So you have that fancy new inkjet printer sitting on your desk - 1000-plus DPI, full colour and good printing speed - but your graphics look terrible. A few weeks ago, I told you about getting smooth text from a printer which lacks a rasterisation engine - in other words, a printer which is not PostScript, PCL or PL compatible. Lacking one of those engines also will cause problems with some graphics output, and solving this problem can be tricky. Graphics that come from programs which produce EPS graphics - such as Adobe Illustrator, Quark or any other page-layout or vector-graphics program - can be difficult for inkjet and even some inexpensive lasers to print. These programs produce shapes and gradients using mathematical formulas. It is the job of the printer's PostScript, PCL-compatible engine to translate the formulas into something the printer understands. While the most typical way to handle this type of translation is with a rasterising image processor (RIP) built into the printer, it also can be handled by an external RIP. In fact, when you look at high-end printing, most companies use special computers designed specifically as rasterising image processors. For most of us, the solution is software-based RIP. This can be set up to run on your own computer, or it can be installed on a computer on a network, which will then work as a dedicated RIP. The advantage of the latter is that the RIP is no longer hogging Ram, disk space and processor power on your machine. The disadvantage is that you need another computer and a network to do it, but networks now are cheap and setting up a RIP can be great way to recycle an old computer. StyleScript is the best known RIP for the Mac, and at just under $800, also is the cheapest. Birmy makes a RIP for Epson, Canon and HP printers that will run on both the Mac and Windows at between $1,600 and $2,400, depending on the model of printer you use. Birmy's RIP also can be upgraded to PostScript 3, something other RIPs lack. Epson also makes its own Mac and Windows compatible RIP for the Stylus Color 800, Photo and 3000, which sells for about $3,000. The price of Epson's Stylus Color Photo 700 given in last week's column should have been about $2,700.