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February 2000

"Is that a light at the end of the tunnel?"

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

Finally, we may be seeing a new OS/2 client version. At least that is the scuttle butt from Esther Schindler in an article in SmartReseller - IBM to Update OS/2 Client http://www.zdnet.com/sr/stories/news/0,4538,2434120,00.html. The article states that there will in fact be a new OS/2 client from of all places - IBM. It is being billed as a Service Refresh, but if the impending Fixpak 13 does merge the base of Warp 4 and Warp Server for eBusiness, who cares what they call it.

Why now, after spending two years denying that there will ever be another OS/2 client released? Could it have anything to do with the recent re-organization which put OS/2 under it's one-time champion John Soyring? As with most things to do with IBM and OS/2, we will probably never learn the reason. Let's just be thankful that someone at IBM has finally heard our pleas. I for one am weary of people asking how to install OS/2 on an IDE hard drive greater then 4Gig. It will be nice to have all the updated drivers, as well as a recent version of Java and Netscape Communicator for OS/2, all on the installation CD. That alone will take a lot of the pain out of a fresh install of OS/2.

Anyway I hope they won't tell OS/2 Marketing about it, or it may wind up being harder to procure then the OS/2 for PPC release.

As unbelievable as it sounds IBM actually has a marketing team for OS/2. Has anyone seen any promotion of OS/2 by IBM in the past year or two? I haven't. I know, I have been counselled that promoting OS/2 would be detrimental to IBM's standing in the World. It would cause great harm to their bottom line and scare away all their stockholders. All this by just a mention here and there that OS/2 still exists and is being improved. Do the wolves of Wall Street read each Netfinity server advertisement with a magnifying glass to make certain that only windoze and AIX are mentioned as supported platforms? Would that cause a precipitous drop in IBM's ticker price? Would it be asking too much for a mention of OS/2 in all those eBusiness ads that IBM is flooding periodicals with ad nauseam? I guess it would be asking too much for IBM to at least acknowledge this new client release, so let's just take what they give us and stop the whining. Course then what would I do every month? :-)

Well VOICE isn't about whining. On February 7th, VOICE had a Speakup IRC event with Sundial Systems. The topic was their newest product Junk Spy. As it happens we have the first of a two part review of Junk Spy in this month's issue. You can read the review of Junk Spy version 1.0, by Wilson Rook, then take a look at the speakup transcript which is at http://www.os2voice.org/logs/V020700.LOG.html.

Also two days later, on February 9th, VOICE had a Speakup with the Warpstock Board where they discussed some more details about the upcoming OS/2 Love Fest known as Warpstock 2000, to be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We can celebrate our Freedom of Choice in the town where the United States of America was born. The event will be held in the Holiday Inn Independence Mall, smack in the middle of the historic area of Philly. You can see all the details in the transcript located at http://www.os2voice.org/logs/V020900.LOG.html.

Coming up in February, we have a General VOICE meeting on Monday, February 21st, 8PM EST(01:00GMT) and again in March on the 6th and 16th. 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.

Besides the Junk Spy review, this month we have Sushenjit Bandyopadhyay's article Success with Actiontec 56K PCI Call Waiting Modem. Here we have another hardware manufacturer who is not afraid to put on their website that their device supports OS/2. If you need a new modem, and it has to work under OS/2, then you will be interested in Sushenjit's review of this PCI modem.

If you are a fan of the RSU install of OS/2 Fixpaks, there is a similar method of applying component updates (like MPTS) without making floppies. Of course it's even easier to just buy the WarpUp CD from Indelible Blue, but some people just like to do it themselves. Maynard Riley gives us a How-To article in Applying Service with .DSK files.

And Don O. Woodall created the Epson Inkjet Printer Model Number and OS/2 Driver Version Cross Reference to help clarify what driver supports what model of Epson printer.

I have a small piece on getting rid of that annoying dancing elephant registration screen - Die, Elephant, Die. I hope you find it of some use. It's amazing what one can learn just by looking into a problem. For this article I was doing some research on Hobbes, and found a relatively new version of one of my favorite Process list apps - Top. I had stopped using it some time ago when it no longer worked after applying a fixpak to Warp 4. This new version works fine now.

Finally Don Eitner returns with a new End(User) column. This month Don looks at a long time OS/2 application that has been recently updated to version 2, in PMView Goes Gold in 2000.

While Don continues to write articles for the newsletter, he has left his position as the News Page Editor. Stepping forward to fill his place is Andrew Welty (Sector on IRC), so the compiled OS/2 News will continue as always. VOICE is entirely dependent on volunteer effort of folks like Don and Andrew, and we couldn't do this without their help. If you have some spare time, and would like to contribute some of it to helping the OS/2 community, please contact me at editor@os2voice.org. We are still looking for someone to help with the OS/2 Tips Page, and we can always use new articles as well. This is an exciting time for the OS/2 Community. For the first time in years, people don't seem focused on impending doom. There is a new positive feeling about the future and we owe a lot to those who freely give of their time to help us all. These include the people at Netlabs.org, Warp Doctor, FreeOS, OS2.ORG and those who work on other projects as well. The folks on Usenet, the OS/2 Mailing Lists and the OS/2 IRC channels who give answers to questions when you need it and can't find things anywhere else. The folks who maintain the OS/2 Web sites that provide step-by-step instructions, application reviews and general OS/2 advocasy. And the wonderful guys from IBM who have kept the light burning at the end of the tunnel, a big Thank You to all.

For the first time in the three years I have been editor, I can now fairly confidently say what will be in next month's issue. The March issue will contain articles on the Hewlett Packard 6200-6250 Scanjet Scanner; Part two of Wilson Rook's review of Sundial Systems Junk Spy, with more detail about configuring this new anti-spam OS/2 product; a review of MR2 ICE which has recently been updated to release 2.0; and some words from the End(User) about the impending release of the Warp Client Refresh.

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. 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. To that end, and because of several recent requests, we have added a Guidelines for Article Submissions to the VOICE Newsletter.

Mark Dodel
Editor, VOICE Newsletter

If you want to express your feelings on the way IBM has abandoned OS/2 users in it's quest to appease bill gates, please write a letter to the US DOJ and tell them how you feel.

Joel I. Klein
Assistant Attorney General
Antitrust Division
U.S. Department of Justice
601 D Street, NW
Washington, DC 20530

The email address is antitrust@justice.usdoj.gov, however I believe a written communication has more effect then electronic.

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