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Over the years many developers and ISVs have discontinued work on their shareware
or commercial products for OS/2. Some of them, mainly shareware packages, are still
available for registering/buying, others have been withdrawn from the market. Unfortunately
only very few, like Truespectra's Photo>Graphics, have been made available to
the OS/2 community for free use and even fewer have been released including the
source code, like JStreet Mailer from Innoval. That doesn't matter that much in
case of a mature product - though there may be cases in which people would like
to add functionality - , but with others it's a real pain, since nobody is going
to fix the bugs. Because of this, the OS/2 community has lost some real gems. Think
of e.g. FTP Browser. A really nice product, but it has some bugs that make it unsuitable
for certain operations.
Now what to do if you encounter a package that is substantial for your OS/2 computing
life? I don't want to discuss the term "abandonware" and things related
to it. Some declare the use of abandoned packages without registering/buying as
theft without exception while others think that it's ok to use them if there's no
possibility to obtain a copy the normal way anymore. Again others think that all
software should be free anyway. Opinions vary widely in range here and discussions
easily evolve into religious wars.
What I would like to see instead are some "private investigations"
and a bit of persuasive work by the OS/2 community. Yeah, what about getting yourself
a nice pipe, a magnifying glass and a plaid cap and cape? Try to find the authors
of the packages you would like to use and urge them to release it some way, especially
the source code. (First things that come to my mind here are FontFolder and
Ceres Soundstudio.) And please: Don't forget to always remain polite. Nobody will
gain anything if the author is confronted with something like "You traitor
have left OS/2, now give us the code. Instantly!" You don't think that somebody
would be so stupid to engage an author like that? Alas, it has already happened.
And we can easily imagine the author's reaction, can't we?
Well, of course you have to be prepared for some frustrating experiences. But
then we have examples that proove that it can work. The author of Newsbeat uploaded
the source to Hobbes in December. And the group who brought us the Y2K fixes for
Pronews got permission to continue their work provided they don't make money with
it. Meanwhile they have released a new beta that irons out a lot of the existing
bugs. Last time I looked, BMT hadn't added Pronews to their list of OS/2 products
again, but I was told that they have it on their internal list. I am currently waiting
for my licence for what I consider the best newsreader for OS/2.
For a site that lists some existing discontinued OS/2 software packages, you
can visit Bob Eagers Discontinued Software page http://www.tavi.co.uk/os2pages/oldsoft.html.
Here he lists some information on ProNews/2 as well as applications released by
VOICE Server Update: Our latest project for the VOICE server is to expand our
News List service. I guess it had to happen eventually. With the demise of Warpcast,
the VOICE News list is growing at a fast pace. Up til now we have had no reason
to moderate the list. With the increased subscriber list and the higher posting
rate, that has changed. The list is now moderated.
To subscribe to the VOICE News list, If you wish to discuss a topic, please join
the VOICE News list by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
with the following text in the body of the email:
SUBSCRIBE NEWSIf you wish to make a comment regarding a post, please reply to email@example.com. If you wish to discuss a topic, please join the VOICE Generral Discussion list by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following text in the body of the email:
SUBSCRIBE GENERALTo get help on what commands are available from our mail list server, send an email to email@example.com with the following text in the body of the email:
HELPWe are working to improve the news list service with plans to add a digest format when that feature is available in our news list package. We are also working on creating a web archive of all news posts.
If you have any announcements you would like posted to the VOICE News list, please
send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please
include a valid reply address and a real contact name.
If you have any thoughts on this or other services, please let us know. Either
attend a meeting, or send your thoughts and ideas to email@example.com.
If for some reason we do experience any more down time, you can also access our
pages including the newsletter at our mirror site - http://os2voice.ibmforum.com.
Also as a reminder, VOICE offers several other mailing lists open to the OS/2
Community. A Meeting Announcement list, General Discussion list, the Warp Doctor
list and the Help list. These are all currently under utilized, and volumes are
low. You can subscribe to all or any by going to the VOICE OS/2 Mailing Lists page
If you have something for the VOICE News list, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
and it will forwarded to the list. The VOICE Help list doesn't require subscription
to use it. just send your question to email@example.com and people who are subscribed
to the list will respond if they have an answer.
In January we had a couple of meetings on IRC in the #voice channel. You can
read the transcript for January 15th meeting at http://www.os2voice.org/logs/V011501.LOG.html.
There will be a general meetings on February 5th and February 19th at 8PM EST(01:00
GMT, 02:00 Berlin). The Sundial Speakup normally scheduled for February has been
cancelled. Instead we are moving that bi-monthly event to March and it will continue
every two months from then on. So the Speakup with Sundial Systems on IRC is now
scheduled for March 5th at 8PM EST(01:00 GMT, 02:00 Berlin). No topic has been set
yet, but these sessions with the Sundial guys are always informative and entertaining.
For more information on attending online VOICE IRC meetings please see the VOICE
Meeting Information page - http://www.os2voice.org/meetinginfo.html
If you have an idea for a Speakup event, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org,
and we will try to schedule something. Also on the VOICE Calendar are weekly Warp
Doctor team meetings every Wednesday at 8PM EDT (01:00GMT, 02:00 Berlin). 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.
For February we have a review of the Dawicontrol DC-2976UW
SCSI controller, by Thomas Klein. Next we have article on installing an
Actiontec PC700 Internal PCMCIA Reader and a Compact Flash
Adapter under OS/2 , by Peter Hinckley.
Looking for a modem that works great under OS/2, we have a review by Chris Ayers
on Selecting a Modem for OS/2, The IBM V.90 PCI Data/Fax
Modem. And then we have a review of the Graham
Utilities for OS/2 Task Manager by Mark Dodel.
Klaus Staedtler von Przyborski is back with his fifth article in his Free
Files series. He is now looking at freeware music apps for OS/2 in Let's
play the music.
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 email@example.com.
If you have any comments or suggestions about the newsletter or articles in it,
please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com.
That's it for this month. For March we hope to have an article on T-DSL (ADSL
by German Telekom) and ISDNPM 3.0. In addition we will have an article about Ogg
Vorbis (where'd that name come from?), a relatively new sound encoding format. For
anyone who ever has a need to post any announcements, we have an article on Writing
Effective Product Announcements (A guide for the OS/2 developer who doesn't want
to be a marketing professional) by Esther Schindler. And if you have a Palm Pilot,
we have an article on successfully running the Palm Desktop under OS/2 using Odin.
Finally, coming up in March, we have Oliver Heidelbach's first article on installing
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.
If you can help by writing an article please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guidelines for Article Submissions to the VOICE Newsletter
Mark Dodel and Christian Hennecke
Editors, VOICE Newsletter