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January 2001

eComStation (eCS) Preview
2 Month's Later

Article by Dan Casey ©January 2001

eComStation: http://www.ecomstation.com
eComStation Distributors: http://www.touchvoicecorp.com/ecs/ecshowtobuy.html
Known Issues with the eCS Preview: http://www.touchvoicecorp.com/ecs/known_issues.html
eComStation (eCS) First Look, The Preview Edition: http://www.os2voice.org/VNL/past_issues/VNL1100H/vnewsf6.htm
eComStation (eCS) Preview 1 Month Later: http://www.os2voice.org/VNL/past_issues/VNL1200H/vnewsf6.htm
This month's eCS update will be short, but sweet.

First of all, the current (as of December 10, 2000) Status, according to Kim Cheung in a post to usenet: comp.os.os2.misc:

(a) The GUI improvement team has submitted a release candidate for me to review. It should be very impressive - given the caliber of people working on it.

(b) The phase 1 install team sent me a floppy image about 2 days ago. Haven't try it yet. We are very fortunate to have the help from one of the team member - who has access to a LOT of hardware that we can only dream of owning (like a 4 way Xeon server to test the SMP code).

(c) We are collecting reports from the reviewers as a check list to see how effective our phase 1 solution will be.

(d) The install program team is currently battling a trap 5 in ibmdev32.dll. The program works with Warp 4 image but not MCP. I expect that to be resolved within a few days. Once we pass that, the WPS should come right up without touching your hard drive.

(e) We are assembling a team to work on the third party application adoptions.

(f) Effort already underway to rewrite the LVM user interface. The IBM LVM interface is simply too overwhelming for new user.

Given all that, we can be pretty flexible when we release a GA version. Most of the work has been done already. I would expect Jan release should be pretty realistic. In the meantime, any eCS Preview user in the US can get a refresh of their CD by sending me a CD in a self-addressed stamped mailer. I will put the MCP GA code on it. So far, only 1 person did that. The rest of them are happy with what they have.

Author's note: For the record, I sent in a blank CDR disk so I could get a copy of the GA MCP code to compare it with what I'd been using. I'm very happy with the Preview Release code, however I thought it worth the effort to get the new code and make a comparison.

Now, for the latest and greatest news from Serenity Systems on what will be added to the eCS GA Packaging.

According to Serenity Systems, the following items have been added to the packaging (to be included with) the GA release of eComStation (eCS).

IBM has agreed to allow Serenity Systems to include ANYTHING out of the Device Driver Website and include it as part of eCS. This means that Serenity will not have to individually go to the Manufacturers and ask permission, individually, to include the Device drivers in the eCS Packaging.

IBM has also agreed to allow Serenity Systems to include the Device Driver Development Kit in the eCS package. While this may not seem important to most users considering a purchase of eCS, what it does mean is that Serenity will be better able to add value to eCS in the future. And this will benefit ALL users of eCS.

What all this means is that current users of Warp 4 can purchase the Upgrade Version of eCS for $139.00 (up until January 31, 2001 .. and that date is not set in stone at this point), and receive:

The GA Release of eCS (based on the GA MCP package from IBM). Which includes:

In general, "more bang for your buck" than a subscription to SWC alone offers you.

As we get closer and closer to a GA release of eCS, the entire package is beginning to take shape, and a clearer picture of just what that package will include is also taking shape. Stay tuned for further updates.

The latest news on eCS comes from the VOICE sponsored Speakup with Bob St. John on Friday, Dec. 15th. This "Special Edition" Speakup was scheduled to be more friendly to our European friends, who normally would have to set their alarm clocks to get up in the middle of the night for the regular Monday night time-slot. You can read the transcript of the event at http://www.os2voice.org/logs/V121500.LOG.html

These are just some of the things currently being worked on:

Chris Graham has expressed an interest in updating his Graham Utilities to support large disks and "get into the act".

Solution Technologies (the Scanner folks) are interested in getting some of their apps visible in eCS. And, speaking of Scanners, the people who wrote the SANE software are looking into support for USB Scanners in eCS (and OS/2). Apparently, SANE itself already supports many USB scanners ... it's the USB drivers in OS/2 that need the updates.

There is a sizable amount of activity currently taking place, and several hurdles have been overcome in the past week, alone. And most of them have been overcome with the diligent assistance of members of "The OS/2 Community" working together with Serenity Systems and their resellers to make sure that we users have the best possible release candidate available for the GA. I can safely say that the GA Release of eCS is truly a "community effort". We have spoken, and Serenity has listened ... and IBM has listened to Serenity. Our thanks to everyone involved in the suggestions, development and support of Serenity Systems and eCS.

Next month ... reports on the GA release of eCS should be gracing these pages.

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