Virtual OS/2 International Consumer Education

January 1999

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Letters, Addendum, Errata

January 14, 1999 - Following is a response to a number of letters about Peter Lazenby's article in the December 1998 issue of the VOICE Newsletter -

I received numerous responses to my December/98 review of Star Office v5.0. Most of the respondees said basically the same things; they had downloaded the free version, found it to be quite useable, and applaud StarDivision for providing OS/2 users with a powerful native suite.

I too applaud StarDivision for providing a ported version of a product obviously developed for another operating system, and supplying it at no cost to the non-commercial user. However, I really have a problem with purchasing the product at a special discount, only to find that the product I purchased appears to be no more than the freely available version... in fact, from all reports, it seems that the downloadable version performs admirably well. The CDROM version I purchased does not. Nor does it come with the printed documentation that one would expect when purchasing a commercial application of this scope. Yes, I consider my copy to be the commercial version, even though I would have been using it in a non-commercial environment had it been less painful to work with.

Well, at least I showed my support to StarDivision (though they will never know, as the online registration never did work) by shelling out the $99USD... did you?


In addition, there is a review of Star Office 5.0 free dowload version in this edition of the VOICE Newsletter, from one of those people who sent email to Peter. Following is the letter from Jocelyn Doire, co-author of that article, to the Editor:


I read your review of StarOffice 5.0 with great interest because I just did one for the newsletter of our user's group OPCUG.

I was quite surprise by how negative you were about the program. I have dowloaded the "free" version, and was very impressed by the very large number of features. Ok, it has the Microsoft look and feel, but given that other choice is from Lotus, I would choose that package without hesitation.

I too had a problem with the online registration (seemed to be frozen, could be because the server was too busy), but on my second attempt I got an email just a couple of minutes later. The zip file is quite big, bug given what you get, it's relatively small. Me too, I find it slow to start (P233, 64MB), but once started it's not bad.

I think that StarDivision should be strongly encourage, because they are very courageous at attacking face to face MS, because there is no real other alternative for OS/2, and because they offer a package that is extremely complete and powerful.

If interested, I can send you my review (not yet published in our Newsletter).

Jocelyn Doire
Ottawa OS/2 UG

January 1, 1999 - A letter from Eric W. Burgin, VOICE Member.

This was found in my employer's standards documentation...

Microsoft and IBM's Disk Operating System (DOS) are the standards for the workstation operating system. The Microsoft Windows desktop environment is the standard for graphical user interface (GUI) and multi-tasking with the DOS operating system. Where more comprehensive multi-processing is required within the workstation, IBM's OS/2 is the standard.

Eric B.

From the editor: Too bad other companies are more interested in fluff and frills instead of results. Sounds like someone at some time knew what they were doing at your current employer.

December 24, 1999 - From Rob Burton, as an addendum to his review of Mesa 2 v2.2 in the December VOICE Newsletter -

Further to my review of Mesa 2 2.2 in the December VOICE newsletter, I'd just like to add that Mesa 2 evaluates this function correctly,


and Star Office 5's StarCalc doesn't.

StarCalc requires the commas to be semi-colons, and doesn't change them to its requirement when importing from Excel (either 5.0c or 97b).


Rob B.

December 18, 1999 - From Mike Ramsey, developer of Master of The Empire, reviewed in the December VOICE Newsletter -


Just want to let you know a few things about the MOTE ai.

AI customization

The ai is entirely offline in a file called "ai.mod", this is written in 100% ansi pascal. The game players with limited programming experience can change or even rewrite the ai to MOTE is just a little bit. The MOTE executable loads in this file creates its own internal symbol table and then uses the interepreted result as the games ai.

You can write new ai routines for exploration, diplomacy (w/in the base framework) and even new base game rules.

You can have lots of fun with this, for sure!

Thanks and enjoy.

Michael Ramsey
Programmer Master of the Empire OS/2
ScreenShots :
Ordering Page :

Editor Note: Also as an addendum to the review of MOTE, the following-

In the review of Master of the Empire, I noted as one of the few deficiencies that I would have liked to see an over-view map of the entire playing field. It turns out there should be an overview map on the left hand side of the playing screen. For some reason on my system (with an Elsa Winner/Office 2000, 8 Meg video card at 1240x1024 and 1600x1200) it was just black. Here is an image of the screen sent to me by Andrew Welty.

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