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The Southern California OS/2 User Group

November 2000

Printing and Scanning
on the OS/2 Platform

by Tony Butka

Well, the multiplicity of labor actions in LA County messed up last months scheduled article. As a result, I want you to know that I've told both management and the unions that my day job simply cannot be allowed to interfere with Ink articles. They, of course, have pledged to go forth and sin no more...

New and neat for this month is the fact that Peter Neilson of PMView fame has produced a 142 page spiral bound manual for PMView 2000! Being a hardcopy documentation freak, I am jazzed and urge you to get it; available from BMT Micro for a paltry $9.95 US (SCOUG members got to see my copy at the last months meeting). The manual covers all platforms -- Win/95/98/ NT as well as OS/2, and underscores one reason I like PMView: you have a first rate OS/2 solution that you can also run cross platform without having to relearn anything. Way cool.

Also the technical reason I like this program is because everything in it just works, and elegantly to boot. For example, turning that cool photo you took into a wallpaper bitmap for your OS/2 desktop is a piece of cake. Open your image in PMView in whatever format (bmp, jpg, tiff etc.), click on File -> Set as Wallpaper and you will see a bunch of scaling and placement options for your image. Choose one and that's it, you're done. Back to OS/2 and you have a new background on the screen. I find that all the program works this way, solid crashless code, and good trade-offs between features that most of us use vs. bloated slow programs. Oh yes, there's also a good discussion of different graphic file formats and how/whether they are supported under PMView.

On to Epson printers. A while ago I mentioned the new archival 870 /1270 6 color ink jets. Well, there has been a heated discussion all over the net as to just how archival these inks/prints are. If you want all the gory details, visit

Bottom line is that a number of folks have experienced color shifting in their prints off these printers; not everyone, but a significant number of people. Depending on who you talk to or believe, the real culprit is either the new long lasting papers from Epson, or the inks. And oh yes, about the inks, it turns out that Epson has put a little chip in their ink cartridges for these printers, so you can't refill or use a 3rd party ink solution. In other words, ink is going to cost more. So, before you buy, check these printers out for yourself. Epson promises a fix for the paper real soon, and has even bought back a number of printers from those who griped big time. Of course, there are a lot of folks who swear by these printers, and the reason that I am spending this much space on the printers is that I have to tell you the output on good paper is simply stunning.

In the meantime, I am personally waiting/looking for a cheap price on the soon to be discontinued Epson 1160 (list price was $449, currently $299). This is a wide format (13"x 33") 4 color printer that all the pro's on the Epson list seem to love. See, for example, the comparison of 4 13" Epson Inkjets at Inkjet Art Solutions. This site shows you visual differences in prints from the Photo 2000P, 1270, 1200, and 1160, at different resolutions, as well as giving tech specifications and list prices.

There are good reasons to like this printer. First, except for photos and flesh tones that may need the extra 2 ink colors, you can get very nice color matching on these printers. Also, it seems to be the 2 extra inks in the 6 color printers that cause most color shift/fading problems that folks complain about. Third, if you do a lot of printing, there are CIS (stands for Continuous Ink Systems) available which eliminate the need for cartridges and really save you money. Take a look at Fourth, the cartridges are not 'chipped', which means that you can get 3rd party cartridges and refill at reasonable costs. Finally, with current prices under $300, and (I hope) going to around $200 when refurbished/discontinued, the price is a steal.

With all this talk of saving money on cartridges, I'm working on refilling Lexmark cartridges, since their price is so outrageous. More on this next month.

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.