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Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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blwallen
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1. Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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In a thread that reported problems I was having installing Warp Server 4, I happened to mention that I thought that OS/2 might have a decided advantage in efficiency running applications like Lotus Domino, that runs in console mode, since OS/2 could run without the overhead of the GUI interface, unlike the Win NT family where the only documented command mode is the Safe mode which was severely constrained. I have since come upon some information that I think justifies that this become an independent thread.

Peter G. Magid and Ira H. Schneider, lead developers of the OS/2 Workplace Shell, published a volume in 1995, titled, OS/2 Warp uncensored. This volume contains one of the better explanations of the object model that OS/2 developers followed in designing OS/2. In Chapter 10, "CONFIG.SYS Options Affecting the Workplace Shell," the authors explain that the CONFIG.SYS allows the flexibility of starting either the PMShell program to establish a GUI, multitasking environment, or a non-PM shell program.

Here is their direct explanation:

Starting the user interface
The user interface in OS/2 Warp normally consist of two programs" The Protected Mode Shell and the Workplace Process.

The Protected Mode Shell is the first program started after System Initialization. It may be either a Presentation Manager application program or a non-PM program. The characteristics of the system are vastly different for these two different types of shells.

  • PM shell program: The shell program is responsible for initializing the Presentation Manager environment. When the program creates the first PM message queue, Presentation Manager automatically starts the Session Manager (which is the support for multiple sessions), starts the Window List (which allows you to control any running program), and starts the Workplace Process. In this environment, you may have multiple sessions, PM and non-PM programs, DOS and protect-mode programs, and a graphical user interface.

  • Non-PM shell program. In this environment, you may have only a single session, run protect-mode programs only, and have a test-only environment. The shell can invoke other protect-mode programs, but OS/2 Warp will not provide any mechanism for switching between them--that is the responsibility of the shell program.

PROTSHELL= statement
The PROTSHELL= statement tells the system what program to start as the Protected Mode Shell. If you are using the Workplace shell, this is \OS2\PMSHELL.EXE on the boot drive.

You can specify PROTSHELL=D:\OS2\CMD.EXE if you want a simple, single command line interface. This statement may be useful if you want to start the system at a command prompt, make some changes to the system (for example, change a dynamic link library containing a Workplace Shell object class or change the OS2.INI file), and then start the normal Protected Mode Shell by invoking PMSHELL.EXE from the command prompt.

You may also change the PROTSHELL= statement if you want to use an alternative user interface. For example, you can use a text-mode shell to run your system A text-mode shell may be usefull in a memory constrained system in which you want to use only text-mode programs.

(Magid and Schneider, OS/2 Warp uncensored, p. 445/6.)

I am interested in experimenting with Lotus Domino, the server part of Lotus Notes, which can run in console mode. You could use this configuration to run any application that can run in console mode. Domino, for example, as a server can run in console mode and be administered from a remote Notes client or from a browser.

Once I get Domino installed on a Warp Server, I will try to do some benchmarks of tasks running on Windows 2000, Warp Server and Domino running on Red Hat 7.3. When I have some results, I will publish them here.

Brian Wallen

Date: 24 Nov, 2004 on 13:02
cyberspittle
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2. Re:Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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Hey Brian,

I'll have to get that book. As to booting to a command line, I once worked at a place that had a Mitel PBX (phone system). It booted straight to command line and ran the digital phone system. It was running 16-bit OS/2 (1.3EE). This is how ATMs work in banks from what I understand.

Date: 24 Nov, 2004 on 20:38
blwallen
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3. Re:Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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I worked at the University of Illinois doing student data system development. We had a custom system written to support imaging of our permanent records. It ran on OS/2 1.x and I believe had some modules that ran at the command level.

I imagine that a large proportion of programs that can run from
the console were from that era. GUIs were still new in the Intel world and who would have written serious applications for Window 2.x or even 3.x

I have a WordPerfect 5.2 for OS/2, a PM application; I wonder if there was ever a WordPerfect 4.x that would run from the command line. For that matter was there ever an early version of character-based Word that was written for OS/2. Microsoft was publicly very hot for OS/2. In Gordon Letwin's book, Inside OS/2, Bill Gates writes this glowing appreciation of OS/2 and how it will revolutionize personal computing.

I also have several versions of RBase, an early and very well designed entry level database package, that run in character mode. Microrim, the RBase publisher, eventually rewrote RBase 5 as a PM application. People high up in Microrim's management told me that IBM promised much to OS/2 developers, but delivered much less--both in technical support and financial incentives, perhaps because OS/2's prospects within IBM changed so drastically in the '93-95 period.

This hadn't previously occurred to me, but I could do some benchmark tests between RBase 4.5 (character-based) and RBase 5.0 for OS/2.

Brian Wallen

Date: 28 Nov, 2004 on 23:37
cyberspittle
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4. Re:Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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I have Microsoft Word for OS/2 in storage (unopened). It ran on Microsoft OS/2 (I also have disks ... for a Fujitsu preload). It is a text mode application that can also be installed on DOS, if I remember.
Date: 29 Nov, 2004 on 05:26
hausmaus
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5. Re:Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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cyberspittle (29 Nov, 2004 05:26):
I have Microsoft Word for OS/2 in storage (unopened). It ran on Microsoft OS/2 (I also have disks ... for a Fujitsu preload). It is a text mode application that can also be installed on DOS, if I remember.

That application is freely downloadable from Microsoft, actually. I have it available on my BBS. It's Word 5.5 (Y2K fixes) and it's a dual app-runs under DOS or 16-bit OS/2 (but of course, MS doesn't say anything about it)...

--Sean

Date: 29 Nov, 2004 on 05:34
cyberspittle
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6. Re:Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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Yeah, but mine is still shrink wrapped. Now, about those URLs ....
Date: 29 Nov, 2004 on 19:14
blwallen
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7. Re:Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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OS/2 Warp uncensored by Peter Magid and Ira Schneider is available used from Amazon--$4.75 up. I paid slightly more for mine

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-form/103-2973322-3847049

Brian

Date: 29 Nov, 2004 on 21:24
hausmaus
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8. Re:Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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cyberspittle (29 Nov, 2004 19:14):
Yeah, but mine is still shrink wrapped. Now, about those URLs ....

Excuse me for giving you information-I'll see my way out of this thread since I obviously have nothing good to say according to your response.

Date: 30 Nov, 2004 on 00:08
blwallen
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9. Re:Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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Hausmaus, I found your post very appropriate for this thread. You mentioned that this 5.5 Word would run under DOS or 16-bit OS/2. If you know the logistics of how that works, I'd be interested. Are there two sets of executables or do DOS and OS/2 share some? Microrim issued RBase with two sets of executables--they just shared the text-based prompt and help files. Functionally they looked identical.

Brian

Date: 30 Nov, 2004 on 03:01
hausmaus
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10. Re:Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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blwallen (30 Nov, 2004 03:01):
Hausmaus, I found your post very appropriate for this thread. You mentioned that this 5.5 Word would run under DOS or 16-bit OS/2. If you know the logistics of how that works, I'd be interested. Are there two sets of executables or do DOS and OS/2 share some? Microrim issued RBase with two sets of executables--they just shared the text-based prompt and help files. Functionally they looked identical.

Brian


First of all, I apologize for my curt response above; I really don't appreciate being blown off just because my software isn't shrink-wrapped... (not you)... anyhow, it is something called a "dual mode" executable (Word 5.5)-a single executable. I do believe all the other exes in the archive are dual-mode also. I don't know how it works, but the program senses what OS it's running under and will run accordingly. I have used the same install on an OS/2 machine and a DOS machine, both on the LAN, and with no problems. All the exes and files are compatible with both "modes".

However, don't try to run this under W2K or newer-Word will croak. Also, if the drive is bigger than 2.1GB, Word will croak. However, if you run 2GBFIX in your AUTOEXEC.BAT for the DOS shell, you'll be fine. It actually is a really good text-mode program... it can do "graphics mode" from 25 up to 50 lines. I tried it on my system, but it TRAPped (I'm using SDD/PE on a S3 Trio64 video card). The text mode works just spiffy.

To be honest, I haven't messed with it much more. I'm too used to using TEDIT or GUI stuff to do my editing, but Word 5.5 runs really fast under OS/2 and DOS.

If you'd like, I can put it up for download off of my website and you can check it out for yourself. Just let me know and it'll be there.

--Sean

Date: 30 Nov, 2004 on 03:34
blwallen
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11. Re:Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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last updated at 30 Nov, 2004 06:20 (1 times)
The dual mode is intriguing and probably somebody with more development background that I could explain how that works. Also probably interesting as a phase of development from DOS to OS/2.

I swore off MS software when I adopted OS/2 2.1 and saw the difference between Windows 3.1 and OS/2. Well, I did use Word 6 for a little while, but found it no better than WordPerfect, that I had been using. So I encourage you to make this available to the forum for those less prejudiced than I am, but beg to be excused.

On a slightly different sub-thread, I just uncovered diskettes and IBM's verbose documentation for OS/2 1.3 Extended Edition, with the pre-DB/2 and Communications Manager add-on. This dates back to the time when IBM had three times more people than they had work to do. Here are the spiral-bound volumes that accompanied the 28 1.44kb distribution floppies:

  • Operating System/2 Extended Edition Version 1.3: Getting Started

  • Operating System/2 Extended Edition Version 1.3: User Guide Vol 1 Base Operating System

  • Operating System/2 Extended Edition Version 1.3: User's Guide Vol 2: Communications Manager and LAN Requester

  • Operating System/2 Extended Edition Version 1.3: Database Manager Exercises

  • IBM Extended Services for OS/2 Query Manager User's Guide

  • IBM Extended Services for OS/2 Query Manager Exercises

  • Operating System/2 Extended Edition Version 1.3: Glossary

  • Program License Agreement
    in English, Chinese, French Canadian, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish (what happened to European French, German, Dutch, Polish, Czech, Italian,Hindi, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Russian, Farsi, etc., etc.--apparently not profit centers)

I suspect someone filched the Database Manager User Guide before I inherited these.

So if anyone is dying for an answer to an OS/2 v. 1.3 EE question, I will try my best to find my way through these impressive volumes.

Brian Wallen

Date: 30 Nov, 2004 on 06:04
hausmaus
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12. Re:Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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Sure thing-I'll upload it sometime tomorrow morning to my website... it'll be ZIPped to pass through email filtering systems...
Date: 30 Nov, 2004 on 06:24
cyberspittle
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13. Re:Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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hausmaus (30 Nov, 2004 00:0:

cyberspittle (29 Nov, 2004 19:14):
Yeah, but mine is still shrink wrapped. Now, about those URLs ....

Excuse me for giving you information-I'll see my way out of this thread since I obviously have nothing good to say according to your response.


WTF? My intent was to arouse envy (shrink wrapped). I'm sorry you feel that way. If you look at my other posts at os2world you can see I try to be positive. I still would like to see those URLs ...

Date: 30 Nov, 2004 on 07:33
hausmaus
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14. Re:Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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I apologize for taking your post the wrong way. I've not been myself lately... but this is the URL for you to get Word:

http://download.microsoft.com/download/word97win/Wd55_be/97/WIN98/EN-US/Wd55_ben.exe

This URL does work! Again, don't put this on a partition bigger than 2.1GB (unless you're running 2GBFIX.COM) or it'll barf.

Again, I'm sorry about my response... but perhaps this will make up for it. Very few people know that Word 5.5 is still around and actually still a very useful program! This one will do the DOS and OS/2 dual-mode operation...

HTH,
Sean

Date: 30 Nov, 2004 on 12:57
cyberspittle
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15. Re:Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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Hey Sean,

No problem. We are one big family @ os2world. Now before we get soft and mushy, thank you for the URL!

James

Date: 30 Nov, 2004 on 17:28
hausmaus
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16. Re:Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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Sure thing... I'm on a lot of medication and sometimes, the smallest thing can trigger me... again, I'm sorry.

As for the URL-sure thing. Get it while it's hot-who knows how long MS will leave that up there!

--Sean

Date: 01 Dec, 2004 on 06:00
Henk
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17. Re:Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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Hausmaus ...

Thnx for the URL...

---
With kind regards,

Henk/2

Date: 03 Dec, 2004 on 00:20
hausmaus
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18. Re:Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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Sure thing... anything I can do to help my fellow OS/2 users.

--Sean

Date: 03 Dec, 2004 on 06:28
fusion
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19. Re:Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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this likely works a lot like when applications spit "This program only works in OS/2" to the dos console.. instead of having a dos executable "stub" at the beginning of the app, which shows that one line and halts, it might contain a complete dos version of the program..
Date: 06 Dec, 2005 on 15:19
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20. Re:Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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and christ this thread is old.. wish i had noticed that.. =/
Date: 06 Dec, 2005 on 15:20
Running applications from the OS/2 command prompt
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