[Athen] Braille Blaster woes

Deborah Armstrong armstrongdeborah at fhda.edu
Fri Jun 5 10:15:54 PDT 2020

Is anyone on this list using Braille Blaster the open-source translator from APH?

I'm having a terrible time getting it to work with my Romeo Ataché, a 32-cell 27-line Braille embosser that handles only letter-sized paper.

The very same settings work fine with my Braille Blazer but that's my personal embosser and I brought one of the college's embossers home -- a romeo attaché. I set my Blaster properties for the embosser to Romeo of course but the behavior is the same if I set it to generic.

The romeo won't do more than 27 lines and 32 cells. When it gets to cell 33 it simply truncates the line. I am trying to get blaster to work with the Romeo's defaults so I don't want the extra complication of word-wrap built in to the embosser or setting margins in the embosser's firmware!
Also if it gets to a 28th line on a page, the Romeo auto-form feeds.

This would all work great if I set my lines to 25 and my number of cells to 30. It would even remove any fence-post errors.

Problem is, that Blaster insists on adding margins. IfI set my number of lines to 25 it wants to add three extra blank lines and then do a form-feed causing a blank page to appear between each page or pages to have only a single line on them.

If I set cells to 30, it insists on adding left and right margins by embossing spaces, causing the line to truncate because it becomes longer than 32 characters.

I can't seem to force Blaster to set its margins to zero. If I specify zero as the left, right top or bottom margin, blaster simply changes the number or gives me an error message. You can specify number of cells but it converts that to fractions of an inch. It's basically too smart for its own good!

This worked with the Blazer fine because the Blazer can handle a 34-cell line and a 29-line page. So if I set the cells and lines to less, even when Blaster added its margins it didn't trigger any auto-form or line-feeds from the embosser.

I asked on the Blaster support list, but that's a black hole; I never seem to get any help. And if you wonder why I don't use Duxbury I've been fighting with its copy protection for years. I think it was last installed on a PC I surplused three years ago and it won't let me install it anywhere now. Plus its serial number is locked up in my office - have I mentioned how much I hate copy protection!


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