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I needed to modify PCL print files sent from a mainframe vender and I found the Pagetech software to be adequate to the task at the lowest price (opensource apps like OpenPCLViewer and GhostPCL had some issues with our particular PCL files otehrwise I would have selected from the several opensource projects). Pagetech offers a viewer to view raw PCL files and a conversion tool to convert to PDF.
I have to say the Pagetech tools worked fairly well without too many major bugs. However, the owner/sole proprietor, Robert "Bob" Pooley, becomes angry and defensive if you suggest his software is anything but perfect. Actually in my experience he becomes angry and defensive if you say anything at all.
The viewer becomes dog slow if you try to page backward through large files (it re-parses from the beginning of the file up to the page that you want, every time you go back another page).
Here for your viewing pleasure are a series of email exchanges between myself and Bob Pooley. I hope you admire his professionalism as much as I did when I received these.
In this next exchange Bob tells me the reason his viewing software renders Printer Control Langage differently than a Sharp printer and HP printer are printer problems, not a problem with his software. And he wants to charge me for fixing the problem. Ummm, yea...
- There is an advertised purchase price for Pagetech, but in addition to that price Pagetech has a per-page licensing scheme that I could not find revealed anywhere on their web site. When I expressed concern when this detail came up in the purchasing phase the owner/sole proprieter suggested if I didn't like it I should go elsewhere.
Dropping the license file into place caused Pagetech to fail. The sole proprietor of the shop blamed me for "doing something to it" (this is a recurring theme). Getting it running eventually involved doing the exact opposite of what the owner was suggesting. The problem of course revolved around the tool they use to enforce their per-page licensing scheme. I don't think the per-page thing is enforced if you run the app locally, just if you try to use the tools that let it act like a server. It was that tool that was messed up, but of course Bob kept telling me to have that running.
>From: PageTech [ mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
>Sent: Friday, July 18, 2008 3:59 PM
>To: David Hill
>Subject: Re: font rendering issue
>At 01:48 PM 7/18/2008, David Hill wrote:
>Just FYI, I placed a barcode font into a pcl file and designated some
>text to display in that font and then worked the PCL until Pagetech rendered
>as expected. Unfortunatly when I dump that file to a SHARP AR-M550N PCL5e
>and to an HP LaserJet 4000 I get a Times new Roman looking font. Looks like
>pagetech renders differently than the two different printers I tested on.
>Would you like me to package up a short sample file? (would have to build
>someting without NPI in it, not a problem).
Your problem is with the PCL you created on the two printers, not our product.
It would be different if your new PCL printed on the two printers, but not
our product. Either way, if you need our involvement - we'll need the PCL
and font to re-create the problem and provide a quote for the fix.
At 06:59 AM 7/21/2008, you wrote:
>Actually I'm saying that your product renders differently than a Sharp and an HP
>printer do, the two different brands of printers both render exactly the same way,
>your product renders differently.
That is not what you so eloquently articulated in your email.
>I thought you would have been interested in improving your product by figuring out
>why it renders differently than content sent to two different brands of printer,
>I even offered to take time to build you a test file so you could reproduce the bug,
>instead you blame Sharp and HP printers for printing differently than your software.
I told you what I need to solve a PCL problem.... I need the PCL to re-create problem
before I can determine how to fix it.
You've got one last shot at getting this problem solved with me. Just one more bitchy comment
and you'll never get another response from me.
My reply: You suggested you wanted to look at the files and quote me a fee for correcting the problem. Since the problem is a rendering bug with your software I did not pursue that avenue.
and his brilliant reply: A bright guy would have taken advantage of the free analysis and free quote.
So apparently I must be an idiot for not taking him up on his offer.
Note the fact that he never did ask me what his software renders incorrectly! He still doesn't know!
And here is an oldie but a goodie, his hostile response and incorrect answers to the question of why the license file caused the Pagetech software to go from demo mode to broken-down-inoperable mode.
>The following files were uploaded to your server : TS-***************01.TSZ
>name David Hill
>app was running fine as a command line exe, I added your license file, app no longer runs.
>I am getting three dialog boxes, the first is titled "Invalid Page Limit Info (5) - Call Pagetech"
>with body "pdfwrite: runcode error C:/progra~1/Pagetech/PCLTSDK_870/pclxform.exe c:/temp/transform/is.tpt
>There can be no doubt that the problem is not with your app, it's with your page limiting scheme.
>I have about a day and a half to make a critical production deadline.
1. If it's not provided in writing or if I did not verbally commit to something... then, don't assume
anything from me. And, I'm the last guy you want to get "testy" with. So, keep your wise cracks to yourself.
2. I sent you the runcode 2 weeks ago. It's your problem that you messed with our installation and/or
implemented based on false assumptions.
3. If we had these problems with every sale. We would have been out of business 14 yrs. ago.
4. The contents of the .TSZ file are incomplete. This is not a normal occurrence either. How did you
invoke TechSupport.exe? This is starting to look like you m
Re-install with ALL THE DEFAULTS, directly on the PC with the same User ID that is going to run the .exe.
Copy over the perm. runcode BEFORE you execute any .exe's.
Do not exit the PageCounter.
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