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November 2002

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Warpstock 2002, My view

An editorial view from Mark Dodel.

I was there but missed a lot of the sessions since I was responsible for running the show as event chair. I can tell you what I know though. First off you can see pictures of the event at

Connectix, Serenity, StarFire, VOICE and Netlabs were the only exhibitors this year. Connectix did a great business, and sold out the entire stock of VPC 5.0 they brought with them. The Serenity tables were also very busy with people buying upgrades to eComStation 1.1. StarFire had an OS/2 Knowledge test at their booth, where people could test themselves on different aspects of OS/2. I was told it was tricky. VOICE had CDs of back issues the newsletter and OS/2 shareware/freeware that was submitted by developers, for free for new/renewing members and for sale to others. Netlabs was there promoting their new web site and projects.

The presentation schedule was jam packed, but there were only a few problems the entire weekend. Kendall Bennett of Scitech Software accidently missed his first scheduled presentation on the SNAP graphics driver, but that one was already scheduled a second time, so people were only slightly inconvenienced. Micho Durdevich was unable to get a visa in time to come to the US for his presentations on remote booting. Kim Cheung filled in on the remote booting eComStation session, but unfortunately we had to cancel the Remote Booting Linux and windows from eComStation session. The most crowded session of the weekend was the eComStation 1.1 demo. This was probably our only real gaff, as we should have scheduled it in the main room to accommodate everyone, but since Serenity was handing out eCS 1.1 demo CDs we didn't think it was necessary.

Greg Shah flew in on Sunday afternoon to give his presentations on Golden Code's Sesame OS/2 security application and the very popular session on Golden Code's own development of Java 1.4 and a new Java plugin for Mozilla. No date for release was stated other then 4th quarter 2002, and there will be an option for this "service solution" for the single/small OS/2-eCS user.

There were a lot of IBM speakers there (Scott Garfinkle "Problem Determination Tools for OS/2", Ron Capilli "Java and OS/2", Mike Kaply "IBM OS/2 Web Browser/Mozilla", Allan Rykaert "CID, LSMT, Rapid Deployment", Sam Emrick "Speed and Performance on OS/2", and maybe a few I'm missing. This was of course was the main reason we held it in Austin this year. IBM is too cheap to send people to us, so we paid a bit more then we should and held it in Austin. The crowd was slightly smaller then last year, but that's been the trend since IBM began to disengage itself from OS/2. I still don't know the exact figures, but we had over 100 pre-registrations, and quite a few who registered at the event, so maybe about 140-150 total. At the closing session when Stan asked how many people were at their first Warpstock, about 25% of the people raised their hands. I suspect a lot of people came because it was close to them for the first time.

One session I really wanted to see, but couldn't was Doug Clark's on the WarpDoctor REXX plugin. It was a combined technical "how to write a REXX program" session, combined with promoting the VOICE WarpDoctor project. Warpdoctor is being developed as an OS/2 user support resource site, similar to the now ancient Warp Pharmacy site from the Warp 3 days. Another session I had planned to attend but missed was Daniela Engert's session on writing device drivers.

There were product demos on DFSee (by Jan Van Wijk), Injoy Firewall (by Brian Smith), Starfire Titan (by Richard Spurlock), and of course Virtual PC for OS/2 (By Connectix and Innotek). There were some end networking related sessions as well. Oliver Mark did a session on Migrating NetBios to TCPBeui, and Jeffrey Rice gave one on Broadband (Cable, DSL and ISDN). That last one was the primary reason we needed a second internet connection, though others used it as well.

I wish I could have gone to all the sessions, but I couldn't. If there is to be another Warpstock, then a group from the OS/2 community is going to have to step up to the plate to form an event team and put in a bid for a locale. Some of the problems we encountered this year were more the result of handling everything long distance, as the Warpstock, Inc board put on the show show with only help from a few local people. That will not happen next year, as the Warpstock board has agreed that we must have bids from a local event team for 2003. The board will help, but we will not do everything again.

This year there were issues with the volunteers not being told what to do (and in fact the hotel handled most of the setup Friday night so the need as in the past wasn't really there), the networking is always an issue, and was again this year. The hotel quoted me a price of $550 for the first connection and $175 for each additional, for the whole weekend. They didn't tell us until we were there that the connection wasn't live until Saturday morning, despite the fact we had the exhibit area under contract starting at 6:30PM on Friday, and they also said there was a per user charge, not per connection. That was something we had never encountered in the 4 years previous that Warpstock, Inc had been putting on the show. They were extremely rude about our using a router (one of which we gave away at the Sunday give away session) and tried to extort $1800 for the internet service. At $725 for the weekend it was the most we had ever spent on internet access, so we fought it, and they finally admitted they were wrong for not fully informing us of the costs. These problems may not have occurred had there been a local team with more time and easy access to the site to see what was actually to be expected.

The Saturday night Warpstock Social was a Texas style barbecue held at the County Line On the Lake restaurant. We had arranged for a private room so we could have our own entertainment. Service was great, and the five kinds of BBQ meat, side dishes, beer and soda kept coming until people just couldn't eat or drink any more. Pete Grubbs of OS/2eZine fame was our entertainer for the night, singing folk, pop and even a country western tune out on the patio we had reserved for the overflow crowd. We had originally only planned on 55 people for the social, but the demand was so great we had to arrange for more seating and the bus to make two trips to accommodate the 81 people that attended. Speaking of the bus, it turned out there were two County Line restaurants in Austin and the bus driver insisted on taking the first bus load to the wrong one. And those who didn't get the first bus trip back to the hotel, were left wondering if we would have to call a fleet of cabs to take us back when the bus was really late coming back to get us. Turned out the bus had a radiator leak and the bus driver had to stop for water. We all made it back safe and sound. So it was more then just a meal, it was great entertainment, a lot of talking and even some unplanned adventure.

On Sunday, during the lunch break we held the prize give away session in the Wedgewood room (that being the large formal session room able to accommodate the entire group of attendees). As to the prizes, there were some great prizes, and there were a lot of clunkers. What can I say, but that we rely on our supporters cleaning out their closets for these, and its getting to the bottom of the barrel for OS/2 stuff. In all the activity getting that stuff together to move downstairs, we missed 2 copies of Junk Spy sent by Sundial Systems for prizes. We apologized to Sundial for that oversight and those licenses have been passed on to Warpstock Europe. We could have kept the router for our own uses, but felt we had to do something to offset the lack of prizes this year, so we gave it away. There were no guarantees that everyone would get something, or something useful. We did the best with what we had to work with. I know someone won a shirt or a cloth OS/2 bag, and someone else traded a copy of VAC++ 4.0 that they won to him for it. I think he was really happy. People who won the two 50 user licenses for Stalker Software's CommuniGate Pro for OS/2, seemed to be happy, as were the MCP1/MCP2/ACP1 winners. We had some German versions of these, and we should have done something like we did with the Communigate licenses and held a special raffle only among those who could use them. I know at least one of the Germans wanted an ACP1 German package. Were there problems with the quality of some of the prizes? Yes, but I expect that to be worse next year as well so maybe we should just skip it.

At the final session on Sunday, there were still about 85-90 people in the main room and there was considerable discussion as to the future of Warpstock. The board announced that Warpstock, Inc had been denied non-profit educational status because our event "benefited the for profit companies IBM and Intel" and we were not generally focused (Our charter says we are for the benefit of OS/2 users and developers). So there are now issues with refiling all our previous tax returns as a for profit corporation. Generally this is not an issue since Warpstock either makes only a small profit or loses a couple thousand dollars on the event, but the first one put on by Warpstock, Inc in 1998 made about $14,000. That money has been financing every Warpstock event since then. We can pay the tax on that (probably around $2,500) but if the IRS accesses penalties and interest it could bankrupt Warpstock, Inc. But there is nothing we can do except refile the forms, pay our taxes due and hope for the best. People that attended said they had a good time and want to see Warpstock continued. A few people said they couldn't justify coming unless it was within driving distance so having it in an area with a large population within a 1-2 hour drive may be the solution to raising attendance.

So overall Warpstock 2002 was pretty successful, though we had hoped to actually increase attendance, rather then just maintain it, by having it in Austin. But I think the expense of that area, and getting there as well as the lousy state of the economy in general was something of a drag. Most of our registrations came in the month prior to the event, so it was a last minute decision for a lot of people, despite the fact that the location was announced in May and and the presentation schedule had been pretty well fleshed out since June.

For more on the 2002 event and the ongoing discussion of the future of Warpstock, you can join the Warpstock Public list on Yahoo - where there has been a very active discussion on this. If you want Warpstock near you next year, then get together with some friends and form an event team and make a bid on it. You can find out more on the Warpstock bid process at the Warpstock web site -

VOICE Newsletter Update: The planned page for free small advertisements by freeware authors and OS/2 users is going to become part of the VOICE home page soon. Its delayed as our webmaster has just relocated and isn't as yet back up to full speed yet. If you are interested, please contact us at

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

Our Newsletter team is in need of backup. A few people have joined after we published a call for help in one of the last issues, but we could do with some more. To be able to help you don't have to be a very good translator or HTML programmer. If you have profound knowledge of English or German spelling and grammar, you can also help with editing the articles. Some hints on translation activities are also available in the FAQ.

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

Everyone's help is required to keep this project going. Please note the change in schedule again. The team meets every Sunday at 3PM EST (20:00 GMT) now on IRC in the warpdoctor channel on the WEBBnet IRC network. The alternate Sunday schedule was too confusing. For more information on attending online IRC meetings please see the VOICE Meeting Information page -

VOICE Online Update: This month the general member meetings are scheduled on November 4 and 18 at 8PM EST (01:00 GMT). Everyone interested in OS/2 or eComStation is invited to attend either or both of these sessions in VOICE on the Webbnet IRC network. For more information on attending online VOICE IRC meetings please see the VOICE Meeting Information page -

If you have an idea for a Speakup event, please submit it to, 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 for more details on future VOICE events.

This month Thomas Klein returns with part three of DrDialog, or: How I learned to stop worrying and love REXX. He continues with his overview of development of REXX programs with GUI using the free development environment DrDialog by IBM. This should be interesting for anybody, especially for those who have always wanted to write their own OS/2 applications, but were afraid of the high learning curve of PM programming.

Next up we have an article on Using a Palm m105 with eComStation. Manfred Agne gives us the scoop on getting his new Palm Pilot working under eComStation with Pilot Link, Star Office 5.1a, CoPilot and the win32 Palm Desktop application.

Then Michael W. Cocke is back this month with an article on networking that should be of interest to anyone running a mix of operating systems. Netbios over TCP/IP, OS/2, Samba, and Linux - a search for common ground..

Thomas Klein had some free time on his hands one day this past month and started day dreaming. What a nightmare it must have been as he tells us all about Winstock 2003 and why he won't be going .

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 If you have any comments or suggestions about the newsletter or articles in it, please send them to

That's it for this month. Upcoming articles include an update by Alfredo Fernßndez Díaz of his July 2000 article on the current state of booting OS/2 from a CD, a review of a USB memory card reader by Mark Dodel and the next articles in the series on DrDialog.

Mark Dodel, Christian Hennecke and Jason R. Stefanovich
VOICE Newsletter editors

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