Virtual OS/2 International Consumer Education

February 1999

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Letters, Addendum, Errata

January 16, 1999 - Here is a letter is response to Don Eitner's January End (User) Article titled: "You Mean OS/2 Isn't Dead After All?!"

Of course Ziff-Davis collectively, at the top level, is not interested supporting OS/2. If they actually believed in alternatives to Microsoft, they would have categories or columns every week for such software. For example, how come with all the hubbub about Linux, there is not a regular weekly Linux column? How about a regular weekly Java column?

ZD began pushing Windows strongly in 1990 when their publications began featuring regular columns on Windows and Windows applications. Where are the corresponding columns in 1999 for hot newcomers like Java and Linux? If ZD is really interested in what happens to OS/2, why do they refuse to publish OS/2 product announcements and refuse to do product reviews of new OS/2 releases?

The only conclusion I can come to is this: ZD just wants to make the Court believe that OS/2 is viable, but they do not want corporate decisionmakers to believe it.


Tom Nadeau

January 19, 1999 - A letter posted to the TeamOS/2 Help List

X-UIDL: 70c0b88e61fad24bf717652da0565615

In going to the Ziff Davis web site to get some info on an article relating to a company mentioned in their News Emailing, I received the following "_REJECTION_" that basically says OS/2 Warp users are not welcome. Perhaps if enough of us go to the "rejection" page:

or the page that pushed me over to the page rejection:

X-UIDL: 70c0b88e61fad24bf717652da0565615

In going to the Ziff Davis web site to get some info on an article relating to a
company mentioned in their News Emailing, I received the following "_REJECTION_"
that basically says OS/2 Warp users are not welcome. Perhaps if enough of us go
to the "rejection" page:

or the page that pushed me over to the page rejection:

we can get this situation changed. Here is the text of the rejection message:

Welcome to the ZD Market Intelligence InfoBeads Web Site!

The InfoBeads web site is designed to deliver ZD Market Intelligence's market research information within the most compelling presentation and delivery environment available on the Internet.

We are very sorry, but we have not yet certified your browser/platform combination.
Mozilla/2.02 (OS/2; I)

ZD Market Intelligence is committed to delivering a high degree of quality and reliability in ZD InfoBeads.
Because we have experienced HTML and Java incompatibilities between web browsers and operating platforms, we test and pre-certify browsers for ZD InfoBeads users.

Even though your browser \ platform combination is not currently supported, we are continuously adding support for new browsers. Please leave us your email address below and we will notify you when your browser is supported.


Editor's Note: If you wish to let ZD know what you think about this discrimination against non-microsoft operating system users, you can send email to: There is no real justification for this 'Browser Certification' as I was easily able to get into the site when I changed my Comm/2 preference file to report itself as the windows version.

January 22, 1999 - Here is another letter in response to Don Eitner's January End (User) article:

Just thought I'd mention....

I've given up on the news stories saying that OS/2 is dead (it isn't, I use it.) and I've given up on the stories saying that such & such is going to happen to/for/on/with OS/2. If I don't see it, it hasn't happened yet. No matter what the surveys say, I can do as much on my Warp'd system as I can on my office system. I can work productively with fewer hangups and crashes.
All the rest is just fluff. I'll believe it when I see it. The hype I don't need.

Jim Lang

January 23, 1999 - The following is some additional information from Don Bourne about using a Sparq drive under OS/2, as posted in last month's Tips section of the newsletter:

I have some comments to add to the following post which I thought might be of interest:

I too have a SparQ EIDE drive running under OS/2 and found that I needed removable media support (of course!) to eject the disks but it would work as a hard drive even under GA Warp 4. This was probably due to having a newer ibm1s506.add due to installing to a 4.3 gig drive. I also referenced ibmatapi.flt in config.sys while adding the newer IDE drivers since it came in the package. I am not sure if it was really necessary until I updated to fixpack 9 ( was available from RSU and I'm lazy :-) for removable media support I had to remove BusMastering from the adapter it was on (ie: /A:1 /!BM ) in order for it to be properly seen. Then I found, as did Allan, that I had to reformat the disks for use under OS/2. There was no need for me to fdisk them and they work fine under win95 as well. Not a bad little drive once the mess got sorted out.
Now I have to get the PP version running :-)

January 23, 1999 - Yet another letter in response to our December review of Star Office 5.0 by Peter Lazenby.

Dear Editor:

I recently bought a copy of StarOffice v5.0 for OS/2 from StarDivision in Fremont, CA for $49.95 ($39.95 + $10 for shipping and handling). So far I have been very impressed by this software. Here is why:

I own an IBM Thinkpad 1720i with Pentium-II 266Mhz processor, 64MByte RAM, 4.3 GByte harddisk, and IBM OS/2 Warp 4. The installation of StarOffice went very smoothly. It was up and running within minutes. The installation already shows that StarDivision did a great UI job! (I do some of the UI work for Borland Delphi, and Borland C++Builder).

After the reboot I couldn't wait to see more and I didn't get disappointed. Things look very good in my opinion.

First I tried to access my e-mail via IMAP, so I double-clicked on the 'New Mail' icon and I was told that there is no outbox. About 5 minutes later I had my outbox and I double-clicked on 'New Mail' again. Seconds later, I saw my e-mail that I used to access with Netscape 4.04 and Pine 3.92. I then wrote my first successful e-mail.

I was impressed!

I continued with accessing my personal homepage at:

and discovered that the bitmaps don't show any white lines (Netscape 4.04). Right on, I thought. I then accessed my java pages and what a surprise: no problems! It took me several hours to get Netscape 4.04 to recognize my Java setup. I was once more impressed!

Next stop: newsgroups. I can't exactly remember how I setup the newsgroup access but I posted two messages to the comp.os.os2.programmer newsgroups without any problems in no time. LaTimes for OS/2 used to crash on me dozens of times. I hate that damn program.

I then launched the spreadsheet in order to calculate my wealth. No problems here as well. Things work as expected (the calculations were correct!).

Finally, I decided to load a bitmap file containing a picture of my girlfriend and she looked good with StarDivision. A bit too bright I thought. So I changed the brightness and discovered the first bug. No big deal. Just a minor problem with the entrybox. (a C2 bug). No show stopper (A0). I then copied the bitmap into the word processor, wrote a few lines of text and dumped it the network printer. Worked very well. I was impressed!

Since my first try, I have used StarOffice on a daily base and I like it very much. It needs quite a bit of hardware to run on, but it feels very solid and very slick. A great piece of engineering! A job well done. It is just a matter of time when Microsoft Office will be removed from my work machine. Sorry Microsoft!

Rene Pawlitzek

Editor's note: You can see Peter's latest response, now written in Star Office 5.0 in this issue of the newsletter - Star Office 5.0 - The Saga Continues

January 31, 1999 - Here is a response to my January review of IP Monitor 1.02 from the developer of IP Monitor Trevor Helmsley:

Hi Mark

I just read your article on my app and though I'd let you know what

"The final configuration item is a startup list, which allows you to select items based on object IDs to be started when the ip monitor is started. I couldn't get this to work, and I'm not clear on it's benefit over the normal methods of starting up items such as the Startup folder or creating a work area, the later having the benefit of closing all the started items by just closing the folder."

this is meant for. It only activates on a dialup connection. When it detects a new dialup connection then it starts anything in the startup list. It's for those of us who don't have a permanent connection to the net and who want to launch apps when we go online. The IBM dialer includes this facility in it, DOIP doesn't (well not without some hacking of TCPOS2.INI with Rexx).

Does it make more sense now?

Hmm, /all vs /ALL sounds like a bug ;-) I'll fix it next time I'm in that code.

Trevor Hemsley, London, UK.

Editor Response: Thanks Trevor. You have your hands full now with coding the RC5 client for OS/2 as well as Sysbench and maybe even working for a living. Any chance you can add a reset counter option to IP Mon?

To which Trevor replied:

Next time I'm there, I'll look. It would reset back to the total if you stopped/started it since TCPIP deals with the raw numbers so I'd have to remember how many it had done when you asked me to reset then subtract that from the raw totals.

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