Printing and Scanning
by Tony Butka
on the OS/2 Platform
Wow! I have way too much stuff to talk about this month, so let's get right to it. First, the Innotek Acrobat Reader 4 is now in Release Candidate 4 Beta, dated 6/4/03:
We really owe a debt of gratitude to the Innotek folks -- this reader simply installs, goes off and does whatever magic they have rendered, and viola, you have Acrobat 4.05 on your desktop! Best news of all, there seem to be no printing issues as we had with the various GhostView/GhostScript combinations. For example, I printed a complex landscape page from the Acumen Journal (a cool PostScript resource) that included a Smooth Shading graphic. Under GhostScript/GhostView this image choked during a recent SCOUG demo, but under Acrobat Reader 4 it printed just fine. More will be revealed, but this product is getting very nice indeed.
Second and best news of the month -- Peter Nielson's wonderful PMView program is now in a new release -- Version 3.00. You can download a 31 day trial version from the web site:
and should run, not walk, to get the new version. After you get hooked, the price is $39.95 and it's worth every penny in my very limited tests (hey, I just downloaded the program last night). For me, the absolute neatest thing is the speed increases. I have a couple of directories that contain a lot of files -- for example a Science Fiction image directory of about 4000 images, and another clipart folder with a couple of thousand. The speed difference between the 2 and 3 series of PMView in loading and manipulating images via the thumbnail window is simply awesome! Other goodies in the program are abundant and too many to name here, but the fundamentals of Peter's philosophy are apparent -- these changes are incremental and each one is designed to refine, make more reliable, and extend an already world class graphics program. Finally, just for us documentation junkies, he has included both an eight page startup guide as well as a full 150 page manual, both in pdf format. And yes, the manuals open just fine in the old free Acrobat Reader 3.0 for OS/2. Look for more in the next INK column, but I just had to share this bit of news with you now. Way to go, Peter!
On the printer driver front, I've taken some good natured ribbing for not paying attention to the Canon series of bubblejet printers. Well, worry no more -- thanks to reader Chris Stumpf who provided the tip. The new IBM Omni drivers now include support for the Canon i550 and the Canon i850 . If you have one of these printers, give the new drivers a whirl and let me know how they work.
Finally, there is very good news on the cartridge front for all of those of you who have run out and purchased Epson C80 printers. As you all know, the inks aren't cheap. To date, the best deal has been at CostCo, where you can (as of this writing) still get a set of all four cartridges packaged as a bundle for under $50. Of course, most of us use more black ink than color, even with the bigger black ink cartridges, and the retail cost for an Epson C-80 black cartridge is about $32. Well, courtesy of the MIS Associates folks at:
we need worry no more. They have come up with a new refill friendly black Epson C-80 clone cartridge for $8.50 each. This is very groovy so I bought 4 of them and will let you know how they work out. You can also get a refill kit from MIS as well for $49 that is good for 6 refills of each color and 2 black refills. I use this vendor a lot for paper as well as supplies (and a continuous inking system for my Epson 1160). They have always been a great vendor over the years, so I will be trying out their refill system in the next few months.
Well, I went on a bit this month, but that's what happens when lots of stuff is going on in our OS/2 world. See you next month.
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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