Virtual OS/2 International Consumer Education

December 1998

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OS/2 Tips

We scan the Web, Usenet and the OS/2 mail lists looking for these gems. Have you run across an interesting bit of information about OS/2 recently? Please share it with all our readers. Send your tips to

November 17, 1998 - Our first tip of the month is from Charles Mims on the POSSI Discussion List, about problems people are having with getting their StarOffice 5.0 to be registered.

"I had this problem with a reinstall so I knew that the key should work. It turned out I had entered my name wrong. I recalled that I had accidently hit the space bar after my first name. When I went back and entered it with out the space after my name the key worked. Evidently the name and informations has to be EXACTLY as it was entered at the download site."

November 17, 1998 - Next up is a tip from Ralph Sanford on the OS/2-List for those folks having a problem getting changes to become permanent in their StarOffice setup:

On the left side of the desktop window there is a "stick-pin" button. Click on this button to get your features to take.

November 19, 1998 - Here's a copy/paste pointer on mouse use by Elton Woo on the TeamOS/2 Help List:

In WARP all you have to do is:

COPY 1) While holding down button 1 (LMB) drag your pointer across the text. This copies it to the clipboard.

PASTE 2) Place the pointer where you want to paste the text, and click on button 2 (RMB). This works for dialog windows, command windows, and even *pasting* from Winos2 sessions provided that you have enabled "Public" data exchange in your Winos2 Setup.

This saves me a lot of work, and possible typos, especially when entering parameters into properties notebooks, or entering my password for certain internet functions.

A notable exception is with IBMWorks, where I have to select "copy" or "paste" from the BMWorks menu. Swiping with mouse *doesn't* work. According to my experience, the copy/paste procedure works everywhere else.

November 22, 1998 - David Eckard on OS/2-L had this advise for folks trying to get Feature Install to run under Netscape Communicator for OS/2:

To get FI to run with NC404.....

load the file ip.htm in the tcpipp\install directory and follow directions...

November 23, 1998 - Have a PCI WinTV card and can't get it working under Warp?, here's a tip from Lorne Sunley

You might try to execute the command


This will change the value for the tuner address offset. I have to do this with my model 401 BT848 based card.

November 23, 1998 - Having problems getting TCP/IP 4.1 to install? Here's a tip from Brad BARCLAY on comp.os.os2.misc

I had a similar problem with a much more straightforward solution:
instead of starting the install process by typing 'install', use the following:

install /a-

This will do the install in "unattended" mode, bypassing C/2 entirely and going straight to a default installation.

November 24, 1998 - Here's another StarOffice tip, his one from Jeff Shultz on the POSSI Discussion list on how to find the StarBase app in SO5:

In Explorer mode (that's the main SO5 window when you open it up) right click on the background, then select

November 25, 1998 - Chris Adams pointed out the following for aurora TCP/IP users on the OS/2 List:

On the "Useful things to bookmark" list:

For those of you, like myself, who have steadfastly avoided reading TFM, the above document describes a number of the features in the Aurora TCP/IP stack.

November 25, 1998 - MR2ICE users, here's a tip on starting MR2ICE faster from Jim Bowering on the OS/2 List:

Make ICE start up on the "Folders" page with /3 in the "Parameters" section of the "mr2i.exe" icon. That helps quick startups.

November 25, 1998 - Here's an IDE CDROM driver install tip from Mike Luther on the Aurora Beta List:

I use this kind of stunt to get the IDE CDROM's to work with the SCSI hard drives:

REM ** General purpose driver for IDE CDROMS
REM ** IDE Controller driver for NON boot drives
REM ** /A:0 - Adapter 0
REM ** /P:1f0 - Primary IDE port address
REM ** /IRQ:14 - Interrupt in use
REM ** /U:0 - IDE device unit tracked
REM ** /ATAPI - Force standardized API call here
BASEDEV=IBM1S506.ADD /A:0 /P:1F0 /IRQ:14 /U:0 /ATAPI

A long time ago I was told to manually set forth the additional parameters in the 506 loader line. It would stop all this. I've done that in every OS/2 setup since on all machines. To date, the 506 problem has never appeared in any so-called box... 506's come and go al the way through FIXPACK 8 and no problems.... So said, if you force-tell the 506 what to do duriung the boot run, sometimes it makes it possible for it to work with IDE CDROM's it otherwise 'can't see.'

November 26, 1998 -

Two places I found ARCINST documented (barely) are the Databook for OS/2 Warp by David Both ( and "Getting to know OS/2 Warp 4". I found no reference to Arcrecov in either. BTW the Databook is an online searchable resource, available by subscription (one time $50 fee, or $25 for VOICE members). It's proven well worth the cost for me, especially since it's about the same price as a hard copy book.

From the Warp Databook:

"The undocumented ARCINST command can be used to create a new X archive at any time. This command is used during the Warp installation process to create the default desktop archive after the original desktop is generated. Use the command syntax:


with no parameters to create the new default X archive. This new X archive can then be restored by using the Recovery Options Menu during the OS/2 boot process.

This command does not affect the other 3 archives.

Warning: If the desktop is behaving inappropriately or unpredictably, do not remake this or any other archive. Creating an archive while the desktop is damaged will copy the defective dektop and possibly destroy a good one, even though it may not be up to date."

From "Getting to know OS/2 Warp 4":

Page 202,
" Restting the installation archive
After some time the archive created wen the system was first installed may become irrelevant, and you may want to update it to create a new base archive. You can do this by running the ARCINST command from a command line."

November 29, 1998 - Here's a tip from Brandon S. Allbery on the POSSi List on how to start up FaxWorks minimized.

I don't know what documentation comes with the business version, but the FaxWorks reference manual (same program, different packaging, shrink-wrap commercial version) includes full documentation for it.

You want the -FM option.

November 29, 1998 - Having a bear of a time installing Feature Install, here's another possible solution, this time from Marco J. Shmerykowsky, P.E. on the TeamOS/2 Help List:

After waisting an hour trying different things, I hit upon something that installed the "feature installer" & allowed me to install the Java 1.1.7 runtime & toolkits with out a problem.

>From a command prompt I typed 'fisetup /U /NORESTARTSHELL'

/U Update installation software even if the version is older than the existing version.

/NORESTARTSHELL At the end of install do not refresh the Workplace Shell

I'm not sure if everything would take without the /U switch, but those two allowed eveything to work.

November 29, 1998 -Duane A. Chamblee posted this about his excellent WarpUp OS/2 fix/update site:

I'm continuing on some other work to integrate with this page, but for now I won't be updating the old page anymore (with new fixes)

I've tried to make fixpak downloads as easy and automatic as possible.

It should be said I have not thoroughly tested this page so right now I'm looking for feedback.

That's where you come in. Please check out the site!

I'm still working on:
1) finishing the LatestWarp4 page items.
2) adding WarpUP applications (autoinstalled/updated apps)
3) a fixpak Wizard (steps through the components on your machine, downloads and installs the needed fixes).

December 5 1998 - Do you have Star Office 5.0 and need to create an OUTBOX for mail to work? Here's the solution from Kenn Yuill on the TeamOS/2 Help List:

IIRC, you open SO5's Explorer, RMB click on the Explorer folder, go down to New and chose the Outbox or E-Mail, etc. You could also do the same action in SO5's Desktop and drag the icon to the Explorer folder. I got duplicates of my Outbox and Inbox (E-Mail), so I closed SO5, then re-opened it and the duplicate folders disappeared.

December 6, 1998 -Allan Hall had this to say on the TeamOS/2 Help List about using Sparq drives under OS/2:

After a long struggle with my new SparQ EIDE drive I could never get it to work. The latest IDE drivers for OS/2, Fixpack 9, and command line switches all had no effect, I still could not read the disks. Finally after talking to a friend I stumbled on the answer.

You must delete the partiton on the disks that come from Syquest with OS/2's Fdiskpm (I imagine Fdisk command line would work too, didnt try it), exit saving the information, ignore the error message fdiskpm gives you. Then it will eject the disk, reinsert it, create a primary partition, save the information and exit Fdiskpm. Reinsert the disk again, right click on it's icon, select format, select FAT (if you want to use it under DOS and Winblows too) and that's it! Works fine under OS/2, PCDOS 7.0 and Winblows98. I did this to two separate and both new disks, neither would work under OS/2 until I completed this procedure.

December 7, 1998 - I guess Star Office has generated quite a bit of interest and quite a few problems as well. Here's yet some more SO5 tips.

From Pavel Otavsky and Bob Stephan on the POSSI List:

What is usually under File>Page Setup menu is under Format>Page... >Tab"Page". That is where you change the margins, etc.


Another way, possibly quicker, is to grab the center of the hour-glass-like object at the left end of the ruler line with your mouse and move it to where you want the margin to be.

And in response to a question about how to sort a text table in John Felman suggested the following on the POSSI List:

If you select the column or row and go to Tools->Sort, you'll get a slightly cryptic sort window. I was able to sort a text column with it. I'm not yet quite sure of the logic of the sort operation.

December 8, 1998 - This is not really a tip, but could be helpful to those who use/develop in Java. It is a post by Mike Edwards of IBM, in news group on the IBM Hursley Usenet server (

There have been a number of items in this newsgroup relating to Java 1.2 and asking when IBM would provide a version of Java 1.2 on OS/2.

I am happy to announce that IBM will be providing a full set of Java JDK 1.2 on the various IBM platforms. This will start with an alpha version of JDK 1.2 on AIX within 30 to 60 days of the 7th December 1998. Other versions will appear during 1999. I am not able to give a date for the OS/2 release at the moment.

The principal reason for the IBM JDK versions appearing some time after Sun releases its JDK reference versions is a simple one: IBM puts a lot of value-add into its versions of the JDK, such as enhanced Garbage Collection and superior JIT compilers, which make the IBM JDKs the best in their class. This value add takes some time to add and then test. We are also very concerned to test our JDK versions for stability and reliability since many of them run on server systems that have the requirement to run without failure for long periods of time.

Yours, Mike.

IBM Hursley Java Technology Center

December 12, 1998 -For all you Japanese and other DBCS font users, here is a tip from Stephen A. Carter on the OS/2 List:

If the text appear sideways. "You've probably chosen the vertical-text font. The horizontal-text version of the Times New Roman MT 30 font is the one whose name *doesn't* start with an "@" symbol. (This is a general rule -- vertical fonts have names that start with "@.")

December 12, 1998 - From Eric Norman, on the Usenet group on Stardock's News server on how to associate a new icon with a particular object type:

Open the properties notebook for one of the .pdf files, switch to the icon page, select the icon you want to use for all .pdf files, and hit the "Set as Default" button. Then the new icon is the default for that Object class. This is how os/2 does the Icons for all it's files. It checks the file file for an icon, and if it doesn't have one associated with it, it looks for the "default" icon for that type.

December 13, 1998 - Our final tip is for those of us who still pop to a command line to do things. From Stephen A. Carter on the OS/2 List:

To change directories to a directory that has a space in it's name

Put the directory name in quotes:

cd "This directory"

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