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ImageMAKER Release notes: Windows 2000 Printer Drivers

The following release notes are common to all our Windows 2000 drivers. Not all of them will apply to all driver versions.

  • Release build 179 (22 June 05)
    • A small memory leak (on the order of 100 bytes per print job) was found in the port monitor. This would result in the memory used by the spooler to slowly increase over time.
    • A little-used function (file type -1, do not produce any image output at all) was found to cause a spooler crash.
    • Licensing support was added to several builds.
  • Release build 178 (9 June 05)
    • A long-standing obscure bug in Group 4 compression would very occasionally result in output files expanding to fill all free space on the disk.
  • Release build 177 (1 June 05)
    • A change in the way forms were handled starting in release build 164 caused a problem in the display of the form size in the document properties sheets.
  • Release build 176 (12 May 05)
    • Optionally we now create a flag file (filename.flg) on completion of the processing of the output image file. This is used by one client who wants to keep file processing completey separate from the spooler.
  • Release build 175 (19 April 05)
    • As applications have discovered new forms available by default in Windows 2000, we have added support specifically for Rotated Letter and Rotated A4.
  • Release build 174 (9 March 05)
    • Under one particular set of circumstances, the driver could decide it had to allocate an arbitrarily large amount of memory.
  • Release build 173 (21 February 05)
    • Corrections were made in the handling of the DeviceCapabilities call.
    • Some changes to the handling of the DEVMODE were made, notably in reporting of supported fields and value verification, and in handling our private DEVMODE.
    • Some additional error reporting was added.
  • Release build 172 (31 December 04)
    • Some rationalization was done in the resources
  • Release build 171 (29 December 04)
    • A test used to detect when a very short file is being printed was implemented in the wrong direction. This would only affect files less than about 1/2" in length.
  • Release build 170 (26 November 04)
    • Some rationalization of files was performed
    • Windows 2000 now builds a version-3 (user mode) as well as the faster version-2 (kernel mode) driver.
    • A new technique for logging error messages is being implemented.
  • Release build 169 (18 November 04)
    • A registry setting was added for one client to allow selection of non-Fax pixel widths when generating monochrome images at 200DPI. Normally the driver forces images near Fax resolution to be the correct widths for fax machines.
  • Release build 168 (6 August 04)
    • A registry setting was added for one client to allow forcing 24-bit colour output to grey-scale
    • In those builds with a removable demo stamp, one demo stamp was not being removed. This has been corrected.
  • Release build 167 (22 June 04)
    • A problem with TIFF JPEG output handling mixed page sizes was found and corrected.
    • Negative or over-large copy counts caused problems; we now restrict the driver to a range of 1 to 99 copies.
    • One client build had a problem handling ResetDC.
    • A problem was found when the output resolution was set to 196x196 in one particular client build.
  • Release build 166 (25 May 04)
    • Small changes to one build type
    • Custom build for one customer
  • Release build 165 (20 April 04)
    • One new feature was added to one build.
    • There was one particular set of circumstances which would result in an invalid handle being used and closed. While probably benign, this was corrected.
    • A bug that would cause a major failure occasionally was found in the additional client added at build 156. Some additional work was done to that client build as well.
    • A very old fix, for MS Word and mixed legal and letter sized pages, was lost with Release build 158. It has been reinstated.
    • A problem with multiple simultaneous conversions to 24-bit JPG-based file types (JPEG, TIFF, PDF) was corrected.
  • Release build 163 (13 February 04)
    • A small change was made to one build, and to one build technology.
  • Release build 162 (10 February 04)
    • A minor issue in the build tree change introduced at build 156 was preventing normal users from printing in Windows 2000 and newer systems.
  • Release build 161 (3 February 04)
    • A new output file type was added. Color driver versions now include support for TIFF compression mode 6 (JPEG within TIFF).
  • Release build 160 (21 january 04)
    • A long-standing bug in the FaxBatch drivers was dealt with -- when printing in landscape mode, the printer would white-out the incorrect area, the area corresponding to the text location before the page was rotated into landscape.
  • Release build 159 (31 December 03)
    • An issue with down-sampling from 24-bit color to monochrome output types was found in one particular driver version. This was only a problem when printing to a resolution > 210 dpi, in the '1/8/24 formats' PDF driver.
  • Release build 158 (26 November 03)
    • Originally build 156 (07 October 03), temporarily lost in a disk failure but now recovered
    • It is now possible to define and use form sizes as large as 2000x2000 metres (over a mile on a side). Previously we were limited to forms no larger than 3.25 metres (10 feet).
  • Release build 157 (25 November 03)
    • Further enhancements to the new client build
  • Release build 156 (24 November 03)
    • A new client build caused a change in the build tree. This first check- in of the client build is a test of the overall build stability.
  • Release build 155 (01 October 03)
    • A longstanding bug with mixed portrait and landscape pages in documents was found and fixed.
  • Release build 154 (01 August 03)
    • Changing exact printing output resolution settings from an application's printer settings box would cause a failure.
    • The first time a driver is installed, the default resolution reported to Windows when you first switch to Exact Printing is set to an unrealistically low value (100x100 typically). We now default to a more reasonable value.
    • The string encoded in the port monitor which specifies the port monitor UI module was incorrect for FaxBatch and some custom builds.
  • Release build 153 (04 July 03)
    • A small change to one file type was requested.
    • Some clean-up of the build process was done
  • Release build 152 (16 May 03)
    • Trivial changes related to the build process, plus sone rationalization of included system libraries.
  • Release build 151 (23 April 03)
    • An earlier fix, Release build 145 "The right-edge unprintable area was not getting cleared properly if error diffusion dithering was selected." caused a problem in some cases when landscape printing was selected.
  • Release build 150 (14 March 03)
    • At the request of one client, the drivers can now check for free disk space before going to the next page. This is controlled by a new registry setting: "Free Space Minimum" REG_DWORD, measured in bytes, default 125000. This is the minimum amount of space that must be present for the printing to continue. Note that this number is multiplied by 8 if you select an 8-bit output type, 24 for a 24-bit filetype. Setting this registry value to 0 disables drive space checking.
  • Release build 149 (11 March 03)
    • Error reporting from the JPEG library was improved. Note that this improvement depends on an enhancement to the JPEG library. These drivers will work with the older JPEG library, but the error code reporting will fall back to the older behaviour unless the JPEG library is version 1.0.0.3 or later.
  • Release build 148 (25 February 03)
    • One additional build type was created. This should not affect most users of the drivers.
    • A small issue in the version of the drivers that ships with the ODC Server and Carrier-Grade Servers was corrected.
    • Additional driver debug debug information is now available.
    • An internal change caused a problem with page numbering in TIFF files being generated by the printer. This has been fixed.
    • Cancelling a JPEG print job, from the Printing Page x status box or from the spooler, would result in a locked file. This has been fixed.
    • Somehow a change made a year ago (in build 133) got backed out. It has been re-instated.
  • Release build 147 (30 January 03)
    • Additional work on the one specific build type. This should not affect most users of these drivers.
  • Release build 146 (29 January 03)
    • One particular build type needed some additional work to support new file types. This should not affect most users of these drivers.
    • A user interface problem was found in the "browse for directory for output file" code; this would result in "Unexpected error 123" when selecting an output directory from the directory tree. This has been fixed.
  • Release build 145 (18 December 02)
    • One particular page size caused a problem in the landscape page rotation code. This has been fixed.
    • The right-edge unprintable area was not getting cleared properly if error diffusion dithering was selected. This has been corrected.
    • Additional changes were made to support new file types. This should not affect most users of these drivers.
  • Release build 144 (17 December 02)
    • The color drivers were returning an incorrect error code if they were unable to create or open their output files.
  • Release build 143 (04 December 02)
    • An internal change caused some problems with 256-color dithering.
    • Additional changes were added to support new file types. This should not affect most users of these drivers.
  • Release build 142 (27 November 02)
    • Additional changes were added to support new file types. This should not affect most users of these drivers.
    • An internal change made it impossible to change the JPEG quality setting in the color drivers. This has been corrected.
  • Release build 141 (25 November 02)
    • Additional changes were made to support new file types. This should not affect most users of these drivers.
    • A potential buffer overrun was found in code that handled unprintable areas in the driver. For certain very specific settings of resolution, color mode, and left and right unprintable areas, this could result in a blue-screen error.
  • Release build 140 (06 November 02)
    • A small problem with disabling Excel spreadsheet concatenation was fixed.
  • Release build 139 (05 November 02)
    • Gray values in 256-color modes were improved again.
    • The ActivePDF driver does strange things to the registry in order to copy-protect itself. As a result, installation of earlier ImageMAKER drivers will fail after ActivePDF has been installed, even if it is later removed. We now set registry security descriptors to prevent this problem. Note: This requires installer DLL version 1.2.24.0 or later.
    • A number of internal changes were made to support additional output file types. The file types are still in beta and so are not yet in the release drivers, but changes to support them are now fully tested.
    • An advanced feature was added that would allow turning off concatenation of Excel worksheets (Release build 127).
    • A check was made on loading user profile (implemented in build 134) so that we no longer attempt to load a user profile for jobs created in the LocalSystem account.
  • Release build 138 (14 August 02)
    • An oversight in the compile switches resulted in one driver version failing to work properly.
    • An uninitialized variable resulted in there being too few grey values in 256-color modes.
    • Additional settings have been exposed on an Advanced section of the Device Settings tab of the device properties.
  • Release build 137 (25 July 02)
    • A problem in handling custom form sizes was corrected.
    • Some irregularities in setting the copy field in the DEVMODE were corrected.
    • The control dialog would not launch if the directory specified for the TIFF file to be output did not exist. This is because the output directory was used as the control dialog's working directory.
  • Release build 136 (22 May 02)
    • One particular build needed a custom string in order to not conflict with our standard drivers. There should be no change to most drivers.
  • Release build 135 (9 April 02)
    • Small changes for one client. There should be no impact on most driver versions.
  • Release build 134 (3 April 02)
    • When launching the control dialog in a specific user security context, we had not been setting the users' profile or loading the users' environment block correctly. Code to do this has been implemented and is available in this version for testing.
    • Changes for one client's custom file type were implemented.
  • Release build 133 (7 February 02)
    • A long-standing problem with some lesser-used options was found and fixed.
    • An internal optimization would occasionally result in black junk appearing on the right edge of TIFF images. The optimization was rationalized.
  • Release build 132 (23 January 02)
    • The print driver was returning an error code at a time when there was no error (user cancelled). Correcting this error caused the special handling for Excel spreadsheets to break.
    • The height of a landscaped page was being calculated incorrectly when journalling was active.
    • The limited FaxBatch version was double-incrementing page numbers.
  • Release build 131 (16 January 02)
    • A problem in the FaxBatch drivers, introduced in release 129, was repaired.
  • Release build 130 (15 January 02)
    • A problem having to do with unprintable areas on landscape pages was fixed.
  • Release build 129 (10 January 02)
    • A new verson of the FaxBatch driver was created that supports journalling, but has limited FaxBatch capability. There should be no effect on standard drivers.
  • Release build 128 (13 December 01)
    • A problem with the exact printing and journalling combination was found that would result in generated pages being totally scrambled. This turned out to be the result of a rounding error in the exact printing handling.
    • The driver would not correctly generate a landscape-mode page if Exact Printing was enabled.
    • A problem was found when printing large pages at high resolution (greater than 16,000 pixels total width, e.g. A-size sheet at 600 DPI).
  • Release build 127 (31 October 01)
    • A further expansion of the fix to handle Excel workbooks (Release build 125) now allows this to work when printer pooling is enabled.
    • Exact printing and journalling can now be provided in the same driver, though journalling (see Release build 124) is disabled if exact printing (Release build 117) is enabled.
    • A long-standing bug with the TIFF color RLE (packbits) standard has been fixed.
  • Release build 126 (11 October 01)
    • A long-standing problem with generating file names when the driver is set to generate a single page per file was found. This would affect file names containing five or more digits. It has been fixed.
  • Release build 125 (5 October 01)
    • Microsoft Excel generates multiple print jobs when printing a single workbook because it stoes a DEVMODE with each worksheet; when it finds a new DEVMODE while processing a workbook, it closes the job and opens a new one (instead of using the ResetDC system API). Code to re-combine jobs produced this way while they are being printed has been added to the driver and can be enabled on a per-customer basis.
  • Release build 124 (23 August 2001)
    • The first release of our driver that fully supports "journalling" or "banding" in color modes, this driver should be immune to the occasional "Error 0 - Cancelled from spooler" and should be able to handle any form size up to the Windows DEVMODE limit of 3276.7mm / 3-1/4 meters
    • A longstanding imperfection in handling the right edge of documents printed at 200x200 DPI was finally tracked down and nailed to the wall.
  • Release build 123 (30 July 2001)
    • changed the version number to 2 from 3. This fixes a problem printing from WORD with files that have a portrait/landscape combination. The last 1 or 2 pages are printed with the wrong orientation. Must also disable 'Advance Printing Features' from the 'Advanced' tab for this fix to work. Microsoft claims a Kernel driver should be a Version 2 driver (not version 3).
    • A new registry value has been added that forces the reported resolution in the output TIFF file to square (200x200 or 200x100). Normally the reported resolution is 204x196 or 204x98, because that is what FAX modems expect, but one customer requested this change for their document storage application.
    • Aborting a print job should be much quicker.
  • Release build 122 (28 May 2001)
    • It is now possible to set resolutions and unprintable areas for the custom printer emulation in the installer program (via the SETUP.INI file -- see the installer documentation for details) and have those values be sticky -- if you select the custom printer, you will get the resolution and unprintable areas first created at install time.
  • Release build 121 (14 May 2001)
    • An error that could cause failed print jobs when multiple printers were defined and simultaneously in use was corrected.
    • The resolution 600x600 dpi was added to the "near-FAX square pixel" printer emulation list.
  • Release build 120 (12 April 2001)
    • The UI has been modified so that it is now impossible to select the Exact Printing settings referred to in Release build 119.
    • A cosmetic problem in the UI settings of our color printers has been fixed.
  • Release build 119 (9 April 2001)
    • Brought up to parity with NT4 Release build 211
      • It was found that a 16-bit MFC application printing to the default DevMode of a non-default printer would result in an incorrect DevMode being associated with the job passed in to the port monitor. We now detect this problem and use the printer's own default DevMode in this case.
      • Small changes to resource ID numbers in the port monitor were made in the process of setting up the external resource library. No functional change is expected from this set of deltas.
    • A long-standing bug with settings made from the Printer Properties | Printing Preferences | Advanced settings page and the Printing Preferences | Advanced pages was corrected.
    • Exact Printing settings could be made that would result in the printer causing a system crash. The driver now detects this setting combination and silently disables exact printing for the one job.
  • Release build 118 (24 January 2001)
    • Brought up to parity with NT4 Release build 209. This includes changes to resolutions captured from emulated printer to eliminate a nuisance resolution selection.
  • Release build 117 (2 January 2001)
    • Brought up to parity with NT4 Release build 207. This includes changes to bring What You Print Is What You Fax up to release candidate status. Changes include:
      • Change to printer emulation mechanism: now retrieves entire table of available resolutions for a printer when Emulation selected.
      • Fine-tuning of WYPIWYF for first release
        • Corrected handling of interaction between gray-scale depth and dither mode
        • Changed UI handling of printer emulation, unprintable areas
        • Updated help file
        • Corrected some bugs
      • Added 196x196 square pixel resolution. This is used for those plain-paper fax machines that choke on pages longer than 2156 (Letter), 2287 (A4), or 2744 (legal) pixels. At least one machine refuses to print faxes rendered at 200 DPI.
      • Version number now available in modules other than UI
      • One-bit dither / resolution change handling was added to the driver. This will remove the last limitation on exact printing: fast NT dither is now supported when exact printing is enabled. NOTE that exact printing is still beta, albeit late beta.)
      • A problem that would cause install to fail for one customer was found and repaired.
      • Up until this version, while What You Print Is What You Fax was supported in both portrait and landscape, the associated unprintable areas were only supported in portrait mode.
      • Printer Emulation was modified to read whether the printer selected is set to default to landscape or portrait mode, set the ImageMaker printer the same way, and now sets unprintable areas correctly in the case where the source printer is set to landscape mode.
  • Release build 116 (7 July 2000)
    • Logging was re-enabled for the print driver.
    • A long-standing bug that would have caused some print jobs to simply disappear was found and corrected.
    • Brought up to parity with NT4 release build 203
      • The blue-screen error fixed in WIndows 2000 build 115 reappeared and was re-fixed. It would appear when Error Diffusion dithering from 8-bit color was selected with Exact Printing enabled.
    • Although it is still in beta, the Exact Printing option was enabled for testing in Windows 2000 drivers
  • Release build 115 (29 June 2000)
    • Brought up to parity with NT4 release build 202
      • A problem with page sizes in landscape mode was created by an optimization at build 196. This has been corrected. This correction also corrected some other outstanding issues with landscape printing, most notably printing from PowerPoint to low-resolution.
      • A change at build 201 added to assist support of What You Print Is What You Fax caused a blue-screen error in a small number of cases. It has been fixed.
      • The UI has been modified to prevent one particular illegal combination of settings for the What You Print Is What You Fax driver versions.
  • Release build 114 (23 June 2000)
    • Brought up to parity with NT4 release 201.
      • Some internal structures and routines were modified as part of the process of making What You Print Is What You Fax ready for prime time.
      • Additional dither patterns (classical 45-degree screens), and the ability to make the existing dither patterns skewed rather than rectangular, were added to the dithering library and to the driver.
      • A problem with 200x200 resolution was created as part of the What You Print Is What You Fax code, about build 195. This would have created problems in all driver variants. It has been fixed.
      • A problem with page sizes reported by the driver when changing from C-size to D-size sheets and back, or between any two page sizes that share a common dimension (e.g. A-size or letter 8.5"x11" and B-size 11"x17"), was reported and fixed.
  • Release build 113 (5 June 2000)
    • Brought up to parity with NT4 release 200.
      • An optimization installed with the What You Print Is What You Fax code caused the color drivers to fail to load, causing an NT blue-screen. This has been corrected.
      • A change in resource ID broke the browse button used to select an output folder.
  • Release build 112 (23 May 2000)
    • Brought up to parity with NT4 release 198.
      • The "Run in separate memory space: Disabled" setting triggers an Illegal Parameter error (log entry: "Spawn from faxmon.dll failed for app: xxx (87)") if you are attempting to launch a 16-bit application in the User security context (which requires a separate memory space). We have changed the UI to prevent this situation from being created by the user, and modified the driver so that selecting "Run in separate memory space: Disabled" silently forces System security context.
      • Further updates to the UI for What You Print Is What You Fax, specifically locking out a few illegal parameter combinations.
    • An error was found in the name passed to the mfx_MonitorPrint function from the port monitor.
  • Release build 111 (26 April 2000)
    • Brought up to parity with NT4 release 197. This primarily involves work on What You Print Is What You Fax, and will not concern those who have not specifically requested that WYPIWYF be enabled.
  • release build 110 (13 March 2000)
    • First iteration of driver with WYPIWYF (What You Print Is What You Fax) support. Note that WYPIWYF support is in beta at this point and requires some contortions to make it work properly.
  • Release build 108 (16 February 2000)
    • Brought up to parity with NT4 driver release 193, which includes a fix to resolve an issue with dual Pentium Pro systems.
  • Beta RC2 build 107 (26 October 1999)
    • Brought up to parity with NT4 driver release 192. This includes the following items:
      • The printer now correctly reports that it can handle color. Note that this applies both to our monochrome and color printer drivers; when a dither mode is selected in which the printer is expected to do the dithering ("Dither from 256 colors", for instance) it should report color to any application that is trying to print to it.
      • Error diffusion dithering and noise mask dithering have been added. Note that neither error diffusion nor "blue-noise" dithering is particularly good for fax transmission; they produce better-looking images at the expense of image size. Noise mask dithering is a first pass only.
      • A registry value "NumberOfEols" (REG_DWORD) has been added to control how end-of-page is markes in G3 TIFF files. For instructions on using this feature please see the Readme file, the Registry Keys section.
  • Beta RC1 build 106 (14 Sep 1999)
    • Brought up to parity with NT4 driver release 190. This includes
      • A registry value "Overwrite" (REG_DWORD) has been added to control how TIFF files are generated. For instructions on using this feature please see the Readme file, the Registry Keys section.
      • Excel's habit of caching inappropriate DEVMODEs caused a problem when trying to print a worksheet that had been generated on a different computer using a form that was not defined on the printing computer. This problem has been resolved.
      • Numbering files if a long file name was specified and multiple pages per file was disabled did not work correctly.
  • Beta RC1 build 105 (10 Sep 1999)
    • Changed version label to match Windows 2000
  • Alpha build 104 (31 Aug 1999)
    • Brought up to parity with NT4 driver release 187. This includes the following changes:
      • In response to a user request, it is now possible to include a registry setting that will prevent the ImageMaker drivers from rotating the image if it is generated in landscape mode. No user interface for this feature has been provided as we felt it was dangerous to allow end users to potentially change settings to make FAXes that looked like they should be valid but which would choke any fax modem. For instructions on using this feature please see the Readme file, the Registry Keys section.
      • The limit of four characters for the default output prefix was removed.
      • Further custom modifications were carried out for one client.
  • Alpha build 103 (27 July 1999)
    • Brought up to parity with the NT4 driver release 184. This includes the following fixes:
      • Moderately extensive customization was done for one client; three other custom builds were added. This should have no effect on most users.
      • The limit on pages in the DCX file format was raised from 250 to 2000.
      • A long-standing bug in DCX-format output was found and fixed.
      • The optimization of the color BMP output routines at build 180 was found to cause a spooler crash under certain circumstamces. It has been fixed.
      • CSID generation was found to not work and to cause a spooler crash in the 24-bit color driver. It has been temporarily disabled in the color driver only while we debug this problem. Some resource leaks in the CSID generation code were also corrected.
      • A problem in the BMP output routines, introduced in 180, was found and corrected.
      • The file name passed to the control dialog for output is now enclosed in quotes. This will eliminate any problems wigh spaces in output file paths, but may require small changes in your control dialog.
      • A problem was found in the case where an older program was hardwired to an old-format DEVMODE; specifically AmiPro would hand us a V3.10 DEVMODE which we would try to interpret as a V4.01 DEVMODE. This has been corrected.
      • The color driver BMP output routines were optimized; we are seeing an approximate 10-fold increase in speed for BMP file output.
    • This build has been tested with Windows 2000 beta 3 build 2031.
  • Alpha build 102 (3 June 1999)
    • Windows 2000 Beta 3 changed some small internal details of the system. This made the a101 driver fail in entirely unexpected ways; it also broke the installer. This release is operational and tested with Win2k beta 3 RC1 (build 2000).
  • Alpha build 101 (12 May 1999)
    • Corrected one issue with changing settings on the Device Settings page
  • Alpha Build 100 (29 April 1999)
    • First generally available version
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