|28|$001C|PTIMOT|Printer timeout|none|A
Printer timeout, called every printer status request. Initialized to 30, which represents 32 seconds (the value is 64 seconds per 60 increments in this register); typical timeout for the Atari 825 printer is five seconds. The value is set by your printer handler software. It is updated after each printer status request operation. It gets the specific timeout status from location 748 ($2EC), which is loaded there by SIO.

The new "B" type OS ROMs have apparently solved the problem of timeout that haunted the "A" ROMs; you saw it when the printer or the disk drive periodically went to sleep (timed out) for a few seconds, causing severe anxiety attacks in the owners who thought their Ataris had just mysteriously died. This is compounded when one removes a disk from the drive, believing the I/O process to be finished--only to have the drive start up again after the timeout and trying to write to or read from a nonexistent disk. Usually both the system and the user crash simultaneously at this point. See the appendix for more information on the new ROMs.