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February 2000

Die, Elephant, Die

By: Mark Dodel madodel@ptd.net

It amazes me that after all these years I still routinely see questions in Usenet and on mail lists asking how to stop the IBM OS/2 registration screen from popping up. This is the screen with Art the Dancing Elephant. The one where we all excitedly filled in our registration data in hopes that IBM would see that we were loyal OS/2 users, and continue to support and promote OS/2. And then in some twisted, diabolical plot, we usually couldn't get the information to IBM anyway, or if we did succeed in getting to them, they never did anything with it anyway. Can someone explain why microsoft and other unsavory companies sneak information from all it's users without their knowledge, and IBM refuses to accept or acknowledge the same sort of information freely given from it's OS/2 users? Oh well let's tackle a question we can answer - how to hunt the elephant without a gun.

Unless you get an impromptu visit from Art, you may not even realize he is sitting there waiting to spring into action. He doesn't appear in the Task List window. You need a system process display like TOP ( ftp://hobbes.nmsu.edu/pub/os2/util/process/top201.zip ) to see it. It appears as ARTCHRON.EXE:

Or if you have the SET KILLFEATUREENABLED=ON in your CONFIG.SYS which enables the Warp Center process kill feature:

Why is Art always there? it actually started out as a way for IBM to followup on users' experience with OS/2.
The following is from the art.hlp file located in the x:\OS2\ART directory:

" One year from now this program will return to ask you a few questions about your experiences with this product. If your Customer Profile needs to be updated, you can do so at that time.

Two years from now this program will return again to ask you a few more questions about your experiences with this product. If your Customer Profile needs to be updated, you can do so at that time."

There are many ways to kill this beast, but some are more thorough then others. Some folks suggest renaming or deleting x:\OS2\ART\ARTCHRON.EXE. This is the scheduler program that runs in the background, and is supposed to pop up the registration information periodically. Why they went to all this trouble for information they had no plans to do anything with is beyond me. Removing ARTCHRON will at least temporarily rid yourself of Art the Dancing Elephant, but it is not a permanent fix since IBM from time to time has actually updated the program in fixpaks, so it may rise from the dead after you apply a fixpak.

The correct way to rid yourself of Art, is to Uninstall Art.

First, using the Drives Object, Open the boot drive, then proceed to drill down through the "OS2" Folder; Then the "INSTALL" Folder; Then the "Installed Features" Folder.

Note the the blue box wrapped with red ribbon(what no bow?). Double click on the one titled "Install Object - Inventory"

Here you will see a listing of several things that you may not even know were installed on your system. Ignore all but the one labeled "ART - Inventory". Single Left mouse click on the box next to that item (and that item only). Then click on the Uninstall button at the top of the Installed Features window. You will then get the "Uninstallation Summary" window.

Click on the Uninstall button and you will get a progress window telling you that the object is being destroyed. Just what we want, utter destruction. After rebooting, Art the Dancing Elephant should be no more. Here is a picture to remember him, taken shortly before his death.

If for some reason that doesn't work, here is a REXX script that may also work, that was posted by David Kunz on comp.os.os2.apps a little while back. I have used it successfully on a Warp 4 system, but it didn't work on Warp Server eBusiness, which appears to have a slightly different Art setup then Warp 4.

/* REXX program to get rid of Merlin's dancing elephant... */
call rxfuncadd 'SysIni','RexxUtil','SysIni'
entry=SysIni('USER',elephant,oldval) /* get path of ARTCHRON.EXE */
if entry <> 'ERROR:' then do
entry=SysIni('USER',elephant,newval,entry) /* add a 'DISABLED' entry */
if entry <> 'ERROR:' then do
entry=SysIni('USER',elephant,oldval,'DELETE:') /* remove 'ENABLED' */
if entry <> 'ERROR:' then do
say 'Elephant successfully disabled.'
else do
say 'Could not remove the Elephant.'

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