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June 2002

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A Ghost without Glasses (and other stories)

An editorial view from Christian Hennecke.

The past month has seen a number of mixed news for OS/2 and eComStation users. One of the worst in a long time for sure is Russell Lang's announcement that he won't be able to develop the OS/2 version of GSView, the OS/2 front-end for Ghostscript, any further as he will have to spend his time on the development of rewritten Unix and Windows versions. Remember that GSView together with Ghostscript is the only solution for OS/2 and eComStation users to view and print the latest PDFs!

Now you may ask why I am making such a fuss about it. The current versions of GSView and Ghostscript are working fine on your machine and you don't need the latest and greatest PDFs... But fact is that PDF is a moving target. One day the current OS/2 version of GSView will become incompatible with a future updated version of Ghostscript that will be required to view the future PDFs. Fact is also that once the next version of PDF gets released, many people will start producing PDFs of that level, if only to justify the investment that their company made into the latest Adobe Acrobat editor. As a result OS/2 and eComStation (the »Superclient for the inet«) would not be able to read the web's second most popular document format after HTML. This would be a major blow to eComStation!

Luckily Russell Lang is going to release the Unix version under GPL and he has offered to integrate/distribute a GSView version for OS/2 that others may create from the new core code and e.g. the old OS/2 GUI code. So not all hope is lost, but someone else will have to take the task. When I reported the problem in the eComStation mailing list, Kim Cheung stated that Serenity wants to look into this.

Another loss recently hit VOICE: Due to other commitments and health reasons, Walter Metcalf has resigned as president of VOICE. We wish him all the best. Walter will continue coordinating the Warp Doctor team, which continues to make great progress in bringing a unified support facility to the OS/2 community. Also Judy McDermott has recently resigned as the Liaison Officer on the board. Judy was one of the founding members of VOICE, and her wit and wisdom will be greatly missed.. Also the Marketing position on the board has been vacant for awhile now. That leaves VOICE with three open positions on the Board of Directors: president, liaison, and marketing. If you think that you are interested in becoming a spokesman for the OS/2 user community and have a knack for getting people to work together in a constructive way or have a talent for sales, then please consider stepping up to run for one of these positions. We need more dedicated people for VOICE to be able to keep up and extend its services. Please send an email with your name, the position you are interested in, and a brief biography to

It is not all bad news though. Jason R Stefanovich has joined the VOICE Newsletter editorial staff. Jason will add his say to the different perspectives offered here on our editorial page, and help us guide the newsletter into our always uncertain future as a voice for the OS/2 user community.

The last weeks saw new releases in OS/2's weakest of all spots: multimedia, or video to be specific. WarpVision has finally got a GUI and together with HWEnDIVE it's sufficiently fast even on my AMD K6-III 450 machine. HWEnDIVE is an EnDIVE GRADD driver actually that sits on top of Scitech Display Doctor. It supports a subset of the chips that SDD supports: Matrox starting from G200, several ATI Rage (with experimental support for the Radeon), NVidia GeForce, and some S3 chips (experimental). I experienced some crashes with older DIVE programs, e.g. HOBLink X11, and Netscape Communicator with Flash 5 installed. But the driver looks very promising. The shareware registration fee of about US$10 is certainly not too much. For both packages check out the web site at

More good news comes from both Warpstock events. Recently their organizers have announced dates and locations. This time Warpstock takes place in Austin (Texas), the »home« of OS/2, on October 5th and 6th. As a result, a nice number of IBM's OS/2 developers are going to attend, including Scott Garfinkle (OS/2 kernel) and Mike Kaply (Mozilla). Checkout the Warpstock home page at, they already have an impressive list of presentations online! Also be sure to attend the online friends program and add a Warpstock banner to your own web site. After a long silence with no news Warpstock Europe has been announced to take place in Arnhem (Netherlands) from November 8th to 10th. I'm quite fond of this location, not only because it is less than a 2 hour drive from my hometown, but more because it's in another country again which adds to the »European« idea. More information should be available at the home page at soon. I hope to see you in Arnhem!

VOICE Newsletter Update: The planned page for free small advertisements by freeware authors and OS/2 users is going to become part of the VOICE home page soon. Its delayed as our webmaster has just relocated and isn't as yet back up to full speed yet. If you are interested, please contact us at

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

Our Newsletter team is in need of backup. A few people have joined after we published a call for help last month, but we could do with some more. To be able to help you don't have to be a very good translator or HTML programmer. If you have profound knowledge of English or German spelling and grammar, you can also help with editing the articles. Some hints on translation activities are also available in the FAQ.

Warp Doctor: 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.

Everyone's help is required to keep this project going. The team meets every Sunday at 3PM EST (19:00 GMT), on IRC in the #warpdoctor channel on the WEBBnet IRC network. For more information on attending online IRC meetings please see the VOICE Meeting Information page -

VOICE Online Update: This month the general member meetings are scheduled on June 3 and 17 at 8PM EST (00:00 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 Mike Snyder starts with A first look at Virtual PC for OS/2. A month ago, Innotek released the eagerly awaited GA version of Virtual PC for OS/2. Read Mike's article to learn more about his experiences with this new product and some of the pros and cons.

Have you been looking for an affordable slide-scanner for OS/2 or eComStation? Then be sure to read Manfred Agne's review of the Scanmaker 35t plus. Manfred delivers an in-depth description of the scanner's capabilities. Even if scanning slides is not your thing, this article could be quite interesting as Manfred also introduces his Biber-Tools for ImpOS/2, which add a histogram feature and other stuff.

In February IBM EWWS held another Warp Community Update Workshop in Germany, a free educational/promotional event dealing with all kinds of OS/2-related topics. Ed Durrant was there and tells us what we missed.

It's no secret that there is a lack of business applications for OS/2. Eric Baerwaldt has set out to dig for applications that can fill the gap. The first one that he found is still in an earlier development phase and currently only available in German, but it looks very promising and an English version should not be far away if someone helps with the translation. If you have a need for a small ERP system, learn more about Little Business Helper 0.55.

In the last 15 years the CD has replaced the vinyl long-player more and more. But most of us who have seen the "pre-CD age" - audiophile or not - still have a number of vinyl records around. Now if you would like to listen to that music in your car or save your precious records from wear you can record it to CD with your computer. There is no fancy GUI solution for OS/2 yet, but Georg Neckel tells us how Recording LPs with Playrec and Copywave works without much of a hassle.

With the increase of the resolution of digital cameras also the amount of data that has to be transferred has increased considerably. As a result serial connections are no longer viable solutions. USB usually doesn't work since most cameras don't comply to the USB mass storage standards. So if you are searching for an inexpensive solution for transferring your images, read Lon Hooker's review of an IDE Compact Flash Card reader for eComStation.

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. In July we'll have part 3 of Walter Metcalf's review of BackAgain/2000 3.0 and a short review of three harddisk-related tools by Eric Baerwaldt. Upcoming is also an article about using the Internet Movie Database with OS/2 by Christian Hennecke.

Mark Dodel and Christian Hennecke
VOICE Newsletter editors

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