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June 1999


An editorial view from Mark Dodel, editor of the VOICE Newsletter editor@os2voice.org

Warp Server e-business has arrived, and it is smok'n ! All I can say is the install was for the most part painless and the easiest of any version I have installed since I first started with OS/2 2.1. If you have a fast internet access, you can download all of the WSe-b CD contents for the price of an Advanced DevCon (IBM's Developer Connection) subscription - <http://service2.boulder.ibm.com/devcon/showcase/cat/catalog.htm#00028>. The base server install is a single 430Meg zip file, so this is not for everyone, but once installed I verified that it is the same release as the packaged GA version - 14.039F. There are a total of 6 zip files, one for each of the packaged CDs, totalling about 1.6Gig. So far I have only downloaded and installed the base server, so I can't comment on the other files. Hopefully IBM has a lucid moment and puts WSe-b on the DevCon quarterly CDROM set so folks don't have to do the bandwidth breaking download.

WSe-b won't install over an existing Warp partition if peer networking is installed. You have to either remove it or do a clean install. I chose a clean install since it was a test machine. Only problem I encountered was that the Crystal Audio chipset on the motherboard wasn't automatically sensed, as it had been in the Aurora beta. I didn't install the server portion. Instead I installed the peer networking from Warp 4, using the CID peer install ( x:\CID\IMG\IBMPEER\PEERRMT.EXE install program on the Warp 4 CDROM ) since the base Warp 4 File and Print sharing won't install over any version of MPTS except the base Warp 4 version. If you are reading this online click here (680K Gif) for a peek at my Warp Server e-business desktop. Except for the WSe-b background (which I had to select since IBM as usual just defaults to a solid blue background) and the server objects on the desktop (which I quickly moved into the System Folder), you'd swear this was OS/2 Warp 4.

The official GA release is version is 4.5, Revision 14.039 (when booting the splash screen says 14.039F to be precise, at least for the SMP kernel). It comes with Java 1.1.7A release build from 11-20-98. The LVMGUI (the java replacement for FDISK) seems faster then the one in Aurora, but I have no benchmarks on this. In fact I tried running SYSBENCH .94 under WSe-b, and I received the same error as under Aurora, that a display font could not be found and the benchmarking app refused to load, so I have no benchmarks at all, except for the big-assed grin on my face when I see this baby fly.

As with the Aurora Beta there is no VoiceType, no IBM Works and no Bonus Pak Application CD. Instead we have JFS (Journalled File System), LVM (Logical Volume Manager) and SMP support. There is also several other CDS with server related stuff that I haven't bothered with as yet.

Interesting, but meaningless to point out that the non-GUI LVM also lists LAN drives as well, but you can't do anything with them that I could see. I haven't tried JFS yet, so I can't comment on that. TCP/IP's INETVER command reports as 6.2001 for SOCKETS.SYS, 6.2000 for AFOS2.SYS and 6.2002 for AFINET.SYS so it is slightly updated over the Aurora Preview version which reported 6.2000 for all three. TCP/IP still has the extra ROUTE ADD statement automatically added that screws up routing, but as with Aurora that is quickly fixed by deleting it. Netscape Communicator is still 4.04 version, dated from 02-12-99.

So far, of the few problems I encountered under the Aurora beta at least a couple seem to have cleared up. The Desktop Archiving feature now works in the GA. SMP support installs easily on my dual Pentium Pro 200 test machine. In the Aurora beta I had stability problems until I added /prec=lid to the PSD=OS2APIC statement in CONFIG.SYS, but I have had no such problem with WSe-b so far.

I also tried to run an AMI MegaRAID 418 SCSI RAID adapter, but no dice so far. The card itself worked fine as a SCSI controller, but under Aurora, when I attempted to load the MRAID.ADD driver for RAID support, the WPS would freeze solid on bootup. It gets further then that with WSe-b, but when I actually tried to run the RAID Configuration software, it started up said it was rebuilding the drives, and then froze the system. After that the cards bios no longer detected the adapter anymore. So I popped out the MegaRAID and moved the drives back to the built-in Adaptec 7880 SCSI UW adapter. Warp Server e-business booted back up so no damage was done to the data and a mirror image of all partitions on the second drive, but I still am in search of an inexpensive RAID solution under OS/2.

So now when will Warp 5 client be available to the masses? On June 14th VOICE welcomed Brad Wardell for a speakup session focusing on Stardock's attempt to license and market a new OS/2 client. If you missed it you can read all about it in the transcript - http://www.os2voice.org/logs/V061499.LOG.html. And on June 7th we hosted another Speakup with Sundial Systems. This was a "general Q&A, tips-n-tricks" type of Speakup on all the Sundial Systems products (Clearlook, DBExpert, Mesa 2, Relish, and Rover Pack). If you missed this one, shame on you, but we'll let you read the transcript - http://www.os2voice.org/logs/V060799.LOG.html anyway. :-)

On July 12th, 8PM EDT, VOICE will welcome Lynn Maxson for a speakup session focusing on his Warpicity Proposal (that's not to be confused with WarpCity, I had to look at it twice before I saw the extra "i"). For details on Lynn's proposal for user supported OS/2 please check out the two articles in this month's issue The Warpicity Proposal with a followup by Louis Muollo on the same topic, naturally titled The Warpicity Proposal, one more time. After you have read these articles you should then come to the Speakup event and voice your feelings on it. Please be sure to check out the updated VOICE Future events Calendar in this newsletter or on the VOICE website at <http://www.os2voice.org/calendar.html> for more details on VOICE events.

And to one of the brighter spots, VOICE is beginning to gear up for WarpStock 99. We need to hear from VOICE members as to who is planning to attend. We also need someone to co-ordinate the volunteers at WarpStock. As announced at the June Speakups, anyone willing to assume this role will receive a free pass to Warpstock99, compliments of the VOICE board. Please send your information to abraxas@os2voice.org. Also keep in mind that VOICE will again be giving away a ticket to warpstock and one nights hotel accommodation to a lucky VOICE member sometime in the near future. If you are not yet a VOICE member, now is a great time to join. VOICE needs your support, so we can continue to provide the support that IBM refuses us.

In this issue of the VOICE Newsletter besides the aforementioned articles on the Warpicity Proposal, Dan Casey wrote an article on his most recent hardware adventure, installing an Epson ES-1000C Scanner with CFM Twain & PMView 2.0 (BETA). Then Dan Casey again, this time with an article on how to put those spare CPU cycles to good use searching for alien communications in ET: Phone Home. Elton Woo returns with an article on the latest hardware craze - USB (universal serial bus) communications in Warp 4.0. Don Eitner looks at some of his predictions/guesses from a year ago in Good Year Without the Blimp - Revisited. And wrapping things up as usual in the VIEW from the End(User), by Don Eitner . Don has some thoughts on the recent revelations in the USDOJ-Microsoft trial. At least we can now see that we weren't just paranoid, Microsoft was out to get us.

Though IBM claims it fought Microsoft's attempts to force them to kill off OS/2, the fact is it's been a long time since you could get an IBM PC or server pre-loaded with OS/2. I recently wrote to IBM concerning their Netfinity Support Program - 'TechConnect', complaining that the quarterly CD package they send me now is only for the win32 platform. Their response was typical of the IBM PC Company (or what ever the pc manufacturing division is called these days). "The TechConnect program is exclusively Windows supported. I am sorry we cannot accommodate your request for the quarterly CDs in OS/2 format." No reason given, just that they don't support OS/2.

Now is the time to act. Why is IBM afraid to pre-load OS/2 on anything? Even servers, which is the current stated direction for OS/2, despite the fact that my OS/2 Warp 4 runs circles around the buggy junk IBM promotes from Microsoft. Why is OS/2 not mentioned in any ads for IBM hardware, even when they know full well that OS/2 is compatible with those systems. Are they frightened to offend Bill Gates?

Please write a letter to the US DOJ and ask that they investigate the current arrangement between Microsoft and IBM where IBM now only supports Microsoft's operating systems on IBM hardware.

Joel I. Klein
Assistant Attorney General
Antitrust Division
U.S. Department of Justice
601 D Street, NW
Washington, DC 20530

The email address is antitrust@justice.usdoj.gov, however I believe a written communication has more effect then electronic.

Mark Dodel
Editor, VOICE Newsletter

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