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August 1999

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 editor@os2voice.org

Editor's note: these tips are from OS/2 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.

July 15, 1999 - Our first tip of the month, comes from Peter Lazenby. He sent in this REXX script that fixes things when StarOffice takes over all your HTML associations. The REXX code is curtesy of Dr James Denholm-Price.

Has anyone else become annoyed with StarOffice 5.1's tendency to supercede the usual "WPHtml" WPS class with its own "StarWriterHtmlFile"? This means that double-clicking on a file with this class loads SO instead of (in my case) EPM! Annoying ... and the "File Association Editor" doesn't seem to help. You can get round it by using the 'Become' tab in the file's notebook, but this is cumbersome when you have more than a few files.

I've modified a Rexx script from OS/2 e-zine to deregister the SO WPS class which seems to return things to normal & SO still works. [However YMMV! I make no promises etc...]

It's really short, so here it is...

/* dereg.cmd */
/* REXX script to deregister the HTML file class in Star Office 5.1
/* Modified from http://www.os2ezine.com/v3n07/hammer.htm */

call RxFuncAdd 'SysLoadFuncs', 'RexxUtil', 'SysLoadFuncs'
call SysLoadFuncs

if SysDeregisterObjectClass("StarWriterHtmlFile")
say "Success"
say "Failure"
/* end of dereg.cmd */

July 25, 1999 - OK, a new Communicator for OS/2 has appeared and now a few adjustments are required. Here is a tip from Mike Kaply on the NS4OS2 List on how to fix the new problem with auto-completion of URL's in Communicator For OS/2 4.61 Preview:

If you want ibm to turn into www.ibm.com, you really ned to turn off they keyword feature in preferences.

By default, netscape always connects to keyword.netscape.com if you just type a name.

Editor Note: To disable the new Keyword feature select the Edit menu item, the Preferences, then Navigator, and Smart Browsing. Deselect the Enable Internet Keywords option.

July 25, 1999 -If you are looking to get Real Audio working with Communicator for OS/2, here is a tip from Ralph Cohen on the NS4OS2 Mail List:

I found excellent instructions for setting up RealAudio in NSOS2 at


July 28, 1999 - If you have ever wondered why BASEDEV= statements don't have paths included, here is some info from Jon Hall on the IBM OS/2 Unedited Discussion List:

BASEDEVs are always searched for in the root, \OS2 and \OS2\BOOT (on Warp 3 and higher) directories: this is hardcoded in the boot loader, mainly because the normal file system drivers haven't yet been initialised at the time the BASEDEVs are loading. This is also why you can't specify a path to the BASEDEV file.

July 29, 1999 - On NS4OS2 List, Ralph Cohen offers the following for anyone running Comunicator for OS/2 and wants to know how to open a problem report?

Just open up Netscape and from the menu bar select:
Help->Product_Information_and_Support and fill out the forms.

July 29, 1999 - Dave DeGear posted the following response from RSJ support on TEAMOS2-L for anyone needing to know how to create a CDR using an ISO image:

1.) Rename the ISO-Image to track01.trk.
2.) Start CD-View in the track-directory.
3.) Start CD-View for the CD-recorder.
4.) Drag and Drop.
5.) Record
6.) Close session.

July 31, 1999 - On the POSSI List, Judy McDermott offered this help for those who are having problems trying to Install Warp with updated drivers on the install disks:

This should help:
To Create Additional Space on Installation Diskette n1


August 4, 1999 - On comp.os.os2.setup.misc, Frank McKenney, McKenney Associates had this assistance for OS/2 users looking for real modems:

There are a lot of modems out on the market, and new ones seem to appear daily. Some of these are "WinModems", that is, modems that are useless without special MSWin9x-only driver software and... um, not a worthwhile investment for those of us running any other operating system (OS/2, Mac, Linux, or WhateverOS). Some, of course, are "real" modems: external units or those that present a "standard" 165xx-like UART interface to the operating system. The trick is to be able to tell the difference _before_ spending one's money (;-). Fortunately, someone has taken the effort to set up a 'web page with all sorts of modem information (bus interface, PnP/No, chipset, etc.). As one might guess, it's a work in progress (only 250K or so to date), but the author is actively soliciting updates.
Linux/Modem Compatibility Knowledge Base
If you find the information useful, take the time to send a message of
thanks to the author, gromitkc@o2.net.
Oh, and I'll add a "Thank You" to David Mcilroy, whose post incomp.os.linux.setup led me to this page.
Hope you all find it useful...

August 6, 1999 - Timothy F. Sipples, sent me this pointer to a new Redbook on OS/2 Warp Server e-business:

Check out the new redbook for Warp Server for e-business (SG24-5393, http://www.redbooks.ibm.com).

This is only a partial list. It highlights some of the new features not yet widely discussed.

Base Operating System

- More memory for applications. Larger virtual address space, with improvements even over Warp Server V4 SMP.

- I2O device support. Helps provide broader support for SCSI, network, and other I2O-compliant adapters.

- Bootable CD-ROM support for installation and other purposes. Now get a command line with a single bootable CD, for example, to make system maintainence much easier.

- No 1024 cylinder hard disk boot limitation. Restriction removed for systems with enhanced Int13. Hard disk partitioning is now more flexible on large hard disks.

- 32-bit kernel and file system enhancements. Helps provide dramatic performance capabilities.

- New APIs for setting thread processor affinity in SMP environment. Applications can more precisely determine for themselves how best to extract performance from SMP systems. (Applications which use these APIs, however, are still compatible with uniprocessor systems.)

- New APIs for large file (greater than 2 GB) support. XCOPY and some other common utilities have been modified to take advantage of this capability. Works with JFS.

- Graphical locale builder (including Java(TM) support). Provides the capability to design and use multi-language applications (one application package which appears translated on screen into your preferred language, depending on your locale setting). Some applications (e.g. OS/2 System Editor) are already locale-aware.

- Inclusion of double byte character set (DBCS) typefaces (in addition to the standard Unicode font). Now (for example) Japanese-language applications can display information on screen in the native language. These fonts can be optionally added to your system during installation. (Note: Keyboard entry in certain DBCS countries may require a keyboard translator not provided with Warp Server for e-business.)

- More operating system features can be relocated off your boot drive.

- JFS and Logical Volume Manager (and many file system related improvements). Can help to eliminate "planned server downtime" and speed up recovery in the unlikely event of a failure. For example, active hard disk volumes can be defragmented on-the-fly, without rebooting or downtime. Also, additional hard disks can be added to volumes on-the-fly, again without rebooting or downtime. (Servers with hot-swap hard disks can be used to eliminate the power off time required by the hardware. There is no longer any software requirement for downtime if you need to increase the amount of storage available.)

The Journaling File System protects all files, not just directories. Performance is optimized for network computing (web servers, Java, etc.), and performance in a file sharing environment is still quite good (HPFS386 available as an option). IBM maintains its leadership as provider of the fastest file system on PC systems.

JFS posts some impressive statistics: support for up to 4 billion separate files, maximum file sizes of at least 2 Terabytes, and similar volume sizes. Maximum cache size increases up to around 1 GB. (If you start getting near any of these "limits," let IBM know. :-))

Logical Volume Manager lets you assign drive letters arbitrarily to hard disk volumes. Volumes can span multiple physical devices (and even file systems). Want a single Drive D containing six big SCSI hard disks? It's yours.

Base Networking

- New load balancing and performance enhancement features for NETBEUI. Traditional file and print sharing environments enjoy even more performance.

- LAN Server support for more than four network adapters in certain circumstances. Warp Server for e-business can handle a larger number of network segments if needed.

- Inclusion of SSL and IPSEC libraries (up to 128-bit encryption, depending on your country's version) in MPTS. Can be used by applications which need standard security features.

- Numerous TCP/IP enhancements (see below).

File and Print Services

- Limit on maximum connections increased.

- Limit on maximum number of open files increased.

- Limit on maximum number of searches increased.

- New KEEPDOSSEARCH parameter (sets timeout for DOS searches).

- Limit on maximum number of shares increased. (All five of these enhancements help increase the capacity of your PC server during "high stress" times, such as Monday morning at 9:00 AM.)

- Single server can act as multiple servers (responding to more than one server name). It's a "NetBIOS alias feature," quite similar to the aliasing available with TCP/IP. Primarily intended for Vinca Co-Standby Server support, but also useful in many other situations. For example, one server can assume the role of another server and provide backup support. Also helps in situations where servers are being combined, perhaps during server hardware upgrades. New OTHSRVNAMES parameter to support this functionality. (Can be used in IBMLAN.INI, on command line, or via new APIs.)

- New /PERM switch for NET USE commands. Makes a resource connection permanent until reboot (or explicit disconnect). (Combine with /USER to access resources on other domains under different user ID.) Very useful when roaming from domain to domain, picking up access to various resources along the way.

- Manage Windows NT servers as additional servers in the Warp Server for e-business domain.

TCP/IP Enhancements

[Note: TCP/IP Version 4.21 with new MPTS may be installed on OS/2 Warp 4 client and other OS/2 Warp Version 4 releases from the Client CD-ROM provided with Warp Server for e-business.]

- Better SMP exploitation.

- SynAttack defense (Syn Cookies), on by default.

- INETCFG enhancements.

- NFS Client and Server (new 32-bit). Now with WebNFS (RFC 2055) support. (Note: Rumor has it that extended attributes are now supported, although I have not been able to confirm this. Anyone who's tried this is welcome to post a follow-up.)

- Multithreaded FTPD and TFTPD (instead of multiprocess). FTPD also support reestablishing broken file transfers (reget). TFTPD now has new security features. These enhancements combined to make Warp Server for e-business an industrial-strength FTP and/or Network Station server.

- Streaming LPD and LPRPORTD. LPD also has new security features. Speeds up TCP/IP printing, particular with Network Stations.

- New TIMED. Provides time clock support to clients which need it.

- Enhanced IPSec Virtual Private Network (VPN) capability. Allows secure IP tunneling between OS/2 Warp systems, and from OS/2 Warp to some other products (such as IBM Firewall, AIX, OS/390, etc). "Mini firewall" capability now "officially" documented. (Note: Commercial products such as InJoy Tunnel/2 and Injoy Firewall/2 -- see http://www.fx.dk -- still offer advantages over the built-in capabilities.)

- FTPPM now supports reestablishing broken file transfers (reget).

- New SOCKETS.SYS device driver parameters for performance optimization.

- Reuse of timewait stack resources.

- HTTP fast path performance (pre-fabricated data structures on port 80).

- New send_file() and accept_and_recv() APIs (to avoid overhead and provide faster path for TCP/IP file transfers, improving web server performance, for example).

- Variable cluster sizes (automatically selected), used for mbufs.

- New TCP/IP Developer's Toolkit (to support the various enhancements). New TCP/IP and MPTS still support all previous 16- and 32-bit APIs.

And there's much, much more....

Editor Note: The direct URL is http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/sg245393.html

August 11, 1999 - From Dan Casey on the VOICE News List here is a tip for anyone trying to install the new IBM GRADD .80 video driver:

IBM has released GRADBB 0.80, ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/ps/products/os2/videopak/graddbb

It's dated Aug. 10, 1999.

An installation tip from a post in USENET ... (thanks John Hong):

Someone who made this .dsk made a little mistake. The disk label is "GRADD080", however it *must* be "GRADD 1" or else it won't install.

August 13, 1999 - I saw this post from Jeffrey S. Kobal (Of the IBM Communicator/2 team) on comp.os.os2.beta and thought it might enlighten a few folks, as it did myself, about the 256 color pallette in Netscape communicator:

It's called 256-color palette management. It has nothing to do with DOS, 640K memory constraints, or "noodling" with the video display. It has to do with the fact that you've set your video to 256-color mode.

The default set of 256 colors doesn't render images very well, particularly photographic images, so Netscape defines its own set of 256 colors that contains colors (such as flesh tones) likely to be found in pictures on the web. When Netscape is in the foreground, it sets its palette into the video driver, which is the "shift" you see. Then, every other application gets to have fun trying to fit into the set of colors that Netscape has defined. This is called "palette realization". When you switch over to another application that is "palette-aware", it will then set its palette and cause Netscape (and everyone else) to reshift to use the new palette.

August 14, 1999 - If you have an ESS based sound card and plan to install FP10 or FP11, check Duane Chamblee's website for information about a problem with these cards and these fixpaks. http://duanec.indelible-blue.com/anonymous/essdrvs/ Duane has some drivers on this site that have been tested with FP10 and FP11.

According to this site "ESS Sound card users should try the latest version of their driver BEFORE applying Fixpak10."

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