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January 2001

Your Voice!

An editorial view from Mark Dodel and Christian Hennecke, editors of the VOICE Newsletter editor@os2voice.org

Welcome to the new millenium, and despite the naysayers, OS/2 lives on. :-)

I haven't done much pleading for articles of late. I think it's been several month's since I last sent out a request for people to consider writing an article. Though I still ask people when I see a well written post in Usenet or on a mail list to consider writing it as an article for VOICE or OS/2eZine. We have been lucky enough to have an abundance of material for each issue of late. Especially in light of the problems experienced by other OS/2 publications.

January's issue is still chock full of information for the OS/2 user. If you find this issue useful, or have found a previous issue useful, keep in mind that all issues are the work of volunteers. We have between 1,000 and 2,000 readers each month, yet feedback is minimal. I receive maybe 3 or 4 letters per issue, unless there is a mistake, in which case I receive several times that number. ;-)

So with all you folks reading and hopefully benefitting from each issue, why is there so little feedback? If you have benefitted from the Newsletter, we hope that you consider joining VOICE to show your support. We can only grow if people continue to join and renew membership in VOICE. With growth comes the ability to do more for the OS/2 ( and now eCS ) Community.

You don't have to be a member to write an article for the Newsletter. If you can't afford the membership cost, or you just don't see any reason to actually join VOICE to support our organization, please consider writing an article for the newsletter, or even an article for OS/2 eZine or POSSI's magazine EA, or Walter Metcalf's os2.about.com site. You don't have to be an expert to write about a piece of software or hardware. Just tell your experience. That's what Julian E. Brown, Dan Casey and Matt Pierce do this month with their articles on Networking with OS/2.

The main issue is what to write about. Have you installed something new recently? OS/2 users are always asking for information about sound cards, video cards, drive controllers, CDRW drives, modems, printers and lots of other If you want examples of what people have written about in the past, go to http://www.os2voice.org/VNL/past_issues/vnlindex.html and browse all the articles over the past four years.

What about an article on software that you find useful? That's what I did last month with PM Timer. I had stumbled on the author's web site, and the description interested me and I found the program useful. How about an article on the mail program you use? Or perhaps the internet dialer you use? Anything that you think is useful to you, will most probably be of equal usefulness to many others in the OS/2 user community.

Something that has been painfully neglected all the way through is software for XFree86/OS2. I really want to see reviews of that kind. When you ask most people about it you only get "The GIMP" as response and that is one of the reasons why they don't even install XFree86/OS2. But there are other applications out there that - like The GIMP - are real killer apps. And there are some nice games, too. :-)

Did you recently choose a new software package or hardware for your system? You then have probably made a thorough evaluation of certain products of the same kind by comparing their features, support, ease of use, stability etc. and finally you selected the one that you thought suites you best. Why not transfer this process into words and help others make their choice? Think of office suites, video adapters etc. etc.

Or tell us about your opinion regarding the things going on in the computer world. Think of Tom Nadeau's Warped Perspective column and Simon Gronlund's recent reflections about dot.coms in OS/2 eZine. Or maybe you have an idea for an exciting new project? Start discussion in the Newsletter!

We all know that are things out there that are real beasts and the process of mastering them takes a lot of time. What about sharing your knowledge with others in a How-To and helping them to save previous time and - even more important - nerves? I would have been most grateful if there had been a step by step guide on how to setup XFree86/OS2 and accompaning things some years ago.

Of course you can also introduce new projects or web services to the OS/2 Community. We are always interested in helping projects to get new participants. Or maybe you're a developer with decent knowledge about OS/2-specific techniques? Make it available for others!

We are planning to publish a list with topics we would like to see articles about in the Newsletter. You can and should contribute to the collection! So if you can think of a topic you always wanted to read something about, please submit it for the list! If somebody with detailed knowledge in this field reads the list chances are that he/she might feel encouraged to write an article him/herself. And of course if you have an idea for an article you want to write, please let us know. Send your ideas for topics to topiclist@os2voice.org, or your own articles to editor@os2voice.org.

For more on writing articles for the VOICE Newsletter see Guidelines for Article Submissions to the VOICE Newsletter. So raise your voice to help the OS/2 community. You'll feel good about it and everyone gets to learn something new.

VOICE Server Update: VOICE's website is now running smoothly on our own server machine. The latest possible service offer from VOICE is to mirror Usenet and eComStation news groups on our server. We are still trying to decide what services to offer for our members. We have discussed setting up mail accounts or just an email address redirection using the os2voice.org domain. Also providing web space to members and possibly server space to OS/2 development projects. If you have any thoughts on these or other services, please let us know. Either attend a meeting, or send your thoughts and ideas to president@os2voice.org. If for some reason we do experience any more down time, you can also access our pages including the newsletter at our mirror site - http://os2voice.ibmforum.com.

Also as a reminder, VOICE offers several mailing lists open to the OS/2 Community. A News list, Meeting Announcement list, General Discussion list, the Warp Doctor list and the Help list. These are all currently under utilized, and volumes are low. You can subscribe to all or any by going to the VOICE OS/2 Mailing Lists page - http://www.os2voice.org/mailinglists.html. If you have something for the VOICE News list, please send it to editor@os2voice.org and it will forwarded to the list. The VOICE Help list doesn't require subscription to use it. just send your question to help@os2voice.org and people who are subscribed to the list will respond if they have an answer.

In December we had a great Speakup with Sundial session on the 4th. The folks at Sundial have a knack for creating entertaining and educational events, like the Warped Jeopardy that was a hit at Warpstock, Warptech and Warpstock Europe. For IRC they created a new show based on OS/2, Sundial and VOICE history questions, patterned somewhat after the "Who wants to be a Millionaire?" TV game show. If you missed this, you missed a great show. You can read the transcript for "Sundial's Christmas in December" VOICE Speakup at http://www.os2voice.org/logs/V120400.LOG.html. Sundial combined the use of IRC chat with an HTML based game engine for this game.

Here are a couple of screen shots from the game, you can click on the images to see the full size images:

The above screen shot on the left shows the question being asked and the multiple choice answers. On the right is the refreshed web page showing the standings and all previous questions and their answers.

On December 15th we had another Speakup event with Bob St.John of Serenity Systems. This was scheduled at 1PM EST(6PM GMT), for interested European OS/2 users with additional input from Joachim Benjamins and David van Enckevort of Mensys. Even Ulrich Moeller of XFolder/XWorkplace fame was on hand to discuss a little about the proposed GUI changes. Only a handful showed up, but it was a very informative session none-the-less. You can read all that was discussed in the transcript at http://www.os2voice.org/logs/V121500.LOG.html.

For January there will be two general meetings scheduled on IRC - January 1 at 8PM EST(01:00 GMT, 02:00 Berlin), and January 15th at 8PM EST(01:00 GMT, 02:00 Berlin). For more information on attending online VOICE IRC meetings please see the VOICE Meeting Information page - http://www.os2voice.org/meetinginfo.html

If you have an idea for a Speakup event, please submit it to liaison@os2voice.org, and we will try to schedule something. Also on the VOICE Calendar are weekly Warp Doctor team meetings every Wednesday at 8PM EDT (01:00GMT, 02:00 Berlin). As always, please be sure to check out the updated VOICE Future events Calendar in this newsletter or on the VOICE website at <http://www.os2voice.org/calendar.html> for more details on future VOICE events.

For January we have a focus on networking with OS/2. First up we have OS/2 xDSL Experiences, by Julian E. Brown. Broadband internet access is increasingly more available, and there are lots of questions about using OS/2 with DSL and cable modems. Speaking of cable modems, our second article is Using a Cable or DSL Internet Connections in OS/2 Warp 4, by Dan Casey.

For those having to connect to Microsoft machines, we have a how-to article by Matt Pierce, titled Guidelines for configuring OS/2 Warp 4.0 for Access to a Routed NT Domain. Since we are doing all this talk about networking under OS/2, the next question that always comes up is what NIC (or network adapter) to use with OS/2. To help answer that we have an article by Mike Persell: Choosing the hardware connection between your DSL or Cable Modem and OS/2.

Next we have an article by Dan Casey in his series of articles on eComStation (eCS) Preview eComStation (eCS) Preview - 2 Months Later.

Klaus Staedtler von Przyborski is back with his fourth article in his Free Files series. He is again looking at freeware for the SOHO OS/2 user in Copying and Archiving, Part 2 (SOHO, Part 2).

Finally we have the VOICE Newsletter OS/2 Tips page and the Letters, Addenda, Errata page. If you have any OS/2 or eCS tips you've uncovered, please send them to tips@os2voice.org. If you have any comments or suggestions about the newsletter or articles in it, please send them to editor@os2voice.org

Just a reminder that we now have a full Newsletter Master Index page. All the feature sections of the current and previous issues can now be found on this one page. Additionally, we have added a Java based search function to this master index page. It will allow you to search all past issues for a specific word or phrase. So try it out and let us know what you think. If you have any ideas for improvements let me know at editor@os2voice.org.

That's it for this month. For February we continue our series on xDSL with an article on T-DSL (ADSL by German Telekom) and ISDNPM 3.0. In addition we have a review of the Dawicontrol DC-2976 UW-SCSI Controller and something about Ogg Vorbis, a relatively new sound encoding format. Also we have an article on installing PCMCIA Compact Flash support under OS/2 using an Actiontec PC700 PCMCIA. We are always interested in your thoughts and views on subjects related to OS/2, and would like to see opinion/editorial pieces as well as hardware/software reviews. If you can help by writing an article please contact me at editor@os2voice.org. Guidelines for Article Submissions to the VOICE Newsletter.

Mark Dodel and Christian Hennecke
Editors, VOICE Newsletter

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