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March 2005

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Letters, Addenda, Errata

Translation: Christian Hennecke

If you have any comments regarding articles or tips in this or any previous issue of the VOICE Newsletter, please send them to We are always interested in what our readers have to say.

Addendum - Maynard Riley provided some additional links for the software mentioned in Teruel de Campo's article Video capturing and DVD recording with OS/2

The VOICE article for 2005 Feb makes reference to files which don't exist at the locations specified in the article.

I think the files can be obtained from:

I haven't tried yet to use these programs in the context of the article.

February 17, 2005 - First, we have some comments from Peter Wadsack on both the article Whatever happened to OS/2 Warp for the PowerPC? and Mark Dodel's editorial XP can't do UDF.

I just skimmed the latest VOICE Newsletter.

Somewhere around here, I have the CD with Warp for PPC, but I never installed it, as it had no Internet support.

I would like to propose that what really happened to Warp4PPC is Mac OS X. I've been using OS X for about a year now, and it fulfills the promise of Warp that IBM didn't keep, IMO. For the Warp stuff, I have the 'ultimate' VPC: a PC box running Warp networked to my G5, and controlled via DToC. And yes, I have successfully installed and run Warp in VPC on an iBook, just to try it.

Personally, I don't use Quickbooks because it can't import / export to spreadsheets, which is how I think about accounts. But it came with my G5, and is available for other Mac hardware. Sorry you bought the Dell just for Quickbooks. Maybe you can sell it and get, e.g., one of the new iMacs with a superdrive, and have DVD backup capability.

Mark Dodel answers:

I have tried Mac OS X on a G4 iMac a couple years ago, and I just didn't care for it. Required everything to be done through the menu bar, just like Windows forces you to use the Start bar for everything. And the lack of a second mouse button and command prompt drove me nuts.

Somehow my kids got the iMac back into Mac OS9 and it's stayed there ever since. It's just for playing some games so it's not a big deal and it was a hassle for them using the OS9 emulation under OS X, but I don't remember why exactly. I'd like to attach an HP 7490 scanner to it once I figure out how to change the printer port from the default USB to a LPT port so I can print scanned images to my Epson printers on a print server. I went through all the control panels and couldn't figure out something so simple. I know I had it printing through TCP/IP at one point, but maybe that was in Mac OS X.

And I was surprised recently to see that Intuit still makes a Quickbooks for Mac. Are the files readable under the Windows version? Anyway, we just spent $100 or so for the upgrade to QB2005, so we're not about to throw any more money at Intuit. Maybe the next forced upgrade. I think the Mac is a viable alternative, and the hardware is better then 99% of the Intel compatible stuff. But I just bought a new Thinkpad, so I'm set with eComStation for a couple more years myself, and my wife, who hates computers, would have been fine to keep using her old IBM PC300GL if she hadn't been forced to junk it.

I was just ticked at all the nonsense about how easy it is to use XP and to find out something as simple as writing to a CD-RW was so much of a hassle. Especially when its so simple in eCS.

February 21, 2005 - In regard to Mark Dodel's editorial XP can't do UDF, Ed Durrant tells us about his findings.

When I read your article in the latest VOICE Newsletter, I thought to myself, "I'm sure I have used CD-RW disks and UDP to transfer data between WinXP and OS/2." I thought maybe I had installed, as you suggest in the article, some third party software.

So to find out, I switched to my WXP partition, popped in a CD-RW disk and sure enough I could read it no problem. I then right-clicked and was presented with an option - erase (or was it blank?) this CD-RW which I selected and it did the job. I then wrote files to the drive folder and they were stored in a "to be written section" which again by RMB dropout list I could "write these files to CD-RW" and it worked. I then went in and deleted one file off the disk - again, no problem at all.

Next I went to the Control Panel - Add/Remove Programs to see if I'd installed Nero or something like it: No - nothing there.

As far as I can see Microsoft have indeed integrated some code from Roxio (Adaptec software spin-off company) and when writing data or erasing the CD-RW, text to this effect is displayed.

I then took the CD-RW, popped it into an OS/2 Warp 4 CP2 system, and could read the data on the disk, delete a file and add a new file. To me that indicates a compatible UDF implementation between Windows XP and OS/2.

This of course brings us to the question, why doesn't it work on your wife's laptop? My reading of the situation is that you probably have Windows XP Home, rather than Professional. There are differences!

For example the useful ability to share an Internet link through the PC (which you would think would probably be more appropriate to home users than commercial users who use real network devices), is in Windows XP Professional (the product aimed at companies, not individuals) and not in Windows XP Home.

My guess would be that the same is the case for CD-RW UDF support, that it's in WinXP Professional and not Home. It may be worth looking at one of the Windows registry hack sites, as it my be that the code is in XP Home but just turned off.

Mark Dodel answers:

You missed the point. XP cannot do packet writing. That is stated on the URL I gave in the article. What it does is a kludge that mimics it by writing files to a cache and then requires you to write the files to the CD-RW when you are done. And it forces you to use their stupid wizard. I hate that crap.

With OS/2 you just pop in a CD-RW, format it UDF and then can write to it like any removable drive. Just eject it when you're done. You can say, "So what's the big deal?" but it is a big deal to me. I don't want to have to remember to go through the extra steps or be forced to do it using some cockamamie wizard. And so far things like Roxio and Sonic DLA are just as bad as they do write packets, but in a proprietary format. You need their software on a system to read the CD-RW, or you have to take the added step of making the disc compatible. Why can't XP or any of the add-ons just do it like OS/2 does? Follow the standard. That would be going against the 500lb gorilla though, so I guess Windows users are stuck with crud.

March 06, 2005 - Our President Roderick Klein had some comments on Chris Clayton's article Migrating to eComStation 1.2 from this issue:

I want to state clearly that I (Roderick Klein) work for Mensys and we are involved in the eComStation development and sell the product.

Migration has returned with the release of eComStation (eCS) 1.2. To put this installation option through its paces four eCS 1.1 computers were migrated to eCS 1.2. Even though all of these computers were running eCS 1.1, prior versions of eCS and OS/2 Warp should have no significant issues with being migrated to eCS 1.2.

The biggest reason for a migration to fail is because INI files are polluted or somehow damaged. One of the most important features in the migration code is that the installer checks if WP_DESKTOP is present in your current OS2.INI before the migration begins. If it's not, the migration is terminated and instructions regarding how this can be corrected are displayed. To our best knowlegde, the IBM installer does not check this. We also remove a lot of classes that can cause conflicts.

The System and User INI application settings are preserved except for the multimedia settings. In fact, the existing multimedia directory is moved to the d:\PREVIOUS directory, where d: is the installation partition, and a new multimedia version is installed that may not be compatible with the previously existing drivers.

The drivers can load but not all drivers can install because of the new minstall. There has been a lot of comment on the new minstall. But without the new minstall, the new MMOS/2 would have been a lot more difficult to create. A fixpak is under development to fix the issues with minstall. On the other hand, the new MMOS/2 fixes a lot of long standing bugs and adds some features like uninstall of audio drivers.

We do not preserve the settings in MMOS/2 because the file MMPM2.INI is known to get polluted quite fast. That is why we create a fresh one. Also, the new minstall allows you to restore the CONFIG.SYS and all MMOS2 INI files to a state where no soundcard is installed. The IBM installer would also (with old soundcard packages) just downlevel some system files or DLLs, e.g., genin.dll. This version "filters" files during copying (for example genin.dll from Warp 3 on MCP is not something you would want).

The audio drivers in Win-OS/2 should be disabled. Either remove them using the Drivers option in the Control Panel folder, or comment them out by placing a ';' in front of the drivers listed in the [drivers] section of d:\OS2\MDOS\WINOS2\SYSTEM.INI. This avoids a post installation Win-OS/2 protection fault when no or an incompatible OS/2 sound driver is installed.

Every WIN/OS2 audio driver needs a so called VDD driver installed that runs in conjunction with the audio driver used by MMOS2.

First, CONFIG.SYS is partially migrated. Part of the incompleteness is done on purpose to avoid loading incompatible drivers and settings during migration. A few of the extra device drivers are copied over as comments, but not all. For example, the RSJ CD Writer configuration is incomplete. Also any preexisting device driver switches and RUN statements are not preserved, even as comments. So, one must painstakingly go through the original and migrated CONFIG.SYS files and make manual correction. Finally, audio needs to be re-enabled in Win-OS/2.

I would need to recheck the code. But why, for example, the RSJ statements are not migrated is because if in the new CONFIG.SYS the RSJ statements are already there, they will not be migrated from the old one. The same goes for already present LIBPATH and paths statements, etc.

If the previous WinOS/2 drivers are not compatible with the new multimedia setup, then there is a Generic Win-OS/2 driver available on the second eCS 1.2 CD that can be manually installed following the clear instructions.

The WIN/OS2 audio drivers can load without any problem on eCS 1.2. The changes in MMOS/2 don't effect WIN/OS2.

In spite of the encouraging configuration phase, this system turned out to be the hardest to migrate. All phases of the migration appeared to complete without any issues. However, the final result was that the desktop was not migrated (no Previous Desktop folder) and the Usability Enhancements were not properly installed. The eCS installation and migration log files did not report any problems.

For migration we depend on the code present in the WPS to create the previous desktop. Changes are high the Usability Enhancements were not properly installed because of a problem in the desktop migration.

The multimedia support was preset to the Universal Audio Driver. However this driver does not support the Crystal audio chip set in the 600e so the option No Audio Adapter was selected instead.


The GUI version of the multimedia installation program did not indicate what the issue was. However, manually executing the command


reported "Banned driver set, please use updated archive." Audio was finally installed manually by copying over from d:\PREVIOUS\MMOS2 the appropriate driver and configuration files, backing up duplicates, and editing CONFIG.SYS to add the appropriate statements.

The IBM device drivers distributed for the Thinkpad 600E are old. And in the meantime, Crystal has updated the drivers. These drivers are included for the Thinkpad 600E. The IBM drivers are not installed anymore because the Crystal installer is not bug free (this is a DLL loaded via minstall).

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