SCOUG OS/2 For You - January 1999
For those of you with Lexmark printers, they continue to update their drivers for all platforms, including OS/2. In addition to the 5000/5700 series referred to in last month's article, new drivers are available for the Markvision networking software system as well as 32-bit PCL emulation drivers for the Optra Se3455, Optra 1200, K, S, SC, E+, 4047SE, Optra, Optra Plus, Optra C, E & N, IBM Laser's 4029, 4039, 4039 Plus, in PCL5. A Postscript update is available for the Optra Se 3465, Color 1200, Color 40/45, Optra K, S, SC 1275, Ep, N, C, Lx+, Lx1+,Lxn+, R+, Rn+, L, Lx, Lxl, R, Rt, Rx, and Color Jetprinter 4079 plus, IBM COlor Jetprinter PS 4079, 4039 Plus, 4039, 4029, and 4019. Check the Lexmark site at http://www.lexmark.com and find the drivers for your printer.
Speaking of software, an upgrade for the popular image editing program PMView, is available. Version 1.03 is relatively inexpensive (around $40), free for registered users, and is the equivalent of Paint Shop Pro for Windows folks, including the ability change image formats, edit photos, and to scan. The new version fixes some problems with specific file formats, such as TGA, IFF/ILBM,and TIFF files.
The program also has a cool feature that silly I have managed to be unaware of -- it does a great job of handling screen captures. Ever wonder how we get those neat screen shots in the newsletter? Well this program will do the trick and offers options as to what part/all of the screen you want to save (actually I think that the editors use a different program, but what the heck, this feature is free if you have PMView).
Shifting gears slightly, a discussion of image editing brings up the subject of scanning and TWAIN drivers for OS/2 in general. Peter Nielson, the author of PMView, strongly recommends the use of CFM's TWAIN software with the program, and notes incompatibilities with the other TWAIN software vendor, STI.
Without getting into a big discussion of who's drivers are better, there doesn't seem to be a standard for TWAIN under OS/2 like there is for Windows. Personally I've had good luck with the STI drivers for my Epson Expression 636 -- although another user emailed me that he has problems on his system with the same scanner and software. With the popular E3/E6 scanners and CFM drivers, some users have had great success and others have had no luck. There seems to be no concensus as whose drivers are better. By the way, there is a current beta program for the STI drivers which will hopefully resolve some of these problems. As reported in the last issue, CFM has the upgrade nod right now with their version, but from user feedback it seems as if STI had the nod for tech support. For right now, make sure that you get a money back guarantee with whatever TWAIN software you buy. (It can say it will work with your scanner but not.) You also might want to try the shareware scanner from the PM Sane folks. It has a graphical inter-face, supports a number of scanners, and is free. I'd like to hear your experiences with any of these packages.
Final note. What kind of OS/2 word processing software are you using out there, and what if any printing problems or issues are you having? At the request of some users, I'm considering a column on printing issues with various OS/2 word processors. Email email@example.com
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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