         After all that time, I finally decided to work on version 3.2a.
     This version is mainlly a revision for the "features" of the printers
     giving errors and to correct the printing of level two numbers. The
     change in the tests is sufficient enough to make version 3.1 numbers
     different, so I have had to wait until I got the results from an
     Apple LaserWriter before giving index values (I did not have access 
     to one anymore). One I had that, I release version 3.2b (for beta) to
     make sure that there wasn't any new bugs that crept into it. After
     almost a month and only one "bug" report, I have decide to release
     version 3.2 which is this version. The index results includes an
     "image" result marked "next ver" because I had planed to include it
     in 3.2, but ran into a snag. If you have any ideas as to how to
     include a bitmap image test, let me know.

         Well, there you go, enjoy!

    PostScript Processing Speed Test version 3.2 (PPST)
        by:   Jean-Serge Gagnon
              Computer Hardware Maintenance Specialist
              222 Jean Perrin
              Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
              J8V 2R4
              (613) 791-0785
                      E-mail addresses

           internet:   JSG8A@ACADVM1.UOTTAWA.CA


       I would like to here from you about this program. Please let
    me know of any bugs, problems with your printer or fixes that you
    would recommend. I am always open to new ideas. A future release
    will include a few of the more popular printers with a relative
    index comparing your printer to them, but I need your input.

       Please send info including the manufacturer of the printer, the
    model number and/or name, and the results from this test. I would
    also appreciate getting your name and e-mail (or regular) address
    and/or phone so that I can reach you should it be necessary. I would
    also be interested in knowing your occupation and interest in this

                                Thanking you for your replies
                                    Jean-Serge Gagnon


   Included in the ZIP file are these files:

           1)   PPST32.PS ... PostScript Processing Speed Test version
       3.2. Last updated March 9th, 1994. This test, when executed by a
       PostScript printer will give relative speeds of this printer
       compared to the Apple LaserWriter.

           2)   README.32 ...  This file.

           3)   PPST32.RES ... The result of this test on various PostScript
       devices. Please help me add to this list.