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September 2002

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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.

July 20, 2002 - Our first OS/2 tip of the month comes from Lorne Sunley as posted on the news group. Someone asked how these new USB audio devices work with CD drives, since there is no cable between the CDROM and the sound card:
The audio data is read in digital format off the CD and is sent directly to the USB "sound card" as a WAV type data stream. This requires a great deal of I/O bandwidth. Your CD must support the "Digital Transfer" feature that can be enabled from the "Multimedia Setup" program that is located in the "System setup" folder. The option checkbox is located on the second sub tab of the CD settings tab.

July 26, 2002 - Next from the xworkplace-user list we have the following tip for users of Jonathan de Boyne Pollard's 32 bit command interpreter replacement:
If you are using Jonathan de Boyne Pollard's 32 bit command interpreter, it can cause problems with MPTS and minstall unless you add the following lines to your config.sys file, save, and reboot:
As for disabling XWP, you need to hold down the shift key before the blue screen appears and you must keep holding it down.
August 5, 2002 - Here's a handy tip for Desktop On-Call users submitted by Timothy F. Sipples:
Desktop On-Call is the desktop remote control software included at no extra charge with eComStation. Using any Java-enabled web browser, you can control your eComStation, OS/2 Warp, or other desktop. (Versions are available for many different platforms.) You don't need any special client software to use Desktop On-Call. Desktop On-Call is somewhat similar to VNC, but it has some advantages, including built-in encryption and better support for eComStation.

Desktop On-Call automatically senses which version of Java your browser uses. However, there may be reasons to force Desktop On-Call to use the older Java 1.02-compatible version. For example, I like the Java 1.02 version of the Desktop On-Call client better when using Warpzilla with Java 1.3. The Java 1.02 version is compatible with very old browsers, including Netscape Navigator 2.02 for OS/2 Warp, certain Windows 3.1 browsers, and older Macintosh browsers.

To force Desktop On-Call to use the Java 1.02 version, use this web address when accessing your PC:

where is the IP address of your system (could be numeric) and 8080 is the port you've configured Desktop On-Call to listen on. (The default port is 80.)

I've tested this method with Desktop On-Call Version 5, the forthcoming release for eComStation, and it works like a charm. I believe this method works with prior versions of Desktop On-Call as well.

There's one downside to the Java 1.02 version. Network traffic between your browser and the PC you control is not encrypted. So be careful using this "flavor" of the Desktop On-Call applet over the public Internet. If you use this special URL for Desktop On-Call, you can solve the encryption problem with something like Injoy Firewall and its VPN support.

Although I have not tested it, you can likely delete (keep a backup!) the ictrl10.htm file on your PC (installed with Desktop On-Call) to prevent use of this non-encryption version, if you're particularly paranoid.

I also find that Desktop On-Call works better in a web browser window running in kiosk mode (with extraneous browser controls removed). Check your favorite web browser's documentation for details on kiosk mode. For example, many Netscape versions for OS/2 Warp have two kiosk modes, invoked using either the -k1 or -k2 command line parameters. In kiosk mode, you maximize the amount of screen "real estate" available for displaying your remote system's desktop.

Finally, there are certain keystrokes that are just darn difficult to send via Desktop On-Call. Consider installing a utility on your remote system that lets you send keystrokes using the mouse, or use a keyboard remapping utility.

August 6, 2002 - On comp.os.os2.apps, Michael DeBusk posted the following CMD file to show how he uses Anti-Word to convert a Microsoft Word file to a Postscript to be read by GSView:
I hate dealing with *nixish command lines too. I'm a CLI guy, but I'm no masochist. So I tend to write CMD files to do what I want *nixish programs to do most often.

This dumps a Word doc to a postscript file named and then opens it in GhostView. You could alter a few of the variables to convert it to plain text if you wanted that instead.

* word2ps.cmd

IF wordDoc = '' THEN

SAY 'This script accepts a MS Word document as argument,'
SAY 'converts it to PostScript using AntiWord, and then'
SAY 'displays it in GhostView.'

/* change "ps" to "t" if you want plain text */
psDoc = wordDoc || ".ps"

/* change to your favorite text editor for plain text */


* the "-p letter" option is just for postscript output;
* it sets the output to letter size paper. Leave off
* altogether for plain text
aw = 'F:\util\antiword.0.32\antiword.exe -p letter'

SAY 'Converting' wordDoc 'to' psDoc || '...'

/* Redirects output of antiword to a file using ">" */
aw wordDoc || '>' || psDoc

/* opens the file for viewing
*/ gsView psDoc


August 7, 2002 - Are you confused about what the latest versions of drivers released by IBM are? If you want to check yourself, here's a tip from Ed Durrant on the Australian OS/2 mailing List:
IBM have updated and added several OS/2 device drivers in the last few days.


For a list of recent changes.

August 7, 2002 - Ever wonder how to tell if a windows program was 16bit or 32bit without running the program? On the OS/2 User list, Kris Steenhaut gives the following advise:
Open the exe file with an editor (any will do)

If you see at the first toplines something like:

PE , it's a full blown Windy9* and later program

(PE means P executive, forgotten what "P" stands for)

If there is something like

at the 12th line or so, it's a regular Win31 program.
(NE stands for New Executive)

August 10, 2002 - Rich Walsh, the developer of the wonderful DragText utility, offered the following useful tidbit on comp.os.os2.apps:
+ PMSeek *does* support AND & OR in the search-text field, though only for a single pair of choices. For example:
+ Fric & Frac (AND)
+ Tweedle Dum | Tweedle Dee (OR)
+ Why don't they document this stuff?

August 11, 2002 - On comp.os.os2.networking.misc someone asked for suggestions on how to get a 3Com Ethernet card (3C562D) recognized by OS/2. Russell O'Connor suggested trying what worked for him:
I did manage to solve this problem by adding BASEDEV=RESERVE.SYS /MEM:CB00,1000 To the beginning of my config.sys file.

August 13, 2002 - Who but the USBGuy would have tips on using USB devices under OS/2. Someone asked about how to tell if a USB device was recognized by the system. Here is the USBGuy's word from comp.os.os2.setup.misc:
Depends on the device some only show up in the Hardware Manager when a media is inserted.

You should see USB Device #HC_#HUB_#Device

#HC is the number of the USB Hostcontroller the device is on
#HUB the Number of the Hub on that HC
#Device the USB Device Number.
For More information about the deive use the USB Resource Manager Package.

August 14, 2002 - Speaking of USB, according to Dale Cook on the comp.os.os2.advocacy news group:
The D-LINK model DSB-650TX USB ethernet adapter works quite well on my warp 4.5 system with OS/2 USB drivers/stack!

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