6.2 HercPrt (Remote Hercules Printer Spooler)

6.2.1 Function

HercPrt is a remote Hercules printer spooler written by Fish (David B. Trout), the author of the widely
used HercGUI, CTCI-WIN, AWSBrowse and FTAPE packages. HercPrt is designed to receive text output
from a Hercules “socket device” (sockdev) line printer and use it to create a disk file on the local Windows

Because HercPrt uses standard TCP/IP sockets to communicate with a Hercules line printer, the actual
Hercules system whose line printer output HercPrt is spooling, can be physically located at any place
reachable via standard IP networking.

HercPrt supports creation of either plain text files, HTML files, Rich Text Format files (RTF) or Portable
Document Files (PDF) according to the options provided in a “Job Separator Control File”. Several
sample job separator control files are provided with the HercPrt package.

The job separator control file tells HercPrt what the Hercules guest operating systems job separator
pages look like, so that it can automatically create separate Windows files for each print job, each
optionally named according to a choice of job accounting field values extracted directly from the job
separator page itself. HercPrt will create these spooled print files in whatever directory you choose using
your specified options.

Several HercPrt instances can be run simultaneously, each spooling a different Hercules line printer for
either the same instance or a completely different instance of Hercules. The options used for each printer
are saved under a user specific printer ID so that the same options can easily be specified the next time
HercPrt is run, by simply selecting the desired printer ID from a provided list of previously defined printer

The main dialog user interface is fully resizable and can be completely hidden (minimized) to the system
tray area for minimal interference with normal Windows use. Automatic connection and reconnection sup-
port (with a user configurable delay between retries) is provided as well as complete control over the dis-
play of popup balloon tooltips used to notify the user of either incoming print output or loss of connectivity.

6.2.2 Installation

The installation of HercPrt is beyond the scope of this manual. For detailed instructions on installing
HercPrt on a Windows system please see the Hercules “Installation Guide”.

6.2.3 Hercules Configuration

HercPrt is designed to receive text output from a Hercules “socket device” (sockdev) line printer. In order
to use HercPrt with Hercules a “sockdev” printer must first be added to the Hercules configuration.

A Hercules socket printer definition looks similar to the following device definition statement:

000E 1403 sockdev

The value ‘’ is the TCP/IP address and the port number at which the Hercules
socket printer will listen for incoming connections. The IP address is typically the IP address of the
Windows system where HercPrt is running on and the port number can be any value from 1024 to 65535.

Note that Hercules socket printers do not support any other options besides “sockdev”, the “clrf” and “no-
clear” options for example are invalid when defining a socket printer. For details on how to define printers
in a Hercules configuration file please see the Hercules “User Reference” manual.

When Hercules is powered on the socket printer begins listening for incoming connections on the IP ad-
dress and port number that are assigned to it. When you start HercPrt you define a printer at the same IP
address and the same port number and click the connect button.

HercPrt should then establish a connection to that Hercules printer and immediately begins spooling re-
ports from this printer if any are available.

Whether any reports are available or not on a given printer (as well as how to print them) depends on the
guest operating system and associated spooler running under Hercules and is beyond the scope of this

6.2.4 Program Options Page

The following figure shows the first of two available configuration pages from the HercPrt application the
“Program Options” page.

Figure 57: HercPrt Program Options Page

On the “Program Options” page you can configure the following:

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