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December 2001

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Pay to play

An editorial view from Christian Hennecke, editor of the VOICE Newsletter.

Another Warpstock is over. For the first time VOICE exhibited at both Warpstock events, in North America and Europe. At our booth we offered CDs with the complete Newsletter archive in both English and German as well as a special printed issue consisting of several selected articles which we thought were important, representative, well-written. Visitors could also join VOICE or renew their membership. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Frank Berke and Thomas Klein who helped to make this possible.

Things didn't go too well at the booth though. We sold considerably less CDs and stuff than I had expected. Maybe a result of the spreading broadband internet access. I had also wished - and this is much more important - that more people would join VOICE or at least show some interest in doing so. Actually, two people renewed their membership and two joined VOICE in the Warpstock context - one of them being Thomas Klein, long-term member of our Newsletter translation team. A couple other attendees showed interest in VOICE and asked me the typical questions: "What do I get?" and especially "Why should I join when all services are free anyway?".

In fact, this is pretty easy once you avoid being shortsighted. Yes, nearly all of VOICE's services are free for the whole OS/2 community, but it takes man-power and money to provide them. It takes man-power and money to run a server - even if we get sponsored by Internet Walkabout. It takes money for obtaining software for the VOICE machine. It takes considerable man-power to run the VOICE News mailinglist and the Newsletter. It takes lots of man-power and money to support Warpstock - the booth at Warpstock America is US$500 and VOICE usually donates even more (e.g. for the social event) to help to make Warpstock possible. Warpstock, Inc. is also going to move their site onto the VOICE server in the future.

Now with the dwindling OS/2 user base, VOICE also loses members. And if we can't compensate the loss of their membership dues and personal dedication, there will be a point where we won't be able to keep our services up and running. And this is completely neglecting any wishes to extend our services. If people want to keep profiting from VOICE's free services they will have to give something in return - be it money, their time and dedication, or both. Easy, isn't it? You gotta pay to play.

Another two Warpstocks are over. And they might as well have been the final ones. In fact, it wasn't clear that Warpstock Europe would take place at all until not so long ago. And a bid for Warpstock 2002 in America that was believed to be safe has been withdrawn since the bidders came to believe that they couldn't ensure a financial break-even. It takes man-power, time and money to organize such an event. Every OS/2 or eComStation user should seriously consider helping.

Keeping up the Warpstock tradition is essential for the OS/2 community. Visitors are provided with information, education and support, not to mention the social aspect. Developers can exchange ideas and knowledge resulting in more and better applications, drivers, etc. ISVs can spread the word about their products and - most importantly - see that there are still customers to develop for. In the end OS/2 users all over the world can benefit from Warpstock. It takes man-power, time and money to organize such an event. Warpstock is not something that some obscure entity has sent out of the blue. If you want it to continue and profit from it in any way, it's time to give something back in return. Warpstock, Inc. needs your help! Hand over some fresh ideas and give feedback (you can join the public Warpstock discussion list at, help with organizing the next event, hold a presentation at Warpstock, or even make Warpstock come to a place in your hometown. Pay to play.

Some personal Warpstock Europe impressions

I didn't get to see many presentations this year since we had to man the booth. Have a look at Menno Willemse's Short report on Warpstock Europe instead. And I was still fighting the remains of a heavy flu episode, so I hope I didn't alienate anyone by not greeting, not really paying attention, or by being very terse.

Of course, Innotek's new product Virtual PC caught a lot of attention since it is going to provide a viable means to stay with OS/2 even for those who absolutely have to run Win32 applications. I didn't buy a copy of the preview since my current machine is too slow anyway and hasn't enough hard disk space. But that may change.

There was another new product that in my opinion hasn't by far received the attention it deserves, yet. Peter Koller of Maison d'Anglais ( has released version 2.0 of his Maul Publisher. This is in fact the only real DTP application for OS/2 and with the new version he has taken a huge step forward. As a Real OS/2 Application (tm) it not only has a quite small memory footprint (about 4MB), but is also pretty fast. Peter demonstrated it on a Pentium 166 with 84 MB of RAM if I remember correctly. I was impressed. The interesting thing with Maul is that it is completely modular and Peter offers all the information you need to extend it via plug-ins. So if you are a developer and interested in DTP, you should have a closer look.

The German user group Team OS/2 Ruhr e.V. in association with Karlheinz Schmidthaus demonstrated the new Internet Assistant for OS/2 and eComStation ( This is a wizard-style tool that can help end-users to configure their dialers (SLIPPM, ISDNPM) and browsers (Netscape, Mozilla) a lot. Christian Langanke needs help from people outside Germany to extend support to other countries. The guys from Team OS/2 Region Trier e.V. offered a new issue of their well-known Team Trier Collection CD that is full of freeware and shareware.

Norman gave away beta versions of their new Norman Virus Control product. I have tried it and it looks very promising - pretty much like you want a thing like this to be on OS/2. It even contains an on-access scanner that works in all parts of OS/2, not only the DOS-box and Win-OS/2. The product is also quite nicely integrated into the WPS. Just right-click on a file and select "Scan for viruses" and off you go.

At the booth of C&L I purchased two books at a very good special price and Oliver Mark signed my copy of "Warp Server for e-Business". The other on GIMP also looks very good to me and it even has a chapter on using GIMP with XFree86/OS2. Including hints on installing XFree86/OS2!

For those of you who are impatiently waiting for the German GA of eComStation (which I can understand very well): Mensys had a test version to look at. It wasn't totally complete at that time and I did a bit of "instant translation" at their booth. As far as I can tell we have finished the translation by now and it looks quite well, but work on the NLV is more than just translation. There are also some tricky code issues involved. Anyway, the wait should be over soon.

Luckily, a nice number of additional exhibitors agreed to attend shortly before the event. So we had C&L Publishers (computer books in German language), Golden Code (tracing suite), IBM, Innotek (Virtual PC), Mensys (eCS etc.), Norman (Norman Virus Control) and Starfire (Titan server administration) on the commercial side and Jan van Wijk (DFSee), Peter Koller (Maul Publisher), Timo Maier (ADRp, MyVolDep, Snee), Dimitris Michelinakis (ServerConfig/2, WebMail/2), Karlheinz Schmidthaus (ISDNPM, Wireless LAN stuff), Vincenzo Venuto (Postgres SQL), Christopher Wohlgemuth (Audio/Data CD-Creator, CandyBarz, cdrecord), the Belgian and Dutch HCC divisions, Netlabs and the German Team OS/2 groups on the shareware/freeware/user groups side.

VOICE Newsletter Update: So far nobody has shown any interest in placing an ad on our new small ads page in the VOICE Newsletter. If anyone is interested in this concept please send me an email at This would allow developers of freeware apps to advertise their products by having a free banner ad on this page. Also OS/2-eCS users and OS/2 user groups could place text ads seeking other OS/2-eCS users in their geographical area to start/promote a user group or maybe just find someone to help them with a support problem or have coffee with.

We have revised our sponsorship levels to make it more affordable to sponsor VOICE, and have banner ads on some pages of the Newsletter for shareware and commercial OS/2 developers. You can view the status of that on our Sponsorship page -

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 The Guidelines for Article Submissions to the VOICE Newsletter page has been updated with the addition of some ideas for articles. Please take a look and see if you can help us with an article for an upcoming issue. Some folks find they enjoy telling about their OS/2 experiences. :-)

VOICE Server Update: Our SysAdmin has installed DB2 on our server. A database is a requirement for the future Warp Doctor site.

The Warp Doctor site: 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. For information on attending online Warp Doctor IRC meetings please see the VOICE Meeting Information page -

VOICE Online Update: This month we have general member meetings on December 3 and 17 at 8PM EST (01:00 GMT). Everyone interested in OS/2 or eComstation is invited to attend either or both of these sessions. 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 we start with a report on the Cisco 340 PCMCIA Wireless network card by Mark Dodel. This card adds to the few choices OS/2 users have regarding wireless LAN NICs. Then Jason R Stefanovich follows with an Interview with Bob St.John from Serenity Systems. Learn more about Serenity's history and their plans for eComStation.

Back to school with another OS/2 History Lesson. This time Michal Necasek teaches us something about OS/2 2.1. If you missed Warpstock Europe, read about new software and the presentations held in Menno Willemse's Short report on Warpstock Europe, in which he tells us about his personal experiences in Diepenbeek.

Also Herwig Bauernfeind is back with another article. Part four in his series Manual Installation of Win32-applications using Odin deals with how to find out which entries are required for the registry and how to enter them. Next, in BBC News Ticker (and AOL) for eComStation and OS/2 Warp, Timothy Sipples introduces us to the art of using Java applets that are included in web sites outside of the browser with an example using the BBC News Ticker.

Are you maintaining a web site and you would like to easily offer it in several languages? In Multi-language Web Sites with Apache Web Server, Christian Langanke explains how to use Apache's Multiview feature in a way that visitors of your site get served in their preferred language automatically.

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. The January issue is going to be PACKED with articles with an emphasis on personal information managers. Isaac Leung reviews the PIMs Excal, IBM Works, Relish, Star Schedule and Lotus Organizer and gives an overview of their strengths and weaknesses. Michal Necasek will continue with his history series and Herwig Bauernfeind returns with tips for installing Win32 applications. Furthermore, Jeremy Workman will have a look at OS/2's Digital Audio application.

Mark Dodel and Christian Hennecke
VOICE Newsletter editors

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