KX-P1170, to a certain old computer. In such old computer, which is the only
one I have with a serial port, I installed a Linux ope...
I know this is an old thread, but what the heck... maybe it will be useful to someone who stumbles in.
Are you sure that the KX-P1170 is a serial port printer?
If the connector on the back is a 36 pin connector with spring clips to hold it on, it's Centronics, which is a parallel port.
Serial (RS-232) is +/-12V signalling one bit at a time, parallel 0/+5V signalling eight bits at a time.
Those Panasonics (also sold as a Raven) were really good printers, and there probably was an optional serial port available for them, but they're definitely natively parallel printers.
If does have the optional serial port and you want to use that (longer cable runs), serial is more difficult to set up - breakout boxes, baud rates, stop bits, parity - and won't give you as many features. Test using the native parallel port first.
Use the 36 pin Centronics cable to connect to the DB25 connector on the back of the PC. Make sure parallel port (LPT) is enabled in BIOS, set for auto. ECP and EPP might be helpful but try with auto first.
An old dot matrix (or its cousin, the daisy wheel) printer is amazing for log files, one-at-a-time label printing, and annoying the heck out of your cat, so good luck and enjoy.
***** EDITED; Added the following:
By the way guys: you DON'T need a driver to get an old dot matrix printer to work. Don't complicate it yet.
$ cat testfile.txt > /dev/lp0
(Might have to be root). It should spit out simple text. The printer should be able to work to tail log files and other stuff by writing directly to /dev/lp0.
Tailing a log file is a great use for dot matrix and daisy wheel printers, because they'll write each character or line instantly - great if your system is crashing, or you want log files that cannot be externally hacked!
Once that's working, then look at drivers in CUPS. Raw should work, but most dot matrix printers had some graphics capabilities. Try models similar to yours, know that Panasonics were also sold as Ravens (this will help you find ribbons too!).
If you don't see your printer listed, almost all consumer/office dot matrix machines of the 1980s and 1990s were "Epson compatible" (like the way laser printers advertised "HP compatible"), so you'll probably get some simple graphics and text features by setting your software to use the Epson MX-80 (and possibly FX-80) drivers.
Find the manual for the Panasonic online. It has a parallel port which you also might have damaged connecting to the serial port on the computer.