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You are reading the first issue of the VOICE Newsletter that is available in
two languages: English and German. Maybe you didn't think that this would come about
so soon. To be honest I didn't think it myself. Most probably nobody did. But as
it turned out things went surprisingly well and fast once the project was really
A bit of history from Christian: I carried around the idea with me for quite
some time. When I read several people's postings in newsgroups and forums asking
for magazines I finally decided to contact the VOICE Board. In the last week of
July a mailing list at eGroups
was founded for discussion and organization; and as there are only few German VOICE
members as of late, an announcement was posted to OS2.org, the German OS/2 newsgroups
hierarchy de.comp.os.os2.* and commTalk.de, a bilingual on-line forum with lots
of OS/2 groups. Response was very positive and soon several people subscribed to
the list. Contrary to my expectations there was little discussion at the beginning.
Instead people immediately asked me for files to translate. Abel McClendon set up
FTP accounts for the new VOICE server and the team began to translate the files
that are included in every Newsletter. Meanwhile a database table has been set up
at eGroups to coordinate work on the articles. It contains information about articles,
the translators and editors and the current status. An FAQ in the list's files section
provides information for new members. Things are going well.
Now you might ask why we started this effort at all. Well, there is no German
OS/2 magazine any more. (Ok, last year saw the first two issues of the printed magazine
OS/2 Only, but the third issue has been overdue for over a year now.) Unfortunately,
many Germans don't speak English well enough to understand an English computer magazine.
This is because many people simply don't have any practise and their school-English
soon begins to decay. Also think of the formerly separate two German states. In
the GDR young people learned Russian rather than English as a
foreign language. All these circumstances cut off a large number of OS/2 users from
the latest information.
I have been a VOICE member for two years now. Knowing VOICE's objectives and
capabilities, the Newsletter was my number one choice as a platform for establishing
a new source of information, as I saw the need to keep it all on a voluntary base.
Not only do we German speaking people profit from the much larger pool of potential
authors, VOICE also provides us with the necessary infrastructure like webspace,
FTP accounts and a good image in the OS/2 community. So what does VOICE gain in
return? Well, more members in the future, I hope. The proof to be really international.
And more articles for the newsletter of course, as we do not only translate English
to German but also vice versa. The first example for this exchange is Klaus Staedtler
von Przyborski's new column "The Free Files" in which he provides an overview
of freeware related to a certain topic. Right, that's column so you can expect
more of that in the future, maybe not every month, but frequently.
Finally I would like to thank all members of the translation
team for their help in making this a reality and all those who encouraged me
to begin the project, for their input, especially the members of the Warp mailing
list of the university of Bochum.
At Warpstock Europe 2000 I'm going to hold
a presentation on VOICE and its services for the OS/2 community and try to spread
the news(letter) of course. Hope to meet you there.
It seems a lot of people are doing this. And it really bothers me, almost to
a point where I could grab them, shake them for some minutes while I'm screaming
"WHY?". Do you want to know what I'm talking about? - I'm talking about
certain kinds of shareware developers.
You probably don't know that I am a member of the Warpstock
Europe 2000 planning team, especially of the group that tries to get developers
of freeware and shareware and those who offer internet services of an OS/2-related
kind to attend WSE2K. Since early July we have contacted about 100 of them.
Some were very enthusiastic and agreed to attend immediately. Some even contacted
others to persuade them to attend. Others required a bit more persuasive activity
from our side. Again others had to sadly turn down our offer (exhibition for
free) because time doesn't permit them to attend. Some of those asked if they
could send someone else who is familiar with the product (which is no problem BTW)
or if we could find a person who would be willing to do the presentation for them.
As you can see all those people showed some interest in both Warpstock Europe and
marketing their product.
<polemic rant mode>
Then there are those who haven't found it necessary to reply at all -- even to this very day. They simply ignored us, so we cannot even speak of contact. I won't start whining about a lack of politeness here. What really makes me go wild is the fact that this group highly matches that of those who often can be found lamenting in newsgroups, forums etc. where they complain about OS/2 users not registering their software, sometimes even implying software piracy, and that of those who don't do even that. So of course it's no use for them to bother with OS/2 users and events any more, eh?
Well, let us investigate this a bit further. Is an up to date version of their
product available at Hobbes or LEO? No, if it is somebody else uploaded it. Do they
announce new releases of their product in the newsgroups or other OS/2 news sources?
No, if there is an announcement somebody else reported it. The one and only place
to obtain information and the latest version is a carefully hidden homepage. If
you are lucky you can read something about the product in OS/2 ezine, the VOICE
Newsletter or a newsgroup, but written by users. There plainly is no such
thing as marketing and the product remains unknown to the vast majority. Now, lacking
all this how likely are tons of OS/2 users committing software piracy?
I'll try to make it even more clear. What does the standard OS/2 user do if she/he
is searching for a certain type of software? Visit the well known freeware and shareware
archives Hobbes and Link
Everything Online (LEO) that both provide search functions. The mass of programs
presented may be a bit overwhelming or she/he may not find what she/he was looking
for. Visit OS/2 ezine or the VOICE
homepage and search their archives using the type of the desired software or names
of products found on Hobbes or LEO as keywords. Then there are the newsgroups of
course where she/he can ask people for a list of products and their experiences
with the software. If all this doesn't provide her/him with a suitable package she/he
may use a web search engine. This is usually the last step as these engines tend
to offer tons of useless links. Now, looking at the above what is the probability
she/he finally reaches the passive developer's homepage?
</polemic rant mode>
* sigh * I really can't understand it. There are people out there who have written
such fine software packages. Sometimes the product is so blazingly good that people
needing exactly that would pay double the price to get it. And they won't get their
hands on it simply because the developers don't understand that they need to make
their product known to the world and provide a certain level of service to be able
to sell it. It's a shame. Especially in the OS/2 community where the number of active,
capable developers isn't that large any more.
So developers, I'm talking to you! It's so easy to spread the news about
your product. Send announcements to WarpCast,
News and Rumours or the editors of the
VOICE Newsletter. Post to the OS/2 newsgroups comp.os.os2.* or de.comp.os.os2.*
(German). Upload the latest release of your software to Hobbes
and/or LEO. Enter your product
into OS2.org's SoftWhere? database. And of course attend OS/2 events like Warpstock
and Warpstock Europe. There you'll meet tons of potential customers and they can
be convinced of your product's advantages much more easily when they see it in life
action, presented by someone who knows how to use it and who knows all the not-so-obvious
Please, PLEASE, don't let all these chances go by! Don't miss these opportunities.
We all will benefit, you and the OS/2 community. Think about it.
Besides Christian representing VOICE at Warpstock
Europe next month, VOICE will also be at Warpstock
2000 in Philadelphia this month. Dan Casey, VOICE President, will be on a special
Keynote panel addressing the topic "The OS/2 Community - Where Do We Want to
Go Today?". Anyone out there want to help out at the VOICE Booth in Philly
or help Christian spread the word at Warpstock Europe? If you can help us out please
contact me at email@example.com
or Christian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are not yet a member of VOICE, we can use your support. If you haven't
done so yet, but are ready to do so now, joining VOICE has been made a bit easier
if you are outside the US. Mensys has added the VOICE memberships to their online
This past month VOICE sponsored IRC Speakup sessions with Sundial
Systems (August 07) and the Warpstock
Event Team (August 12). You can read the transcripts of these sessions on the
VOICE Meeting Transcript page
- http://www.os2voice.org/transcripts.html. For September we have general meetings
on IRC on the 4th and the 18th, at 8PM EDT (00:00 GMT).
If you would like to hear from someone in particular or have an idea for a Speakup
event, please submit it to email@example.com,
and we will try to schedule something. Also on the VOICE Calendar are weekly Warp
Doctor team meetings every Wednesday at 8PM EDT (00:00GMT). As always, please be
sure to check out the updated VOICE Future events Calendar
in this newsletter or on the VOICE website at <http://www.os2voice.org/calendar.html>
for more details on future VOICE events.
For September, Isaac Leung reviews the Lexmark Optra
E312 Laser Printer and tells us about his experiences with its installation
and drivers. Next up Christian Hennecke continues to inform you how to raise the
needle on your system speedometer in How to Supercharge
OS/2 Warp, Part 4. This month Christian looks at video performance.
Wilson Jones tells us about his experiences with installing OS/2 on a modern
machine in How I installed OS/2 on a Large IDE Drive (40GB).
Then we learn about Russell Kneebone's struggles with OS/2 to get his new scanner
to work in Canon FB1200S - a (newly) affordable scanner
Peter Lazenby gives us an overview of the new free alternative to OS/2's VIEW.EXE
that should bring back the life to the INF format: NewView,
an Alternative .inf Viewer. Finally, with Characters
and Fonts we have the first article in Klaus Staedtler von Przyborski's
new column "The Free Files". This new column is brought to us by the German
issue's translation team, by the way.
Next month we have an article on using PMFax with a voice modem titled VOICE
LINE(how to share it) by Brian Crook; the 5th and last part of Christian Hennecke's
How to Supercharge OS/2 Warp, and more.
Just a reminder that we now have a full Newsletter
Master Index page. All the feature sections of the current and previous issues
can now be found on this one page. Additionally, we have added a Java based search
function to this master index page. It will allow you to search all past issues
for a specific word or phrase. So try it out and let us know what you think. If
you have any ideas for improvements let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That's it for this month. 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. To that end, and because of several recent requests,
we have added a Guidelines for Article Submissions to the
Mark Dodel and Christian Hennecke
Editors, VOICE Newsletter