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October 2000

Letters, Addendum, Errata

If you have any comments regarding articles or tips in this or any previous issue of the VOICE Newsletter, please send them to editor@os2voice.org. We are always interested in what our readers have to say.

September 5, 2000 - Following is a letter from Joel Seiferas in regard to an article in the September newsletter on the Canon FB1200S scanner by Russell Kneebone:
Is there more information available on the $30 rebate mentioned in Russell Kneebone's review of the Canon FB1200S scanner?


Editor's reply:
"CompUSA is offering the Canon FB1200S at a further reduction of $20 off their regular $149.97 price, along with a $30 rebate from Canon, making a grand total of $99.97 for this scanner. Don't delay, stocks are limited and this offer is available at local stores only(not available online)."

That was a special deal on that model only available in-store, not on their website. Checking the compusa.com website today shows that the CanoScan FB 1200S is now listed as "Sold Out". Checking Canon's site http://www.ccsi.canon.com/canoscan/products/index.html shows no rebate listed under the FB 1200S model, so I presume the one mentioned by Russell has either expired, was limited to CompUSA only or is on the actual product box. On that page rebates are listed for the 630P, 620P, and 620U, but the link to the rebate pages doesn't work. Currently their website only shows a rebate for the CanoScan 630U model which doesn't list a rebate on products page above, but off of a special promotions/rebate page only ( http://www.ccsi.canon.com/specials/index.html ).

You would have to contact Canon directly to find out the answer. They list the following contact information on their website in regard to rebates:

"To speak to a Canon Representative, please call 1-888-864-6781; Monday - Friday,
6:00am - 10:00pm MST, excluding holidays."

Hope that helps,


September 5, 2000 - Following is a letter from Fr. Mike Thompson in regard to Klaus Staedtler von Przyborski's "The Free Files" article in the September newsletter on Characters and Fonts:
Dear OS/2 Voice Editor,

I am happy to see an early benefit of OS/2-Voice's initiative to break the language barrier: the Free Files column by Klaus Staedtler von Przyborski. The first installment, "Characters and Fonts," covers a topic close to my heart.

The column treats of free software, so of necessity it overlooks an important aspect of the problem. Klaus does well to decry the lack of an insert-special-character function in certain of the older OS/2 word processors, but the "solution" that the current Lotus WordPro gives us is dog ugly when the desired character is not on the OS/2 code page. For the single special character to be inserted Lotus switches to a different font that displays a glyph different than the usual one for the code point; it does NOT represent the character with a distinct code. For example, Text->Insert other->Symbol, then the font "LotusWP Type", and finally the eighth character on the second line inserts a registered-trademark symbol into the document. But if you change the font of the text containing that symbol, you find the digit 7 displayed there instead. I'm not rightly certain, but I suspect that Lotus is simply mimicking a practice established by Microsloth Word.

WordPerfect, the product in the the word-processing category of the MS seek-and-destroy sweepstakes, had a much more sane approach. Years before Unicode, WordPerfect defined its own character set with distinct code points for hundreds of symbols. When you inserted a special character in a WordPerfect document, it always retained is own integrity. Yes, there had to be a system of font substitution when the underlying font did not support the letter, but at least you could get the darn things printed. Even today, when I need to write a document with koine Greek citations, I fire up good old DOS WordPerfect.

Today we have Unicode, but alas OS/2 does not do much to support it. Papyrus, that dandy word processor (I've got two OS/2-version licenses), has a nice character-insert function that deals with real Unicode. But even with the Times-Roman Unicode fonts loaded on my OS/2 machine, Papyrus unfortunately does not display the proper glyphs for the vast majority of the Unicode code points.

Ulli Ramps and company have given us something great in Papyrus. Let's not let it die! They say they will implement some kind of Unicode-displaying support in their OS/2 version if people ask for it. Be sure to buy a license or two, then ask for Unicode!

Thank you for your attention.
Fr. Mike Thompson

Editor's reply:
Working Unicode support would be nice to have indeed. I had the same awful experience with StarOffice that you had with Lotus WordPro. The optimum would be a decent Unicode implementation at system level, of course. But chances for this to actually happen are very few.

At Warpstock in Philadelphia we learned that IBM will generally continue further development for OS/2 only if funded by large customers. But their priorities are likely elsewhere, largely focussed on drivers. Maybe Serenity Systems could get IBM moving, but I think that they, too, will use resources and influence to ensure the development of other things.

So there remain Papyrus and, for the more "daring" of us, LaTeX. ROM Logicware has been quite responsive to customer's wishes and demands in the past. So there is hope.


September 17, 2000 - While following up on my IBM Wireless LAN Kit article in the June 2000 newsletter I have found that IBM has messed with the pages I linked to for specifications and drivers. The new site for drivers (at least until they reorganize again, and bury it yet one more time) is http://www.networking.ibm.com/prodguide/wireless.html#lan. The overview of the two IBM Wireless LAN systems is no longer available, but there is an IBM Red Book which contains information on the IBM Wireless LAN Kits at http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/pubs/pdfs/redbooks/sg244466.pdf (Note: You now have to register to read IBM Red Books online for free).

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