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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 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.

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.
This month's fascinating tidbits
Date Description OS version Experience level
May 10, 2006 Install eCS On New Thinkpad G41 - eCS Intermediate
May 19, 2006 Duxshelf vs. Styler/2 eCS General
May 28, 2006 UDF Format Fails Both General
June 9, 2006 Eliminate Extraneous Drive Objects eCS Beginner
June 15, 2006 The Last Word Both General

Install eCS On New Thinkpad
May 10, 2006 - G41 - eCS - Intermediate

Mark Dodel forwards this from the [eCS-Technical] forum. It helped Beth get eCS 2.0 Beta2 installed on her [IBM / Lenovo] Thinkpad G41.

In the [eCS-Technical] forum a [name un-recorded] participant had a problem:

I know I've read about this in the past, but can't seem to find the references in the archives. Anyway, I have a new Thinkpad (G41) with WinXP on it. I used DFSee to shrink the main partition so I could install eCS beta 2. When I begin the install, all goes well until the Create a New Volume. Then it accuses a corrupt partition table on the hard drive, and refuses to create the new volume.

I have recovery CDs, so I can write new partition tables and put XP back, but is there an easier way? Is there some way to fix this in DFSee (latest version, paid for)?

ganchero cited a solution:

Not my wisdom, but that of Roderick Klein addressing a similar problem in the ecomstation.support.install newsgroup:

You need DFSee to fix the problem with Disk 0 has corrupt (something).

To work around this installation problem, download dfsee8xx_os2.zip. Get dfsos2.exe from the ZIP file and put it on a USB stick (format as FAT 16) or on a floppy. Start from the eComStation 1.2R CD-ROM and press [Shift-F3] to get a command prompt. Start dfsos2.exe (on the USB stick or floppy), then:

  1. Press [F10] and go to the menu option Mode=Fdisk.
  2. Choose the menu option at the bottom: Manage OS2 LVM information.
  3. Then select Add default LVM-info (VCU).
  4. After you execute this command, when DFSee is finished, restart the system and boot from CD again.
  5. Start minilvm and create your partitions.

The reason this happens is because we have not run VCU.exe from IBM. In some cases under MCP1/MCP2 this would lead to data loss. VCU is run to assign drive letters to all partitions. Why this particular corruption message—I don't know.

Duxshelf vs. Styler/2
May 19, 2006 - eCS - General

Sander Nyman sends this:

One of my favorite/most useful programs has long been Duxshelf for OS/2. Duxshelf is the fast, light combination of the American Heritage Dictionary and Concise Columbia Encyclopedia. I have used this software on every computer I have owned, and even bought it (no longer sold) as a gift for others.

So it puzzled me when I would read about other knowledgeable OS/2 users who could not get it running on their systems. I am no longer puzzled.

This week, while making a change to my Styler/2 settings, I decided to select the Styler/2 option Use Styler/2 font to replace system fonts with WarpSans.

Later that evening I needed to use Duxshelf, which promptly crashed without even fully opening. Since that was the only system change I had made, I started digging into Styler/2. Sure enough, that option was the culprit.

After fixing my system, I wrote to another individual that I had tried helping previously to get Dux's American Heritage Dictionary installed, and running. Despite our best efforts, we failed to do so.

Again, Styler/2's Use Styler/2 font turned out to be the culprit on his system.

The solution follows:

  1. Go to the Styler/2 Preferences notebook.
  2. Select the Dialogs page.
  3. You will see under General options the Use Styler/2 font box.
  4. Leave this selection ticked (with a checkmark).
  5. Look to the right top of this page. You will see that this is page 1 of 2.
  6. Go to page 2. You will see an Exceptions list.
  7. Use the Find button below to select the path to DUX.EXE.
  8. Select it, and press the Add button.

Now Dux will open as expected, and you can continue to use Styler/2's Use Styler/2 font feature.

UDF Format Fails
May 28, 2006 - Both - General

Mark Dodel forwards this to us. The original URL was
http://www-1.ibm.com/support/docview.wss ?rs=142&context=SSEQ73&dc=DB550&uid=swg1PJ31250&loc=en_US&cs=utf-8⟨=en.

. . .in which IBM has this observation:

APAR status
Closed as Permanent restriction.

Error description
The customer is reporting a problem with formatting CD-RW media to UDF format using MATSUSHITA UJ-810B DVD/CD-RW device. The media initially is formatted as CDFS and files on it can be accessed successfully.

Formatting such media with command

format e: /FS:UDF /F

fails with message

Format failed. Media is write-protected

after 100% of disk was formatted. The problem is also recreatable using Teac CD W28E CD-RW device. UDF drivers level is 2.1.5.

Local fix [There is no fix -yke]

Problem summary
The problem occurs only if hi-speed CD-RW media is used with old CD writer device, which do not support feature 37h and because of that OS2CDROM driver does not query hi-speed writing support. For such devices the only way the driver can detect hi-speed support is to query writing speed for this media and from received value decide whether device should or should not support hi-speed writing. If the driver detects that device is not capable of hi-speed writing, but there is hi-speed media inserted, it forces write protect flag to avoid failures with old CD writers.

Problem conclusion
Hi-speed writing support detection mechanism for old CD-RW devices cannot be changed—to prevent failures using such old writers, which indeed are not capable of working with hi-speed media. The write speed value returned from device to the driver depends on type of media: specific type of media can be used to workaround this problem.

Better late than never. At least now we know: Hi-speed CD-RW media won't work in some (many?) old cd writer devices. -yke

Eliminate Extraneous Drive Objects
June 9, 2006 - eCS - Beginner

Richard Hussey (Gloucester, UK) very graciously praises our new Newsletter format. Then, . . .uh, . . .comments on it; and finally gives us a Tip:

First of all, many thanks for such a useful, well-presented publication (June 2006)! It's a real boon having so much useful stuff in one place. Two things I'd like to comment on:

  1. Like Jürgen Gaida, I too have noticed that Mozilla runs a lot slower with the new [Newsletter] format, but then my machine is nearly ten years old!! Whatever the speed, the layout is certainly professional, without being whizzy and full of distractions that don't actually add anything (like that other OS). I'm quite happy with it as it is.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. I've just got 'round to getting a copy of eCS and have the 1.2R release. I have been really bugged by the phantom floppy disk that appeared in the Drives folder, one letter above the last hard disk partition.

    And what do I find—Lon Hooker's article in the June issue reveals the cause and the cure, in that the USBMSD.ADD setup defaults to one removeable and one floppy disk drive. I wonder how many other seasoned Warp 4 users have been suffering in silence about this one?

YKE says that's the Tip: Read the VNL June 2006 issue. Then prune CONFIG.SYS after installation, to eliminate extraneous drives that have been added by default.

N.B: Though cited as an eCS-specific Tip, it applies to OS/2 Warp as well. -yke

The Last Word
June 15, 2006 - Both - General

You'll have noticed, dear loyal readers, this column's brevity. True, our OS is now withdrawn. Anyway, it's . . ., ah, mature.

But it's also a very rich OS, with very many ways to do things, and very many things to do! That means there are a whole big bunch of clever things still to be discovered. And to be reported on—here, in your Tips column.

Send 'em in, guys and gals. All us other loyal readers are depending on you! -yke

Formatting: Christian Hennecke
Editing: James Moe