Peripherals for OS/2 and Windows 98

I have just bought a Pentium II 450, 16GB, 128RAM computer that has Windows 98 pre-installed. I plan on consulting a technician to have the hard drive partitioned, in order to install my preferred operating system, OS/2.

I would like to add two peripherals, namely, a scanner and a color printer, both of which should accommodate both operating systems. The scanner is principally needed for text; in short, OCR performance is important. The printer's main use is also for text, although, of course, some graphics will be involved.

My question is three-fold: (1) is there equipment that accommodates both operating systems; (2) what is the difference between a USB, serial, or parallel port for a scanner; (3) will I finally be forced to use Windows because no solution exists?

I am, admittedly, not an expert. Thanks.
fontai1Asked:
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rosefireConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You are asking a question that is near and dear to my heart.  As a long term fan of OS/2 I have agonized over the prevelence of the inferior Microsoft products since OS/2 came out.  Windows 98 is just now achieving what OS/2 Warp achieve years ago, and apple years before that.

I think you will find that SCSI scanners are the most compatible with OS/2.  Some of the older scanners were actually supported better than more recent ones.   SCSI is the fastest connection you can get at 20MB/s for SCSI II. USB is second at about 10-12 MB/s.   A 600x600 dpi page in 3 color planes is a lot of data at 600 dpi.  Parallel ports and serial are just not an option for this much data.  The scans wil take forever and produce inferior output due to the large number of pauses the scanner will have to make (this leave lines at the start-stop locations, an hue shifts across the page as the bulb changes temperature).  Todays parallel ports run about 100k/sec and are still not much better than serial COM ports.  They are just not fast enough.

USB is so new right now that it is not even reliable under windows.  The manufactuers of drivers for scanners have as their first goal getting drivers for Windows.  In short, USB support is almost non-existant.

All mainstream software for OS/2 lags behind in availabiliy features, and performance.  If you can find softare for OS/2 OCR you will find it is always a version or two older than what is available for windows.

Solutions exist for what you want to do, but only at the expense of a lot of research, performance, and the willingness to use older software versions.  The process of finding compatible software, drivers, and hardware is frustrating and often the claims don't meausure up to the actual product.

I tried to go this route with my HP Scnajet 4c and was frustrated to no end.  I eventually gave up and surrendered to the rising tide of Windows and Windows based programs.

With considerable sadness, this is my assessment.

RoseFire
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fontai1Author Commented:
Edited text of question
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istal112898Commented:
USB is the Best to go, the transfer is 12 megs per sec. it is much faster. Parallel and serial goes only about 150 kb. thats the reason why it takes so much time to scan an image it takes time to transfer it to the PC. Go USB. You can use a scanner for OS/2 WIN9X WINNT. they are out there. also, for the printer. from what I see your Printer and Scanner might not support it. and if it does support it just a driver ISsue. check their webpages.
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istal112898Commented:
go to WWW.powerquest.com, and see partition Magic 4.0. you do not need to go to a technician for doing that. you can do it yourself and safely. read it. it is an App many people use, even myself.

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rosefireCommented:
Just as an aside, I looked the other day and was dissapointed to find out that the company I work for (HP) does not have even one All-in-One multifunction product that is suppored under anything but Microsoft windows.  There is not even any Mac support.  So the printer/copier/fax/scanner products I design as an engineer are not supported under OS/2.

RoseFIre
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rosefireCommented:
Oh yes.  Laser printers and other printer-only products usuall do have OS/2 drivers.  The low end printers tend to not have support for anything but Windows.

RoseFire
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fontai1Author Commented:
Thanks to both of you, rosefire and istal. Your responses have, indeed, spurred an additional question/comment:

Does the scenario change if I get two separate units?

Again, I am grateful for your help.
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OttaCommented:
My Hewlett-Packard Deskjet 680C colour ink-jet printer
works fine under OS/2 and Windows 95/NT.
HP's "Driver Toolbox" for 95/NT is really a nice piece of software;
I occasionally boot NT just to use this software,
i.e., to align the print-heads after changing ink-cartridges.
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rosefireCommented:
I am not certain what you mean by two separate units.  Were you thinking of getting a printer/copier/scanner as one device?  You can get OS/2 support for printers, this is not hard to find though your choices will be limited a bit.  The more expensive laserjets and network printers tend to support OS/2 fine.    The real problem will be the scanner, the scanner support software, and apps like  the OCR software.  As a rule, the software available for OS/2 is, usually a revision or two behind and drivers are not always available. For my ScanJet 4c I did find a third-party driver for OS/2 but it was buggy and unreliable.

If this was not addressing your "separate units" question please clarify.

RoseFire
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