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June 2001

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OS/2 Tips

We scan the Web, Usenet and the OS/2 mail lists looking for these gems. Have you run across an interesting bit of information about OS/2-eComStation recently? Please share it with all our readers. Send your tips to tips@os2voice.org. 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 - http://www.os2voice.org/mailinglists.html.

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.

April 26, 2001 - Our first tip for June comes from Patrick Ash on the TEAMOS2HELP-L mail list. This was in response to my plea for help in getting a couple of distant workstations to connect to my LAN using a hub. Either would work when connected to the wall cable by themselves, but when connected together via a hub, the connection failed. Patrick helped me get it working. Though this will work for any networked platform, I thought it was useful enough to include here.:
As has been stated, the 'book' limitation is 100 meters. The quality of the cat 5 cable could be an issue, as could the electrical interference of any number of appliances.

Cat 5 cable should be well enough insulated that the majority of these items will not be a problem. It is a little known fact that there is an RFC relating to the crimping of RJ45 ends onto Cat 5 cable. 2 pairs inside the sheathing have extra twists to further insulate network traffic from outside noise.

One pair is the green and green/white wires and the other is the orange and orange/white wires. You can reverse the wire pairs, but you should be consistent when you adopt a pin out configuration.

I use:

green - pin 1
green/white - pin 2
orange - pin 3
orange/white - pin 6

to locate the pins, hold the RJ45 connector with the contacts facing away from you, and the tab facing down. The pins are 1 to 8 from left to right. The other 4 wires are not critical, but you should always be consistent about how you crimp them.

April 28, 2001 - Our next tip for June comes from Jan van Wijk on the eComstation mail list. If you are accessing HPFS volumes in NT using the old pinball.sys driver, here's something you may not have been aware of:
Be warned, both of these file are the original "pinball.sys" driver from Microsoft, and is know to cause corruption on HPFS drives larger than 2Gb !!

Regards, JvW

April 29, 2001 - Reinhard Berger offered this tip on getting win32 apps that are picky about what version of windows they want, to install. It was posted on the Odin User list of course:
for default odin.ini tells win32 apps that your system is NT4, and in NT you have to be logged in as admin to install this application.

You can try to set the "WinVersion" variable in odin.ini to win98/95. On this system there are no Network security function, and the install program maybe continue his installation then.

add this line to odin.ini and then try it again:

IF this should not help and you don't can boot an original. WIN9.x/NT where you can install it and later boot back to os/2, your only chance is to download a debug build version,enable logging and send sander the log of the program that he can see the unsupported security call and add it to the code.

April 30, 2001 - Jan van Wijk offered another useful tip on the eComStation list. This one in regard to removing LVM specific data from a drive if you want to remove LVM or use the drive in a non-LVM aware system. Jan is the author of DFSee http://www.fsys.demon.nl/dfsee.htm , "a generic partition and filesystem browser/analyzer" that works as a replacement for FDISK:
I don't think the regular tooling with eCS (or WsEB) can 'undo' the LVM added info.

However, DFSee can!

DFSee can correctly display and interpret LVM information-sectors, including the 'signature-sectors' holding bad-block and spanning info.

It also has a 'PCLEAR' command that can clear, any LVM-sector, partition-table of boot-sector. You can use it in a selective way too. Example, the command:


will clear all LVM-info and LVM-Signature sectors, while keeping all bootsectors and partition-tables intact. This means the disk will still be usable for any non-LVM OS with the same partitions still being there. In a way, this is the opposite of what the 'VCU' utility does ...


by itself gives usage information, and some explanation is in DFSFDISK.TXT

April 30, 2001 - Here is an update to a tip in last month's Newsletter on modifying the reported version of Netscape from Terry Norton:
I did discover a nit later. After I made the changes, some other sites I frequent would now simply close Netscape, so everything wasn't roses.

What I finally did was have the real NETSCAPE.EXE and the modified one as NETSCAPE473.EXE in the program directory. I then made a new desktop object that pointed to the modified version. So when I need to go to the bank, I completely close the real NS, then start the modified version to get into my bank.

Not what I was really wanting, but it serves my purpose.

April 30, 2001 - Alan Beagley offered the following observation on the os2user mail list about the command line backup program in BackAgain 2000:
Just a quick reminder of something that I did not realize for a long time -- until I found that files I thought I had been backing up had *not* been backed up:

If you use Back Again/2K's commandline backup program, CLBACK.EXE, be advised that if you want to backup all files, you have to use '*' not '*.*'. And I assume that the same applies to the restore program, CLREST.EXE.

To BA/2K, '*.*' means "filenames with an extension" or "filenames containing a period." It does not work the same as the standard OS/2 DIR *.* or DEL *.*, which (so I am told) "misbehave" for the sake of backward compatibility with DOS.

The example in the BA/2K documentation does indeed show '*', but I had not realized that this was significant.

May 3, 2001 - Here's a tip on OS/2 Epson drivers from T C Carr on the os2hardware mail list:
The German drivers will work on most of the older Epsons. For newer ones see below.

Epomni will drive: Stylus Color 600, 800, 850, 1520 and Photo, Photo EX, Photo 700

Epomni2 will drive: Stylus Color 640, 740, 900 and Photo 750, 1200

Epomni3 will drive: Stylus Color 660, 760, 860, 1160 and Photo 870, 1270

Epomni4 will drive: Stylus Color 670, 680, 777, 880, 980 but not yet the new Photo line

These are available at IBM except for the german driver and Epomni2 which was abandoned. These are zips. All are available at www.dapenguin.net/files

1) Create a directory named Epson* in \\os2\drivers, unzip into the new directory,
2) Open *.drv and drag an object to the desktop, then delete it. This will install the driver.
3) Make a new printer with the printer object, select the new driver, use and enjoy
The files at IBM are a self extracting exe and will unzip into the directory they are in. So copy them into the directory created in step 1.

May 10, 2001 - On the eComStation mail list, David Eckard offered this tip for EPM:
EPM has been my default text editor for several years at least. There was one thing that I have wanted to do with it that I could not figure out a way to do. I, on occasion, get text files from idiots that don't know how to put a blank line between paragraphs. This makes them very hard to read, something I do with paperbacks at 60 or more pages an hour. I figured that the solution was to find any line that ends with a period and insert a blank line. For two years I could not figure out how to do this. It turns out to be very easy!

ctrl S to get the search window
select grep in the options area
enter this string \.$ in the search area
and click on find.

\ says to ignore the special meaning of a .
$ says to match if it is the last character on the line.
These only work if grep is selected.

The real sad part is that I have used grep in the past and have downloaded it from hobbes in the past. This unix utility is great (Absolutely should be part of any dev kit). So why did I not bother to look into the grep option of EPM before?

I just had to tell someone.

May 11, 2001 - Here's a great tip from Sundial Systems on a little known feature of the great OS/2 spreadsheet Mesa2:
Using Mesa 2 with Real-Time Data

Mesa 2, the spreadsheet from Sundial Systems, has the ability to utilize "outside" values as part of its calculations. For those who are interested, a stock quote example for Mesa 2's real-time feed is now on the Sundial web site. There are a couple of smaller feed examples there as well.


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