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November 2003

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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.

Welcome back! First I want to thank Eduardo for sending me the first tip this month. It may come in handy for the users (like me) that must have everything on the desktop professional and consistent. Thanks Eduardo!

Next, thanks for all the tips in the eCS-OS/2 groups. So many of you devote hours to helping others out with problems. So often we forget to say thank you. It is remembered and appreciated. That is what keeps us alive.

Since I also use Linux I do frequent the Linux Newbies and Redhat Linux groups. So often it seems the standard answer for anything is "RTFM" and many like me do that but don't understand it. I'm pleased to see how seldom that is suggested in the OS/2 groups and when it is in a nice way. Keep it up gang!

September 22, 2003 - The first tip from Eduardo about Mozilla icons:

You don't like the Godzilla icon that comes with Mozilla and IBM Web Browser 2.0.1? Would you prefer to have a folder like that of Netscape 4.6.1, with different objects and icons for Navigator, Mail and Composer?

No problem! You can find a set of 13 nice monster-free icons for Mozilla, resembling the ones you miss, in the directory OS2WEB\CHROME\ICONS\DEFAULT.

Create a new folder in your desktop (there is no folder icon, so I kept the one with the salamander) and place in it your Navigator, Mail and Composer objects, with -browser, -mail and -edit in the parameter field, and the icons of your choice.

Eduardo Vila-Echague

Santiago, Chile

October 7, 2003 - Our next tip is from Alfredo about a possible solution for those mysterious scroll bars that sometimes show up on your desktop:

I've experienced the mystery scroll bar myself in Warp 4 and eCS but didn't know what caused it for sure. Alfredo has a suggestion on what to look for:

Hi all, many of us have experienced a vertical scroll bar appearing on our Desktop for no apparent reason. Many of us (and myself) have given variable range working solutions for this problem, but AFAIK its cause has remained unknown.

Well, today I have found _one_ reason (there may be others who knows) for this phenomenon and thus I've solved the problem in my system, without taking any weird actions or attempting dangerous things.

In my case I've remembered that PMView creates an invisible object on the Desktop and I had I had the intuition that this object could be located outside the Desktop and make the scroll bar appear.

So I made it visible and bingo! There it was, half-outside my Desktop. I moved it to the Desktop so I got rid of the bar, fixed its location and made it invisible again.

If any of you still have this problem please try my method and report back failures and successes to the list.

Also if this has been reported in the xtracker and this solution is the final one, report it as solved.

Have fun, Alfredo.

September 28, 2003 - This basic tip on using the help command is from Tim Cardozo:

We can all use reminders of how to do some of the simpler things we learned when we first started using OS/2, but since may have forgotten. Someone on the EComStation group asked this question: "Where can I find a list of commands to use on a command prompt window? With notes?"

Tim Cardozo replied:

Enter the command HELP at a command prompt. This will show some basic keystrokes and commands to know when in a command prompt window. Note that in that list is included the command HELP [BOOK] SUBJECT. Use that. For instance, if you type:




you'll get into the Command Reference book (the default book if one is not specified) opened to a subject whose title starts with the operand you've specified. Then, just click on the Contents button and take a look a Part 1.

September 20, 2003 - A short useful tip from Andrew on changing the TEMP location:

The other and easiest option is to change the default temp file location - but where would I go about finding that info to make the change?

In config.sys:



October 10, 2003 - Something new I call "By The Book"::

For the last tip I've decided to glean at least one tip a month from my vast library of OS/2 books covering V1.3 through Warp. Now I must be the only person on the planet Earth that actually uses the IBM Footprint Works PIM. Even so, our tips today are about that. From The Warp Book by Barrie Sosinsky come two tips:

On Page 502:

"You can recreate any of the PIM components by setting a program object's file to FPWPIM.EXE in the File tab of its Setting notebook. Use the following parameters in the Parameter text box, coupled with the .ICO file in the General tab:

PIM Component Parameter Icon File
Appointments -M APPT2.ICO
Contact List -C CONTACT.ICO
Event Monitor -E ALARM.ICO
Notebook -N NOTES.ICO
Phone-Address Book -P PHONEBK.ICO
PIM Preferences -S PREFER.ICO
Planner -G MONTH.ICO
To-Do List -T TODO.ICO
Yearly Calendar -Y YEAR.ICO

If you need to recreate all the IBM Works program objects, including those for the PIM, run IBMWDESK. Open an OS/2 command prompt, and enter IBMWDESK on the command line. It will create a new IBM Works folder on your desktop, complete with all of the objects that were installed originally."

Don't forget that the Footprint Works PIM is 100% fully drag and drop enabled, more so than any OS/2 program I've used in 12 years. On Page 512 is a tip I use all the time:

"You can create new appointments by dragging and dropping a contact name from the Phone Book or Contact List into your Appointment Book."

I usually change the default "Meeting with" to "Call" and mark the appointment as a Note. This leaves a note to call this person, complete with the phone number, at the top of that day's appointments. Very handy! Also, try using the Font and Color Pallettes with drag and drop. You can change any font or color in the PIM and it will stick even after it is closed.

Keep the tips coming, make suggestions and changes, let me know how these tips work for you and help keep OS/2 alive. Until next month, Davey B.

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