Having got as far as having the correct sequence of characters to open the drawer, it was just a case of how to send a file directly from the web server to the printer (without IE corrupting it). We have a captive audience, so we have the luxury of being able to fiddle with OS settings. I personally have the added advantage of sitting across the room from Brian so I know this works :) Assuming a Windows 2000 environment with the printer set to be the default, here's what to do:
- Put the binary file containing the control chars under the page root somewhere. Give it a .till extension.
- On the client PC, create the file c:\snozone\print.bat with the contents:
copy %1 lpt1
- On the client PC, associate .TILL files with the batch file. To be pedantic:
- In Windows Explorer, click on Tools -> Folder Options...
- Click on the "File Types" tab
- Click "New"
- Type .TILL as the file extension then click "OK"
- This should appear in the list of registered file types and should be highlighted.
- Click "Advanced"
- At the top, change the name from FT00000n to TillDrawerOpener
- Untick "Confirm open after download"
- Click "New..."
- Enter Print as the action
- Enter c:\pathtofileyoucreated\print.bat "%1" as the application used to perform action
- Say the magic words "Open sesame" while requesting the file in IE. You should very briefly see the download dialogue and a command prompt flash on the screen, and the till drawer will open.