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December 2001

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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.

October 17, 2001 - Our first tip of the month is from Aron Eisenpress who posted on the comp.os.os2.comm news group about his experience with the ActionTech Call Waiting modem:
You don't need to use the replacement com.sys if you're at any recent FixPak level (I didn't and the modem works fine). It's a true hardware modem, but it does need Warp 4 for the plug-and-play support (any PCI modem would). Also note that you've got run the flash upgrade under Win9x, though after the upgrade it takes 33 seconds to hang up the line from ZOC. Otherwise it works fine, and I like it.

The modem command to change how it responds to the call-waiting tone is AT#CWn (it was incorrect in the manual). n=2 (#CW2) means to hang up and let the new call come through, which is how I use it with just one phone line in the house.

October 19, 2001 - Next is a tip found on comp.os.os2.networking.tcp-ip from Patrick J. Donnelly about how to stop DHCP from the command line:
To see what is configured, run DHCPMON to confirm that you are connected. Also, If your lease does not renew for some reason, run DHCPMON -t to stop the DHCP and then run SETUP to restart everything.

October 19, 2001 - Neil Waldhauer offered the following help in ecomstation.multimedia.misc on how to get a problematic sound card driver working under eCS:
I've had problems getting system sounds to work.

On some installations, they work fine, but on others, there is no sound. I am using the installation from CD #1; booting from CD; no obvious problems with the install, except for one SYS0032 error message from M:\ecs\instexit.cmd.

Looking for the differences between sound that works and sound that does not work, I found the the M:\MMOS2\MMPM2.INI file is wrong in the cases where there is no sound.

I can get system sounds from a system without sound by doing this:

  1. copy the MMPM2.INI from the CD #1 (copy S:\MMOS2\MMPM2.INI M:\MMOS2)
  2. edit the MMPM2.INI file to change the workpath from S:\MMOS2 to M:\MMOS2
  3. reinstall the sound driver
When I reboot, I have system sounds.

October 20, 2001 - Someone was looking for an update to the IBM Global(now ATTGlobal) dialer in comp.os.os2.networking.tcp-ip and someone responded with the following pointer:
Have you tried this one? (I know nothing about MS-*)

October 20, 2001 - Interested in how to stop ProNews/2 from wrapping a line? Al Savage offers the following tip in
PN/2 v1.51 ib104:

While in the Compose window,
* Press <F7> to bring the Control Panel to the foreground,
* <Ctrl-S> to open Settings,
* Select the "Group Defaults" tab,
* Select the "+" three times to move to the Posting page ("Group Defaults -- Page 4 of 9"),
* Change the Post Line Wrapping to some large number,
* Select Apply. Do not close the window.
* <Alt-Tab> back to the Compose window, finish composition
* <F5> to Send,
* <Alt-Tab> back to the Settings window,
* Change your line wrapping back to a reasonable number (I use 72), then select OK.

Now that I've posted this, I'm sure that three people will pipe to inform us of an easier way to temporarily change the line wrap.

October 24, 2001 - Having a problem getting getting PCMCIA cards recognized in your laptop? Here's a suggestion from Helge Nordmann posted in
That is easy (the trick can be found in the READ.ME):

Put BASEDEV=RESERVE.SYS /MEM:CA00,2000 /SHA in the *first* line of the CONFIG.SYS. If this does not solve the 'all cards are memory' problem change from 2000 to 3000, 4000...

Later Helge added added another helpful post on a good way to try different PCMCIA socket services drivers until you find one that works with your chipset:
I'm using the PCMCIA stuff from CD3. But that doesn't matter.

What I would do is first download a collection of socket drivers from (this side is not very up to date, but there is a large driver collection) and then test every of these drivers

The best way to test them is (be careful: BASEDEV!)

  1. copy Your CONFIG.SYS to \OS2\BOOT and rename it to CONFIG.T (T: test)
  2. edit this CONFIG inserting the BASEDEV driver to test (add /E /DEBUG)
  3. enable 'show startoptions at startup' with a timeout (I have 16s) from the WPS settings notebook
  4. restart, press 't' at the startoptions menu
  5. In case of a trap simply restart without pressing 't' (normal boot) or In case of a successful start look what Your 'PC Card Director' reports. Is Your card identified? IRQ assigned! etc..

October 25, 2001 - Someone wanted to know how to change the size of a VIO window. Daniel Caetano chimed in with the following on the os2user mail list:
No, for VIO window you can...

mode CO80,102 or

mode CO132,62 or

mode CO40,204

or even weird ones as

mode co15,546


mode co10,819

... the maximum number of characters will be 8190. I had not been able to create windows with more characters than this number. It may depends on video card memory or video-driver, but I think not.

For Full Screen it depends on your video board and video card. On my Matrox Millenium II PCI, with SDD I can use up to

mode CO132,60

October 29, 2001 - Next Julian Dominic on how to get around a forms mismatch printing error when trying to print envelopes. This tip was posted on comp.os.os2.apps:
Your problem is the result of not having the printer defined in all three places. If you look at the properties of the print job, I suspect you will see that the error is forms mismatch. Let's say that your envelope is C10. You need a printer object installed for envelopes. With this newly created printer, set the forms in its driver for C10. Set C10 in the document. Select this printer to print. The three places are:
  1. Printer installed for envelopes.
  2. Envelope form selected for printer.
  3. Wordpro paper layout for envelop selected.
This is the same set up for printing one envelope.

November 1, 2001 - Ever wonder what all those files are in your Warpzilla profile directory? If you have, Henry Sobotka suggested on netscape.public.mozilla.os2 that you check out the following site:
Henrik Gemal has put together a little guide to the standard files in your profile directory @ that you might find helpful.

November 2, 2001 - On comp.os.os2.misc, Wayne Bickell offered the following pointer to a Kodak digital camera driver:
I was just poking around on the Japanese device driver page looking for a driver for a card NIC and came across a digital camera utility for Kodak DC-40, DC-50 and Casio QV-10 cameras. Don't know if they're useful for anyone but the file is at:

November 2, 2001 - On comp.os.os2.bugs, Wolfgang Körmer reported he has run into problems formatting CDRW disks with UDF. Here is his workaround, in case you experience the same problem:
Last month I reported that for for the first time I was able to format CDRWs UDF on my external SCSI-Plexwriter connected to my notebook via PCMCIA by issuing the command: Format <drive:> /FS:UDF /F.

The regular dvd-udf packages from Hobbes or the eCS CDs never worked here. Now one month later after several kernel and isdasd updates this feature does not work here anymore. The command: Format <drive:> /FS:UDF /F results in the following screen:

Formatting is in progress...Format failed.
Media is write-protected.

What works here is now a two-stage process.
  1. stage Format <drive:> /FS:UDF /F and after 50 minutes waiting for stage 1 to end
  2. stage Format <drive:> /FS:UDF (without the /F parameter)
    After another 3 minutes the drive is ready to copy and erase files.
This procedure is reproducible (at least here) I have just formatted 6 CDRW UDF that way.
To which Klaus Staedtler replied:
You have to 'format blabla /FS:UDF /F' any CD-RW only once, from now on using 'format blabla /FS:UDF' or even PMFormat (accessible via the context menu) can do the job. But maybe you want to use cdrecord to 'blank' all your CD-RW first so you can use the /F switch further on ;-)

November 4, 2001 - Looking for fast web browsing without any images to slow you down? On the os2user mail list, Tony offered the following suggestions:
Links ....
Still in beta (Russian) .... version 0.92 works here, later versions don't (no time to explore why). My current version (0.92) cuts out all the fluff within Egroups/Yahoo .... no problem. Also used over the past year on a wide variety of sites without a problem (java, etc). Worth keeping an eye on.... setup is straight forward.

Until recently, setting up 'Lynx' was a pita, but latest versions (*), are a breeze. Much more mature than 'Links' and fully featured including SSH/SSL (192bit), and highly configurable. Used on a wide variety of sites ..... no problem. Definitely should be a stand-bye for any OS/2 user (ideal for laptops/notebooks).

Using either of the above on slow or intermittent connections is excellent as it they not only recover from broken connections but navigating is much faster than Netscape 2.02 or Communicator 4.6x.

[Editors note: You can also use newer versions of Links (latest is 0.96) and contrary to Lynx, Links also supports frames and tables. If Links doesn't start correctly on your machine, try the "-no-connect" parameter.]

In a nutshell ...No 'flash, no animated gifs, no Java'... a real plus.

URLs ......


Lynx: ( (*)
(Hobbes) :

I've given feedback to both. Giving such helps the authors/porters a lot and they're responsive.

November 6, 2001 - Have a problem with a networked printer? Maybe this tip from Chuck Meins, Jr. on the comp.os.os2.setup.misc news group might help:
I finally found the problem. Perhaps a few words on the solution might help others having similar problems with networked printers.

It turns out that the settings for things like amount of RAM and number of input trays is set in the Properties page of the printer driver itself. I had assumed that these things should show up in the printer properties that one sees when printing from applications.

Take the Xerox Phaser 2135 and StarOffice 5.1 for a concrete example. The Phaser properties can be accessed by opening the Printers folder ("Desktop" -> "Connections" -> "Printers") and then selecting and right clicking on the Phaser icon. Switching to the "Printer driver" tab of "Properties" brings up the icons for the installed and default printer drivers. Selecting and right clicking on the default icon allows one to bring up the "Properties" of the printer driver itself. The "Features" tab allows one to set the number of trays, installed memory, duplex, etc..

On the other hand, under "File" -> "Printer Setup..." in StarOffice one gets a dialog that lets one set the "Properties..." of the selected printer. The options one gets to choose from are limited to those set that were set in the "Properties" of the printer driver.

Hopefully this will be useful to someone out there.

November 6, 2001 - Someone asked how to backup/restore the XCenter settings on the XWorkPlace User mail list on XCenter is a Warpcenter replacement that is part of XWorkPlace ( Andreas Schnellbacher provided an answer:
Save XCenter settings
Restore XCenter settings

November 7, 2001 - On the OS2USER list Ralph Cohen tells us how to get Matrox display driver and BackAgain/2000 running under BootOS2:
I also have a BootOS2 maintenance partition setup based upon my Warp4+FP12 primary partition that works very well. It also supports my Matrox card at all the various resolutions as well as BA2K.

In order to install the Matrox drivers, I first had to add the following files from my primary boot partition (c:)

The key to getting BackAgain 2000 to work comes from the support FAQ on their website. Basically, all you need to do is copy the *.fon files from your primary partition (c:\os2\dll\*.fon) to your maintenance partition and then use the Font Palette utility to install the fonts (Edit_Font->Add). Once the fonts are installed, BA2K works fine.

November 13, 2001 - Do you need to update the BIOS on a Matrox display card? Here is a lot of help from Al Savage as originally posted in comp.os.os2.bugs and has updated for our OS/2 tip page readers:
Updating the BIOS on a Matrox Millenium video card is hampered by the fact that Matrox does not provide instructions on how to accomplish the flash in a non-FAT-HDD, non-Win environment.  The later versions of UBIOSDOS.exe that Matrox recommends require a FAT partition to run because of the forced ROM backup procedure.

To painlessly update the BIOS, you can create a bootable DOS diskette with the files to update your Millenium's BIOS.  All the tools to do this are provided by Matrox, except the know-how.

On the original Millenium or Millenium II, first move the DIP switch 1 to ON (I think: double check the silkscreen next to the switch), which enables BIOS writing.

For the Mill1 and Mill2, obtain SETUP351.exe
For the G100 and newer series, obtain SETUP251.exe
(yes, the newer cards have a lower filenumber!)

Expand the appropriate archive in a temp directory.

To a DOS bootable diskette, copy these files:

dos4gw.exe (260k)
progbios.exe (324k)
<BIOS file> (32-40k)
where <BIOS file> is one of the below:

New BIOS version 
BIOS filename
Millenium II
G100 TV Output
(v1.5 TVO)
(v3.3 b30)
G200 TV Output
(v3.3 b30 TVO)
(v3.3 b34)
G200 TV Output
(v3.3 b34 TVO)
G400 TV Output
(v2.1 TVO)
(v1.0 b00)
(v1.7 b33)

Boot the target box from the diskette.

At the A: prompt, type

progbios -i <BIOS filename>
(without the '<>' characters)

When progbios.exe runs, it will display the Millenium model it detects, inform you of the old BIOS version and the new BIOS version, and ask if you want to proceed.  If you answer 'Y', it will erase, then flash the BIOS using the file you provided.

I've created a pre-built boot diskette with individual batch files that do much of the work above: (860k)

This is a self-extracting diskette image (built using DSK4PM: thanks, Daniel Valot).  It creates a bootable DOS diskette whose AUTOEXEC.BAT displays a warning and a menu of options, a menu that looks a lot like the list of Matrox video cards above!  You pick your model of Matrox Millenium, and run the appropriate batch file.

Testing with a G400 here, the flash utility would apparently allow me to flash the G400 using the G450 or G450TV BIOS update file, even though progbios.exe correctly IDs the G400, so watch out for this one.  It'll also apparently let you try to flash using the TV Output file for a base series' version.  I didn't test this outcome, so if someone wants to let me know how that combo turns out . . .

This was a very quick-n-dirty job, good enough for my own use anyway, but possibly a timesaver for others.  Things that might be updated in a future evolution:

ASCII line draw chars instead of asterisks
ANSI.COM and some coloring of various stuff (I didn't feel like firing up TheDraw)
Use CHOICE.COM or similar to eliminate the separate batch files

Comments and bugreports to Al Savage

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