Printing and Scanning
by Tony Butka
on the OS/2 Platform
We have some answers to my questions in last month's column. First, Andy B from Germany reports that the Epson C82 printer works just fine with the Epson C80 drivers, although another reader reports that some functions on the C82 do not work with the C80 drivers, such as checking ink levels and page formatting.
Also, thanks to Bob Shallenberg, we can verify that the Epson Stylus Color 900 drivers work with the Epson C80 under WinOS2, at least for basic black and white printing. So if you have that mission critical DOS or Windows 3.1 application, chances are that you're in luck.
So far, no one has let me know about printing PDF files directly to a printer, but hopefully someone will try this and share the results soon.
I really want to thank our readers for sharing their experiences with the OS/2 community. Their help makes it much easier to deal with printer issues; heck, I don't make enough money to buy all this stuff.
Thanks to our very own Peter Skye's tip, there was a recent thread at the Inquirer.net in the UK regarding HP's practice of setting expiration dates in their chipped ink cartridges. There (the Inquirer thread), a gent named Beebo reports that after saving some money on "expired" cartridges for his HP 720C, he found that they simply wouldn't work in his printer. The solution? He discovered that there is an "extra" copper pin on the newer cartridges. By scratching the extra pin off, the cartridge worked. Obviously your mileage may vary, but still this may be an attractive way to extend the life of some cartridges.
While the practice is pretty cheesy, it's no worse than the one where Epson printers will not work with an "empty" cartridge in either slot. For example, say you want to be able to continue printing in black and white after your color cartridge is empty. You can't! This is not designed for happy customers when it's midnight and the closest Fry's is an hour away. We all know that printer manufacturers make their money on cartridges, but the more restrictive their practices the sooner the third party refill market will destroy the whole game for them all (end of rant).
A Final HP note. On the newsgroups, I saw a (second-hand) report that Tim Sipples posted to the effect that the HP Photosmart 1215VM printer should work with the HP 970C drivers, inasmuch as both support the PCL 3 Enhanced datastream. Anyone out there using this setup please let me know so that we can confirm that this works.
Switching gears completely, you should have heard by now that GhostView 4.4 (read that, not a beta) is now available at
While I haven't really had the opportunity to run this build through the wringer, at first glance the program seems quite solid. Also, using the AFPL 8.0 version of GhostScript, this combination ran quite a bit faster than the beta, and seems as fast or faster than the GNU version 7.05. I am almost done with a much more in-depth article on GhostView, GhostScript, and PostScript/PDF matters, but for purposes of this article do download and run the new version of GhostView 4.4.
The only anomaly I noticed compared to prior versions is that with 4.4, when you unzip the file it automatically unzips to a subdirectory \gsview2. This is OK unless you have failed to move your GhostScript file (for example, gs800os2.zip) into the newly created \gsview2 folder. If you forget to do this, you will get an error message when you run the setupos2.exe command. Also, the usual caveats apply that it is safest to uninstall the old version before installing the new one.
As a teaser for the full upcoming article, note that the GhostView/GhostScript combination allows you to convert postscript to PDF, PDF to postscript, extract text from a postscript file, convert to bitmap, add and remove EPS previews, and more. Check out the File -> Convert, and Edit -> Text extract functions.
Oops, out of time. See you next month, and in the meantime, feel free to contact me at
You might want to read the last 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.
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