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The Southern California OS/2 User Group
P.O. Box 26904
Santa Ana, CA 92799-6904, USA

August 2000

Printing and Scanning
on the OS/2 Platform

by Tony Butka

This month we have a pastiche of tidbits, starting with a comment on HP printers and OS/2. For this, thanks to one of our members for the loan of an HP 855c to do a bit of testing. As faithful readers know, I stopped using HP Inkjets with OS/2 a few years ago when HP ceased OS/2 driver support, and IBM did not exactly pick up the ball and run. Sadly, recent testing with the HP855c makes me report that I made the right decision. In a word, the Omni drivers for the HP inkjets suck. I mean, you can do text OK, and print out a web page in low resolution, but for seriously printing out a graphic image with any level of realism, these drivers just aren't ready for prime time. Of course, this is an older printer, so If any of our readers are using a newer HP with success, please let me know and I will be sure to forward that information to the INK faithful. Also, if anyone is using another printer with decent driver support for OS/2, also let me know (but no cheating by telling me about the Epsons or Lexmarks).

There has been a spate of updates to GhostScript and GhostView in the last month or so. On the GhostScript side, we have a revision which adds English install instructions, or if you are already using version 6.1, you can separately download the install instructions ( which is only 2k. And for HP printer enthusiasts, there is a special build which includes an optimized HP printer driver for the following models: HP DJ 670/690, DJ 800 series, DJ 932/970, and 1600. I would appreciate it if any HP users out there would try this package to see if these drivers are good, especially on mixed images and text. It could represent a big help to our HP printer users. (Note, this remark about HP does not apply to postscript printers, where we have a number of color inkjet drivers for various printer models.)

So where are all these files? For GhostScript, go to
For the GhostView files, use
And for the English install instructions and the HP drivers, go to
The file names are hp-e.htm for the HP drivers, and for the English install file.

There is also a build of both Ghost Script and GhostView designed for use with the XFree86/OS2 package. They are available from Hobbes, and the file names and Note - if you want to run both the regular OS/2 versions of GhostScript/GhostView as well as the XFree ones, you should put the XFree files into a separate subdirectory when you install; the announce note says that GhostView can crash otherwise. And finally, GhostView went through a number of updates, with the current one as of this writing being 3.3. It includes a number of speed improvements as well as EPStool 1.4 for working with Encapsulated Postscript files.

Switching gears completely, for those of us who avoid making Bill Gates richer (when we can), in San Diego from September 10-15 is the CorelWorld 2000 Conference. It will offer a whole week of seminars and workshops for CorelDraw, Corel Photo-Paint, and Corel Ventura. Even though Corel dumped OS/2 (after IBM stopped paying them), there are old versions of these products out there for OS/2, and some of our members have picked them up on eBay for cheap. And there are limited file compatibilities between the OS/2 and Windows versions.

More importantly, as I've noted before in these columns, most of us have out there some version of Word Perfect for DOS or Windows 3.1, where there is pretty good file compatibility between the different versions. Remember, the WordPerfect file structure hasn't changed much since version 6. So you are usually OK with the DOS 5 version (better with that last great DOS 6 version, of course) or WP 6 or 7 for Windows 3.1. For us OS/2 users who have to go back and forth with work files in some Windows format, this means that you can keep using your favorite operating system at home by saving your Windows document to a WordPerfect file format, and either lugging it home or e-mailing it as an attachment to yourself.

Darn! Ran out of time again. Reach me at

You might want to read last month's Ink.

By day, Tony Butka is a bureaucrat for Los Angeles County. In his other life he lives in a loft surrounded by computers, printers, and a host of vinyl records.