VOICE Home Page: http://www.os2voice.org
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Yesterday, I got a letter from About.Com announcing that OS2.About.Com had been killed. They said to instead use PCSupport.About.Com, but it didn't look like it would have anything useful. I emailed them asking why they'd do such a thing, they skirted the question. I have no idea whether this was the Guide's idea or theirs -- if theirs, they don't deserve our future support on any site. (If it was Walter's idea, I would have hoped he'd have at least let us know. It's a shame to lose such a resource.)Editor's response:
In any case, it might be a good idea to impress upon About.Com the need to restore the site, even if it goes static/unchanging -- the articles and links and other stuff on the site are worthy of being kept around someplace. I suggest sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Failing that, we need them to "donate" the text on the site to someplace (like VOICE) who can archive it for future reference.
I think Walter was in the dark about the whole thing. They just axed several sites that didn't generate enough traffic. Walter wasn't given a chance to say anything on about.com about it. They just pulled the site and his access without any warning.
Walter will now be writing for the VOICE Newsletter and POSSI's Extended Attributes magazine. Walter's first article will be in the May issue of the VOICE Newsletter due out May 1st. Walter plans to put his old and new articles on a site of his own, as well as VOICE's Warp Doctor site. There was an announcement by Walter about it on the VOICE News list about a week ago.
I received the same SPAM from about.com the other day. I started to write them a rather obnoxious reply, but decided against it. They could care less about OS/2 and OS/2 users. They just want to attract traffic to a site that has nothing to do with OS/2.
So support VOICE and POSSI, instead of about.com and we will make sure Walter has a home for quite some time to come. :-)
I read the editorial this month, especially that bit about the on-line IRC meetings.... Any day is a bad day! The time differences across the globe aren't easy either. Not that we do not support VOICE activities, but I think the "problem" is that computing and OS/2 is at the point where it is just a part of our life, supporting life to make it easier. It's not a special part that we have to constantly monitor and take care of.
I just do not have the time after work to set aside 1-2 hours on-line for a meeting, even once a month. I'm an engineer, so my hours vary, and after work, there's all sorts of home chores to take care of and my other half to keep happy as well! (For the record, I love autocrossing, but I can't even slip in the time for that monthly meeting either). On-line forums are okay, because I can sneak in a few minutes here and there whenever I have time, even at work.
I really appreciate your work but can't find the incentive to join because VOICE has been an American org from the start. I really would like to participate in you IRC sessions but it's in the middle of the night here in Europe.Editor's response:
- Start a European section with separate chat times and other Europe specific issues?
- Make free support member category with limited fringies?
I have used os2 since 1995 and even sold os2 programs in Sweden. I am currently active on www.os2world.com as a contributor (on a small scale). I am currently running eCS prev 1 after a period of two yrs with Linux.
VOICE is mostly an organization for OS/2 users that have no local OS/2 user group. From what I have read there are still strong OS/2 groups in Germany and the Netherlands. I'm not sure about the rest of Europe. We have started the German version of the newsletter in response to a need for an OS/2 periodical in Germany. So we are open to ideas about expanding VOICE.
I do like your suggestion, and I will pass it on to the VOICE Board of Directors. We have scheduled some European friendly meeting times in the past, but generally had low turnouts. Would any of our European members (or potential members) like to have a a special monthly meeting? A few people have mentioned it but the problem is when is a good time for most people? Is there a need for VOICE meetings for different geographical areas? Perhaps we should do a survey of peoples needs and the best time for attending meetings. We have had the same Monday, 8PM (00:00GMT) time slot for several years now. Maybe it's tiime for a change.
I'm not clear on the free support member category. Almost all our services are open to the entire OS/2 community whether they are members or not. The only things which we are limiting to members are web space, and email accounts which aren't even fully implemented yet. As you said there hasn't been much incentive to join VOICE in the past. The main benefit has been the knowledge that you are helping us to stay solvent and continue our work to support and educate the OS/2 community.
When we first started VOICE, we made the decision to require a membership fee. Everyone pays the fee, even the board members, and the people who do work for VOICE like myself. We did this to require our members to make a commitment to our organization, unlike TeamOS/2 who would take membership from anyone and everyone, we stipulate that our members must agree to our code of ethics also.
I'm glad you have decided to come back to OS/2. eComStation seems to have brought back a few former OS/2 users and developers. Hopefully once it is GA it can generate enough interest to begin to undo the damage IBM has done over the years.
FYI the reason I've never attended any of your meetings was that I could never figure out how to get IRC to work or find a client to use. A tutorial/FAQ on IRC in OS/2 would be helpful. If you know of one already in existence, I'd be interested in hearing about it.Editor's response:
You are not the only person to say this in response to my editorial. I guess I stirred up some interest. :-) The easiest IRC client to start with is EZirc. There is an article on using it at - "Getting Started on IRC" by Wayne Swanson, http://www.os2voice.org/VNL/past_issues/VNL0998H/vnewsf10.htm
EZirc itself is at http://www.os2voice.org/files/irc/EZIRC12O.ZIP There's a command file to configure it for #voice - http://www.os2voice.org/files/irc/EZVoice.cmd