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January 2002

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A Happy, and Healthy OS/2002 to everyone.

An editorial view from Mark Dodel, editor of the VOICE Newsletter.

First off I'd like to welcome you all to the beginning of the 6th Volume of the VOICE Newsletter. And a Happy, and Healthy OS/2002 to everyone. :-) It seems every year is a watershed year for OS/2. Will we still be using our favorite operating system a year from now? Every year I can remember the main-stream computing press has declared OS/2 dead yet again, but it keeps on working and getting better. And this past year has seen some exciting new development for our operating system of choice. And best yet we are safe and snug in our OS/2 beds, with dreams of sugar plums dancing in our heads, while our windows using neighbors have to fear grinches and gobblins in theirs.

I've received quite a few posts in regard to my editorial of two months ago Whither OS/2?. Some folks like myself have simply decided that OS/2 meets our needs and we will ride the pony for as far as it will take us. Others seem to be taken with MAC OSX, and are preparing to move on to the Apple platform. A few are content with a flavor of Linux. And a few have no qualms about using products from a criminal organization, despite constant security problems and lack of backward compatibility. I guess they still like to pad their budgets with all that new "required" hardware.

I actually have an iMac, but was very unimpressed with MacOS 9.x, both in terms of the UI (which I found difficult to figure out most of the time) and in performance (it really multi-tasks poorly). i hear the all new Mac OSX, based on the NeXT operating system, has corrected most of these problems. Some day when I find the time I may give it a try, but for now I don't see it being any advance over what I have with OS/2, and it would require buying all new applications and changing over my existing email archives which go back years.

So for now I will bank on eComStation and Serenity keeping OS/2 going into the future. As an update to my "Whither OS/2?" piece on where Software Choice is going, I was recently informed that what was stated in Toronto has been finalized. After December 2002, only some browser updates and drivers will be dispersed on Software Choice.

You can read some additional comments on this subject in our Letters, Addenda, Errata page.

While I have your attention and we are talking about the future of OS/2, I'd like to discuss Warpstock 2002. Besides being the senior editor of the VOICE Newsletter, I recently joined the board of directors of Warpstock, Inc, the folks who coordinate the annual Warpstock OS/2 show in North America. We had hoped to announce the location of the 2002 show at the Toronto event, but with the events surrounding September 11th with the general decrease in interest in travel, the groups that were interested backed out.

So where do we go from here? On the last day of the Toronto show, Stan Sidlov, the Warpstock Treasurer, held a session on "Whither Warpstock?". At that session most everyone wanted to see the event continued, but somehow morphed into a more corporate oriented endeavor. The fact is that Warpstock has over the years lost its advocacy direction and become primarily an educational event. The question is how best to persuade corporate enterprise users of OS/2 that they should send their employees to Warpstock for training.

Some suggestions revolved around changing the name of the event; or at least the events theme, from "Warpstock, three days of Peace, Love and OS/2", to something like "Warpstock presents the 6th annual OS/2 educational conference", or something along those lines. Also it was requested that corporations be approached early on with at least a brochure outlining the speakers and topics to be covered during the event. People were fairly united in that they didn't want Warpstock to be just a social gathering, but they wanted a primary focus on the value of the presentations and the social intercourse as secondary.

In light of all this, the Warpstock board wants to know what you think. Specifically, would you support the idea of a Warpstock promoted as an enterprise employee training event. In addition we want to know if you would consider an event held in Austin, Texas as motivation for you to attend and better yet have your company send you.

Austin is the home of much of IBM's OS/2 development and support staff. Having the event there offers several benefits. We would have access to IBM personnel to volunteer to give presentations. Many would not have to travel to attend, so the question of IBM budgeting their attendance would not be a problem as it has been in past years (In Toronto there were no IBM US employees that gave presentations). This would be a great opportunity for attendees to meet a lot of the people that have developed and supported OS/2 over the years. In addition, the past three Warpstock shows have been held on the East coast, and an event in Texas would move the show back to the West, to give folks out West a better opportunity to attend.

The one downside is that we have yet to find a core group of 3-5 people who can run the event team. If you are in the Austin, Texas area and would like to help with this project please contact me so we can talk about how you can help us make this a reality. For everyone we would appreciate your input on where Warpstock is to go. Please take our short survey at

Finally I just wanted to mention that in this past month's OS/2 Connect newsletter, Tim Bryce lists email addresses for all the US State Attorney Generals that are so far refusing to sign on to the outrageous settlement that was arranged by micro$oft after it was found guilty of being a predatory monopoly. Please consider adding your voice to those that have already expressed their feelings, asking these states to hold firm. Please consider asking that microsoft be required to open all API's and file formats so that non-microsoft platforms can break the stranglehold microsoft has on all areas of the desktop market. This would be much better then forcing microsoft to port their applications to other platforms, since that again is just another way to force everyone to use their shoddy software.

Following is the email letter I have sent to the nine holdout states Attorney Generals as well as the USDOJ;,,,,,,,,, If you are in Europe you might want to contact the Directorate General for Competition :

I'm writing to ask you to consider removing all preload contract terms that require only Microsoft operating systems as well as requiring Microsoft to release all information regarding their proprietary file formats and APIs to be as part of any real settlement of their predatory monopoly finding. As it stands now the proposed settlement is worthless and a complete sellout by the USDOJ and does absolutely nothing other then validate their monopoly status and treat it as if it is a natural outcome.

Microsoft has developed and expanded their monopoly by forcing hardware manufacturers to only pre-install Microsoft operating systems on personal computers for years. It is a disgrace that IBM will not pre-load its own superior computer operating system (OS/2) on its own personal computers. Last year during the trial, several major manufacturers had declared they would offer the Linux operating system as a pre-load option. Then it was only to be available on a few models, then only on one or two models, now, after the farce of a settlement outcome of the trial, try and find more then a handful if any among all the major manufacturers. Microsoft can only continue its monopoly by coercion, requiring only its own software on every PC and charging a Microsoft tax on those of us who purchase these systems, but don't want and will not use their products. The only real solution is to make the operating system an option and all systems must be allowed to be sold without an operating system, or with a choice including but not necessarily limited to, OS/2, eComStation, Linux, FreeBSD, and Microsoft's current version of Windows.

Currently on my chosen platform, IBM's OS/2 and Serenity System's eComStation (an OEM version of OS/2), I can get some interchange of documents with Microsoft Word and Excel using Lotus SmartSuite or Star Office, but other formats like PowerPoint and Microsoft Media Player are completely inaccessible. Open formats and APIs can be ported over to non-Microsoft platforms and break Microsoft's stranglehold on the world's information. Making all their proprietary formats and APIs open and freely available will allow those of us who don't use Microsoft products to not be locked out of electronic discourse and electronic media features.

Please stand firm and refuse to give in to the monopolist Microsoft organization.

Mark Dodel

VOICE Newsletter Update:

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 and HowTo articles. If you can help by writing an article please contact me at The Guidelines for Article Submissions to the VOICE Newsletter page has been updated with the addition of some ideas for articles. Please take a look and see if you can help us with an article for an upcoming issue. Some folks find they enjoy telling about their OS/2 experiences. :-)

The Warp Doctor site: Have an idea for Warp Doctor? You can send your comments directly to the Warp Doctor web guy Jeremy at or better yet attend one of our Warp Doctor Team meetings, weekly on IRC.

WarpDoctor has really turned a corner in the past few weeks. Two new people have joined the team, Wilson Rook and Doug Clark. They are going to be handling the DB2 engine. They and a lot of other people have input some really good new ideas and the project is beginning to see some real progress.

Everyone's help is required to keep this project going. Please note that beginning January 7th, the team will meet every Sunday at 4PM EDT (21:00 GMT), on IRC in the #warpdoctor channel on the WEBBnet IRC network. For more information on attending online IRC meetings please see the VOICE Meeting Information page -

VOICE Online Update: This month we have general member meetings on January 7 and 21 at 8PM EST (01:00 GMT). Everyone interested in OS/2 or eComstation is invited to attend either or both of these sessions. For more information on attending online VOICE IRC meetings please see the VOICE Meeting Information page -

This past month, Walter Metcalf, Wilson Rook, Jeremy Workman and Abel McClendon worked together to re-configure parts of the VOICE Server to allow us to move Ceilidh (a web forum application) to its own new URL. where we can create up to 5 discussion boards. If you go to you can see the beginning of the first new forum.

If you have an idea for a Speakup event, please submit it to, and we will try to schedule something. As always, please be sure to check out the updated VOICE Future events Calendar in this newsletter or on the VOICE website at for more details on future VOICE events.

We are also planning on adding a new page to the VOICE site to allow small Freeware and OS/2 User advertisements. Hopefully we can have something together for February. But we need your help. If anyone is interested in this concept please send me an email at

This would allow developers of freeware apps to advertise their products by having a free banner ad on this page. Also OS/2-eCS users and OS/2 user groups could place text ads seeking other OS/2-eCS users in their geographical area to start/promote a user group or maybe just find someone to help them with a support problem or have coffee with.

We are also revising our sponsorship levels to make it more affordable to sponsor VOICE, and have banner ads on some pages of the Newsletter for shareware and commercial OS/2 developers. You can view the status of that on our Sponsorship page -

This month in the VOICE Newsletter we start with an article on Using OS/2's bundled Digital Audio application by Jeremy Workman. Every wonder how to make your own simple recordings using OS/2? Jeremy gives some pointers on doing just that.

After that Tom Nadeau, gives us his views on computer industry marketing in "If the shoe fits, wear it!".

Next follows Michal Necasek with the fifth and as of now last, part of his lectures on OS/2, OS/2 History Lesson: OS/2 Warp 3, which deals of course with the many flavours of OS/2 Warp version 3.0.

And in the last part of his series on Manually installing Win32 apps under Odin, Herwig Bauernfeind gives us some tips that didn't quite fit in to any of the earlier segments.

In the last articles for this month we have a special coverage of Personal Information Managers for OS/2 by Isaac Leung. Isaac gives us an overview of 5 very different packages, one of which should hopefully meet your needs for tracking your busy schedule. He covers ExCal 3.0m, IBM Works 3.0, Lotus Organizer, Relish 2.2 and StarSchedule 5.1a.

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 If you have any comments or suggestions about the newsletter or articles in it, please send them to

That's it for this month. For February issue so far we have an article on Useful tools for hard disk maintenance by Eric Baerwaldt, an article on MP3 encoders by Don Eitner and Walter Metcalf is back with an article on VOICE's Warp Doctor project. Some articles are also in the works, e.g. a detailed review of Xact 7.x by Stefan A. Deutscher and a review of Artem Wireless LAN-card by Karlheinz Schmidthaus. The date of publishing hasn't been determined yet.

Mark Dodel and Christian Hennecke
VOICE Newsletter editors

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