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February 2001

OS/2 Tips

We scan the Web, Usenet and the OS/2 mail lists looking for these gems. Have you run across an interesting bit of information about OS/2 recently? Please share it with all our readers. Send your tips to tips@os2voice.org. If you are interested in joining a particular OS/2 Mailing List, check out the VOICE Mailing List page for subscribing instructions for a large variety of existing Lists - http://www.os2voice.org/mailinglists.html.

Editor's note: these tips are from OS/2 users and in some cases can not be verified by myself. Please heed this as a warning that if you are not sure about something, don't do it.

December 22, 2000 - Looking for documentation for the latest versions of Lotus Smartsuite for OS/2? There was a discussion on the eComStation eGroups mailing list and Steven Levine suggested the foloowing:
I wouldn't bother. They really haven't changed and they don't cover all that much. The Lotus site has some additional, good PDF's. Go to:


and look at the available downloads.

December 24, 2000 - It's bad etiquette to attach large files when sending to a mailing list. But you have something that quite a few people want. What to do? Here's David Eckard's solution from a post on the eComstation eGroups list:
And now for a small self plug on how you should do some of this stuff. Nearly all of us get web space as part of our ISP arrangements. This URL tells you something about setting it up and dumping your file to it. Then you can just put the URL in your email...


I wonder if some of the steps needed to set up your web page can be put into WiseManager? I know that ISP's are different but there are some similarities.

December 25, 2000 - Have some extra NOWHERE directories on your system and you want to know if you can safely remove the extras? From Duane Chamblee in a post on comp.os.os2.misc:
Henk's WPTools come with a program called GETOBJ, which will tell you an objectID or Paths setup. The only Nowhere you need to keep is the one with the OBJECTID=<WP_NOWHERE> setting. http://members.brabant.chello.nl:80/~henk.kelder/

December 25, 2000 - Here's a tip from Warpcast, posted by Gili Tzabari:
For those of you who've experienced problems using JPDA-enabled applications with JDK 1.3, this might be because OS/2's JDK uses abnormal filenames.

The normal JDK distribution uses dt_socket.dll for its JPDA library, while OS/2 uses dtsock.dll ... Try substituting this name within your application to get JPDA working.

December 26, 2000 - Here's another tip that came through WarpCast, posted by Chris Martinic:
A note on setting up Matrox cards with OS/2.

The 'latest OS/2 drivers, 2.3.106' on the Matrox web site for my new G450 don't work. They crashed my machine.

As it turned out, the drivers on the G450's CD are apparently more recent and are the ONLY ones that will work for OS/2 Warp with this card (2.5.117).

Furthermore, 2.5.117 won't work with my previous cards such as my MGA200 machine (trashes system) but 2.3.106 will.

If this info was up on the matrox site, installation would have taken an hour for both machines.

Matrox, a video card manufacturer, is at:


December 27, 2000 - Here's a tip that a few folks may appreciate from IBM's Irv Spalten on comp.os.os2.misc.
Along with those kernel changes are a few enhancements. Functional enhancements: 1.Alt-f3 works (being the equivalent of alt-f1 plus alt-f2)
2.The blob stays up a reasaonble time on all machines (I think)
3.Alt-f2 functionality is ALWAYS enabled if there exists a file named altf2on.$$$ in the root or the \os2\boot dir of the boot drive. This gets around the short white blob problem.

Editor's note: These latest replacement kernels have been withdrawn for the time being. If you are brave, and make sure you have a backup of your original files, you can find newer replacement kernels on IBM's Testcase site. Be aware that these are not supported unless IBM tells you to get them from there:

IBM's Testcase site: ftp://testcase.boulder.ibm.com/ps/fromibm/os2/
Warp 4 kernel - w4xxxx.zip
Warp 4 Debug kernel - w4
WSeB (Aurora) uni-processor kernel - uni
WSeB (Aurora) uni-processor Debug kernel - uni
WSeB (Aurora) SMP kernel - smp
WSeB (Aurora) SMP kernel - smp
Note: The
xxxx will be replaced with a Month/Day 4 digit date. The latest as of this writing is 0128.

December 27, 2000 - Trying to erase a CDRW disk using RSJ CDWriter for OS/2. Here is what Dieter Fritz advises on the RSJ OS/2 support news group news://websrv.rsj.de/rsj.de.support.cdwriter.os2:
use instead: cdwfmt z: /erase

December 30, 2000 - One of the people who post in comp.os.os2.apps that I try to always read is Trevor Hemsley. He always seems to have an answer. Someone was having a problem with DOS command full screen sessions:
Look for a file called atibvhs.zip on http://hobbes.nmsu.edu. It contains a copy of BVHSVGA.DLL that usually fixes problems like this with ATI cards.

December 31, 2000 - Need to install IBMWorks on the IBM MCP (Merlin Convenience Pak)? Jaime A. Cruz, Jr offers these instructions on comp.os.os2.misc:
Well, I tried to just copy over the files from my Warp4 system, and I couldn't get them to work (even after modifiying CONFIG.SYS and running the IBMWDESK REXX script). Then, I remembered that the updated IBMWorks was actually available online from hobbes! It's called works-csd.zip. Do a search and you'll find it. You'll need to create five XDF floppies from the unzipped file, then run the INSTALL program from Disk1. It's installed and it works like a charm!

I realize that IBM dropped support for this thing a LONG time ago, but it still seems to work (for me), and it is a lot less buggy than Lotus Organizer which ships with Lotus SmartSuite 1.5.1. Will Lotus have fixed this thing in 1.6? I don't know, but I'm not holding my breath waiting...

December 31, 2000 - Do you own Stardock's Process Commander and want to get it to work with a recent Fixpak, MCP or eCS? Allen Beagley and Steve Levine offered the following tips on the eComStation@egroups.com. First from Allen:
I have Process Commander working with W4FP14 and with RSJ (with which somebody else found it to be incompatible). But to be able to use it I had to reconfigure PC to use Ctrl-Alt-A instead of the Ctrl-Alt-Del key combination. Here is the relevant section from my CONFIG.SYS file:

I haven't yet tried PC with the eCS Preview. Perhaps the same configuration would work.
Then Steven Levine added:
It should also be mentioned, that you need to ensure that PC does not replace the IBM supplied KBDBASE.SYS.

January 6, 2001 - Seems a lot of the tips this month are coming off the eComStation@egroups.com mailing list. Here's one about the OS/2 disk partitioning utility DFSEE from Iain Allen:
I don't try to remember any commands with it. I run DFS.EXE and it appears to automatically run the equivalent of what you get by pressing F8 and F5. This screen output can be seen by page-up to back scroll the output. I usually then just press F6 and F7, followed by F4 to save it all to the log file dfscreen.log and F3 to exit. I think I would only go looking to find what the other commands are if I found something needing it after examining the log file.

Like most things that can get complicated, I find it easier to just handle them in small chunks at a time... :)

January 8, 2001 - One question that comes up frequently with people who are trying the Odin to run win32 applications under OS/2, is what do you do if you get an error saying a windoze DLL is missing, and you don't run any form of windoze. Well first pat yourself on the back for not supporting the evil empire. Then check out this tip from Cary Renquist on the odinusers mail list:
If you are missing a WinXX dll (or your dll is corrupt) just go to the DLL Archive: http://solo.abac.com/dllarchive/

January 9, 2001 - Having a problem with your system's BIOS. Here's a place to turn to to look for an updated version, courtesy of Domingos on the new OS/2 Hardware mail list on eGroups http://www.egroups.com/group/os2hardware
You may try at "Wim's BIOS Page: Everything you want to know about BIOS" <http://www.ping.be/bios/>.

January 9, 2001 -Here's a warning about JFS from Kim Cheung of Serenity Systems, posted on comp.os.os2.bugs:
I just encountered a false alarm that I like to share with others. Last week our server locked up but we didn't reboot until off-hour. After that, one of the partition wouldn't come back. JFS got stuck on replaying journal log for 12 hours. We thought we lost that partition.

As it turned out, this partition was formatted under WSeB GA (with an APAR fix on JFS). The machine is now running WSeB/ACP. We got suggestion from others to boot from floppy using the original WSeB GA code and did a chkdsk on that partition. It CAME BACK!!!

I don't know if this would happen to you but just in case...

January 11, 2001 - So you applied FP15 and notice that the icons in PMMAIL are still washed out. IBM's Marc L. Cohen has a suggestion on comp.os.os2.bugs, that may help the problem:
This is because the icons in PMMAIL are smaller than the desktop icon size, and they are being stretched to fit, and because you are running your desktop at 24 or 32 bits per pel, an enhanced stretch mechanism is being used to perform the stretch. You can see the effects of this enhanced stretch by setting DIAM.BMP as your background with stretch to fit. You can tell the system not to use enhanced stretching, but rather to simply duplicate rows/columns by adding "SET ENH_STRETCH=N" to your CONFIG.SYS.

January 16, 2001 - Have you downloaded the Odin daily build, or perhaps a different file with an unusual extension only to find it is all mushed up? Here is a tip from Bernd Schemmer on the Odinuser mail list:
Maybe you've downloaded the file with the wrong format (ASCII instead of WPI).

I had this error the first time I downloaded the WPI files (it seems that Netscape uses
ASCII as default type for unkown file types). A workaround is to either use

ftp://ftp.os2.org/odin/daily/ odin32bin-20010110-debug.wpi;TYPE=i

in Netscape (tested with Netscape; you've to change the file name, of course) or use a plain ftp program.

January 16, 2001 - Have you bought one of those Linksys LNE100TX network adapters that seem to be everywhere? Now you are having problems installing it? Turns out even though they all have the same model number, they may be based on different chipsets, and may not work with the included OS/2 drivers. Here's a tip from Dan Casey on the eComstation eGroups mail list about one possible alternative driver for the card:
Try the drivers mentioned in this usenet posts I saved:

You, more than likely, have cards produced by a company based in Taiwan. Go visit http://www.admtek.com.tw, enter and browse for ftp'able drivers page. Look for Centaur, an983, an985 or FASTNIC.106. This will contain a copy of all the drivers available for the ADMTEC FastPCI or FASTNIC 1.06 nic card.

It will have on it the OS/2 drivers that you (we) need.

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