Q: IBM says you can print images and graphics on the AS/400 using an intelligent printer data stream (IPDS) printer, but no documentation tells you how to put the images onto the machine. When I asked my IBM rep, he tried to sell me an expensive software package. Am I missing something here? Isn't there a quick and inexpensive means of putting images on the AS/400?
A: Two types of image files can reside on the AS/400: Page Segments and Overlays. Both are raster image file formats-files that are composed of pixel representations. Import support to convert images to these native AS/400 formats were primarily designed for S/370 IOCA and GOCA file formats. Consequently, IBM's solutions to place image files on the AS/400 have a particular S/370 flavor about them.
Fortunately, a free-thinking programmer in Rochester snuck a nifty conversion trick into PC Support (now known as Client Access). This trick allows you to "print" any Windows image into an AFPDS file and then convert it to a page segment or overlay on the AS/400. This means that any image you can create in Windows can be used as an image on the AS/400. Briefly, here are the steps.
Install the PC Support AFPDS printer driver onto Windows. This printer driver is a standard option with the PC Support Windows installation program PCSETUPW.EXE.
In the Windows Control Panel, open the Printers icon and find the new IBM AFPDS printer. Use the Connect button to connect this driver to FILE. This will redirect the AFPDS output to a file of your choosing when the driver is activated.
Create your images using any Windows tool at your disposal. Don't forget hand-scanners-a quick way to capture real-life product images. When the image is ready, print it to the AFPDS driver. Windows will redirect the driver to output the AFPDS image to a file. It will prompt you for the file name.
Using a file transfer program, such as PC Support's file transfer facility, copy this new image file to the AS/400. Put it into an empty physical file with a record length of 1024 bytes.
Use the Create Page Segment (CRTPAGSEG) or Create Overlay (CRTOVL) command to convert the AFPDS file to the appropriate Page Segment (*PAGSEG) or Overlay (*OVL) object. Place the newly created object in an appropriate library. You can then clear or delete the physical file that held the AFPDS output.
Your image is now on the AS/400, ready for use by RPG, DDS, or the OVRPRTF command. For more information, look at IBM's manual V2R3 PC Support/400 and Microsoft Windows 3.1 Advanced Topics (GG24-4253) which is located on the V3R1 Redbook CD-ROM (SK2T-2172).
- Thomas M. Stockwell