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April 2000

Letters, Addendum, Errata

March 15, 2000 - Christian Hennecke sent the following letter in regard to the April Newsletter article - "A Scanner that works in OS/2 The HP 6200 and 6250, SCSI version" http://www.os2voice.org/VNL/past_issues/VNL0300H/vnewsf2.htm by Beth Flunker:

Just a comment on the CFM part in the review: In Germany you need to pay certain copyright fees if you are using a "copier". Well, using a scanner that delivers a certain performance is counted as using a "copier". The fees have to be paid by the software developers. To avoid this german versions of scanning software are often manipulated so they run more slowly and the seller doesn't have to pay the fees. Maybe the demo suffers from this workaround.

Beth's Response: Thanks for passing this along. People should know that the demos of CFM might run slow on purpose. By the way, I had another good experience with my scanner. I had a reason to scan and print a series of pages for a test, and tried using CopyShop/2 and the automatic document feeder. It worked slick! So there is actually a program which will make good use of the ADF in OS/2.


March 15, 2000 - Steve Carter called us on the carpet for an error in our April Tips section:

In your tips section your offer the URL:


but is 404, because it's missing the final letter "l" (i.e. should be: "html" )

Try it yourself and you'll see!

Editor reply: I did, you are right. Sorry for the missing letter. Here is the correct URL for the Country Code Top-Level Domains http://www.iana.org/cctld.html

March 15, 2000 - Here is a response to my editorial on the "Stealthy OS/2" http://www.os2voice.org/VNL/past_issues/VNL0300H/vnewsf1.htm in the April newsletter:

So if you had VM Labs Nuon running an Atari operating system, or the PSX 2 running Linux, or an information appliance using QNX (i-opener, which someone cracked open to turn it into a PC) then are they computer users as well? -suzuki

Editor's Response: I personally don't care what anyone else is running. That is their choice, though I'd like to see the AtariOS running on the Nuon. It's about getting some developers to notice OS/2, and that can only happen if there are OS/2 users. And it seems that all these folks care about is numbers.

Right now if you go to a major web site, there is a fair chance that it will politely turn you away because you are not running windoze, or god forbid they only let internet exploder users in. Then there is the lack of plugins like RealPlayer and Flash. If there is demand we will get support we can't get now. Those websites have no idea that OS/2 client is running on a settop box. Just that it's OS/2. So I say bring on the settop box. You may not want one, I may not want one, but there is a market for these, and why shouldn't it be running OS/2?


ps. It would appear that this may already be bearing fruit, as a beta of Flash/2 is now available from Innotek - http://www.innotek.de/flash/flash2_download0_e.php3

March 15, 2000 - Seems this month I heard from more folks then I can ever remember. Errors by me seem to bring them out of the woodwork ;-) The following letter was in response to a tip in the April Newsletter from Lee Aroner :

It might save a few folks some frustration if you mention in the Feb 15 tip about using NET ADMIN, that the "/C" command requires a full path to the executable. The example should read:

NET ADMIN \\machinename /C <path>\processkiller.exe /pid=123

For that matter, you might also point out that the ADMIN command can be used to run any executable, CMD or BAT file on the host machine. But, since the path will NOT be searched, you will need to specify it.

March 20, 2000 - I received a couple of letters about inaccuracies in my review of GSView/Ghostscript in the April issue of the newsletter - http://www.os2voice.org/VNL/past_issues/VNL0300H/vnewsf5.htm
First from Dan Holmes:

The ghostview article states that perhaps PDF doesn't support links. This is in fact untrue. PDF does support links. What is missing is that post script doesn't support links. Remember that postscript is a printer language and there is no need for links in a printer language. So when the doc is converted to PS it loses its links.

Then the following letter from Nenad Milenkovic:

I have just read your article in the latest VOICE newsletter and I think you made some mistakes. Maybe you would want to post a correction in the next issue, so I send you my complains. :)

" Changing that made the text look great. When I checked Netscape I
realized it was using the Times New Roman MT font which is a bitmap font.
I changed that to Times Roman (Tms Rmn), then printed the same HTML page
to a postscript file as before. The resulting .ps file was almost half
the size of the first try (8,823,076 bytes). So using a vector font
makes a big difference in file size when creating postscript files."

Actually, TmsRmn is a bitmap font, and Times New Roman MT is in true type (that is vector) format.

"One difference I noticed between the original HTML and the postscript
file was that the article title was olive in the HTML version, but gray
in the postscript file. Then it dawned on me that the printer I selected
was a black and white laser printer. Interesting that the graphic images
were all in color, just the text wasn't. So then I went back into the printer
driver install and looked for a color postscript printer. I selected the first
one I found the Apple Color Laser printer. I then re-printed the postscipt
file from Netscape using this new printer and all the text colors were exact.
Even the HTML links were blue. unfortunately PDF doesn't support hyperlinks,
so any links are for show only."

PDF files do support hyperlinks, both inside and between PDF documents and those that are available through http/Internet. You couldn't expected that a print file (the one that was generated for the purpose of downloading to a printer) would contain informations which parts of text should be links and to where. For such stuff Adobe Exchange is used, as a tool for "post-processing" files generated by Distiler and editing PDF files in general.

"One interesting thing is that the color output
postscript file was slightly smaller then the original grey scale one, coming
in at about 7Meg at the same 600DPI resolution. The resultant PDF of the full
color version was also smaller at just about 1 Meg. In addition there were 10
pages total now, and instead of splitting images across pages it started the
image on the next page. So the output may be dependent on which postscript
driver you choose to create the input file."

Postscript driver in OS/2 is allways the same (the one from IBM), but it depends on what printer icon you drag from the driver folder what options will be preselected. That is the most probable reason for differences between two print files.

" It would be nice if the install for Ghostview allowed you to change the system wide
default association for PDF's from Acrobat to Ghostview. It does set up an object
with associations to "*.PDF", "*.PS" and "*.EPS". Though even after I removed all
associations from the Acrobat Reader Object properties, and added "Acrobat Document"
and "*PDF" to he associations for the GSview object, but Acrobat remained the
default application for all PDF documents on my system. I did successfully change
the default for PDF documents by using the SETDEFV.CMD function available in any
fixpaked Warp 4."

Well, it can hardly be a GSView's fault, it's the default behaviour and all decent apps behave that way when they install and associate with file types - those previously installed still have precendence. Association Editor is great tool for manipulating such stuff later.

What I don't like (even hate ;) with GSView is it's ugly, inconvinient and outdated user interface. :) For example, when you click on link in PDF, there's no "back" button for returning to the originating page. Every page is rendered separately, and every time you load it. But that is probably because of modular design of Ghostscript and GSView combo.

" If you need to create a PDF document under OS/2, or read a postscript file, then this
is your solution. Since PDF files don't seem to suport hyperlinks and just one article
from the newsletter (albeit one with quite a few images) converted to PDF was over
one meg in size, I don't think we'll be seeing the newsletter in PDF format anytime
soon. But it's still nice to know there is an easy way to create PDF couments under OS/2."

Well, PDFs can have all sorts of links, but since (expencive) Windows software is required for creating such PDF documents, it's probably not so good idea for OS/2 newsletter. At least not untill Odin is able to run Exchange. :)

Greetings, Nenad

PS. Btw, why have you altered the ordering in your news section? It was much better before, that section served as an excelent "backlog" of OS/2 events in previous month, now it's unconvinient.

PS2. Great pointer for that Deja News front end. Note that you can get more or less the same with http://www.deja.com/=dnc/[ST_rn=ps]/home_ps.shtml. :)

My response, though really, I should just plead guilty as charged and throw myself on the mercy of the court of OS/2 justice:

Gee, I've gotten more mail about this GSView (I was corrected in the fact that the real name is GSView, not Ghostview, even though most people seem to call it Ghostview) article then I have gotten about anything else since I started the newsletter. :-( I was guessing about the fonts, and it sounded plausible to me. You caught me, but I stand by the conclusion that a change in font can have a dramtic difference in the resulting PDF file size. The article was a last minute addition, since another article didn't materialize in time. At least it's nice to know people actually read it. Sorry about the mistakes.

As several people pointed out, PDF format does support linking. Honestly however, I have never seen such a document file, though I believe you and everyone else that they exist. I run no windoze apps here, so I have no way to see what Distiller can do, though I hear it runs under Odin. I still think it would make a lousy newsletter format just for the large sized files it creates and the work involved in formatting it. But then I hate INF as well.

My comments on the printer drivers were to show that output depends on the postscript driver chosen. I was unaware of the difference when I started to look at GSView/Ghostscript, so I was trying to pass that information on as best I could in the limited amount of time I had to write the article. Thanks for the added information on the actual postscript driver.

I do think that it should give you the option to set it as the system wide default for PDF, PS and EPS files, similar to Netscape's install. I stand by my opinion.


April 3, 1999 - One last error in my GSView/Ghostscript article that no-one else picked up on, but Dan Eicher did:

First I would like to thank you for writing OS/2 related articles.

The only problem I had was when I installed the software I was prompted for a path to EMXRT.ZIP. I had not heard of this before. I did find a copy and downloaded it. After this everything was fine.


Mark's Response: Ooops. I always install EMXRT on every system I build, so I completely forgot it is required. In fact of the several letters I have received on this article, you are the first to catch that major faux pas. Sorry about that.

There is an article on Installing EMX at http://www.warpdoctor.org/lib/info/emx.html This is for the entire development package not just the runtime. Generally that is overkill for what most people need. As you discovered on your own, you just need the EMX runtime package - EMXRT.ZIP.

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