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December 2001

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Letters, Addenda, Errata

If you have any comments regarding articles or tips in this or any previous issue of the VOICE Newsletter, please send them to We are always interested in what our readers have to say.

November 1, 2001 - The first letter is from Jim Bowering, regarding to Timothy Sipples' File Sharing on the Gnutella Network using LimeWire: Installation. article from October's issue:
I appreciate your article for the way it pulls all the LimeWire information together. Unfortunately, your program object didn't work for me. I changed the Parameters line to this -

-classpath .;LimeWire.jar;collections.jar;swing.jar;c:\java11\lib\;a.a.a.b.Main

- and it worked. It's almost the same as yours except I removed the "all" from the swing jar because that's the way my swing came, and I changed the end of the line to "a.a.a.b.Main" as suggested to me by Derek Decker. I've been using it successfully in a .cmd file and your article prompted me to try it in a program object.

November 5, 2001 - The next letter is in regard to Timothy Sipples' Choosing the Best Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader. article last month:
Just browsed the article on Adobe Acrobat readers. Small correction needed. When using Arachne DOS browser internet connection can definitely be established, in fact the easiest setup I have seen for any system. Message being written now while connected with Arachne on Warp 4 -- Arachne V1.70;rev.3, NON-COMMERCIAL copy,

Arachne can be used either as dialup or lan connection with suitable driver. If on a network, likely could be used with other OS/2 apps at same time. Never tried that. I would like to extend a thank you for the effort in promoting OS/2. Have come across various postings/help tips written by you (Tim Sipples). I haven't tried the Acrobat plugin for Arachne, will have to sometime.

November 7, 2001 - We recieved quite a few responses to our editorial in the November issue on "Whither OS/2?". Here are a few of them. If possible we will print more next month.

First letter is from Frank Mosesso:

I read your edtorial "Whither OS/2" and have to say I half expected IBM to eventually shut the door on continued OS/2 support. It seems even IBM does not have the will to challenge Microsoft in the operating system space. They are making too much money supporting MS Windows platforms and OS/2 is not helping them to sell more hardware. I for one will probably get the final Convenience Pak from IBM for OS/2 and use it until it does not work or install anymore. After that its out shopping for another OS for me. I don't like Microsoft or their products but the reality is that barring a miracle they are the only game in town for a PC OS. The best I could do is relegate them to an OS vendor and get my applications elswhere. Perhaps someone else will release another viable PC operating system in the future when the technology changes to a non-intel platform. Until then we are going to be stuck with Microsoft. I don't think "eCommStation" is going to worry Microsoft much (its a nice idea but the name turns me off)or gain much in the way of mainstream marketshare. Unless IBM releases OS/2 to "open source" or sells it to a third party that continues to develop and support it the future is already a given. I don't like it much but its a fact of life and I have to go on living. I'll stick with OS/2 until IBM drops support for it but after that I have to look for a new vendor.
Thanks for listening.

The following letter is from Hieromonk Juvenaly:

"The question will remain "Can Serenity keep us reasonably current as IBM completely disengages support?". How do you feel about all this? ....Write me at and let me know."

In reply to your question, as an OS/2 user since Dec 1992 (v. 2.0) I definitely would like to stay with OS/2. To be able to do this, it would seem that there would have to be an open-source version of OS/2. The crowd at FreeOS have been talking about it for almost 2 years, and while there are several skilled programmers there, unfortunately they are unable to agree on a plan, which is a pity. I hope someone comes up with something!!! I don't really like the idea of running OS/2 "under" Windows either.

Next letter is from Jesper Nee:
I believe that the only resonable thing for IBM to do, given they REALLY will shut down os2 development, is to Open Source OS/2. On the other hand, if Serenity Systems are willing and able to keep the OS current this might be another solution. I remember when the rumour started about IBM outsourcing OS/2. I wonder if Stardock was angry that they didn't get it since they stopped os2 development shortly after it was clear that Serenity was the chosen one. I bought ecs and the upgrade protection thingie so I plan to stick around!

Serenity released the first fixpack a few days ago and Sobotka released Perl 5.6.1 and 5.7.2 so I'm happy.

BTW, I joined VOICE yesterday via Mensys.

Here is another comment from Michael Gunz:
I have been using OS/2 since version 2.1. At the moment, I am running Warp 4 on a Pentium 233 MMX. Until now I have been able to integrate any hardware, be it video card or 20GB hard drive, also under OS/2. One partition of my hard drive is reserved for Windows 98, on which I'm running audio editors, MIDI sequencers and the like. For business - I'm a lawyer - we are bound to Windows due to our office-specific software. Because of that I know Windows from daily work since the early nineties.

On to the topic:

The use of OS/2 has been a private thing for me from the beginning. As my programmming knowledge is only theoretical, I have been surfing the web for years and collected anything that could be useful for my "hobby" OS/2 somehow.

I've been watching software vendors leave the OS/2 area one by one and am grateful to the programmers, who without a chance for financial compensation invest their time and capabilities to keep OS/2 able to use new hardware for those interested. Daniela Engert for example. The same is applicable for those who collect and assemble information and make it available on the web day by day. In former times this has been [Translator's note: a former German OS/2 news site], now [Translator's note: another URL for] is my start page.

I had thought that IBM would at least keep OS/2 alive via large enterprise customers like insurance companies or banks, since compared to the competing systems it's still the best buy regarding reliability, clearness and stability. And isn't OS/2 an interesting alternative for business via the internet exactly because of its niche-existance? Who is programming virii for OS/2 today? In the light of Microsoft's hubris that makes enterprise customers tremble with fear due to their more and more blatant "Big Brother" licensing models and restrictive contracts, it would be worth more than a try to bring OS/2 back as an alternative into the game.

I'm still going to wait for a wonder and use OS/2 as long as possible hardware-wise. I know that it's easy and in the end pointless to argue about taste: For me, OS/2 Warp 4 is the most convenient, progressive and natural way to use a computer - for years I've noticed its handling advantages over the versions of Windows I know every day when I changed from my Windows machine at work to my private OS/2 computer...

And one more from Jörg Sievers, the maintainer of the Tyra/2 CONFIG.SYS editor and one of's news editors:
Who can use OS/2 as a desktop system? (regarding VOICE 11/2001)

I agree with you that Windows won't be an alternative and that Linux is just a different Unix, which mimics what other operating systems (like OS/2) have been able to do for a long time. I don't understand the hype about the "children's Unix" as I like to call it anyway!

It seems that there is only one alternative as in my opinion there has been only one innovation in the operating system market, and that's MacOS X with Aqua. Even though I look at myself in the mirror as an alien because I am playing with the thought of purchasing an Apple machine (an even more extreme community than that of OS/2 in my opinion :-) it's simply like this:

I am going to stick with OS/2 as long as it runs and my Software Choice subscription is useful for sure. The Thinkpad will remain to run OS/2 exclusively, but my desktop PC will change one day and no more boot OS/2 as the main operating system...

Oh, yes: As well as I like eCS and Serenity's courage, I believe that OS/2's development will end in year x < 2010, because we are just to few (old) OS/2ers and only few new grow up to try to achieve something with OS/2... some day we, too, will be too lazy to keep the "wolfpack" going.

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