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March 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 still recuperating from a heart attack, but is on the mend now. Davey will hopefully be back next month with more OS/2-eCS tips. Until then here are a few compiled by Mark Dodel.

Feb 13, 2004 - Our first tip of the month is from a post on the eComStation_Multimedia mail list about how to get all the information from a Trap error that displays on the screen without having to write it all down.:
Just have always an error-free formatted, but otherwise empty floppy disk ready. In case of a trap, insert this floppy, press Ctrl-Alt-NumLock-NumLock (or C-A-F10-F10 on notebooks) to start the dump process. You need only the first disk to record the trap screen information. After the first disk is finished, eject the floppy and press C-A-D to reboot. Get the tool "Dump Trap Screen" <> from the homepage of its author Steven H. Levine, and you have the data on your computer without writing down a screen full of numbers and then typing them later into an email ...

Feb 13, 2004 - On the support news group, Don(ald) O. Woodall offered the following advise on modifying the OS/2 DIR command:
You need to look in 2 places.

1. At a command prompt; type "help dir" and study what it says.

2. examine your "config.sys" file.

In my CONFIG.SYS file, I have the following entry to control how the DIR command behaves/works.

REM ------------------------------------------------------------------
REM *** SET UNDOCUMENTED "DIR" CMD SWITCHES                        ***
REM ------------------------------------------------------------------
REM /L is for all LOWER case
REM /N is to display FAT partitions in the HPFS format
REM /O is for Order
REM /P is for Pause
REM /V is for insert commas into the number of bytes

Feb 16, 2004 - In answer to the a question posted on WarpBrowsers Yahoo mail list "How do you configure Firefox to use T-Bird for the MailTo: links?", here is Phil Parker's response:
To use MR/2 ICE for mailto links, one creates a user.js file in the appropriate profile (salted) directory, and inserts these lines:
user_pref("applications.mailto", "E:\\Apps\\MR2\\mozmail.cmd");
user_pref("applications.mailto.parameters", "%url%");
user_pref("network.protocol-handler.external.mailto", true);

NOTE the double backslashes required in local file system paths in this context.

mozmail.cmd is a simple batch file that changes to the MR2 home directory, then calls mr2iu with a switch that passes the parameter to a running instance, or starts it with that parameter if no instance is already running:

cd apps\mr2
mr2iu /e%1

Presumably, if you change the "E:\\Apps\\MR2\\mozmail.cmd" string to an appropriate one for T-bird, it should work -- if T-bird accepts DDE, unlike Firebird (haven't tried Firefox DDE yet), or has a special stub that serves the same purpose (more or less).

Feb 23, 2004 - I've been playing around with Innotek's Font Engine for OS/2. This gives applications the ability to anti-alias the characters displayed on screen. Though it was written to improve the font rendering in Mozilla for OS/2 and some of InnoTek's own products (particularly Open Office for OS/2), it can be used for any OS/2 applications. SOmeone asked on the MR2ICE mailing list how I got this working for MR2ICE mail program. Here was my response:
I'll assume you already have the latest Innotek Font engine installed. <>

Be careful, and backup/archive your desktop (or at least your \OS2\OS2.ini and \OS2\OS2SYS.ini before screwing with this. I accidentally deleted the wrong Key and had to re-install FT2LIB. Luckily I didn't hose anything else.

To enable antialiasing on the Desktop use "PMShell.exe" for the Application key.

Like I said, I didn't like it at first until I turned it off. Antialiasing makes things a bit fuzzy around the characters, but it gets rid of the jagginess and fills in the characters.

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