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October 2004

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Getting and installing eComStation version 1.2

By Nick Lysaght © October 2004

Hi. My name is Nick Lysaght and I've decided to write this article to share with you the experiences I had in getting and installing eCs 1.2. This is not terribly technical at this point, but more of a warts-and-all record of my experience with the process. The main reason for writing, is that I live in Kelmscott, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia, and from my view we are fairly isolated geographically from the rest of Australia and The World. Hopefully, it will show that a daunting new task has been completed with a happy ending, and may encourage others to "take the plunge" (steering clear of any obvious errors I made). :-)

For those of us that already have eComStation, we knew the upgrade was coming but were not sure when. For me, as the days approached, it was a feeling of wonder mixed with fear wrapped around it. Wonder, as with anything new, one just had to find out what new enhancements and improvements would be there. Fear (well, sort of...) in that the present eComStation V1.1. has given good service. . . It was installed last November [2003] so I've had almost a year's run from it with no major dramas, but a build up of unwanted files for things that I've tried, discarded, tried again.

Then on the 7th of August it started to happen. Word came through from Orion Solutions (our Australian eCs Distributor). The Principal (Mark) was unavailable, not returning until the eighth of September. He also asked us not to stop getting software on their account, and also mentioned ". . .the imminent release of eComStation 1.2."

That was a real eye-opener as I have always bought eCs from Orion. The deliberations on that took at least a fortnight. Then I saw a new website, where it seemed that Mensys had teamed up to offer eComStation V1.2 as Electronic Software Delivery (ESD). I looked hard and long. . . I only have Dialup, and what would happen if there were transmission problems? So I sent a letter to <>, where I asked what to do if there was a transmission failure. Mr. Roderick Klein responded and allayed my fears, and I decided to go ahead.

As I mentioned, I only have Dialup. But luckily, my son, Michael, has ADSL, and I asked if he could download it for me. So, on the 24th of August, down I went to his flat and we started the process. After the usual Credit Card pleasantries were exchanged, we got the message "Please reply to the email sent to your given address" (or words-to-the-effect). It was at that time that my email server went down. It was only a matter of hours, and it was back up again, however the username and password no longer functioned. Panic! I immediately wrote to <>, and they wrote back within the hour (incredible, seeing as we're here in Western Australia), with a new username and password.

By this time another 24 hours had passed before we were ready again. So Michael started the download (on my behalf). Little did we know what was coming to us. . . a violent electrical storm that shut down his ISP. So we waited another 24 hours. On Thursday 26th it was clear sailing, (although a good FTP program for Windows is hard to find), we hitched up where we left off, and the download (consisting of one 500MiB, and one 250MiB Zip Files) was completed. We burnt the download to CD-ROM, checked it for errors, and I left.

Once home, I copied both files to my HDD, then cautiously opened the 500MiB one. What's this? An ISO file? I had never seen one. . . oh, yes I had, when I was playing with FreeDOS. . . but for the life of me, I just couldn't remember how to open it. I went for a walk and when I came back, I looked at the RSJ CD-Writer manual. There it was. . . all I had to do was to drag the ISO File onto the CD-View window (usually used for playing Audio Tracks). I put a blank CD in the Burner, tried it, and it worked well. . . just watching the lights on the CD made it look like that data was being written carefully to the CD. When writing was finalized, I put it into my CD Reader and all the directories and files were there as they should be. . . a big relief from when I saw the ISO file on it's own. :-)

I had to install it!! Luckily I had two machines. My main computer (a AMD-K7 Athlon 1GHz) still had loads of backing up to do, but I also had my old P200MMX which sat there for one reason. . . backup and practising. So I decide that was the one to get the first taste of eCs 1.2. Here are the details:

Motherboard: Asus SP97V
Processor: Intel P200MMX
Video: S3 Virge
Hard Disk: Quantum Fireball 6GB
Sound Card: SB16 ISA
CD-ROM: LiteOn (the latest) CD Burner
Monitor: ACER 54e

There wasn't much drama with this. The First Disk went into the CD-ROM drive and from there. . . a very smooth install. The first things I've noticed was that the install had been "tidied up," it was definitely "no fuss." I especially liked the choice of Sound Cards, and my old ISA Card was still there. . . Great! Underneath the surface there has been great technological change to enable all of this, but I cannot document it properly at this time. This does include a greater Sound Card choice, Printer Drivers that actually work (not like 1.1), all the latest Java's, Browsers (both Mozilla and IBM Web), Adobe Acrobat, C-A-D process utility available as a desktop integration, and the latest USB drivers from IBM (even my thumb drive works now). Hopefully, I can do better when I install to my AMD-K7 system -- the successor to the P200MX computer.

ecs logo So, I am writing from eComStation V1.2 using my very favourite word processor, DeScribe, even though I know that there is now a wealth of Office Suites to choose from for eCs-OS/2. Everything is so smooth and works so well. Mensys sent a copy of the invoice to my email address. Everything couldn't be better. The differences? It would take another page to list them here, but what I would urge readers to do is: upgrade, upgrade, upgrade. This is no change-of- control-keys like some other OS's that could be mentioned. The money you spend has gone into worthwhile changes that you can feel and use, even on an old clunker like my P200MMX. If you thought 1.1 was good, 1.2 is better. So even if you upgrade from there, or submit that old Warp4 disk (that you've never been really game to install) now's the time. It is my belief that you won't look back.

Finally, a big Thank You to all who made this possible. And that probably includes us all, as we all contribute in our own ways. If you would like the next installment of how eCs 1.2 installs to my main machine, I will write it for you.

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