i'm getting the spanish characters via CGI, DBI or even hardcoded into the script - but those 'wrong' characters appeared even when i was just echoing to lpr from bash - looked fine on the screen, came out wrong on the printer.
thanks a lot for the PerlIO suggestion - something like that was what i was looking for. I can't test it now, but i got a hunch that that was the problem. Thanks again.
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