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A DOS printer is a printer that is equipped to handle inputs from a DOS operating system. A DOS printer will often include a DOS driver or other DOS printing software in order to be compatible with the older operating system. These kinds of printers may or may not be USB printer designs, where the device uses the popular new Universal Serial Bus connectivity to connect to a computer, rather than older SCSI pin-type connectivity. The easy connectivity design of USB makes some printer connections easier, but it may not be the best method for a DOS printer.
The DOS operating system is truly antique in today’s computer world. This linear operating system is what computer users had before Windows® brought the innovative, point and click type of object oriented operating system to the public. DOS is still used in some commercial situations where a low need for data flow means companies have not had to update their workstations. Shoppers can still see DOS programs at work in businesses like video rental stores and motels.
Because older printers used different port systems to connect to computers running DOS, it can be difficult to use a DOS printer driver through a USB connection. Some providers offer advanced troubleshooting to customers in order to help them deal with challenges of setting up a DOS printer hardware operation. With printers connected to any operating system, a common problem is the “recognition” of the printer by the computer that it is connected to. Beginners often need help with setting up DOS printer drivers or other similar software. This kind of software may come on a disc, or may be built into a printer.
One older type of printer that was frequently used with DOS operating systems is known as a “dot matrix” printer. Just like computers running DOS, which are now an uncommon sight in most offices, dot matrix printers have largely been replaced by “letter quality” printing devices that deliver a higher standard of precision and readability. Dot matrix printers simply took a collection of binary inputs and used them to form letter, numbers and other visuals line by line. Dot matrix computers were especially useful for DOS machines because the DOS operating system was only able to use a finite set of bit-type characters called ASCII, which meant that the graphic output was relatively limited. When new Windows® systems came out, it became more important to replace dot matrix printers.