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Translation: Christian Hennecke
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Addendum - Christian Hennecke received a number of replies to his article Help to keep XWorkplace up-to-date, although there could have been more. Thanks to those who responded, the next release will be able to detect a good number of additional drivers and WPS classes.
April 20, 2005 - Harald Pollack of fax and FaxView fame commented Peter Browns article Current printers? One that works, the Canon PIXMA iP4000:
The article is written very well, and the investigative detail work tells of love for OS/2. :-)
The statement, however, is misleading.
The only difference between OMNI Canon_i950 and Canon_i850 is the following:Queue: Canon i850 Driver: OMNI 0 CAPS_FAMILY 5 (00000005) 1 CAPS_IO_CAPS 2 (00000002) CAPS_IO_SUPPORTS_OP 2 CAPS_TECHNOLOGY 3 (00000003) CAPS_TECH_RASTER_PRINTER 3 CAPS_DRIVER_VERSION 528 (00000210) 4 CAPS_WIDTH 4800 (000012C0) 5 CAPS_HEIGHT 6600 (000019C8) ... Queue: Canon i950 Driver: OMNI 0 CAPS_FAMILY 5 (00000005) 1 CAPS_IO_CAPS 2 (00000002) CAPS_IO_SUPPORTS_OP 2 CAPS_TECHNOLOGY 3 (00000003) CAPS_TECH_RASTER_PRINTER 3 CAPS_DRIVER_VERSION 528 (00000210) 4 CAPS_WIDTH 4800 (000012C0) 5 CAPS_HEIGHT 6826 (00001AAA) ...
CAPS_HEIGHT (usable page height) is 11" one time, and 11.37" the other. And that is only because the default settings are apparently different. Of couse, one can also set the i850 to 11.37" (A4 height)...
All other parameters that are relevant on OS/2 are identical for both printers.
Perhaps, the author used a slightly older OMNI driver for the i850 test. The driver that contains the one for the i950 only shows the single difference mentioned above (with default settings).
But the author raised some interesting questions, for instance, why no better drivers are provided for OS/2.
The answer is plain and simple, Canon won't give you the internals (at least not for free).
Since I got my i560 (which also runs with any i??? driver), I've been busying myself with implementing something like photo print. Barring better knowledge of the OS/2 printer driver architecture, this only works in 'user space', in a normal OS/2 application (or 'print monitors' like those commonly used with PostScript).
To do so, only two obstacle have to be overcome, essentially:
- the correct color/contrast display via ICC profiles that matche paper and ink
- the (compressed) transfer of print data to the printer itself
I have already solved item (1), and found some approaches for item (2), but things still fail when it comes to the compression format. I think that it is some lossless JPEG, but haven't gotten much further.
Item (2) works with the pure i850 mode (there compression is 'transparent'), but that is also the case with the OMNI driver...
From my point of view, the problem is due to the OS/2 printer model being restricted resolution-wise (smaller than 1000dpi?), although that seems to be dictated by memory organization (GPI). (600dpi always work, 720 in one direction also do, see Epson).
My technical state of the art can be found in FaxView (as always)...
If you happen to know more about the technical background, please contact Harald Pollack.
May 3, 2005 - Alexander Stroop referred to the editorial of the April issue:
I just read "Keeping OS/2 up-to-date".
A few years ago, I changed from eComStation 1.0 to Linux. Albeit having developed a tool for OS/2 myself (warp4fli, s. http://www.fli4l.de), I have meanwhile given up on using OS/2 any further.
For a long time, I was a glowing OS/2 advocate. I started with OS/2 2.1 when I went to school, then followed Warp 3 and 4, and finally eComStation. The problems with drivers became worse and worse. I was willing to assemble my machine in a way that eComStation could continue running on it. But at some point that began to get on my nerves.
The occasion for the migration was an OS/2 system that started to show some problems. I had gathered some experience with Linux at work. Furthermore, an old machine ran as a Samba server with Linux at home. But first and foremost, installation and driver availability were virtually paradisiac. Bought Suse 8.2, installed it, it ran. No searching for drivers, 3D support for the video adapter, Software was easier to obtain, stability, networking features, etc.
I wonder if there will even be a chance to get OS/2 or eComStation to run on new hardware mid and long-term. New machines are equipped with AMD64 and PCI Express. Things are getting dire for OS/2 and eComStation again there, aren't they?
I also wonder why I should spend to much time getting OS/2 to run on new hardware if I can get Linux to run with no or little effort? What can I do with OS/2 that I cannot with Linux?
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