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OS/2 Tips

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 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 -

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.

Date Tip Caption OS version Experience
...We need Tips.
20050313 Convert "LF" To "CR-LF" Pair In Text Files Both General
20050317 Split-view For XWorkplace Folders Both General
20050318 Uninstalling/Deleting? eCS Intermediate
20050329 Java (Golden Code) and Firefox 1.0.2 Both Intermediate
20050413 Wordperfect And eCS 1.1 eCS Intermediate
20050419 Navigation From The Command Line Both General
20050421 Using Large (External) USB 2.0 Disks on OS2 Both General
20050424 Running IBM Web Browser And Firefox Together Both General


Mar 13, 2005 - Convert "LF" To "CR-LF" Pair In Text Files (Both) (General)

In, Felix Miata asked:

If I do something simple, such as 'DIR | SORT | MORE', the results are exactly as expected. But, try it on some downloaded CSS file created on a Unix system, and it does absolutely nothing. The problem is that SORT expects lines to be terminated in a 0Dh 0Ah pair, while Unix terminates lines with a simple 0Ah. Apparently SORT needs either some option switch to tell it 0Ah by itself is an EOL, or it needs to be smart enough without a switch.

Is there something included with eCS to convert such files to terminate with "0Dh 0Ah" so that SORT can work?

Mike Ruskai answered:

The following simple REXX script will convert for you. Since REXX can read LF-terminated lines without intervention, it simply reads a line and writes it back out to the new file, with the default CRLF pair.

/* convert LF to CR/LF */
parse arg ifname ofname

if ifname='' | ofname='' then do
   say ''
   say 'Usage: lf2crlf.cmd <infile> <outfile>'

if stream(ifname,'c','open read')='' then do
   say ''
   say 'Error opening '||ifname||' for reading.'

if stream(ofname,'c','open write')='' then do
   say ''
   say 'Error opening '||ofname||' for writing.'

do while chars(ifname)>0
   call lineout ofname,linein(ifname)

call stream ifname,'c','close'
call stream ofname,'c','close'

/* end of conversion -yke */

Many thanks Mike, for that!

YKE adds: There are many ways to skin that same cat. BRANE10.ZIP, available on Hobbes, is a (1997!) table-driven application. You make the very simple table. The program can change almost any repetitive byte-sequence to almost anything else. Most useful with text-files, maybe; but it works with binary as well. The author provides a few examples to get you started.


Mar 17, 2005 - Split-view For XWorkplace Folders (Both) (General)

Mark Dodel forwarded this, from the forum:

"gonx-xworkplace-user" (we think. . .) had wanted a split-view as the default for Xworkplace folders:

I'm running eCS 1.2 with XWP 1.0.2. I love the Split View (for folders) and want make it the default view for some folders. E.g., the drives folders. Does anyone know. . .

  1. Can I do this?
  2. If so, how?
  3. If not, I'd like to put it forward as a suggestion.

"Klaus Fuchs" suggested:

Settings: Menu
        -->split folder

Mike O'Connor begged to differ:

That doesn't make it the default action for "Open".

Klaus had that one covered though:

Hold down the "Shift" key while clicking on Split view in the Open submenu. Works for the other views too, BTW. This is an XWP extension, but I'm no longer sure I documented it anywhere.


Mar 18, 2005 - Uninstalling/Deleting? (eCS) (Intermediate)

Mark forwarded this one too, (from the eComStation@yahoogroups forum) but didn't send along the specific subject. YKE thinks it might have to do with curing a messed-up Desktop.

"Mike" (?) had said:

in <bootdrive>:\ecs\system\ewps\install you should find:


On Fri, 18 Mar 2005 19:45:51 -0800, T. Guilbert was ecstatic:

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! [. . .so he reads stuff other than computer books.]

I sure wish I had known about those two .cmd files a year ago. Would have saved me a lot of grief and wasted time. Thank you, Mike.

But Alex Taylor may have dampened his spirits a bit, with this warning:

Be aware that those scripts are really XWorkplace-centric, meaning they assume the XWorkplace desktop-layout, rather than the eCS layout, which has some subtle differences.

This means it might not delete all desktop objects dependent on eWorkplace. If you find one or two eWP-specific icons left over, that's why. The setup string help objects in the Help folders under Internet and Local Network (<HELP_INTERNET> and <HELP_CONNECTIONS>) come to mind.

(Of course, deinstalling eWorkplace removes the Setup String class, so those two objects would probably no longer be visible anyway.)

More seriously, you also have to change the default sort order of the following folders, otherwise you will probably find they have no icons visible (because under eWorkplace their default sort order is one that only it supports, and the aforementioned REXX scripts don't undo it):

    eComStation Components<WP_INFOOVERFOLDER>
      Enhanced User Interface<WP_UIINFO>
        File & Print Services <WP_NETINFO_LAN>
      IBM Convenience Package <WP_TASKSINFO>
      Product Notes <WP_READMEFOLDER>
    Program Development <WP_REFCMDFOLDER>
      REXX Scripting Language <WP_REXXINFO>
Plug & Play for PCMCIA(?)<WP_CMPNPFDR>


Mar 29, 2005 - Java (Golden Code) and Firefox 1.0.2 (Both) (Intermediate)

Another forwarded by Mark, from comp.os.os2.misc:

"Piersante" seems to have had a problem getting his Firefox working right with Golden Code's Java.

Bent Nielsen provided a workaround:

To run I use this:
View: C:\PROGRAMS\firefox\Firefox.cmd

SET GCD_JAVA_HOME=c:\java141\jre

"Piersante" shows what hadn't worked for him, and voiced his understanding and thanks:

Thanks a lot! It works that way. My previous wrapper was:

set beginlibpath=.\.

Since I have GCD_JAVA_HOME already set on the CONFIG.SYS, [it must] be those MOZ_ variables doing the trick.


Apr 13, 2005 - Wordperfect And eCS 1.1 (eCS) (Intermediate)

We're given this from

Piersante Sestini complained:

Unfortunately my WP 7 used to run well in warp 4. But after installing eCS 1.1 it doesn't run anymore, failing to find some shared components at startup. It aborts with error: "cannot find SHWIN20.DLL." That DLL is there, in a directory called corel\office\shared\wpc20. I tried to reinstall a few times, but there is nothing I could do about it :-(. Same for other applications (123, etc.) Is seems that there are some registry files (such as WPSH20.REG) which are not loaded.

Steven Levine provided some solace, but only a little. . .

Correct. It's a windows program so it relies on the registry. You need to run the winos2 registry editor and import all the *.reg files.

The WP installer puts most of them in \os2\mdos\winos2, so you may need to grab them from your backups.

The *.reg files contain static settings, so you will not break anything if you import them over existing settings.

On rare occaisions, the .bif file gets corrupted. When this happens, you need to restore it from a backup or delete it and let WPWIN recreate it.

Steven adds:

This reminds me. . . I have set up two Cmd files to copy and restore the WP files that may get clobbered occasionally. The two files I copy are:



"O:" is my boot drive
"D:" is the drive where WP is installed.

If you do ever lose these files, you also lose all of the settings and customization that you may have done. This includes any tool bar setup.
[And, I'm glad we got into this discussion. It's been months since I ran the backup. This reminded me to do it NOW!]

YKE suggests maybe that's the real Tip: Backup, backup, and backup. Your system will thank you; you'll thank yourself.


Apr 19, 2005 - Navigation From The Command Line (Both) (General)

This one's from YKE, a dyed-in-the-wool CLI freak.

We've stuff (local) scattered all over 20 partitions on 6 memory devices, not counting transient attachments like USB memory-sticks.

Like everyone else, no matter where we are--dropping into a CLI--it's not where we want to be.

We wrote our own little REXX thing which works very well, getting us from here to there. . .

But more and more we're using Joerg Thiemann's 'Jump2Directory', a 2004 REXX application available at:

It uses nicknames for navigation:

"jj fire" takes me to my firewall directory - H:\InJoy\Firewall
"jj mail" takes me to my personal Mozilla mail - H:\. . . (seven layers down)
"jj ut" takes me to my CLI utilities directory

You get the idea.

The website has a big brother to "jj" also, but I like the little guy. It's small, fast, table-driven, and very easy to maintain or modify. Check out the other things while you're there. He's a very good bunch of EPM stuff, links, etc. Worth the trip.


Apr 21, 2005 - Using Large (External) USB 2.0 Disks on OS2 (Both) (General)

Jan van Wijk, DFSee's author, tells us: ". . .feel free to use and pass on this info. . .":

Using large (external) USB 2.0 disks on OS2

With modern USB 2.0 hardware, and the latest drivers from IBM itself and Chris Wohlgemuth, using disks up to 400GiB is feasible on OS2 and eComStation.

The maximum disk size supported by OS2 is limited by its 65535 cylinder limit (16 bit number).

With a widely used geometry of 255 heads and 63 sectors, this limit will result in about 500GiB of diskspace per disk.

However, I found that the IBM-supplied driver USBMSD.ADD will report a geometry of 16 heads and 63 sectors, which will bring down that limit to 32GiB . . .

Using the alternate driver CWUSBMSD.ADD changes the geometry to 240 heads and 63 sectors, yielding a limit of over 400GiB. You can get that driver from:

For best results use the latest drivers from IBM, like 10.145 (September 23, 2004) or newer . . .

From that package, replace the USBMSD.ADD by CWUSBMSD.ADD, and perhaps use some of the switches to control the number of attached disks and other removable devices, as in:


With that set of drivers I use several memory sticks, a 160GiB LaCie drive with a single FAT32 partition, and a 300GiB Maxtor drive with a FAT32, JFS and NTFS partition, all on USB 2.0 connection to a Thinkpad T42.

Jan van Wijk's DFSee website is


Apr 24, 2005 - Running IBM Web Browser And Firefox Together (Both) (General)

Eduardo Vila Echague sends us this note:

Firefox will not start if IBM Web Browser (or Mozilla) is active or at least the turbo facility is running (OS2WEB.EXE -turbo) at start up.

The reason is that both programs use DLLs with common (the same) names. Once a set is loaded in memory the other program tries to use that copy and fails.

The way out of this is to force OS/2 to use separate copies of both sets of DLLs, by means of the LIBPATHSTRICT environment variable. The following command file can be used to start Firefox:


That's assuming that Firefox is installed in disk F:


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