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Jumping through hoops

    In response to the Perspectives column written by Charles Cooper, "Why does PC support stink?":

    Your article brought a smile to my face. Only a few days ago I had a similar experience, but with a different twist.

    I use Linux, but also dual-boot XP for some Windows-only software. Example: Last weekend I helped my mom and dad prepare their tax returns. I planned to e-mail the tax returns as PDF files, when I discovered that I couldn't do that. Many years ago I used Adobe Acrobat's free PDF printer driver. Just "print" from any application to generate PDFs.

    Well, can't do that anymore! No more free PDF driver in Adobe's Acrobat Reader--please pay Adobe for the "full" Acrobat.

    I searched for a free PDF printer driver. Everywhere I looked there was either some "trial" version, with the full version "for only $19.95," or something that I wasn't sure didn't include typical Windows spyware/parasiteware.

    My final solution was adding a new printer driver for a generic Postscript printer, which saves Postscript output into a file. I printed all the tax returns, rebooted into Linux, converted the Postscript files into PDFs, and e-mailed them to my folks.

    Here's a better title for your article: "Why Windows stinks."

    Sam Varshavchik
    New York, N.Y.