Virtual OS/2 International Consumer Education

July 1998


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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 recently? Please share it with all our readers. Send your tips to

July 14, 1998 - Have a problem with the OS/2 IDE driver IBM1S506.ADD and the on screen load message goes by to fast to read. Here's a tip from Allan Holm on the OS2-L:

The latest IBM1S506.ADD supports a /W. That will give the /V output, and wait for you pressing a key.
With the older ones, you should use pause.sys

Editor note: pause.sys can be found on hobbes -

July 14, 1998 - On OS2-L Duane Chamblee offers this tip for those who are suffering with IBM's Feature Installer: Many (problems) can be solved by: 28625657100759407?OpenDocument

July 13, 1998 - Having problems with a 3com 3c905B Network card? Duane Chamblee suggests the following course of action to fix that: The only trouble I've had with 3com905 is that the new "3c905B" (notice the B) doesn't work with the old drivers.

The newer drivers are on 3com's FTP site but should have been included with the 905B card (on the diskette)

Unpack it(run it) and copy the ndis2\os2\EL90X.OS2 and ndis2\os2\EL90XIO2.NIF to your \ibmcom\macs directory.

July 12, 1998 - Are you a modem only tcp/ip user? Want to get rid of some of the extra baggage the Warp 4 installs for networking? Arnie J. Hoppenstedt has a suggestion on the POSSI List:
There is PC Magazine article by Brian Proffitt about removing networking components from Warp -

July 11, 1998 - Bill Haybyrne has a tip for Umax Astra 1200S scanner users trying to get the scanner to work under OS/2 with the CFM TWAIN driver: Someone else was kind enough to pass on to me the following advice from CFM and it solved the problem for me.

Please add following lines into the OS2\TWAIN\CFM50\SCANNER.INI
[Astra 1200S]

July 11, 1998 - Are you having problems trying to install Smart Suite for OS/2 Warp 4? Well if you use 4OS2 here's a bit of advise from Brad Smith by way of the POSSI list: I dearly love 4OS2 but I keep forgetting to start the default OS/2 command processor if I want to install any OS/2 product from IBM and/or Lotus. So once I entered "cmd" at a $os2 prompt all went well.

July 10, 1998 - Vit Timchishin offers this interesting bit of info on Warpcast: The TCP/IP 4.1 for OS/2 has an internal firewall but it has no documentation. However, you may take the documentation for the IBM firewall for AIX and look at the section about manual configuration. It works fine for OS/2 as well. So now we have free integrated firewall.

July 9, 1998 - Need to disable the warning messages put out by OS/2 Warp 4's "File and Print client"? On the POSSI list Chuck McKinnis suggests you "Edit IBMLAN.INI and set parm 38 in the "wrkheuristics" parm 0. The messages will go away.

July 9, 1998 - Looking to learn Java? David Eckard suggests The Java Tutorial - or you can just download it at

Editor's note: IBM also has a java online course - which requires bamba to run.

July 8, 1998 - Here's a tip from comp.os.os2.announce for you folks fighting the win32s battle:

I have gotten tired of having to edit the w32s files every time I have to reinstall WinOS2. This only has to be done about once a year or so when I clean up my hard drives and reinstall OS/2 and my two apps using w32s. But when I do it's a pain to try to remember which file to patch!

Well, "NO MORE" I said and created a self-extracting compressed archive of the w32s 1.25 install *with* the files already patched. I also want to share this with the OS/2 community at large. So I put it on our WWW pages at:

Please take a little time to view our other pages while there if you decide to visit.

Gene Alexander

July 8, 1998 - Here's a tip from the Van Man for the Ensoniq SoundScape under OS/2:

Even tho' the SoundScape isn't suppose to work outside of OS/2, it will.

If the DOS program supports the SoundScape directly, just add the BLASTER and SNDSCAPE environment variables into AUTOEXEC.BAT (like it does in DOS and Windoze) and it should work. DON'T run SSINIT, or the session will hang.

And you don't lose the sound in OS/2, either! :

July 7, 1998 - Are you playing Links/2? If not, why not? Stardock has it for only $19.95 on their commerce server - If you are playing links and have encountered a sound problem, here is a tip from Tom Steen in Add the parameter "/b1024" works perfect on my system

July 6, 1998 - A note from Duc Vianney, of IBM Network Computing Software:

Hello ....
I maintain a web site which has performance white papers and tuning tips for OS/2 Warp, OS/2 Warp Server, and Java for OS/2 Warp. Please stop by and visit. The URL is:

July 4, 1998 - From Walter Schmidt on the TeamOS/2-Help list a tip on getting Joliet CD ROM file support under OS/2. For "FP6 and later. AFAIK you must edit config.sys and add the parameter >/W to the IFS=<path>\CDFS.IFS statement to enable Joliet support."

June 28, 1998 - Everyone is looking for a way to get 128bit encryption under Netscape these days. Os/2 users now have several options.

Finally if you are wondering how to tell if you are using the standard 40 bit or the 128 bit encryption here's the word on that subject from Tim Sawchuck on the OS2-L:
40 bit key has one tine; 128 bit key has two tines. i.e., ,--0 ,,--0

That is the key symbol at the lower left hand corner of the Netscape window will have a brake in it if no encryption is in use, a complete key with 1 tine (tooth) if it's using 40 bit encryption and 2 tines (2 teeth) if it's using 128 bit encryption.

June 27, 1998 - Curious as to why IBM labels the Warp 4 fixpack files as it does? Here's the secret revealed by Brandon S. Allbery on the VOICE General Mail list:
For Fixpack 6 - XR0M006.

XR = OS/2
0 = English version
M = "Merlin" (Warp 4)
006 = service level 6 (FP6)

Warp 3 is XR_W (fill in NL version for underscore).

June 25, 1998 - Want to use the Lotus Notes Mail client that comes inside the OS/2 Warp 4.0 box as your internet email program? Here's a tip from Fernando Cassia on the OS2-L:

Finally, this one might be of help for Julian and everyone else who wants to run Notes mail with a regular POP3 email account (as opposed to Notes mail on a Notes client/server LAN).

Desc: Internet mail add-on for Warp 4's Lotus NotesMail Adds Internet mail (POP3 and SMTP) support to NotesMail v4.1, which is included with OS/2 Warp 4.0.

June 24, 1998 - Seems a lot of people are in the market for CDR software these days. Here's a tip from Xav on OS2-L:

In Germany there is a gentleman called Reinhart Gruhn and his url is

He operates a system whereby users pay "up front" and he then puts in a bulk order for the software. The next bulk-order list is now open for orders to placed in August. His web site has recently been given English language pages.

A friend bought RSJ for OS/2 from him in this manner and the total price was 200 Deutschemarks as opposed to 400-500 DM normal retail. Total cost including currency exchange was 75ukp or around 124usd. This brought RSJ for OS/2 down to near the price of Windows stuff (ok maybe 50% more but much better than full retail of near 3x more). ie it became a viable alternative.

I have no involvement with Reinhart, merely passing the info. Caveat Emptor applies. For those of you Stateside the electronic version may be the best bet with the manual available for download from the RSJ site at

June 23, 1998 - From Mark Dodel a suggestion on getting Sun's HotJava browser running if the included .CMD file doesn't work for you.

I have seen a number of people complaining they can't get the OS/2 batch command to start Suns Hot Java 1.1.4 to work. I don't use a batch file to start HotJava. I created a program object with java.exe as the program name and then added the following as the parameter field: -classpath C:\JAVA11\lib\;C:\JAVA11\HOTJAVA1.1.4\lib\;C:\JAVA11\HOTJAVA1.1.4\lib\. -noasyncgc -ms4m -mx32m -Dhotjava.home=C:\JAVA11\HOTJAVA1.1.4 -Djava.home=C:\JAVA11 sunw.hotjava.Main

The above assumes that JAVA 1.1.x is installed in C:\JAVA11 and that the hotjava directory is under C:\JAVA11 as well. The above worked fine for HJ 1.1.2 and continues to work for and continues to do so for HJ 1.1.4. HotJava 1.1.4 can be downloaded from:

June 23, 1998 - Here's a Netscape tip from Tony Anton on the OS/2 User List:
Having problems getting into sites you have saved as URL objects, because netscape is ID'd as version 2.02? Just bring up the notebook for the URL template object and enter -3 into the parameters entry on the Browser page. 'T'wont help on those URL's that you already have, though. Those will have to be done manually. Then Netscape Navigator for OS/2 will identify itself as version 3. The same goes for the Netscape program objects in your Internet Modem and Internet LAN folders.

June 21, 1998 - need to backup more then just the Desktop and system INI files when you archive your desktop? Here is a great tip from Jerry Pedone on the OS/2 User List:
In your desktop archive directory (mine is set for c:\os2\archives) there is a file called os2.key . This file holds the name of all the files that will be backed up when you archive your desktop. Mine is:


This way when you restore a previous desktop you will also restore all of the files that you consider key files.

June 20, 1998 - Trying to install the new Java 1.1.6 for OS/2? Here are some tips that may help.

From Mark Dodel and Dirk Terrell on the OS/2 Users List:
Having problems installing Java 1.1.6? Did you have the 1.1.6 pre-release installed? I just saw a post in comp.os.os2.beta where someone sad they couldn't get the new 1.1.6 installed until they uninstalled the pre-release.

And that was what worked. Apparently if you install just the runtime and then come back later and try to install the rest of the JDK, it doesn't like it. After uninstalling and rebooting, I was able to install everything.

And Stephen A. Carter on the OS2-L had this to say about the Unicode font included as part of java 1.1.6

I don't know if the fonts have improved any between the two versions, but in principle, no, you shouldn't have to reinstall the Unicode fonts. The old one should work fine, though it's possible that the displayed characters in the new one have been "prettied up" in some way.

Alternatively, you can also install other Unicode TrueType fonts to work under Java, too. Cyberbit used to have a free one called Bitstream that was pretty good for Japanese and Chinese. But though I've tried and tried, I haven't been able to get the Unicode TrueType fonts in the free language add-ons for Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 or 4.0 to work.

The way the Unicode font in Java 1.1.4 renders Japanese is butt-ugly, but hey, at least it's free. Most Japanese fonts cost an arm and a leg, and very few can be for nothing. That's why I hijacked the font from OS/2 Java 1.1.4 to display Japanese email on my BeBox. :-)

June 19, 1998 - Andrew B. Lundgren on the OS2-L says if you are looking for the latest S3 card OS/2 drivers, well go to and Stephen Y. Odo also on OS2-L says if you need to identify the chipset on your S3 card "Go to the S3 site ( and download their S3 ID program. You run that (under DOS) to identify which chipset your card is using. Then you download the appropriate drivers. I have a Diamond Stealth 3D 2000 and it uses the S3 ViRGE drivers. Be warned: don't try to run it above 800x600x64K or you start getting random hangups (at least, that's what happens on the four systems we have here).

June 18, 1998 - From Chuck McKinnis via Warpcast:
Chuck McKinnis has released (on Hobbes) a series of useful utilities and files for J Street Mailer users:

1. OS/2 Install Procedure

2. PMMail and Post Road Mailer Address Book conversion programs.

3. JSM Icons

4. A Spam Filter List

These utilities and files can be downloaded from Hobbes. The zip file is approximately 32K in size. The URL is: http://hobbes.NMSU.Edu/pub/os2/apps/internet/mail/util/

June 16, 1998 - Here is some news on new Matrox video card bios update from Rob Burton on OS-L and WarpCast:

First from Warpcast:

The current BIOS update for Matrox graphics cards is dated 9.6.98 and can be found at,

This puts the cards at levels;

Millennium II PCI bios rev. 1.40
Millennium II AGP bios rev. 1.30
Mystique 220 bios rev. 1.80
Mystique bios rev. 1.80
Millennium bios rev. 3.00

Then from Rob Burton:

I just installed the April Fool's BIOS just mentioned on Warpcast.

My 4MB Mystique continued to perform acceptably under Win95 and Warp4.06 so far.

I also put (back) on the 2.20.055 driver from IBM PC Co.

LSSFW4 (Lotus Smart Suite for OS/2 Warp 4) applications all work fine at 256 colours.

At 65k colours, the freeze-up previously observed at BIOS 1.6 + Driver 2.2 for Organizer during a section change and Approach soon after launch does not continue to occur. Lotus 123 works fine. WordPro ditto. Freelance ditto. This is with enDIVE enabled (although it says "for 16 and 32 bpp", whatever that means).

At 16M colours, the failures previously observed at BIOS 1.6 + Driver 2.2 for Organizer during a section change and Approach and Freelance soon after launch do continue to occur with enDIVE selected. Lotus 123 and WordPro still work; Freelance abends (exits) without bringing down the system if the "Current Page" view is invoked. Approach loads and creates a new database from a template, but disappears the way Freelance does upon the first operation attempted with it. Organizer launches and loads and can change calendar views, but cannot complete a change to another section - the new section paints in only partially and the system locks up: no Ctrl+Esc available. CAD, however, does work, but without the onscreen "rebooting" notice. Disabling enDIVE has no effect.

The 2.2 readme.os2 does say, "24 bpp may trap under certain conditions." It does not offer elucidation. The 2.14 readme says the same thing, however.

There is measurable change in speed shown with Sysbench:

Total was 48 at BIOS 1.6 + Driver 2.14 for 16M colours and DIVE enDIVE and for 16M colours and no DIVE or enDIVE.

It is 43 with BIOS 1.8 and Driver 2.2 for 16M colours and no DIVE or enDIVE.

BIOS 1.8 and Driver 2.14 for 16M colours and with and without DIVE or enDIVE gives total of 43, also.

The Win-OS/2 colours are "nicer" in tone than they were at 2.14 or 2.13 and BIOS 1.6.

I suppose the "best" combination is the 1.8 BIOS and the 2.14 driver combo if you don't mind the apparent drop in speed of about 10%. The 2.2 continues to fail to completely satisfy, although the BIOS 1.6 and 2.2 driver combo here previously wouldn't operate at 65k, so there is a net gain there, I suppose.

If you need 16M colour depth, you are best at 2.14 in my opinion. The only apparent justification here for the 2.2 and 1.8 combo would be if one of the (few) fixes provided helps you.

As always, the MGA.MON file does not contain settings I find useful for my MAG DX15, but it can still be edited to adjust.

I can find no reason to fear the April Fool BIOS; but neither can I find any reason to prefer it.

June 16, 1998 - From Warpcast, a tip from Steve Wendt ( ) about "An interface between PMMail and PGP 5.0 has been uploaded to the Hobbes /incoming directory as of June 15th. It will eventually be moved to:

The included pgpfake provides an interface between PMMail 1.9 and above and PGP 5.0 for OS/2 to make the most important features of PGP work again."

And if you are looking for PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) for OS/2 Richard R. Klemmer suggests looking at

June 16, 1998 - Daniel J. Caetano offers this tip on the OS2-L about the Sound Blaster 32/64 cards.

"you should use the SBAWE32/64 drivers provided in the package. If you have any problems, try to move the communications drivers (COM.SYS/VCOM.SYS or SIO.SYS/VSIO.SYS) to the end of the config.sys. If the problem with the mouse persists, move the Mouse lines (PCLOGIC, VMOUSE, etc) BETWEEN the SB driver and the communications drivers on the config.sys.

Oh, yes, before try anything, put the /G switch on the device line of Sound Blaster driver. This could solve the problem."

June 15, 1998 - From Duane Chamblee on OS2-L, If you use a ^ between words in most Warp4 File dialogs, when the WPS sees this character it will "insert" a newline into the Icon's Title. The actual filename contains the ^


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