Virtual OS/2 International Consumer Education

December 1998

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Telling the World

By; Wayne Swanson -

Programs and Updates

As OS/2 users we are, for the most part, always wary of new applications in the pipeline. Everyday new applications or updates to existing ones appear somewhere in the ether. Some are boldly announced with press releases in every form imaginable and others just appear, the authors hoping that we will find their little gem without any guidance or prodding. Actually, I am constantly amazed at the number of new and updated items showing up in the Hobbes /incoming directory every day.

The fact is though, not every developer uploads their new or updated applications to Hobbes. Not every application is available for a free preview. So how can we keep up to date with the OS/2 application stream? Or shall I ask this? How can the OS/2 developer help us stay up to date with their products?

Personally, I have been a bit lax in this department. During the normal course of events, I will:

1) Upload software to our website, Hobbes and BMT Micro.
2) Update the website html's
3) Send a note to Thomas at BMT notifying him of the update.
4) Put together a brief announcement and send it to, WarpCast, Warp City and sometimes to the c.o.o.announce newsgroup.

Granted, these sites do a great job and get info to many of the hard core OS/2 users. There is also a lot of spillover information that is dispensed from these sources that makes it's way onto other websites etc. but how do we reach the rest of the OS/2 world. What else should we be doing? Where should our programs be uploaded to? Where else should we be sending announcements?

Where to Upload?

Making a program available on the internet is important to the small developer. The greater the number of locations your program is found, the greater your chances of distribution. So where do we send program archives? It goes without saying that our own websites are our first and foremost targets. If you use some of the great services of BMT Micro or Mensys etc. then you will want to get the newest versions to them ASAP.

Hobbes is probably the most important ftp site for the OS/2 user. Once a program is on Hobbes, there are mirrors worldwide that will pick it up eventually. CDROM.COM is also an ftp site with worldwide mirrors but it has not been updated in a timely manner for quite a while. I am interested in hearing about other sites that would be of importance to OS/2.

LEO is a great site but I am not sure about their policy concerning uploads. It seems there was a question of space available the last time I checked. As always, check the uploading rules and templates at any new site.

In general, it is wise to have your primary source of the program available on a dependable server. It never hurts to add a couple of different links to the program from your website in case one of the links is down.

There may be other sites that are important to OS/2 users that I am not aware of or at least am not aware that they keep OS/2 programs onsite and actively seek uploads. That is part of what this article is all about. What are the other sites that we should be aware of?

What About Press Releases?

For starters, let me say that there are quite a few great resources available to us that are happy to work with anyone willing to give them accurate and timely information. Some (perhaps "many") of these websites are kept up to date by people that are giving of their time and effort in support of OS/2.

A couple of good examples are Loren Bandiera's OS/2 News and Rumors and Steve Wendt's OS/2 Warp News and Rumors. These two sites are almost always filled with up to date OS/2 news. One of the really neat things about them is how they seem to cooperate with each other in the process of staying up to date. Quite often their news snippet sources are credited to one another. So why haven't we (I) included them in the PR loop? Have we (I) let ourselves down by not contacting some of these sites?

It would be great if there was one true blue (pun intended), sure-fire way to reach everyone but the fact of the matter is that not everyone associated with OS/2 frequents or is subscribed to, one particular resource. This means that we have to diversify our uploads and announcements to cover as many bases as possible.

Some sites seem to stay pretty current with most events but couldn't we save them the time spent scouting and digging by including them in PR's? Having no formal relationship with most of them, I cannot say whether that is what they want from us but I do have a plan!

It just makes sense to set up a mailing list for our Press releases. Whether it is to one place or to 20 different places, most email programs will distribute your release with one mouse click once it is prepared. Who should be on the list? I am not sure about, or qualified to give you, the definitive list of OS/2 resources but I have started to jot a few down. There are not a lot of print magazine opportunities but the few that are available should not be ignored either.


As OS/2 developers and users, we can and should work with these people as much as possible to see what is available and to make our products known as much as possible to the OS/2 world. I propose that we start a listing of OS/2 press resources at our disposal to be made available to all developers of OS/2 applications.

I am willing to set up a webpage or gather information concerning a listing of businesses/websites that developers can cut and paste to their mailing lists for press releases. I will only put entries in that I know will accept PR from developers. For that reason, there will be very few on the list to start with. Each business/site must be confirmed before appearing on the listing so we aren't sending mail to someone who doesn't want it.

To confirm that the business/site in question really *wants* to get PR from OS/2 developers, I would like each of them to contact me with their Name and the email address they would like used for press releases. This will only be for any business, magazine or website that carries OS/2 news. I will not accept a listing from anyone other than the owner/webmaster of a business, magazine or website so don't ask to add someone else to listing.

Naturally, there are a few sites that are fair game for our PR because of their nature (WarpCast etc.) but I will refrain from listing anything until we have a proper listing started.

Final Points

One other point to make is the subject line for your press release. If we make it a habit of always including some type of identifier in our subject line, most recipients of the press releases will be able to filter it to a separate folder, if they choose to. Can I propose using [OS2]? For example, subject:[OS2] Widgets updated to v3.2 -or- subject:[OS2] BeanCounter Released Today! The "[OS2]" identifier (without the quotes) should be easy to filter and will help a few people keep their mailboxes organized. We are not here to make life miserable.

You may not get results or notice from some sites but that should not dissuade you from hammering away at press releases. Not everything we perceive as "the best thing to come down the pike" may be that important to someone else. Sometimes that's just the way the world works but if you persevere, you will know that you have done your best. You can't make people like your product but you can get it out in front of them and they will decide, in the end, if it is worth their while.

Wayne Swanson

Developers of WarpZip, ShowTime/2 and the Enhanced E Editors
Vice President, V.O.I.C.E. (Virtual OS/2 International Consumer Education)

ps 1: I had a list of OS/2 Sites and Magazines to include but left it out of this article because of the confirmation question cited earlier.

ps 2: When we get a few of the names confirmed, I'll send out a press release. :-)

Editor note: If you have information on an OS/2 development project please send your news/press release to and we will see that your announcement is placed on our Developer News page in the newsletter. In addition VOICE sponsors IRC Speakup sessions with OS/2 developers to exchange information and ideas with OS/2 users in a lively real-time format.

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