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November 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.

September 16, 2002 - From comes our first tip of the month which is from David Eckard concerning the new Mozilla installer:
I had a need recently to retrieve one file from the mozilla install program (17 megs). zip would not unpack it.. I asked Mike Kaply and got this little tidbit that needs to be spread as you can't read the readme if its in the installer....

"That's not normally an installer thing. I can tell you how to do it easy though. Run the installer with /U - that just unpacks the files. Each of the XPI files is just another ZIP file that contains the files we install."

Not the easiest way to get one file but still... It would allow me to retrieve and accidently deleted mozilla.exe file.

September 16, 2002 - From comes this tip on getting help to work in win32 apps under Odin:
I had no HELP from Agent. Then Cary Renquist suggested that if you copied WINHLP32.EXE from the Win98 c:\Windows directory into j:\Odin\System32 that HELP would appear in the application.

Sure enough... that worked.

September 24, 2002 - Jonathan de Boyne Pollard offered this insight into the command line length restrictions on comp.os.os2.utilities:
Command line length is subject to two factors: the length of the command tail that the operating system supports passing to applications, and the length of the command line that the command interpreter supports dealing with in the first place. OS/2 has an operating system limit of 64KiB on the combined length of the environment strings and the command tail(s) passed to a process.

Long before one hits this limit, however, one will hit the limits imposed by several of the various command interpreters. Some command interpreters impose draconian limitations of their own, for no good reason, even though the underlying operating system is in fact quite generous. IBM's 16-bit CMD has a hardwired limit, on the length of a command line that can physically be entered, of 299 characters. JP Software's 4OS2 and TCOS2 both have a similar limit of 1023 characters; although after variable, alias, and function expansion the length limit on a command line internally is 4095 characters. Short of buying the source code to the command interpreters off the respective companies and recompiling it, these limits aren't modifiable in any of them.

However, one will hit OS/2's limit before hitting the limits imposed by other command interpreters. The 32-bit CMD doesn't use fixed-length buffers for command-line input and processing. Its command line length limitation is the amount of virtual memory that is available to the command interpreter process.

September 28, 2002 - On comp.os.os2.misc the USBGuy, Markus Montkowski offered the following information about Smart Media:
The type of storage used by a camera doesn't have anything to do with it. The problem with SM is that the dirty block handling has to be done by the device/driver and is not done by the media like in a CF card. But as the type of storage of a MSD device is transparent to the system. I.e. all you see is a storage of size X from which you can read 512 byte sized sectors. So all this needs to be handled by a MSD readers firmware, so what type of storage a camera uses doesn't matter.

September 29, 2002 - On the MR2ICE mail list, someone asked about making MR2ICE the default mail program for mailto: links in the Mozilla for OS/2 web browser. First Ronald Klein offered a solution:
Please add/change the following three lines in the Mozilla prefs.js file. See the FAQ if you have more prefs.js. You have to change "H:\\temp\\mr2ice.cmd" with your path to mr2ice.cmd

user_pref("applications.mailto", "H:\\temp\\mr2ice.cmd");
user_pref("applications.mailto.parameters", "\"%url%\"");
user_pref("network.protocol-handler.external.mailto", true);
Then Steven Levine added:

This will work fine. My setup is similar:

user_pref("applications.mailto.parameters", "%url%");

I haven't found the need for the quotes you use, yet.

I do suggest putting this in user.js. user.js is never modified by Mozilla.

The .cmd looks like:

cd \mr2i
mr2iu /e%1
so that mr2iu runs from the ICE home directory.

If we can convince Nick to enhance mr2i to support sentto: links the integration would be even better. :-)

October 1, 2002 - More Mozilla tips for this month. Jack Troughton answered someones question on how to stop those annoying popup windows in Mozilla on the comp.os.os2.networking.misc news group:
Edit -> Preferences In left hand pane: Advanced -> Scripts & Plugins There's a box titled "Allow scripts to:" with a series of checkboxes allowing you to turn off permission to do various things, like open new windows, move or resize windows, raise or lower windows, and so on. Uncheck the ones that you want to stop... those three being the ones that I killed. :)

October 7, 2002 - From comes our next Mozilla tip of the month which is from Ed Durrant actually concerning a problem with the IBM Web Browser installer. Getting this error: "The system could not demand load: SMIMESTB->XPCOM.NoNewSTRING_9nsCStringcFV is in error" :
had the same problem and Ian Manners gave me the tip. Deinstall with the install utility - then go and delete the directory and all of the files that are left in there, reboot and then do a clean install.

Worked for me.



October 10, 2002 - The last Mozilla tip was sent in from Christian Hennecke:
Frank told me about a tip that Mike Kaply gave him in the Mozilla newsgroup. Frank wasn't able to open local files in Mozilla via DDE. All that happened was that Mozilla opened an empty window, if it had not been running before, or it opened a new window with the file, if it was already running. Mike posted the following:
Incidentally, this is a cross platform bug and there is an easy

Basically, the Mozilla command line parser assumes every command line
option has a parameters.

So use

/dde nothing
and it should work then.
I have done so myself and everything is working fine now.

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