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August 2005

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Maybe you can get a little blood from a stone!

An editorial view from Mark Dodel, Founding editor of the VOICE Newsletter.

Last month we looked at one instance of great OS/2 software becoming completely abandoned and asking if there is anything we can do to at least make available the last update for this package - PMFax. I originally had asked Intradyn who had bought CDS, who had taken over the support for PMFax when KellerGroup dissolved, about this. They told me they couldn't help. My editorial on all this last month, "How do you get blood from a stone?", managed to get a further response from someone at Intradyn. This one was somewhat more positive. Mr. Doan, of Intradyn stated they had at first considered open sourcing PMFax, but "didn't have clear rights to the application, so we couldn't legally do so." He stated that the software "parts of the code that belonged to third party (or fourth party) that the Keller Group and CDS had licensed." He also said he'd investigate if they could find someone to approve the hosting of the last update file. So maybe in time we will at least see the last update available to those who still use this great and still useful application. We did get a number of other responses regarding this editorial mostly with people confirming that the last updated version dates from 06/06/2000. So maybe you can get a little blood from a stone. We'll have to wait and see how this pans out.

Depending on how you look at it, it was good to see OS/2 and Warpstock get mentioned in a mainstream IT periodical twice this past month. I believe there is no bad publicity, but this was definitely a mixed blessing. The first article typically titled "OS/2 loyalists remain as the operating system fades away" by Mark Willoughby on OS/2 user groups and in particular VOICE and Warpstock. The other article , equally badly titled as "OS/2 in the news, perhaps for the last time?" by Mitch Betts, mentioned Warpstock again, and pointed back to the first article, while talking about how IBM is going to be paid about $800 million for all the dirty dealing rotten things Microsoft did to get OS/2 killed. Interesting that no ones talks about the unethical nature of the scum that runs Microsoft. Why anyone would use software from such a bunch of crooks is beyond me.

Both articles unfortunately focused on the usual "OS/2 is dead" that we have seen for the past 10+ years instead of the view that "OS/2 lives on". OS/2 has now outlived the PC Company, which did its best to sabotage OS/2 at Microsoft's behest. It will be interesting to see it outlive Microsoft as well.

When I was first approached by the author of the first article, he had a list of nine questions about the OS/2 user community and user groups. You can view the questions and my answers in this issue. I had expected him to check with several sources besides myself, especially since I referred him to several more knowledgeable people regarding things like other OS/2 user groups, eComStation and Warpstock Europe. So I was very surprised to see myself quoted extensively and no one else.

The first article generated some feedback directly to me in regard to what was missing. People asked why there was no mention of eComStation. Folks I didn't write it, I just answered some questions for the guy. Actually eComStation was one of the questions the author asked me in the interview. Also there were some factual mis-statements in the article and the Warpstock URL was left out completely. But they did include a link to VOICE, which was a definite blessing.

When I tried asked about this Mr. Willoughby responded that he had a deadline and a limit of 750 words to meet. So most of the details were left out. Hopefully people who read the article follow the link to the VOICE web site and read what I had to say about OS/2 and eComStation. So to set the record straight for anyone who isn't familiar with the new trends in the OS/2 World, please see the eComStation website for the latest version of OS/2 you can purchase. Also please note that that it is the VOICE News mailing list that has gone from a high of just under 900 subscribers to a little more than 750 today. The VOICE Newsletter usually has a couple thousand readers for both its English and German issues and is also available for download in HTML and INF versions on the VOICE website and on Hobbes.

So hopefully some folks who never heard of VOICE or Warpstock, and maybe those who thought they were the only people left running our favorite operating system, have learned something today. You are not alone. OS/2 is still alive and there are still people that use and support it. Come to Warpstock in Hershey or Warpstock Europe in Dresden, this year and see what is planned for the future.


We are always interested in your thoughts and views on subjects related to OS/2 and would like to see opinion/editorial pieces, as well as hardware/software reviews and HowTo articles. If you have an idea for an article, why not write one? It's one of the best ways, short of programming native OS/2 applications, that you can help the OS/2 Community. And anyone can do it. Few of our writers are professionals. They are just OS/2 users trying to help other OS/2 users. Please send me your ideas or, better yet, a draft of an article to Please note our guidelines for submissions to the VOICE Newsletter. There you find suggestions for topics, hints on content, structure and formatting, as well as the legalese.

VOICE Online Update: This month the general member meetings are scheduled on August 6 and 20 at 3PM EDT (20:00 GMT). Everyone interested in OS/2 or eComStation is invited to attend either or both of these sessions in # VOICE on the Webbnet IRC network. For more information on attending online VOICE IRC meetings please see the VOICE Meeting Information page -

If you have an idea for a Speakup event, please submit it to, and we will schedule something. As always, please be sure to check out the updated VOICE Future events Calendar in this newsletter or on the VOICE website at for more details on future VOICE events.

This month, Jacques van Leeuwen and Jan van der Heide share some their wisdom they gained working on a Dutch version of eComStation and take a general look at what it takes to create national language support of larger applications. Read more in Translate -< Vertalen.

For a while, so-called multimedia PCs for the living-room have been the latest craze. Lutz Wagner has set out to see whether such a machine can be operated with OS/2. Learn more about his findings in OS/2 enters the living-room.

If you want to look at or further manipulate pictures you took with a digital camera, a means of transferring image files to the PC is required. Many cameras come with such kind of software but there are no OS/2 version, of course. In FotoGet/2: Camera software for eComStation, Menno Tillema reviews an alternative for our OS of choice.

Soon, it will be that time of the year again and OS/2 users and developers gather at Warpstock events. Mark Dodel fill you in about what this year's Warpstock US has in store: Warpstock 2005, The sweetest one yet!

Some time ago, our founding editor Mark Dodel was approached by a ComputerWorld journalist with questions about OS/2 and the OS/2 community. Above Mark told you what became of that but looking back we found that his answers posed an interesting food for thought. Read more in Some questions and answers about the OS/2 community.

Finally, we have our OS/2 Tips and Letters, Addenda, Errata pages. If you have any OS/2 or eCS tips you've uncovered, please send them to If you have any comments or suggestions about the newsletter or articles in it, please send them to

That's it for this month.

Christian Hennecke, Mark Dodel, and Marckus Kraft
VOICE Newsletter editors

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