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Creating PDFs: 3000-ready solution climbs higher

For several years now, the Sanface software group has made PDFs easy to create from HP 3000 report spoolfiles. txt2pdf now has a 9.4 version available. The software runs on a wide array of operating systems, including MPE/iX. The source code is built upon Perl 5.

And oh yes, Perl 5.5 is supported for the HP 3000. Mark Bixby, open source guru for the 3000 community, has a tutorial on why the original spoolfile linespacing is not preserved in the conversion to PDF.

The Great Falls school district in Montana has implemented txt2pdf into its workflow, cutting down on paper costs and improving the distribution of HP 3000 data. A few years back, Scott McGregor  of the school district's IT staff reported on how this solution slipped into his organization's workflow. He's also got an installation primer up on the Sanface site.

Even while the HP 3000 might be on its way out at Great Falls, using PDFs gives the system a longer lifespan. That's the kind of strategy that could give a thoughtful, well-planned migration extra room to get the details right.

Sanface points out that in the 9.4 version of the software:

With the email option the default disposision is inline. To set attach, set disposition : 1
With the email option the default attachtype is application/pdf. To set to application/octet-stream, set attachtype : 1

The Sanface solution shares marketspace for 3000 systems with OpenSeas' OpenPDF, an add-on to the Fantasia printing solution which OpenSeas brought into its stable in 2000.

No matter what the platform, it seems, the number of viewers and readers which can work with PDF output is broad:

Adobe Acrobat Reader - This free viewer supports many languages and many different operating systems, among them: Windows (3.1, 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP), Mac, OS/2 Warp, Linux, Solaris, IRIX, AIX, HP-UX, Digital UNIX, Palm OS, Pocket PC, Symbian OS

XPDF is a free PDF viewer for X-Windows on Unix, VMS and OS/2.  It also supports Acorn, BeOS and Amiga (AmiPDF is the standard PDF reader in AmigaOS 4).

GhostScript: GSview - GSview is a graphical interface for Ghostscript. GSview is available for Win32/Win32s, OS/2 and Linux, MacGSView is a Mac graphical interface for Ghostscript.

PDF (free) and PDF+ (Shareware) - PDF viewer for all current Psion PDA's and compatibles e.g. Nokia 9210 and 9290 Communicator, SonyEricsson P800, Series 60 Smartphone.

Ansyr Primer PDF viewer - A viewer for Palm OS, Windows CE and Pocket PC.