Virtual OS/2 International Consumer Education
VOICE Home Page:
October 2001

[Newsletter Index]
[Previous Page] [Next Page]
[Feature Index]

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.

August 16, 2001 - Our first tip of the month is from Glenn Turnbull in a post on the news group on making JFS volumes readable by both OS/2 and Linux:
I'm not sure how many people will need it, but there must be more than one person who uses the PC for Linux and OS/2.

To format the eCS partition with a block size compatible with the Linux JFS (only 4096 byte block size supported under Linux at present - August 2001) issue the following command (after having backed up the data to a separate partition of course).

format x: /fs:jfs /l /v:drive_x /bs:4096
where x is the drive letter of the partition (volume) you wish to make JFS. the /l is the long format which I prefer and believe is worth the additional time when changing formats.

The bs:4096 is just telling the format command to use a block size of 4096 bytes. Not too much wasted space and due to the efficiency and speed of JFS well worth it.

August 16, 2001 - Not directly related to OS/2 but still useful information for OS/2 and eCS users is the following tip from Phil Parker on the OS2-L dicussion mail list:
If you've ever wondered about IBMese (e.g., DASD):

And there're actually many general computing terms as well.

August 22, 2001 - Alan Beagley posted the following on the news group information about getting Process Commander to run on OS/2-eCS:
No, Process Commander isn't still being updated -- in no small measure, no doubt, because it is based on WatchCat, whose authors have, as previously noted, "done a bunk."

However I was able to continue using it on Warp 4 even with FP13, FP14 and FP15 -- the only difference was that I had to use a key combination other than Ctrl-Alt-Del to activate it:

There are two steps:

1. Get the file EXEPATCH.ZIP from Hobbes: Then run the EXEPATCH program to patch the doscall1.dll file.

2. Follow the method in the Process Commander docs for using PC with systems that use their own non-standard keyboard drivers (such as early Matrox video cards used).

>From the PC 1.01 README.TXT:

"Special Instructions for OS/2 2.x Users, Matrox users, Japanese OS/2

The OS/2 keyboard driver on OS/2 2.x and japanese OS/2 may not be compatible with the Process Commander keyboard driver. Some users reported problems with special versions of the Matrox display adapter, because those adapter have their own keyboard driver. In those cases please restore the old driver (cf. \OS2\BOOT\KBDBASE.TXT) and insert the line:

to activate with Ctrl-Alt-A. Hotkeys for other things than activation are currently not supported by PCKBD.SYS "
IOW, Ctrl-Alt-Delete now still does a reboot, but PC can still be invoked by using Ctrl-Alt-A (or whatever other key combination you choose).

NOTE: I think you're going to have to do both the above procedures immediately after installing Process Commander without rebooting first.

For a more detailed explanation look at:

August 18, 2001 - Rich Walsh, of DragText fame, offered this help on comp.os.os2.misc for someone the dreaded "The program pointed to by the set runworkplace= line in config.sys, this file, could not be started, WinStartApp returned %1."error message on boot:
I recently identified one possible cause for this problem (there are probably several). Here's how you can fix that one:
- use Alt-F1 at boot-up, then choose F4 (Maintenance Desktop)
- minimize the big window which covers the Desktop and move the Selective Install window out of the way
- from the System->Command Prompts folder, open an OS/2 window
- if you have a preferred ini-editor run it from there, otherwise run "regedit2"
- select os2.ini (a.k.a. the "user profile")
- locate the "SYS_DLLS" entry, and under that select "LoadPerProcess"
- in the data for this entry, confirm that each dll name listed is separated by a space. In a standard install, you should see "PMCTLS SND". If instead, you see "PMCTLSSND ", then this is the problem. Use the editor to insert a space, then exit and reboot.
BTW... what were you doing prior to encountering this problem? Had you just installed some new s/w? I ran into this after reinstalling MMOS2.

August 23, 2001 - Here's something I never new existed. Now I know how to change the name of the OS/2 Desktop, thanks to Duane Chamblee as posted on the news group:
After getting rid of a desktop with the same name... Pull up the task list(Ctrl+Esc) and Alt+Click on the desktop entry. You change the name there.

August 24, 2001 - For Pronews/2 users here's a tip from Trevor Hemsley:
I would strongly recommend *never* leaving group windows open while running a download. Apart from anything else, it adds enormously to the processing that has to be done and the locking that goes on to ensure that everything is updated correctly on the display. I say this from personal expereince gained over the last few days on the machine I've been testing on. With two article threads going I can max out my ADSL line pulling down ~62KB/s on a dual PPro200/512 with cpu usage running at about 40% on both engines. If I do the same download with a group window open the throughput drops _and_ the cpu usage goes to 100% on both engines!

August 30, 2001 - Someone on the XWorkPlace User list was having a problem with an object called "C Code" that wouldn't move when dragged. Our own Christian Hennecke offered a solution:
Remember OS/2's pickup capability? Press ALT-right mouse button on "C Code". It will be highlighted and the cursor changes to a camera. Now scroll until "Source Code" is visible. Place the cursor onto "Source Code" and press CTRL-right mouse button. Ta daa!
[Editor note: Yes we know the pickup cursor is not a camera, but in fact a tiny suit case.]

September 2, 2001 - Here's a Netscape Communicator 4.61 tip from Jason R Stefanovich as posted on the eComStation mail list. Ever want to see if any of your book marks are no longer valid?:
Netscape has this function built in. Open up your bookmarks (CTRL-B) and select the bookmarks you want to check (or don't select any). Under the View menu is an option called "Update Bookmarks". It gives you an option of selected or All. It will go through and check and mark all your bookmarks and tell you if they are dead or not and I believe update the ones that are still live.

September 3, 2001 - I've had this problem with the clock on WarpCenter/eCSCenter and in the titlebar clock from Xit not reflecting my preference for 24 hour display. This has been a problem (albeit a small problem) ever since I installed Warp Server eBusiness, which was the first version of OS/2 to introduce the Locale setting object in the System Setup folder. Locale is used to set your National preferences for things like currency, date and time formats. Alex Taylor finally offered the solution on the news group:
It's not enough to change the Locale, you have to remember to hit 'Mark as default' as well. That should work. (Works for me, anyway.)

September 4, 2001 - J. Pfisterer passed on the following information on how to deal with SPAM on the OS/2 Wordprocessing list:
I swiped the following from another list, because it describes it very well:

"There's a site that will do all the work for you. Go to and follow the yellow line. It will explain the procedure, which is:

September 5, 2001 - Alfredo Fernández Díaz offers these words of wisdom on problem with a lost desktop, which can be fixed by adding SET DESKTOP=C:\Desktop:
Well, yes, but let me explain a little more about this. I have seen this happen right before my eyes... If you have several OS/2 systems visible at the same time in the same machine, NEVER try to open any other desktop than that in the boot drive; at least not if you're using the WPS. The WPS can't tolerate more than one folder with the <WP_DESKTOP> ID, and hence erases it from any folder that is not the real Desktop in that moment. What is more, due to some hideous bug, it sometimes erases the ID of the desktop, too.

The workaround for this is to always have SET DESKTOP=C:\Desktop (or whatever) in CONFIG.SYS, so the WPS can start even with this ID lost. And then it may be useful to keep this little REXX script handy (it requires just a working WPS) to get the ID back.

Desktop='C:\Desktop' /* Change to your needs */
Call RxFuncAdd SysLoadFuncs,Rexxutil,SysLoadFuncs
Call SysLoadFuncs
if rc=1 then say 'All OK.'
else say 'Failed to set the ID.'
The SET statement makes the WPS override any search results for <WP_DESKTOP> and use the specified folder instead, but of course does not alter this folder ID (which is stored within the EAs, BTW)...

You have to do this manually, or in the startup.cmd, which can be turned into a regular REXX program just by adding a REXX comment as the first line: /* Comment */, and that's what my script does.

If you don't do so, ANY installer/prog/whatever that is mid-WELL programmed, will fail as soon as it searches for <WP_DESKTOP> (for example, to create some objects) and finds nothing.

Ideally, and this is a bit off-topic, any installer that wants to mess with the Desktop itself should forget any hardcoded paths like \Desktop (I've seen a lot of these through the years/tears ;-) ), and go search for <WP_DESKTOP>, then (if the desktop is not found) make sure the WPS is up and running (perhaps this should be first XD) and search for the DESKTOP environment variable, as this is the only other known way to get a working desktop...

September 10, 2001 - Jim Burke is the keeper of the eCS known issues page - offers this tip for people having TCP/IP problems after installing either eCS or MCP with Services and Protocol files being missing.:
Protocol is in the file on CD1. So is services.

On cd 2, there is a file called s:\cid\server\mpts\mptn\etc\ that has 4 files:


Looks like the problem is that the directory they are listed in never gets made.

mptn\samples\etc -- this doesn't exist on my install.

Moral, use CD1 as the meat for a reinstall of mpts.

September 12, 2001 - Oleg V.Cat suggested the following when someone asked on the eComStation mail list how to print to a TCP/IP printer:
Try the following:
SET LPR_SERVER=nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn
SET USER=userid
start lprmon -b LPT1
This transfers all output from port LPT1 to printer with name "lp" on server with tcp/ip nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn

[Feature Index]
[Previous Page] [Newsletter Index] [Next Page]
VOICE Home Page: