AW: [texhax] Hello - I have a problem

Randolph J. Herber herber at
Thu Aug 19 18:14:56 CEST 2004

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>Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 12:11:32 +0100
>From: Robert Hunt <reh10 at>
>Subject: Re: AW: [texhax] Hello - I have a problem
>To: texhax at
>	version=2.63
>	<mailto:texhax-request at>
>	<mailto:texhax-request at>


>It took ages for us to persuade Microsoft and other US companies to make
>it easy to use A4 paper with their products, and the problem STILL
>causes trouble today (witness the number of printers flashing the error
>message "please load letter paper", holding up the entire queue).

	And, we often see on our printers ``please load A4 paper''.
	Someone has to see that message and know that (for our HP,
	QMS, Tektronix and Xerox printers, at least) depressing
	the GO button equivalent causes the printer to proceed;
	otherwise, we suffer delays of the printer queues.
	I do that service on the printers near my office several
	times a day and at least once a week explain the GO
	button behavior to someone.  I also explain at least
	monthly that if one is formating a document (and this
	is quite applicable to TeX and LaTeX) and expects that
	the document will be printed in both North America and
	in ISO paper areas, to print the document in the lower
	left corner of the paper using the letter paper height
	(11in -- 279mm) and the A4 paper width (8.28in -- 210mm)
	so that the print image fits on both sizes of paper.

	I keep a small stock of A4 paper around (it is difficult
	and expensive to avail here) for those people whom need
	to print documents to be returned to Europe because their
	governments or institutions refuse to accept that document
	on letter paper.  This is inconveniencing their own people!

	It is still necessary to tell European companies that
	they need to remove the Europeanisms from their products
	if they expect them to sell at all well in the USA.
	I give you the example of the Siemens S46 GSM cell
	phone: it refuses to track incoming calls and insists
	that a postal code is 6 characters with a space and
	goes _before_ the city name; these are all wrong
	in the USA.  The AT&T Wireless GSM system uses the
	Siemens S46 as one of the cellphones for that system;
	I have owned two of them before I insisted that AT&T
	offer me another type, perhaps from Motorola, because
	of these behaviors among other Europeanisms in the phones.

	And, not to worry, Microsoft causes us problems with
	letter paper as well.  Microsoft does not know how to
	generate proper Document Structure Commented PostScript
	print files and seems not to understand the difference
	between PostScript print files and Encapsulated PostScript
	figure files to be incorporated into print files.

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Randolph J. Herber, herber at, +1 630 840 2966, CD/CDFTF PK-149F,
Mail Stop 318, Fermilab, Kirk & Pine Rds., PO Box 500, Batavia, IL 60510-0500,
USA.  (Speaking for myself and not for US, US DOE, FNAL nor URA.)  (Product,
trade, or service marks herein belong to their respective owners.)

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