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May 2002

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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.

March 15, 2002 - Our first tip of the month is from Roderick Klein of Mensys. He passed on some ideas on installing sound cards under eComStation and OS/2 on comp.os.os2.multimedia.:

March 15, 2002 - On comp.os.os2.bugs someone asked if OS/2 would recognize a 40Gig IDE drive. Brad Barclay offered the following description of how OS/2's IDE driver (and also Daniela's version) work in conjunction with your system BIOS.:
The OS/2 DASD drivers don't really rely on your system BIOS for the drives geometry -- OS/2 queries the drive for this information directly, and communicates directly with the drive interface for I/O (that is, assuming you're running either IBM1S506.ADD or DANIS506.ADD for EIDE based drives, or the proper SCSI controller driver for SCSI drives). These drivers don't use your system BIOS for disk access, thus the BIOS is almost meaningless.

If you happen to be running the IBMINT13.I13 driver however, you will be bound by your BIOS, as this driver uses BIOS calls for all disk access. This is the most primitive, slowest driver however, and in all my years of maintaining OS/2 systems, I've only seen one case where it was necessary (and that was with a special, non-standard IDE card that had 8MB of hardware cache onboard and no specific OS/2 driver), so chances are you aren't using this driver, and thus don't have to worry about this scenario. If you are using this driver however, having a new BIOS may not be of much use for a drive so large -- this driver has rather small size limits IIRC -- much smaller than 40GB.

Regardless, you shouldn't need a new BIOS in order to use your new drive. The only effect your BIOS will have (assuming you're not using the I13 driver) is in regards to the maximum size of your boot partition. If your 1997 BIOS doesn't support LBA, then you may be limited to 512MB for your boot partition. If it does support LBA, you'll be limited to 8GB on your boot partition. If you partition your system correctly, and install core OS/2 portions to other partitions whenever possible/necessary, you should be just fine without having to change your BIOS chips (which may be problematic anyhow -- the system BIOS is generally motherboard specific, containing microcode for the specific mother board design).

March 18, 2002 - Sometimes Warp just won't let you change the default image viewer for objects. There is a fix for this according to Darryl Sperber in a post on comp.os.os2.apps:
PRIMGFIX Fixes the inherent Warp 4 problem of being unable to permanently associate a "default OPEN" image viewer program other than IBM's Image Viewer with image files. After applying the fix, you can once again associate any program (e.g. PMVIEW) with images so that the program of your choice gets launched from a double-click on the image file.
Another solution, according to Klaus Staedtler, another solution is provided by PMView:
In the PMView directory you'll find 'makdefv.exe' execute it.

March 19, 2002 - On the XWorkplace user mailing list, someone wanted to know how to copy the entire path along with the file name when using the "copy filename" feature on an objects right mouse button menu. Marek Wojciechowski supplied the following brief answer:
It already does :-)
Just press shift.

March 31, 2002 - On the PMView list someone asked how to get a new PMView window without starting a new copy of PMView. Al Savage responded with the following:
File->New->"PMView Window"

This can also be assigned a hotkey via

View->Preferences->"Shortcut keys" tab,
For "Category", choose "File",
The third item in the "Command" list is "New->PMView Window"

April 1, 2002 - On the XWorkplace user list someone asked "What is a Setup String object?". Here's John Small's description:
You will find a template for "Setup String" in your XWP folder. You drag one off the template and set up the string to be applied to object which are dropped on it. (See XWP User's Guide for more info.)

I have one set up with NODELETE=NO so I can drop "undeleteable" objects on it and make them deleteable.

April 4, 2002 - On the WarpMedia mailing list Christian Hennecke asked about a problem he had with Warpmedia 1.08 switching to MGL fullscreen results in a crash. "I have SDD Pro GA installed. Could it be that Scitech changed something in MGL support?" Here is Henrik's answer:
Sigh. Indeed they did. Beta 45, RC1, and the GA are all like that. Here it only happens when having TV output enabled, so if you don't need that, you can disable it in WarpMedia's MGL options.

There's a new GATV.DLL in our testcase dir that fixes half of the problem. i.e. it can switch to fullscreen with TV output enabled, but not back again. :)

April 4, 2002 - There are always lots of questions on how to get USB working. There is even a site dedicated to USB under OS/2 on OS/2 World. On someone complained about not being able to get USB working on their Asus motherboard. Markus Montkowski (who gave a presentation on USB at Warpstock 2001) offered the following advise:
So try to look for an Bios update as the problem is very likely the not properly setup IRQ in the PCI infos. And if there is no complaints sent to ASUS, it is definitely their fault.

April 6, 2002 - For those looking to add sound to their windows running under Virtual PC for OS/2 (VPC/2), here is what Hap Reese said on comp.os.os2.apps:
Yes. Here is what Innotek says to do: To enable sound in VPC/2 guests:

-Open regedit2.exe
-Add the following new key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\VPCWIN\REGROOT_HKEY_LocalMachine\SYSTEM\Cu stomBuild
-Under this key add a DWORD entry named "DisableAudio" and set the value to "0"

April 7 2002 - Here's another VPC/2 related tip, this time courtesy of Mike Snyder on the OS/2 Discussion list. (An LPD is required to receive printer output via TCP/IP. On OS/2 this is included in TCP/IP. I guess on windoze its not. ) :
Oliver Stein of Innotek found a free, for home use, lpr daemon at:

Those of you planning to use a Doze 9x VPC might want this. It works.

April 7, 2002 - Want to install the Personal Communications lite application from the Warp4 CD after installing eComStation or MCP? On the eComStation discussion list on Yahoo!, Milan Mastnak tells us to do the following.:
On the CD you have \CID\TCPAPPS\PCOM* files. Unzip all in a temp directory and run INSTALL.

April 10, 2002 - Here's more information on getting USB to work, this time from George Sikou as posted on

Put a /V after lines 1,3, and 4 from above and watch on the reboot. It should tell you if it is loading the drivers or not. Lets make sure. Also, you should have a few listings in your Hardware for USB if the drivers loaded correctly.

Make sure that USBPRT.PDR and USBPRT.HLP are in \os2\dll

Make sure that you have a USB port listed and selected on the properties of the printer. Mine has a USB icon and the name of my printer ("HP_DJ_930C_1" actually) before I even installed the printer. I don't think having the printer on and/or plugged in matters.

Make sure that usbmon.exe is in \os2.

Make sure there is an object in the Startup Folder, "USBPRT Auto monitor" that calls USBMON.EXE and has parameter USBPRT

This last part is bit scary and I got it from the readme, but, "OS2SYS.INI file must contain USBPRT key with the value D:\OS2\DLL\USBPRT.PDR for the application PM_PORT_DRIVER." -- paraphrased. The bonuspack stuff comes with INITools which has INIeditor.

April 10, 2002 - IBM has been hard at work on the Mozilla web browser project. Recently they released a 1.0 release candidate. Just a week or so prior, Mike Kaply posted the following on the news:// news group:
Some new stuff has dropped recently, so I thought I would tell everyone.
  1. New mail sounds are supported. To hear a WAV when you get mail, add this to your prefs.js:
    user_pref("system.sound._moz_mailbeep", "");
    You can also use a file:/// URL. This value MUST be a URL, not just a path name.
  2. We added an icon decoder, so if you browse local directories, you will get icons. This was causing some crashes for some people when downloading - should have that fixed soon.
  3. Fullscreen mode for OS/2 is in - press F11
  4. We have fixed the code that was breaking the multimedia plugins. You should now be able to use NPOS2* with Mozilla. Also, I tested QuickFlick and it appears to be working now as well.
  5. We've done lots more work on printer settings, so it should be querying the settings from the printer now.

April 16, 2002 - K.J.Johnson answered his own post on the os2user mail list, asking for help with setting up PCMCIA during the eCS install (Under MCP, which eCS is built on, IBM left out all but a few Thinkpad models, from the PCMCIA selection list):
I seem to have found out some answers to my questions myself.

Both ECS and Warpv40, contain in their drive:\os2\install directories, the PCMCIA.TBL dat files, which show the contents of the window when installing PCMCIA drivers.

So far I've copied the line for INTEL PCIC from Warp to the ECS dat file, and it does show up in the install window. Tomorrow, I will install the required drivers.

April 19, 2002 - Want to do away with the splash screen that Mozilla shows while starting up? Here is a tip from dink on news://
You can disable it completely (preferred). OS/2 System setup -> System -> Logo -> none

April 19, 2002 - Some folks have experienced problems with the latest release of WarpIn. But to successfully go back to a previous working version, they had to uninstall the existing version. That meant losing all the installed applications data. That doesn't have to be the case, according to Ulrich Moeller the developer of WarpIn:
The database file format hasn't changed. So it should be possible to just copy the DATBAS_?.INI files between several WarpIN versions.

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