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December 2000

OS/2 Tips

We scan the Web, Usenet and the OS/2 mail lists looking for these gems. Have you run across an interesting bit of information about OS/2 recently? Please share it with all our readers. Send your tips to tips@os2voice.org. If you are interested in joining a particular OS/2 Mailing List, check out the VOICE Mailing List page for subscribing instructions for a large variety of existing Lists - http://www.os2voice.org/mailinglists.html.

Editor's note: these tips are from OS/2 users and in some cases can not be verified by myself. Please heed this as a warning that if you are not sure about something, don't do it.

October 21, 2000 - The Preview version of eComStation is out, and it appears to have a few problems. If you need to install eCS using Boot Diskettes, here is a helpful tip from Ernie Fisch on the POSSI Discussion mailing list:
The disk label on the installation diskette is wrong. Check the label, it should be DISK 0. Mine was VFDISK. Change it to DISK 0 and Bob's your uncle.

October 29, 2000 - Jeffrey S. Kobal, of the IBM Web browser team, who are also working on the Warpzilla (Mozilla for OS/2) development, offers this advice for those who are testing this new web browser for OS/2. This was from a post on the Mozilla news server's Warpzilla news group - news://news.mozilla.org/netscape.public.mozilla.os2
If you find a problem with the latest build of Mozilla for OS/2, please submit a bug report through Bugzilla. You can find a link to the bug submission form at: http://www.mozilla.org/ports/os2 There is also a link on that page to the query of all current OS/2 bugs. Please check that list before you submit your bug report, to avoid duplicate reports. Also, if you find that the problem exists on other platforms as well (Windows would be the best comparitive release), it would be best to open the bug as a cross-platform problem. Also, be sure to include the date of the build you are running. Thanks for your help in finding these problems....

October 30, 2000 - From the ns4os2 egroup list, here is how to include the non-standard character "@" in a URL, in this case it was for WGET to download a file.
You have to escape any reserved or unsafe character in a URL. So you would use

wget http://user%40domain.com:pass@www.domain.com/file.zip

where %40 is the encoding for @

November 3, 2000 - Maynard Riley offered the following help for ICQ users on the VOICE Help list:
I use the following .cmd file:

set ICQ_HOME=C:\ICQjava
java -classpath %CLASSPATH%;\JAVA11\LIB\classes.zip;%ICQ_HOME%;%ICQ_HOME%\ICQ.jar Mirabilis.ICQ.NetAware.CNetAwareApp -path %ICQ_HOME%

which doesn't look too good, but works

November 3, 2000 - From comp.os.os2.apps, here is a Netscape Communicator for OS/2 tip from Rich Walsh, (the author of DragText v3.3 http://www.e-vertise.com/dragtext), regarding a long standing problem of repeatedly opening/closing Communicator for OS/2:
When I read that opening and closing the current release of NS4.61 16 times caused the WPS to disappear, I had more than a sneaking suspicion that I knew the cause. However, I didn't pursue it until it happened to me while developing the web page mentioned below. Yesterday, I did some experimenting and found I was correct. I've shared this info with Buddy Donnelly and he's confirmed that it works on his system as well. It's really very simple:


This is the dll that extends NS4.61's non-standard, incompatible- with-any-other-app, 100% cpu-usage drag and drop facility to WPS folders other than the Desktop. After renaming it, I opened and closed/crashed NS 25 or 30 times without any problem. As soon as I restored the dll's name and restarted NS, the WPS disappeared immediately. So, if the WPS is more important to you than being able to drop a URL in a folder, then you may want to try this fix.

As to that web page... I've just relaunched my DragText web site and added a page that demonstrates what NS4.61 *can* do. The "DragText Simulator" provides an amazingly realistic demonstration of DT in action. You can drag "text" and "file icons" to and from a simulated Desktop and several simulated windows, as well as popping up WPS menus just the way that DT does. It uses DHTML, JavaScript, and CSS - all standard in NS4.x - and if nothing else, demonstrates what you can do in a browser window without resorting to Java or plugins. If you're interested, go to
read that page (so you'll better understand what DT does), then select the link for DragText Simulator.

Warning! Do *not* resize the browser window while on the Simulator page: NS4.61 will crash. If necessary, go to another page, resize, then return. (FWIW... NS 4.75 for Windoze doesn't exhibit this perverse behavior.

November 8, 2000 - Mike Kaply IBM posted the following on the netscape.public.mozilla.os2 news group:
I've been holding off on a new nightly waiting for plugins, but it's going to be a little while longer.

So I have just uploaded a new nightly to ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/ps/products/warpzilla

IMPORTANT: This build requires the setting of MOZILLA_HOME in the environment to use your OLD profiles.

SET MOZILLA_HOME=C:\OS2 to reuse the old, profiles. If you do not set MOZILLA_HOME, they default to under the bin directory.

Please use this build to verify fixed defects, and double check any open crashes.

November 9, 2000 - Here is an interesting tale from Bob Eager, as posted on comp.os.os2.setup.misc:
Well, not much of a tale but probably worth noting.

I installed Warp 4 on a test machine so I could try out some CID stuff later (not that that's relevant, actually). Here's what I did (the disk had a wiped MBR so was TOTALLY empty):

1) Booted the install disks, escaped to a command prompt and created a number of partitions. I didn't format them at this stage.

2) Rebooted the install disks to pick up the newly created partitions, and installed on (as it happens) drive G:

3) After the last reboot of the install, everything came up normally. Except for the continuous hard disk activity. A kind of 'chug chug' sound. I left it for a bit thinking there was some final file copying going on, but eventually I shut down and rebooted.

4) On completion of the reboot the disk was once again chugging!

5) I left it for a bit while I formatted all the other partitions from a command prompt. I failed to format C: as it was (inexplicably) locked!

6) I thought for a bit. And looked at the WarpCenter. And looked at the disk space display in the WarpCenter. And noticed it was displaying UNKNOWN for drive C: (because it was unformatted). I clicked on the display to show drive D:.

7) Two things happened. THE CHUGGING STOPPED! and I could now format C:.

Conclusion is obvious. But also useful to remember for the future.

November 15, 2000 - Here's some information on OS/2's Minimize/Maximize window behaviour by Brad Barclay on comp.os.os2.misc:
Minimized is a bit of a misnomer. It really just means that the frame is not displayed, and an icon is placed either in the Minimized Window Viewer, or on the Desktop (depending on your global System settings, or the specific objects settings). On OS/2, along with "Minimize" there is "Hide", which is like minimize, except that it won't show up in either the Minimized Window Viewer or on the Desktop itself.

Maximized is really only valid for frames that are being displayed. It tells the frame to resize itself and it's contents such that it fills the entire screen. Generally, it will also lock the frames position. Maximize behaviour is a litte different for command prompt windows. Maximizing a command prompt window will set it to it's largest size (usually 80 x 25 chars, with the actual size depending on the current font being used in the command window).

OS/2 allows you to globally set the window dimensions for non-maximized command prompt windows throuh shift-frame drag. You might want to try this with your application: start it up minimized, bring it to the foreground (de-minimizing it), make sure it isn't maximized (the top-right corner control should look like a big square, and not like a smaller square with bars to either side), and then shift-drag the frame to the size and position you want it in. Now minimize it, and de-minimize it again -- hopefully it should show up full sized now. Close the application, and the settings should hopefully be maintained.

One thing that tends to confuse people about "minimize" and "maximize" is that they are not mutually exclusing, nor are they direct opposites. You can minimize a maximized window, while maintaining it's maximized quality (ie: a minimized-maximized windows is still maximized, it just isn't showing on screen). Likewise, you don't undo a minimized mindow by maximizing it. It really is bad terminology -- but we're probably stuck with it for a while :P.

I hope this helps!

November 15, 2000 - Yanai Danan offered this advise on the eComStation@egroups.com mail list:
I have noticed two problems in eCS prev1:

1- changing the MTU has no effect (probably due to point 2)
2- changing the MTU using a ifconfig statement does not work if it is at the end of the statement.

The following doesn't change the MTU:

ifconfig lan0 netmask metric 1 mtu 1492
The following does:
ifconfig lan0 mtu 1492
I now have both in my setup.cmd and I am able to access all web pages without problems.

I hope this can help someone. (At least to fix the bug).

November 16, 2000 - If you are having problems with OPEN32 under OS/2, here is a possible solution as posted by Lewis G Rosenthal, on odinusers@egroups.com:
Yes, however, if you ran a CID install, it doesn't get installed by default (a "normal", attended install will include it by default). (Open32 is referred to as DAX.)

Dan Leitner posted a great suggestion to this group on 8/12/2000:

On my system, I open 'E:OS2\INSTALL\Install Object' folder object.
Select the components wanted and click install.
For Open 32 select 'DAXCOMP1' only.
You should get a confirmation.
Insert Warp CD, and click Install.
Follow instructions.
That's the "neat" way of getting DAX added to your existing setup. Note that the DAX files have been updated with the base OS/2 fixpaks, so you'll want to patch the install to match your fixpak level. To do this manually, you'll want to add the following (if they exist in the fixpak):
Also copy from the fixpak regedit2.exe to \os2. If you can launch regedit2 and actually view the registry, DAX is alive and well.

November 16, 2000 - A question that comes up frequently is where does the bootable partition limit of 1024 Cylinders fall. Here is some information that helps from Daniela Engert on the OS/2 Hardware list:
These first 8 GiB (actually, 7.8 GiB) are within the 1024 boot limit if the disk is partitioned/formatted using the common "LBA" geometry mapping (255 heads/63 sectors) most BIOSes offer today. If a different maping is used, the bootable area shrinks - sometimes down to 504 MeB in case of the most inappropriate mapping for large disks: the "normal" mapping (15 or 16 heads/63 sectors).

With the advent of WSeB/MCP/eCS this 1024 cylinder limit is no longer an issue!

November 17, 2000 - With eCS and the upcoming MCP now including LVM, you may want to be able to run LVM from your Warp 4 partition. Jack Troughton gave these instructions for doing this on eComStation@egroups.com:
Copy the eCS version of OS2DASD.DMD and OS2LVM.DMD to \OS2\BOOT on your warp 4 partition, and copy lVM.EXE to \OS2 and LVM.DLL in \OS2\DLL.


Put BASEDEV=OS2LVM.DMD after the OS2DASD.DMD statement in your config.sys.

Reboot warp 4; it will now understand all the assignments set in lvm, and you can run lvm in warp 4 and it will work.

Original credit to Daniela Engert for pointing out the file I was missing to make it work!

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