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February 2004

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OS/2 Tips

We scan the Web, Usenet and the OS/2 mailing lists looking for these gems. Have you run across an interesting bit of information about OS/2 or eComStation recently? Please share it with all our readers. Send your tips to 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 -

Editor's note: these tips are from OS/2-eComStation 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.

Davey Brain is recuperating from a heart attack, but is on the mend now. We all wish that he gets well soon. Davey will hopefully be back next month with more OS/2-eCS tips. Until then here are a few compiled by Mark Dodel.

Dec 12, 2003 - Our first tip of the month is from Walter F. Metcalf:
Believe it or not, IBM is still selling Redbooks on OS/2! You can find the complete list (and it is a large number) of available books at: ,

Even though old, some of those books, especially the ones on networking, are really valuable.

Merry Christmas!


Dec 30, 2003 - Do you have access to windows' files on your system, possibly using a FAT/FAT32 or NTFS driver under OS/2-eCS and experience painfully long folder populating when you open a folder with large win32 program objects in it? A possible fix here from a post by Alex Taylor on the comp.os.os2.misc news group.:
I'm pretty sure I know what this is. When the OS/2 WPS (desktop) displays a Windows executable file, it actually searches the ENTIRE FILE (by default) for an icon it can use. While this search is going on, the interface appears to freeze.

The good news is, you can changes this behaviour with more recent OS/2 service levels.

Add this to CONFIG.SYS:

and reboot.

The number after the '=' indicates how many MB into the file OS/2 should search for an icon. Therefore, with the above it will only search the first megabyte before giving up. Usually that's sufficient anyway. It takes MUCH less time.

Alex Taylor

Jan 17, 2004 - Here's a tip passed on from Marckus Kraft for XCenter/eCenter users trying to get the StHealth plugin (a hardware monitoring tool with GUI and REXX support for eCS and OS/2) to work:
As some people had problems installing StHealth as a widget in XWorkplace or eCenter, this tip from Stefan Milcke, author of StHealth, might be helpful:

  1. StHealth.DLL, StIO.DLL, StH_VIA.DLL and StH_WINB.DLL must be in a directory in LIBPATH. [Add the StHealth directory to LIBPATH or copy the DLLs to a directory in LIBPATH.]
  2. Put xwHealth.DLL into the directory Plugins (Subdirectory xcenter) of xWorkplace or eCenter.

Another hint: xwHealth (the widget fpr xWorkplace) supports these parameters: %T and %V, but also %t und %v (lower case letters!). The later parameter show short values, e.g. 50°C instead of 50,1°C.

Jan 19, 2004 - Finally from a post on comp.os.os2.bugs we have some information from Scott Garfinkle concerning a new feature in his latest OS/2 kernel updates. This is a beta level feature and should not be attempted on a production system. If you have a comment/question on this new feature, post it to the comp.os.os2.bugs which is monitored by Scott. You can find the latest kernels on IBM's Testcase FTP server - (keep in mind that these files only stay on Testcase for a few days) and an archive of current/past versions at
For people who want to try out the latest stuff: As of the 20040116 kernels, I added a new feature, which should be considered beta/experimental. This feature allows loading parts of DLLs above the 512mb line. So, any DLL objects that do not need to be called by (for code) or addressed by (for data) 16 bit code can be moved out of the low shared arena. Since this is the place that most often runs out of room, causing sys0008 and similar, I'm hoping this is helpful.

Here's how it works: A new EXEHDR flag /HIGHMEM[:objnum] is used to turn on bit 16 of the OTE flags in one or more linker objects (if you don't know what this means, don't worry). If this flag is on and if the object is a 32 bit shared obj and isn't also marked as ALIAS, PACK, or IOPL, the kernel will try to load the object in the high shared arena, I've experimented with Mozilla and saved nearly 11mb of shared memory address space.

Download whatever kernel you need from, then also download from that directory. What has worked for me is

EXEHDR /HIGHMEM:1 xx.dll  > nul
where xx is every DLL in mozilla and mozilla/components except npoji6.dl. For mmparts, you'll have to do this from a command prompt or something.

I will be interested in feedback.


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