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previous: bob p oops. i made a mistake there. it ... -- 3/11/2004 9:50 AM View Thread

Re: Musical Icons in Windows XP?!?

3/11/2004 3:26 PM
Re: Musical Icons in Windows XP?!?
here's a good one.  
I use a Panasonic KX-P3626 printer to get large schematics.  
It's a dot matrix with a 17inch wide carriage, premium *business machine* from 1996, so it came out after W95 but before W98. Naturally there is no native driver in W95 so if you don't have the floppy that came with the printer you have to download the driver from the Panasonic website. A good idea anyway since the currently posted driver has apparently been revised since the printer was first issued.  
In the new printer property window that appears for this particular printer after you load the driver properly, you have the usual choices for paper size, like 8.5x11, 8.5x14 and a number of other dimensions plus the European equivalents and of course that's in portrait mode. As usual you could otherwise select landscape mode and you insert the paper the same way but it prints sideways to the same dimensions. This is a big printer so you can go up to 14x17 on a single sheet before having to select the Custom paper size, which gives you another little window so you can set dimensions in inches or metric. So when I go for 17x22 custom it scales a normal 8.5x11 page to fit two of the z-fold 14x17 pages, and I have a schematic that fills a drafting table plus folds in half at the perforations.  
That's not all, the paper length is not unlimited but it does go up to about 8feet, so in landscape mode there was still remaining capability to print the once-ubiquitous office banners that were commonly seen not long after most offices got their first DOS machine.  
I guess toward the late '90's the powers that be must have ruled that as tasteless, because the native W98 driver as well as the updated download only support a maximum length of 22 inches. This prints just the same for many things so I didn't notice the decline in performance compared to W95 until I had a narrow drawing that I wanted to print on 14x36. Wouldn't do it no how.  
So I fired up the Wxp laptop which fortunately still has a real printer port, expecting some type of advanced performance.  
What was I thinking? This one only has Wxp Home Version, no such driver is included for any business machines! The equivalent Panasonic standard carriage corresponding model is listed, but not the wide model.  
So I download the XP driver from Panasonic, naturally it is the same file as the standard carriage version which contains drivers for both. This is not one of those large blanket driver files which cover lots of different printer models and windows versions. Nope just for this series printer and Wxp. Apparently someone at Microsoft went to some effort to REMOVE this wide-carriage printer from the drivers in XP home, while allowing functionality with the 8.5x11 version of the same printer when it is detected.  
That wouldn't bother me now that I had an XP driver for this exact model, it was recognized properly after that. Worked good too, except there was no longer any custom paper size selection at all. So with Xp I can blow up a letter size page to 14x17 on printout maximum.  
That sucks.  
But it does document in one way the steady decline, in quantum steps, of Windows relevance to office work.  
At least for the kinds of offices that don't always print on standard sized paper.  
This is just one of those things that people took for granted in W95 since there was not expected to be lesser performance compared to DOS. With a few mouse clicks you could get as much or more performance than you expected.  
With Wxp it requires hours of experimentation and then often the conclusion is that some simple tasks are no longer possible, and should not be expected in the future.  
I think the message here is that to go forward using windows as it evolves, people will need to continually lower their standards.  

bob p [QUOTE]I think the message here is ... -- 3/11/2004 4:17 PM
Mark Lavelle Don't blame your printer support is... -- 3/11/2004 4:54 PM