VOICE Home Page: http://www.os2voice.org
September 2001

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What a Beauty!

An editorial by the editors of the VOICE Newsletter

I finally received my three copies of eComStation (well actually only two sets of CDs). I had been away for a week at the beginning of August, and found my package from Prism Dataworks waiting for me when I got home. 3 CD's in a set. The first being the eComStation Installation CD, the second is the IBM MCP CD and the third is a compilation of third party applications. Paper documentation amounted to only 2 double sided photocopy quality sheets. Those who purchase their copy through Mensys get a 68 page installation guide. Those of us who didn't, can download it in PDF format at http://www.ecomstation.nl/files/ecs-ga-pdf-a5.pdf.

My first install was on my Toshiba Laptop. The first attempt resulted in problems after I tried to install a sound driver for the Crystal chipset. The first phase of the install went great prior to that, but multimedia, PCMCIA and Networking still rely on the IBM Selective Install which seems to clobber some things if one is not careful with it.

I did get eCS 1.0 installed, and everything including sound,PCMCIA and my wireless IBM network card running. The base install adds a distinctly updated look to OS/2 with eStyler lite modifying the titlebar and buttons and eDialogEnhancer modifying message windows. I've never been big on eyecandy but I'm very impressed with what Serenity Systems and their team of volunteers has done. With just a bit of tweaking I had what I think is a very attractive desktop.

My eCS 1.0 with WP_CUPOLAD_LARGE.BMP as a background
To see a full screen (1024x756) click on the image.

The above is using an alternative desktop bitmap included with eCS: WP_CUPOLAD_LARGE.BMP as a background. I also have XWorkPlace installed (hence the multiple desktops from PageMage in the lower left corner). It's still OS/2, but what a beauty! For those who hate the fancy stuff, you can turn it all off easily enough. You also have the option to install the IBM MCP (Merlin Convenience Pak) without any of the eCS additions.

I won't be going into detail about what is included in eComStation 1.0 and how well it works. I'll leave that for others in a future issue. Also this was covered extensively two months ago by Don Eitner ( eComStation 1.0, the Release Candidate ) and Isaac Leung ( eComStation v1.00: First Looks ) in their reviews of the eComStation 1.0 Release Candidate; and I just wanted to take the opportunity to share my joy with others who can appreciate it. :-)

I will point out that some folks have run into some problems. From browsing the hundreds of messages on the eComStation.support.install news group on the Mensys news server ( news://news.ecomstation.nl) these problems seem to center around the Networking, Multimedia and PCMCIA install phase which caused me some grief and of course LVM which will take some getting used to also. Hopefully these items will be incorporated into Serenity's new eCS installer in eCS 1.01 along with a better user interface for LVM. Don Eitner covers his install experience with eCS 1.0 in this month's View from the End(User): eComStation Gold Release.

For the record my next install went much smoother on my all SCSI, dual Pentium Pro workstation. Perhaps it was the different hardware, or maybe the experience obtained in the first go round, but for me the experience was well worth it. Things which had given me problems on my eCS Preview partition, like XWorkPlace's PageMage, Home Page Publisher and Norman Anti-Virus were now working fine.

Anyway it is certainly great to see OS/2 being supported, expanded and even promoted. Now if we can only get a significant number of windoze users to convert, maybe my ISP won't keep having to shut down their cable modem system so often to clear out all those stupid Code Red and SirCam virus attacks.

Warpstock events: VOICE has decided to have a presence at both Warpstock events this year. We will have a booth at both Warpstock 2001 in Toronto on October 6-8, Canada and Warpstock Europe at 'KH Limburg' College in Diepenbeek, Belgium on November 2-4. We will need help covering the booths at both locations, so if you are going to either event, please volunteer to help. Volunteers would sit at the booths for about a 2 hour shift, greeting interested people and handing out a brochure with a membership form to anyone interested in joining VOICE. This is a critical investment for VOICE and the OS/2-eCS community. VOICE has supported Warpstock for years now, and we have been rewarded with at least enough new members to cover most of our expenses. So please help.

It is also imperative that if you have any desire to attend either Warpstock event, you register now. This will show your own personal support for these events. Like VOICE, these are non-profit and put on by volunteers.These people need to know that their efforts are appreciated.

Warpstock Europe almost didn't happen this year, and Warpstock 2002 is looking questionable at this point, since no bids have been submitted yet. Please show you care by attending these shows and meeting with other OS/2 users. The experience is incredible. For those of you who still can't justify the travel because of distance, then consider having next years Warpstock in your area. For information on submitting bids, see the website for each event - Warpstock - http://www.warpstock.org/news/press/052501a.html and for Warpstock Europe contact the organizers of the previous events: http://warpstock.os2.org/en/impressum.

VOICE Newsletter Update: We are making more progress with our attempt to automate a lot of the newsletter assembly process using Dennis Bareis's PPWizard pre-processor software. Though the transition has had a few kinks in it, it has already helped in making the translation of the header/footer of each page easier and more reliable. For more on PPWizard see Dennis's web site at http://www.labyrinth.net.au/~dbareis/ppwizard.htm .

We are also planning on adding a new page to the VOICE Newsletter to allow small Freeware and OS/2 User advertisements. This would allow developers of freeware apps to advertise their products by having a free banner ad on this page. Also OS/2-eCS users and OS/2 user groups could place text ads seeking other OS/2-eCS users in their geographical area to start/promote a user group or maybe just find someone to help them with a support problem or have coffee with. If anyone is interested in this concept please send me an email at ads@os2voice.org. If anyone would like to help with editing this page for the newsletter, please contact me at editor@os2voice.org. As much as we try, a handful of people just can't do everything. We need everyone's help. We are also revising our sponsorship levels to make it more affordable to sponsor VOICE, and have banner ads on some pages of the Newsletter for shareware and commercial OS/2 developers. You can view the status of that on our Sponsorship page - http://www.os2voice.org/sponsorinfo.html.

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 can help by writing an article please contact me at editor@os2voice.org. The Guidelines for Article Submissions to the VOICE Newsletter page has been updated with the addition of some ideas for articles. Please take a look and see if you can help us with an article for an upcoming issue. Some folks find they enjoy telling about their OS/2 experiences. :-)

The Warp Doctor site: Have an idea for Warp Doctor? You can send your comments directly to the Warp Doctor web guy Jeremy at rs@fyrelizard.com or better yet attend one of our Warp Doctor Team meetings, weekly on IRC.

Please note that beginning on September 2, the team now meets every Sunday at 2PM EDT (18:00 GMT), on IRC in the #warpdoctor channel on the WEBBnet IRC network. For more information on attending online Warp Doctor IRC meetings please see the VOICE Meeting Information page - http://www.os2voice.org/meetinginfo.html.

VOICE Online Update: In August we had a Speakup with Sundial Systems on August 6th. It was a general question session. You can read the log at http://www.os2voice.org/logs/V080601.LOG.html. There was also a general membership meeting on August 20th. You can review the transcripts of these and other VOICE IRC events at http://www.os2voice.org/transcripts.html This month we have general member meetings on September 3 and 17 at 8PM EST (00:00GMT, 02:00 Berlin). Everyone interested in OS/2 or eComstation is invited to attend either or both of these sessions. For more information on attending online VOICE IRC meetings please see the VOICE Meeting Information page - http://www.os2voice.org/meetinginfo.html.

If you have an idea for a Speakup event, please submit it to liaison@os2voice.org, and we will try to 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 http://www.os2voice.org/calendar.html for more details on future VOICE events.

This month we start with a review by Thorsten Thielen, of POVRay. He tells us how to use this raytracing application to create computer-generated images.

Next up, we have Luc Van Bogaert's article on what we can expect to see at this years Warpstock Europe 2001 in Belgium. Then Michal Necasek is back in the classroom again this month, with An OS/2 History Lesson - The Early Years. This time he covers OS/2 1.1 and 1.2 . Look for him to detail the beginning roots of OS/2 next month. Some folks have asked why he is not going in chronological order. That's easy, he didn't have all the versions of OS/2 when he started writing these articles, so he started with what he had and continued as he acquired the rest.

Peter Brown discovered a neat solution to an ongoing problem he has with sharing his computer with others in his family and he liked it so much he just had to tell everyone about it. :-) Here are two articles on that product - MultiDesk V0.2.0 - Your own Desktop on a shared OS/2 Warp PC! and MultiDesk V0.2.0 - Dealing with Sound Schemes under MultiDesk V0.2.0.

A lot of people are trying Odin these days. Many run into problems with trying to install win32 apps under Odin. Herwig Bauernfeind has done a lot of work on installing many of these Window's applications. He begins a series of articles on how to handle the Manual installation of Win32 programs under Odin.

Finally, Don Eitner returns in View from the End(User): eComStation Gold Release with a look at his installation of the newly arrived eComStation 1.0.

Finally we have the VOICE Newsletter OS/2 Tips page and the Letters, Addenda, Errata page. If you have any OS/2 or eCS tips you've uncovered, please send them to tips@os2voice.org. If you have any comments or suggestions about the newsletter or articles in it, please send them to editor@os2voice.org

That's it for this month. So far, for October, we have Michal Necazek's continuing series on the history of OS/2; and as well as more on manually installing win32 applications for use under Odin by Herwig Bauernfeind. Also for October we have an "Introduction to Perl" by Heiko Korsawe and a new series of articles by Eric Baerwaldt harddisk partitioning, error handling and SCSI drive. Hopefully we will have a followup article on Limewire from Frank Berke. A couple of articles also in the works is an in-depth review of Xact 7.x by Stefan Deutscher, and a review of the Artem Wireless LAN cards, by Karlheinz Schmidthaus. A date for publishing hasn't been determined yet for either article.

Mark Dodel and Christian Hennecke
Editors, VOICE Newsletter

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