Author Topic: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?  (Read 14422 times)

Martin Iturbide

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Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« on: March 06, 2017, 02:09:42 pm »
Hi

I assume we are getting close to the finish line for ArcaOS to be released since there haven't been any change of schedule announced by Arca Noae. If everythings turns ok (according to the latest Arca Noae news) the OS will be relased on end of March, and for what Lewis told us on Warpstock he won't be releasing it on April 1st :)

Sure, they will be some guys trying it out the first day it cames out, some other will wait, but the question is, are you doing something to get ready for ArcaOS? Do you have any plan on where to try it out?

For the moment, I got myself an USB 16GB flash drive reserved for the installer and I want to boot it from USB on different machines I got to see it works.

Some important risk that I found is that there is still no modern Wifi driver released by Arca Noae, so if it does not get released with ArcaOS,  that may became an important source of cristism for the OS.

Please share your thoughts.

Regards


Martin Iturbide
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ivan

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2017, 03:17:35 pm »
Martin, you raise interesting questions.

So far there appears to be no information about hoe the OS is modified or what is included with it.

There is also no indication of cost and how delivered (physical CD, Physical bootable USB stick, electronic delivery of ISO image for burning to a CD or DVD etc.).

Also what hardware is it envisaged working on, brand new bleeding edge motherboard with 16 GB ram and 2TB drives or what.

Without that information we can't do much preparation.  We will just have to hope for the best that it installs and works on what we have. 

André Heldoorn

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2017, 03:38:17 pm »
So far there appears to be no information about hoe the OS is modified or what is included with it.
What about available out-of-the-box languages, other than English (and maybe German)? A main reason to skip eCs 2.

Pete

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2017, 05:24:25 pm »
Hi All

My plan is very simple with regard to trying ArcaOS5:

1] Backup Dell E5500 laptop eCS volumes - my hardly ever used system
2] Check Install Options of ArcaOS5 - I would prefer to leave existing data and programs volumes intact and "hook" them up to the new install on the ex-eCS boot volume.
    2a] Optional depending on drivers supplied with ArcaOS5: may need the genmac intel wifi packages handy
3] See how ArcaOS5 runs on this system - stability/usability
4] Decide whether to test on Desktop systems based on results of 2] and 3]

Basically I plan to avoid disrupting any of my working Desktop systems unless satisfied that ArcaOS5 will install and run with minimum "faffing".

As to delivery of ArcaOS5: I think I expect downloadable DVD(CDs) ISO(s) although a Bootable USB Flash Drive image should also be possible. I would also expect physical media to be available at extra cost + post.

Regards

Pete



Andreas Kohl

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2017, 05:48:23 pm »
Also what hardware is it envisaged working on, brand new bleeding edge motherboard with 16 GB ram and 2TB drives or what.

That's funny. Who needs this amounts under OS/2 systems where the included SORT command can only deal with files up to 64KB?

There was no announcement regarding VMB and VDM from AN. So be prepared for 1991/92 retroware, unless you have already a FAT partition with PC DOS 7 or DR DOS with a more useful collection of commands.

Andreas Schnellbacher

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2017, 06:29:00 pm »
So far there appears to be no information about hoe the OS is modified or what is included with it.

In short: I expect something like an updated eCS with a new installer. About drivers: With the exception of the Kernel and SNAP, I see nothing that's not already available via Subscription.

There is also no indication of cost and how delivered (physical CD, Physical bootable USB stick, electronic delivery of ISO image for burning to a CD or DVD etc.).
Again, I expect the same as with eCS - similar pricing, booting (DVD or USB) and media. Apparently booting from an .iso file is still not supported.

Also what hardware is it envisaged working on
That seems to be a great mystery. We can guess from the available drivers that hardware support has become harder than it was in eCS times.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2017, 10:20:23 pm by Andreas Schnellbacher »

Doug Bissett

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2017, 07:27:48 pm »
Quote
For the moment, I got myself an USB 16GB flash drive reserved for the installer and I want to boot it from USB on different machines I got to see it works.

USB Flash drive installer support is highly unlikely for the GA. That will come later (not enough time to properly test it).

Quote
Some important risk that I found is that there is still no modern Wifi driver released by Arca Noae, so if it does not get released with ArcaOS,  that may became an important source of cristism for the OS.

It is highly unlikely that WiFi support (other than what already exists) will be included with the GA.

Quote
What about available out-of-the-box languages, other than English (and maybe German)?

I know that most of the work has been done, for more than one language (including German), but I don't know if that will be ready for day one.

Quote
As to delivery of ArcaOS5: I think I expect downloadable DVD(CDs) ISO(s) although a Bootable USB Flash Drive image should also be possible.

Most likely downloadable DVD ISO, but I don't make those decisions. USB Flash drive is on the todo list, but it probably won't happen until after the GA.

Quote
So far there appears to be no information about hoe the OS is modified or what is included with it.

The announcement says most of it. From what I have seen, so far, it will be a step forward from what eCS 2.2b2 is, but it is not a giant leap. Most of the new drivers etc. are already available through the ArcaOS driver package.

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Also what hardware is it envisaged working on, brand new bleeding edge motherboard with 16 GB ram and 2TB drives or what.

It will depend on what is on the motherboard. ArcaOS is still OS/2, which is limited to using about 3.5 GB of memory, and it requires Legacy mode in a UEFI BIOS. 2 TB drives will work, the way that they do today.

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Without that information we can't do much preparation.  We will just have to hope for the best that it installs and works on what we have. 

So far, I have had more trouble with old machines, than with newer ones, but I don't have the latest, and greatest, to test with.

Quote
That's funny. Who needs this amounts under OS/2 systems where the included SORT command can only deal with files up to 64KB?

I haven't used SORT, ever. That is still true of the SORT that is installed by RPM/YUM, so I would assume that *NIX has the same limit.

Quote
There was no announcement regarding VMB and VDM from AN. So be prepared for 1991/92 retroware, unless you have already a FAT partition with PC DOS 7 or DR DOS with a more useful collection of commands.

This statement makes no sense, at all. If it works today, it will probably work with ArcaOS 5.0. If not, there is a slight chance that it will work, but don't expect miracles. "1991/92 retroware" is completely ridiculous, and what has DOS got to do with it (yes DOS, and WinOS2 still work, as they always have).

As I have said before, don't expect miracles. The main objective now, is to get this thing out the door, with a new installer, and with everything up to the latest, existing (tested), versions, where possible. It would be a support nightmare, if they tried to include a bunch of new things, like WiFi, and > 2 TB disk support (which are being worked on, but they are not ready). That stuff comes later (after all, the same people are working on all of it, so priorities need to be made, unless you want to wait for another couple of years).  IMO ArcaOS 5.0 will probably be one step further than what was envisioned for eCS 2.2 GA, and from what I have seen, so far, it is working much better than eCS 2.2b2 does.

Martin Iturbide

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2017, 09:25:38 pm »
As I have said before, don't expect miracles. The main objective now, is to get this thing out the door, with a new installer, and with everything up to the latest, existing (tested), versions, where possible....

Hi Doug, I also share your opinion. For what I understood on some Warpstock sessions, Lewis told he want to give first something to the OS/2 community to maintain the continuity of the product (I'm using my own words), and not making any great breakthrough on the OS (yet) or trying to reach outside the OS/2 customer base.  It is kind of obvious for first step because of the lack of developers, time, money and also because nothing that belongs to Mensys can be used.

But I think it is also to important to know that there will be community outsiders that will like to test the first release of the new "OS/2 distro" and the lack of modern wifi drivers may be negative for the image of the OS.  Inside the OS/2 community we know about it, but for other users those drivers are something basic. Maybe, for the ArcaOS 5.1 release, it will have modern wifi drivers, but at that point there will no way to take away from the Internet the idea that ArcaOS does not have wifi drivers.

And also I'm still curious to know which OS/2 software will make it to the GA version of ArcaOS like xWorkplace, Styler, etc, etc.

Regards

Martin Iturbide
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Doug Bissett

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2017, 11:57:22 pm »
Quote
But I think it is also to important to know that there will be community outsiders that will like to test the first release of the new "OS/2 distro" and the lack of modern wifi drivers may be negative for the image of the OS.

It is definitely a negative, but the drivers don't exist, yet, so they cannot be included. Just not enough people to do it. As I understand it, they will be the highest priority, after GA. The existing GENMAC drivers should be there (you may need to download some of them, because of licensing concerns). USB 3 also falls into the ASAP category.

Quote
And also I'm still curious to know which OS/2 software will make it to the GA version of ArcaOS like xWorkplace, Styler, etc, etc.

I can't say what will be in the GA. I don't have any say in that. At the moment (a partial list) there is a custom version of XWP LITE, and Styler is there, along with Dragtext, a SAMBA client (yes, it will currently log onto win 10 - that may change if MS changes something), Samba server, CUPS, Firefox, Thunderbird, Seamonkey, 4OS2, Lucide, ANPM (RPM/YUM), and more. Any other program that works on eCS should also work on ArcaOS (although it may be a problem if it is keyed to eCS somehow). I have installed Apache Open Office 4.1.3, PMView, PMMail, and a few others, that are not included.

Andreas Kohl

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2017, 02:30:31 pm »
I haven't used SORT, ever. That is still true of the SORT that is installed by RPM/YUM, so I would assume that *NIX has the same limit.

Quite sophistic answer, or at least lack of knowledge.

Quote
Quote
There was no announcement regarding VMB and VDM from AN. So be prepared for 1991/92 retroware, unless you have already a FAT partition with PC DOS 7 or DR DOS with a more useful collection of commands.

This statement makes no sense, at all. If it works today, it will probably work with ArcaOS 5.0. If not, there is a slight chance that it will work, but don't expect miracles. "1991/92 retroware" is completely ridiculous, and what has DOS got to do with it (yes DOS, and WinOS2 still work, as they always have).

So which DOS and Windows applications were tested really? Any improvement for average users over the state from summer 1996?

It's obvious that by packaging all this more than 20 years old stuff without serious testing will cause compatibilty and reliability problems. eComStation introduced incompatibilty even for certified OS/2 applications and devices, so nobody was bying. So it's better expect nothing.

André Heldoorn

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2017, 05:31:18 pm »
So which DOS and Windows applications were tested really? Any improvement for average users over the state from summer 1996?

Presumably we're existing users. I guess the summer of 1996's DOS sound is important for new users, whom have discovered their collection of DOS games, and DOSBox for their operating system isn't always the answer. It's a niche market, but now lacking DOS sound is a reason to not recommend OS/2 as a best DOS for 2007's hardware. Now our answer typically will be that you can play game XYZ without any problem, but mute only. So DOSBox for their operating system may still win.

Andreas Kohl

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2017, 06:13:26 pm »
So which DOS and Windows applications were tested really? Any improvement for average users over the state from summer 1996?

Presumably we're existing users. I guess the summer of 1996's DOS sound is important for new users, whom have discovered their collection of DOS games, and DOSBox for their operating system isn't always the answer. It's a niche market, but now lacking DOS sound is a reason to not recommend OS/2 as a best DOS for 2007's hardware. Now our answer typically will be that you can play game XYZ without any problem, but mute only. So DOSBox for their operating system may still win.

Sorry, I'm not an expert for multimedia device support in OS/2. But here my thoughts about general situation:
* The last fully supported audio adapters are based on Crystal chipset. All this half ported stuff from Alsa is simply not useable in real-world applications. Some applications (e.g. Rapidax Ranger) shipped with special drivers for custom hardware doing the audio data processing.
* So nowadays the device support situation is more obscure than in almost every UNIX derivate. There you have the option for quite recent devices by OpenSound drivers from 4Front (http://ossnext.trueinstruments.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=5841 ).
* For best application compatibilty (and perhaps also for mentioned gaming stuff) you can not move further than i865-based mainboard with one or two ISA-slots and appropriate audio adapters.

Doug Bissett

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2017, 07:25:46 pm »
So which DOS and Windows applications were tested really? Any improvement for average users over the state from summer 1996?

What is there to test, that hasn't been tested to death since 1996? DOS, and WinOS2 haven't changed. What has changed, is lack of driver support for things like sound cards (and there is a driver for winOS2, if you can find it - I don't remember what it is called, and it is probably unsupported). We just don't have the programmers to even begin thinking about such things.

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So DOSBox for their operating system may still win.

Actually, DosBox is not a bad idea. It can also support the later win 31 additions (whatever they were called), if you need that for some reason, and you have the option to control speed. I don't think that DOS and WinOS2 are very high on the Arca Noae priority list, especially when there is a viable option (DosBox).

I haven't actually tried it, but DosBox should run the DOS, and WinOS2, that comes with OS/2, or, you can find ready made systems, if you like. http://files.abandonia.com/extras/Programs/Windows%203%20for%20DOSBox.rar, for example. An added advantage, is that you can install DosBox for windows, and run the same stuff in a windows environment (using a shared disk). There may even be a DosBox for *nix.

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* The last fully supported audio adapters are based on Crystal chipset. All this half ported stuff from Alsa is simply not useable in real-world applications. Some applications (e.g. Rapidax Ranger) shipped with special drivers for custom hardware doing the audio data processing.

I am not so sure that I would call the Crystal drivers "supported". They never did work properly. "Special drivers" never were a good idea, and, as you say, they are usually for "custom hardware", which would be totally unsupported now. The UniAud drivers are fully ported, as far as it can be done. Unfortunately, the source got moved into the *nix kernel, which made it very difficult, and time consuming, to do the port. Now, there is a new project planned (but not done, yet), to use a different source. I don't know the details, but the guy who is doing it is working on more important things, so it probably won't happen in the near future. Ideally, we would get new, native, drivers for all devices, but it seems that the manufacturers refuse to give out the necessary information, they refuse to make an OS/2 version, and we don't have anybody to do the job anyway. Be happy with what we have. The alternative is no sound support, at all, unless somebody steps up to do it.

Andreas Kohl

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2017, 09:53:24 pm »
So which DOS and Windows applications were tested really? Any improvement for average users over the state from summer 1996?

What is there to test, that hasn't been tested to death since 1996?
To start with quite simple stuff dor DOS:  WordPerfect 6.2
or Windows 3.1 programs from 1997 or later:
WordPerfect 7, Adobe Acrobat 3.01
to the more complicated:
Microsoft RDP Client, Internet Explorer 5

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DOS, and WinOS2 haven't changed.
Myth or misconception - I cannot judge. Even OS/2's VDM and Win-OS/2 got limited Euro support and Y2K fixes meanwhile.

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What has changed, is lack of driver support for things like sound cards (and there is a driver for winOS2, if you can find it - I don't remember what it is called, and it is probably unsupported).
That depends largely on specific devices. Nowadays more than before, unfortunately.

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We just don't have the programmers to even begin thinking about such things.
As long by using heads for thinking instead only for a hat stand there will be no problems at all.

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Quote
* The last fully supported audio adapters are based on Crystal chipset. All this half ported stuff from Alsa is simply not useable in real-world applications. Some applications (e.g. Rapidax Ranger) shipped with special drivers for custom hardware doing the audio data processing.

I am not so sure that I would call the Crystal drivers "supported". They never did work properly.
I never saw drivers that behaved better under OS/2 including VDM, Win-OS/2 with or without MIDI. Perhaps I'm not up to date regarding this topic. So which recent PCIe audio card is supported?

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"Special drivers" never were a good idea, and, as you say, they are usually for "custom hardware", which would be totally unsupported now.
Every devoce driver that was certified for OS/2 or doesn't violate the provided device driver interfaces should work usually.

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The UniAud drivers are fully ported, as far as it can be done.
For what reason? UniAud itself is some kind of port from the Alsa sources. Perhaps it was a good idea 15 years back?

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Unfortunately, the source got moved into the *nix kernel, which made it very difficult, and time consuming, to do the port.
Simply not true, I cannot find anything that will prove your claims. And I'm running different flavours of UNIX for more than 20 years.

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Now, there is a new project planned (but not done, yet), to use a different source. I don't know the details, but the guy who is doing it is working on more important things, so it probably won't happen in the near future. Ideally, we would get new, native, drivers for all devices, but it seems that the manufacturers refuse to give out the necessary information, they refuse to make an OS/2 version, and we don't have anybody to do the job anyway. Be happy with what we have. The alternative is no sound support, at all, unless somebody steps up to do it.

Fake news again. There are no serious relations to manufacturers estabilished yet afaik. Nobody refuses without a particular reason. A lot of device vendors provide the necessary information about open (and open source) interfaces. For instance there's no big deal for network adapters that ship with DOS NDIS2 drivers to include also NDIS2 OS/2 drivers. For an updated printer support I cannot see any roadblock.

Doug Bissett

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Re: Are you getting ready for ArcaOS?
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2017, 11:21:27 pm »
Quote
To start with quite simple stuff dor DOS:  WordPerfect 6.2
or Windows 3.1 programs from 1997 or later:
WordPerfect 7, Adobe Acrobat 3.01
to the more complicated:
Microsoft RDP Client, Internet Explorer 5

Well, why don't you just switch to windows? Win 10 won't run any of them either. In fact, I would be surprised if XP would run any of them. Acrobat Reader, and Internet Explorer 5, are certainly useless, today, but they will run in DosBox, if you set it up properly.

FWIW, there is a new RDP client for OS/2 (RDeskTop), that actually works quite well (it is at HOBBES). It will NOT be included with ArcaOS because of licensing concerns, but it can be dropped in easily. OS/2 has it's own remote desktop (PMVNC) that works well, and it will be included in ArcaOS. The new VNCViewer (also at HOBBES) apparently works with the newer VNC server that windows uses (but I haven't tried it).

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That depends largely on specific devices. Nowadays more than before, unfortunately.

There hasn't been a new sound device with OS/2/winOS2 drivers since before eComStation showed up. Now is not the time to try to go back and recover from that.

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As long by using heads for thinking instead only for a hat stand there will be no problems at all.

Well, that is not true, at all. Right now, there are probably 6 people who have any idea how to go about writing drivers, of any kind, and they are all busy with more important things than trying to make ancient software work.

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So which recent PCIe audio card is supported?

Not enough of them, but most on board sound works, up to about 4 years ago, when the UniAud project came to a halt. I have some Realtek, and Intel, devices that work pretty well, but I haven't seen a plug in card since the days of Creative Labs Live! (which don't work with windows newer than Vista, by the way). In fact I have 4 of those cards (1 is dead), and I do use them in older hardware, with either UniAud, or Sander's driver (one or the other works, but not both, on the same card). They are far better than any Crystal device that I ever had.

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Every devoce driver that was certified for OS/2 or doesn't violate the provided device driver interfaces should work usually.

True, but do you have a device that you can plug in to use the driver? Software may work, but if there is no hardware to use it with, you need to take a different path.

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Simply not true, I cannot find anything that will prove your claims. And I'm running different flavours of UNIX for more than 20 years.

Sorry, but you need to look harder...

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Fake news again. There are no serious relations to manufacturers estabilished yet afaik.

Mensys tried, years ago. They were mostly ignored, and those companies who did respond said "No". If you think you can do better, please do so, but please don't piss off the manufacturers. They are already copy righting their work, to prevent others from being able to use their products (in fact, most drivers are now written by Microsoft). If they do that, and still refuse to make OS/2 drivers (why should they? and they don't do it anyway), we are completely finished. The only path left, is to use whatever some other OS uses, but that comes to an end eventually too.

You are flogging a dead horse. We (the OS/2 community) don't have the manpower, or the knowledge, to do all of those nice things any more. We have enough problems just trying to keep the OS running, and it is getting harder to do as we go along. We have been very fortunate that some people have figured out how to port things from other platforms, and most of that has been on a volunteer basis. Arca Noae is trying very hard to extend the life of OS/2, and they seem to be getting it right, but some things are just going to fall off the wagon. DOS, and WinOS2 are not used very much, and they will continue to work as well as they do now, but they won't be updated to make a few obsolete programs work, for very few people. It is as simple as that. DosBox is a viable alternative. Use it if you need it.