TITLE:Back-to-Basics: SP-ASSIGN

ISSUE:Multi-value Solutions Apr '98

AUTHOR:Nathan Rector

COMPANY:Natec Systems



SP-ASSIGN displays, changes, or resets the current spooler output assignment options for the current process/user. SP-ASSIGN controls which printer your print output goes to. It also allows you to control some basic information about the printer queue the user is printing to.

For example, you can tell the computer how many times you want your printout to print. This keeps you from generating it and sending it multiple times. It also allows you to send printouts to slaved printers or tape drives.

Once you set your SP-ASSIGN options, all print output you generate follows those options until you reset or change them. In most systems logging off resets your SP-ASSIGN options, but this is not always true. To view what your current SP-ASSIGN settings are use the ? option: SP-ASSIGN ?


number.copies (integer number in the range 1-125) indicating the number of copies. (default = one). For example, SP-ASSIGN 2 prints two copies.

? - Outputs resulting setting, or current setting when entered alone. The display shows the process port.number, current assignment parameters, and the device assigned to the currently assigned output queue.

a - Output goes to the alternate port on the current terminal. To function correctly, the auxiliary port on and off commands must be defined for the current terminal in the devices file. Note that the ‘a’ option does not suppress output to the system printer. Must use ‘s’ to suppress this output. For example, SP-ASSIGN as prints to a slaved printer.

c - "Chokes" output. This stops the process from generating output when it gets 20 frames ahead of the printer. This option is helpful when printing to a slow printer, a printer with bad port communication, or a printer that jams when data is sent to it too fast. The ‘c’ option, in essence, prevents the printer file from getting too large. The ‘c’ option is relevant only with output going to the printer and can only be used with an ‘i’ option. For example, SP-ASSIGN ic

The ‘h’ and ‘s’ options can not be used with the "choke" option. If a printer is not available or assigned to another output queue, the "c" option causes the process to wait until the printer is available. The "choke" option causes the copy count to go to 1 (one).

d - Delays sending output to the queue. The output is delayed until the file is closed. This option must not be used with the "i" option. This option overrides the ‘i’ option.

f{number} - Indicates the output queue into which a print file is to be sent. For example: SP-ASSIGN f2 sends the print file to output queue 2.

h - Spools output to a hold file. Note that a ‘h’ option does not suppress the print. To hold the file and suppress the print also use the ‘s’ option. ie. SP-ASSIGN hs. If you use the ‘h’ option without the suppress function, you will be able to reprint the file without regenerating it. This is helpful when working with large or critical print files that are tedious to regenerate if the printer jams.

i - Spools output to the printer immediately. This option is helpful whenever you want the output to be spooled directly to another device - such as a printer, another computer, or a tape - without stopping at the spooler. The ‘i’ option is commonly used with the ‘c’ option but doesn’t have to be. SP-ASSIGN it spools output directly to tape. SP-ASSIGN i spools directly to the printer. SP-ASSIGN ic spools directly to the printer but uses the choke option to prevent the print file from getting too large for the printer to handle.

m - Suppresses the display of "[1151] Entry # n".

o - Leaves the entry "open". The print file remains "open" upon completion of the process. This allows placing multiple print jobs in one physical spooler print file. Also see the "sp-open" and "sp-close" command. To close the entry, use the "sp-assign" command without options, or the "sp-close" command.

p - Assigns output to the printer. This is the default. This option is often used to reset your SP-ASSIGN settings.

s - Suppresses output to printer. The ‘s’ option is always used in conjunction with another option. Most common syntaxes are SP-ASSIGN hs to hold and suppress a file, SP-ASSIGN ts to send print files to tape only, and SP-ASSIGN as to send print files to a slaved printer only.

t - Assigns output to tape. ‘t’ specifies that the print file goes directly to tape under the control of the generating process rather than under the control of the spooler process. Therefore, the tape should be mounted before the job is started. Note that the ‘t’ option does not suppress the print. To send the file to tape and suppress the print use the ‘s’ option. ie. SP-ASSIGN ts. To produce a print out along with the tape, simply use SP-ASSIGN t

To display the current settings for the port the user is logged on to:

sp-assign ?

Line# Status Copies Form#

10 p 1 0

Line# is the port.number to which this terminal is attached.

Status is the assignment options set by SP-ASSIGN.

Copies is the number of copies to print

Form# is the form queue number(s).

To print 13 copies to the printer found on queue# 11:

sp-assign 13 f11 ?

Line# Status Copies Form#

10 p 13 11