Open source, private tools move 3000 text to PDF

HP 3000s still contribute data in corporate environments. A Sanface Software solution, text2pdf, creates PDF files out of HP 3000 output. But there are other ways and tools to do this essential task. Another tool, byRequest from Hillary Software, gives life to 3000 reports in several formats including PDFs.

On the HP 3000 newsgroup, a veteran 3000 developer wants to know about taking a file in an output queue and creating a PDF version of it.

“We use text2pdf and have no problems since we installed it in October, 2001,” says Robert Mills of Pinnacle Entertainment. “I have sent a copy of this utility and our command file to 27 people. Never knew that so many sites wanted to generate PDFs from their 3000s.” Use of text2pdf goes back as far back as the days of MPE/iX 6.0. That’s 2005.

Lars Appel, a former HP support engineer, builds such things on his own time. His resume includes many years of  working at HP Support in Germany. Such solutions, and many more, are hosted on the Web server at 3K Associates, Check the Applications Ported to MPE/iX section of the site.

You’ll also find a link to GhostPCL for MPE/iX up at the site, another Appel creation. He describes it as a program to read PCL input files and convert them to a variety of output formats, including PDF or JPEG.

“Combined with my little FakeLP Java program, you might even use GhostPCL to capture MPE/iX network spooler output and generate PDFs or JPEGs from an MPE/iX spoolfile.”

Open source solutions like these have been an HP 3000 community tradition. That FakeLP Java program helps in getting text2pdf to do its PDF magic.

One roadblock to using the text2pdf program: the 3000 spoolfiles must be in text file format to work with it. FakeLP, written in Java, makes 3000 spoolfiles that don’t rely on CCTLs ready for their PDF closeups.

“It listens to a given port, for example 9100, and pretends to be a network printer,” Appel says, “That is, it gets all the data sent and writes it to a flat file. This might be a start, so OUTSPTJ.PUB.SYS should have CCTL converted to plain PCL when sending to a JetDirect printer.”

Image by Gert Lemmens from Pixabay

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