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January 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 editor@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.

December 15, 1999 - Our first tip of the month is from Evzen Polenka on the NS4OS2 Mail List. If you always wondered how to go back and forth between pages in Netscape without having to click on the toolbar buttons

Alt-LeftCursorArrow = Go Back
Alt-RightCursorArrow = Go Forward

December 16, 1999 - Next John Twelker adds this tip on the OS/2 List on how to tell if you are connecting a CDROM sound card cable correctly:

On some sound cards (like the DSC PCI sound card), there's no way to tell which way the plug goes on since there's no slotted connector holder. However, if you look at the female connector, you'll see the gold terminal ends on one side of the connector and the slot on the other side. Just make sure the gold terminal ends are facing you (the open side of the computer) and the slot is on the backside. If you plug it in wrong, you'll get system sound but no CD sound.

December 16, 1999 - Another Netscape tip, this one from Steve Wendt on where-else but the NS4OS2 Mail List:

This page has some nice tips for Communicator 4.x. http://www.silverlink.net/~jensenba/rom2/tipsntricks.html

December 18, 1999 - Steve Wendt yet again with a useful tip on the NS4oS2 mail list. If you are looking for throbber images to use in Communicator 4.xx, check out this URL:


December 18, 1999 - CHKDSK.LOG files can cause problems for some. These are generated when a CHKDSK is performed using the 32 bit version in later Warp fixpacks. Here is a tip from David McKenna as posted on comp.os.os2.bugs on how to remove these files before they cause problems:

I use a device driver which comes with the Graham Utilities called 'Cleanup.sys' which allows you to put a line in CONFIG.SYS to remove any file you list on the DEVICE= line; in this case CHKDSK.LOG. I don't remove FOUNDx directories since there may actually be something there I want.

December 20, 1999 - James Knott offered this tidbit on the comp.os.os2.misc Usenet group about the capacity of the OS/2 NewDASD IDE driver:

The version I was working with last year, could handle up to ~32 GB, which is the max possible with the IDE interface. I used it with a 16 GB drive. At that time, we couldn't get Windows 95 or NT past 8 GB.

December 21, 1999 - On the OS/2 Hardware List, Kris Steenhaut shared this tip about speeding up an IDE LS-120 Drive under OS/2:

The IDE LS-120 was dirty slow here too, until I got the idea of disabling all of the IDE harddisk settings in the bios, from auto to disabled, indeed, in respect to the proper IDE controller and device.

This action speeded up the LS-120 considerably: from being about twice as slow as a genuine floppy drive to a little bit faster as the floppy drive. Far away from the "3,5 times faster as a floppy" yet, but it's nicely working now. It's working so well now, I'm thinking of replacing my "genuine" floppy drive by an LS-120 (A: =the genuine, B: = LS-120).

I noticed too, each time the (Award)bios has an upgrade, the settings are put back to auto. Hence, something to look after.

December 21, 1999 - Don E. Dazley offered this Actiontec modem help on the OS/2 Hardware List:

For those of you that may have a Actiontec PCI modem the Initialization String that works best for me is: ATE0Q0&C1&D2&K3V1X4S0=0B15. I was using the recommended (Actiontec)init. string and notice the my old ISA 33.6 Acer was faster than the Actiontec. After calling Actiontec and getting two more recommended strings ( one was no help and the other crashed the TCPIP dialer) I decided to do my own. When I began the Actiontec was checked at 14.4K and with the above string at 46K. Hope this helps someone.

December 21, 1999 - Jeff Kobal of IBM adds the following information about the behavior of VIO window sizing defaults, following up on a tip in the December VOICE newsletter:

Here's how it works:

First of all, you don't have to close all VIO windows except one; you can change the VIO window settings at any time, using any open VIO window.

There are two pieces of data stored in the OS2.INI file that deal with the default size of VIO windows; they are both stores under the "Shield" application name.

The first is "fMaximized", which is a 0/1 (false/true) toggle that determines whether or not VIO windows are to be opened in a Maximized state (if this key value does not exist in the INI file, the window is opened non-maximized; in Warp 4 and beyond, this value is initialized to 1 in the INI file, so VIO windows are opened maximized by default).

The second is sInitialShape, which is a coordinate-rectangle that determines the size and position of the VIO window on the screen (if this key value does not exist, which by default it does not, then the windows are positioned by the shell in a cascading arrangement with standard window size). Normally, only the window-size is used, and the position of the window is still in the cascaded fashion; however, if the fMaximized flag is turned on (as is default on Warp 4 and above), then the initial window position information will be used as well. In addition, if you hold down the SHIFT key while the VIO window is opened, this will also cause the window-position information to be used, regardless of the state of the fMaximized flag.

To change the value of the fMaximized flag in the INI file (aside from modifying the INI file entry directly), hold down the SHIFT key while maximizing or un-maximizing a VIO window (click on the maximize/restore button, or double-click the title bar). The system will store away the last state that you set while holding the SHIFT key.

To set the size/position (sInitialShape) information, hold down the SHIFT key while adjusting the size or position of the window (dragging a sizing border, dragging the window from the titlebar, or even just left-clicking on the titlebar will do).

And here's the most obscure part of all of this: if you press the SHIFT key while adjusting the size or position of the window, but release the SHIFT key before completing the adjustment (i.e. Press SHIFT, press left mouse button down over titlebar, release SHIFT key, release mouse button), this will cause the sInitialShape information to be removed, so the system will go back to the shell determining the size and position of the VIO window.

Long-winded, I know.... but I figured your readers should have all of the facts.

December 22, 1999 - Brad Benson of CDS Inc, offered this help on TEAMOS2HELP-List for problems with using the IBM Software Installer, which is used for installing a number of popular OS/2 applications like Netscape/2, PMView and CDS's BackAgain/2000:

This is a known issue with IBM Software Installer; it gets confused when different versions of itself exist on the system from various products. You're half done with the epfi*dll files, you also need to resolve the epfi*.exe files and make sure they aren't being loaded first. Also, instead of Netscape being first in your libpath/path, you should have the current directory first.

And Felmon Davis who started the thread about this chimed in with the following:

The trick was to put the ".;" code at the head of the LIBPATH and PATH statements.

December 22, 1999 - Here are a couple of responses to the following question, "Does anyone know of a way to setup automatic mail forwarding under lotus notes?"

On the OS/2 List, Willard E. Fullam III offered the following:

Open or highlight your mail database (server based version if you replicate). Select Create/Agents. Give your new agent a name. Tell it to run "If New Mail Has Arrived". Select "Simple Action" in the 'what should agent run' area and click on the "Add Action" button. Select "Send Mail Message"; add address(es); check "Include copy of document". chose a title/subject like "Forwarded Mail from Office" or whatever. Save this. You are done.

If your Admins permit, you could request your Person doc be edited to include a Forwarding Address, but this is an Admin headache. Let your managers and the Admins for Notes know that they should be looking at working out a system wide option for mail forwarding. There are a number of ways they could approach incorporating this into the basic Notes setup.

And on TEAMOS2-List, Stewart Pelegan, had this response:

Glad you asked. I was able to do this with an Agent....kinda/sorta. I'm using Notes 4.52 and if you look in the left hand frame, near the bottom, there should be an "Agent" listing. Click on it. Then, click on "Create/Agent..." on the menu bar on top. In the new window, enter some name in the "Name" field. In the "When should this agent run?" field, pick "If New Mail Has Arrived" from the drop-down menu. In the big "What should this agent do?" field, select "Formula" and the following is one of the formulas I tried:


I haven't tried it in a while, but I believe it forwards everything...except the message body. According to the help screen for @MailSend:

...you cannot send the contents of a rich-text field as one of the bodyfields. If you must send rich text, write an agent formula instead...

Yep, the message body field is of rich-text type. I remember posting a question on one of the Notes newsgroups about this about 2-3 months ago, only I never checked back. Your note makes me curious. I'll check the deja news site and see if anyone replied. If you do find out outside of this mail server, could you post the solution here? Thanks.

January 2, 2000 - If you ever get a TRAP error on SINGLEQ$, Jeff Kobal of IBM has the likely culprit identified in the tip below from comp.os.os2.bugs:

99% of the time, this is caused by the video driver not initializing properly. It could be a problem with the driver or the video card; I'm not sure why it would be intermittent, though. You could try updating the driver, but if it's a hardware problem with the video card you might be out of luck.

Actually, SINGLEQ$ is the device driver that handles input-device interrupts on behalf of Presentation Manager, and it requires that the video subsystem has already been loaded and initialized properly before it can do anything; otherwise, it abends (as you have seen).

January 2, 2000 - After installing World Clock ( http://Goran_Ivankovic.tripod.com ) recently, I began getting an error as that app started up saying my Time Zone setting was incorrect. As far as I could see my TZ=EST5EDT in my CONFIG.SYS was just fine. Then I saw this post on the POSSI discussion list from Philip R. Mann, and I saw the light:

EST5EDT = Eastern Std Time, normally 5 hours behind GST, Eastern
Daylight Time
3 = March
10 = October
-1,0 = last Sunday of month
7200 = 2 AM (in seconds)
3600 = 1 hour difference (in seconds)
I changed mine to SET TZ=EST5EDT,4,1,0,7200,10,-1,0,7200,3600 and World Clock has been happy ever since.

January 3, 2000 - Are you as confounded by those obtuse preference strings in Netscape's PREFS.JS file as I am? Here is a site I saw mentioned in a post by John Thompson on the OS/2 User List that explains what a lot of those settings do:

Check out http://developer.netscape.com/docs/manuals/deploymt/jsprefs.htm
for other config tips.

January 4, 2000 - Looking for instructions on how to activate the Lotus Notes 4.6 Client that IBM refused to release for OS/2 but hid inside the Notes Server 4.6 release? Here is a URL to check for the HowTo courtesy of Thomas Vandahl on comp.os.os2.networking.misc


January 4, 2000 - If you have a newer model CD-RW drive that has a previous model supported by RSJ's CDRW, here is a post by Mark B. Szkolnicki on RSJ's own support news server news://news.rsj.de/rsj.de.support.cdwriter.os2 which may be of help:

I was finally able to get the RSJ software working with my CRW8424S by doing the following:
1) ensuring that the CDWFS directory was present in the C: partition (I place most non-operating system directories on my D: (SYSTEM) drive, just in case I have to reinstall the Operating System)
2) Booting the system twice after installation (the "failed to register RSJ CD-Writer WPS extensions" error box disappears)
3) Added a CRW8424S definition to the CDDRV.INF file, based on the one listed for the Yamaha CRW4416S drive.
4) Added a -i:"CRW8424S" parameter to the LOCKCDR.FLT line in CONFIG.SYS.

The drive is now recognized as Drive Z: for the session, and appears in the Drives folder, after attaching the CD using CD Writer Control. I found the instructions were helpful in the documentation, but had to be read carefully to determine what needed to be done. Also, as the entries seem to be space sensistive, copying a similar entry to the one you need which is already present in the CDDRV.INF file, and pasting below a previous entry, then editing the new line seemed to be the best way to proceed.

January 6, 2000 - Looking for a driver for a 3COM 3c905c Network Card? Eric Seaberg offered this advise on the OS/2 List:

Look at the following page:


You'll likely need only the 3C90XX2.EXE file which has the OS/2 NDIS driver on it. This worked like a charm for me.

January 6, 2000 - Not sure what FixPak level your system is at? Jeffrey S. Kobal of IBM (yet again this month) comp.os.os2.misc offers this "shortcut", that avoids all the output that syslevel produces:

If you use the "type" command to output the contents of SYSLEVEL.FPK in your OS2\INSTALL
directory, you should see the version number of the installed fixpack in among the rest of the text (a little shortcut to avoid waiting for SYSLEVEL to search all of your files).

January 7, 2000 - Craig passed on this information about running MYOB(a window's finance application) under OS/2, on comp.os.os2.apps:

Just thought I'd let the interested people know that MYOB premier V2.x despite being touted at 32bit is in fact a 16 bit app and works fine under OS/2. The '32 bit' part is the installer only, and so it does unfortunately need to be installed from win32 (or perhaps ODIN, I've not tried yet). Seems to work real good except the help which is in a different format to that understood by win/os2.
I didnt even have to add the C:\windows path to autoexec (OS/2 on d:\ here).
Best regards,
PS - I found this out by first running it on NT, it shows up in the task manager as running in a VDM.

January 9, 2000 - Are you interested in using True Type Fonts from win-OS/2 in OS/2? David T. Johnson offered his process for doing that on the odinusers list:

I have a truetype font called "Banana Split" installed in Win-OS2. Win-OS2 has two files in the x:os2\mdos\winos2\system folder "BANANASP.TTF" which is 69,308 bytes and "BANANASP.FOT" which is 1,325 bytes.

Now, I go to the system setup folder, click on the font palette object, select "edit fonts" and click on "ADD".

Then I specify the x:\os2\mdos\winos2\system directory in the box and OS/2 shows me all of the truetype fonts that are in that directory.

Now, I select Banana Split and OS/2 copies the "BANANASP.TTF" file into the x:\PSFONTS folder and now allows me to use the Banana Split font in every native OS/2 application as a drop-down selection under fonts, for example the word processor in the Bonus Pack.

As for quality, I have printed truetype fonts under Win-OS2 and under OS/2 and the final print quality is exactly the same. The onscreen rendering of fonts under OS/2 is a little grainier than under Win-OS2 but this is true of all fonts, not just truetype fonts.

January 12, 2000 - Have you been having a problem with win-OS/2 sessions not closing and you also run Styler/2? John Thompson offered the possible solution on the OS2USER List:

Are you perhaps using Styler/2 v1.20? If so, this is a known issue and a fix has been released:

In Styler/2 version 1.2 winOS2 sessions were not
closed properly. This caused various problems like
unability to start another winOS2 program, system
hangs and unability to properly shutdown the system.
To fix this you can download smw121.zip (49 KB) from:

* the incoming directory
* or later the new directory of hobbes
* or from my web site at ghostbbs
* or at tin.it

January 12, 2000 - Do you need to know how to install the TCPIP fixpack without using floppies? Lorne Sunley gave these directions on the comp.os.os2.networking.tcp-ip news group:

Use the DSKXTRCT.EXE utility to expand the diskette images to a directory on your hard drive.
The csf141 fixtool will apply the fix from the hard drive if you set the CSFCDROMDIR environment variable to point to the directory the fixpack is in.
1) Place the CSF 141 fix tool in a directory like \FIXTOOL
2) use dskxtrct to expand the diskette images to \FIXTCP
3) set csfcdromdir=\FIXTCP
4) run the SERVICE program from the \FIXTOOL directory

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