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Differentiate between number 0 and alpha O in print ?

 
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Sysaron

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:09 am    Post subject: Differentiate between number 0 and alpha O in print ?
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Hi all,

Does anyone know of a way using COBOL to create a difference between an ALPH O and a number 0, such as forcing a dot in the middle, or a slash thru the zero when it is printed?

Thanks so much for any advice!
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Robert Sample

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:28 am    Post subject:
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1. Anything you do in COBOL could be negated by the printer used.
2. Have you looked at the various code pages available to see if any of them sufficicently distinguish zeroes and ohs?
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Bill Woodger

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply to: Differentiate between number 0 and alpha O in prin
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Well, on your Cobol Coding Sheet, you put a vertical line through one or the other (varied from site-to-site).

I don't get it. Where is it difficult for someone to tell the difference? If you are talking about printed output, then there is a character-set: for that - talk to your technical people about what is available, and how to use it.

For a 3270-Emulator you should have some "Fonts" that you can select from.

Neither will really be anything to do with a Cobol program. For the character-set, you'll do it on the SYSOUT. For the Emulator, they'll all need re-initialising with a new default.
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Sysaron

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:45 am    Post subject:
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Hi again,

I am talking about where someone would have difficultly disstinguishing the difference on a printed form. In this case I am printing a bill that you must use a pin# in order to pay it. The pin# is on the bill and can have both numeric zero and alpha o, Like 2T6OYU. The customers are now afraid that the bill payers will not distiguish the zero from the 'O'. If there is a "character set" that my 'Technical people" would know more about, I would like to find more info about it. Thank so much in advance.
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Bill Woodger

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply to: Differentiate between number 0 and alpha O in prin
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So ask them. The answer is yes. If there isn't one currently that has a bar in it (I'd expect on the zero), they can set one up. You're still going to have to tell the bill-payer which is which, if it is genuinely difficult to tell between the normal characters. Generally, the 0 is more "pointy" and the O "fatter". Just like I've just typed. If they are very similar when printed on the bills, putting a line through and saying nothing won't help.

An alternative is to not use them both.

I can't really remember the last time I had trouble distinguishing the two (on any type of computer output), so maybe never seen it. On other things, yes, but not from computers. Curious that you've managed to get a problem.

Is the problem really that someone is assuming the bill-payers are just dumb?

Are they going to use a keyboard to enter the PIN#? The keys, either on-screen of physical, have to have the same shape as the characters on the bill.

I think it's a waste of time doing what you want, but it can be done, and it is quite easy. It will not affect your Cobol program.
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prino

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:32 am    Post subject:
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A zero with a slash is useless in Denmark, Norway and a few more countries, where it may be confused with the slashed O.

And how would Tom, Dick or Harry know that a dotted zero is a zero and not just a dotted O?

Simply do not use 0 and O, the 1,544,804,416 possible 6-character combinations should be enough anyway.
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Sysaron

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:20 pm    Post subject:
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Thanks for all the info. Unfortunately I am truely forced to use both zero and 'O' for this project by my customers, for whatever reason.

And yes, my customers/users feel that the bill payers need to be told that you must enter '1' before entering the area code of a phone number as well.

I think I will get the COM-Xerox peopel to figure out a good character-set for the form/bill.

Thanks again! Bye.
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Ed Goodman

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:11 pm    Post subject:
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In a pinch, you could use lower case O, so that at least it would look that much different.
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