Author Topic: XEU.com and eComStation  (Read 9539 times)

Andy Willis

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 9
  • Posts: 153
    • View Profile
Re: XEU.com and eComStation
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2015, 04:51:30 am »
Joachim,

I for one want to thank you for continuing to work on eCS even when the situation became more difficult amid both company changes and user feedback/criticism.  I can understand how that would be difficult, and I am looking forward to the new version of eCS.

As for the pauses / crashes upon boot, I ran into something similar to what Doug talks about on a machine years ago (Warp 4 based), I don't recall exactly what it was but there was something I ended up putting in the startup/config.sys that caused it to pause for about 5 seconds, never had a problem booting again.  Unfortunately that machine is long gone or I'd check to see what it was I'd done.
I have a program called timewait, I don't recall now where I found the source but I compiled it to give a 5 second delay.

Alex Taylor

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 10
  • -Receive: 14
  • Posts: 218
    • View Profile
Re: XEU.com and eComStation
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2015, 11:11:23 am »
I have a program called timewait, I don't recall now where I found the source but I compiled it to give a 5 second delay.

I wrote that, assuming it's the same one. I use it to insert a delay between HELPERW and NETBIND to avoid GenMAC initialization problems.

FWIW I don't think that's the issue with the USB problem on Chinese. DBCS is rather more complicated than SBCS when it comes to everything that has to happen at bootup, and I've found there's more scope for things to go wrong. (I remember I never could get full-screen CMD sessions working while booted from CD on DBCS, for some weird reason.)

Andy Willis

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 9
  • Posts: 153
    • View Profile
Re: XEU.com and eComStation
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2015, 05:16:28 pm »
I have a program called timewait, I don't recall now where I found the source but I compiled it to give a 5 second delay.

I wrote that, assuming it's the same one. I use it to insert a delay between HELPERW and NETBIND to avoid GenMAC initialization problems.

FWIW I don't think that's the issue with the USB problem on Chinese. DBCS is rather more complicated than SBCS when it comes to everything that has to happen at bootup, and I've found there's more scope for things to go wrong. (I remember I never could get full-screen CMD sessions working while booted from CD on DBCS, for some weird reason.)
Now that you mention it, I think I did get the source from you.

Joachim Benjamins

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 2
  • -Receive: 1
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: XEU.com and eComStation
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2015, 06:25:20 pm »
Hi Joachim

A possible test for Dougs theory:-

Boot to a command line. If that works OK - and the keyboard functions - try to start pmshell from the command line.

If the keyboard does not function try a different brand of keyboard - might be worth checking that all USB drivers involved are installed correctly first.

Sometimes devices "designed for Windows" need to install software when installed in Windows due to a non-standard implementation of the USB device. Unlikely, but could that be the case with this keyboard?

My personal view on USB keyboards is that they are very useful and I have been using them for years - plugged into a PS/2 adapter and then into the PS/2 keyboard port :-)


Regards

Pete

Hi Pete, Doug and others,

Thanks for your kind words and suggestions. I tried the PMSHELL tip, but this doesn't resolve the problem. It is clear we can rule out a timing problem, in fact I figured out the real issue by now, it is an error in PMMERGE.DLL, because there is no valid pointer to a virtual key translation table (so it actually has to do with keyboards!). We actually had ran into this issue long ago, but didn't think of the link to this specific USB keyboard issue. The problem is now reduced to how to fix it :)

On your PS/2 adapter tip Pete, most USB keyboards will not work with such an adapter, so this is unfortunately not a real solution.

Thanks again for your help,
Joachim Benjamins


Pete

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 26
  • Posts: 529
    • View Profile
Re: XEU.com and eComStation
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2015, 05:03:00 pm »
Hi Joachim

USB keyboards and mice/trackballs that have onboard PS/2 logic will work fine with a passive adapter;  USB keyboards and mice that do not have onboard PS/2 logic need an active (powered) adapter.

However, if the problem you have found is caused by pmmerge.dll the connectivity method does not matter at all...


Regards

Pete



ivan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 24
  • Posts: 632
    • View Profile
Re: XEU.com and eComStation
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2015, 05:21:52 pm »
Hi Joachim,

So it appears that the USB keyboard problem is what I mentioned earlier, a lack of communication between USBKBD.SYS and KEYBOARD.DCP because the Chinese keyboard need a special translate table for which there is no provision.  Sounds as if your team are in for a serious re-write of all that area, just make sure all the changes are tested against non Chinese installs before you release them.

Alex Taylor

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 10
  • -Receive: 14
  • Posts: 218
    • View Profile
Re: XEU.com and eComStation
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2015, 05:47:08 pm »
So it appears that the USB keyboard problem is what I mentioned earlier, a lack of communication between USBKBD.SYS and KEYBOARD.DCP because the Chinese keyboard need a special translate table for which there is no provision.  Sounds as if your team are in for a serious re-write of all that area, just make sure all the changes are tested against non Chinese installs before you release them.

IIRC, each DBCS version has its own unique KEYBOARD.DCP anyway (and its own unique KBDBASE.SYS).

Lars

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 20
  • Posts: 140
    • View Profile
Re: XEU.com and eComStation
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2015, 08:12:28 pm »
Hi Joachim,

So it appears that the USB keyboard problem is what I mentioned earlier, a lack of communication between USBKBD.SYS and KEYBOARD.DCP because the Chinese keyboard need a special translate table for which there is no provision.  Sounds as if your team are in for a serious re-write of all that area, just make sure all the changes are tested against non Chinese installs before you release them.

From what I can tell from the USBKBD.SYS code it doesn't do any translation at all. It only creates scan codes.
I guess the translation to characters always happens somewhere else, also for any other keyboard.

David Kiley

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 0
  • Posts: 31
    • View Profile
Re: XEU.com and eComStation
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2015, 12:28:26 am »
Sorry if this sounds hard, it is intended to be, but there has been absolutely no information from Mensys or XEU for well over 2 years.  As a consequence of that don't expect to be welcomed with open arms unless you have something to actually show, something like a demo VM that shows all the abilities of eCS, connects to the local network and printers and allows the reading of disks in things like a NAS box.
I guess i'm not getting all the negativity - if XEU is now more interested in ECS that is a good thing for the os/2 community. And making a bunch of demands and negative statements on them is not exactly a great to reward them for that renewed interests.
Frankly as an acquiring company they didn't have a standing obligation to keep product lines going. Plenty of acquiring companies have long histories of discontinuing products all together.

I would blame the previous holders of Memsys for that more then XEU personally.
 I would love to know the back story though as Mensys appeared their hayday to be practically os/2 activists - very interested in the future of the OS, and then suddenly they sold out without talking to anyone... how did that happen exactly? Was it the choice of just the owner, just to "cash out" - or was there something more to it?
What made Mensys suddenly back away from their commitment to the community?

David Kiley

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 0
  • Posts: 31
    • View Profile
Re: XEU.com and eComStation
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2015, 12:37:48 am »
At this very moment I am working on a difficult problem: For one of the larger eComStation customers we developed a Chinese version. This version works perfectly fine, except for the fact that whenever an USB keyboard is used the system hangs as soon as the WPS should appear. Very annoying and strange issue.  I will keep you posted on this.

Yes, USB in general is a bit flaky to say the least- definitely a great thing to work on. I ended up using ps/2 keyboards and mice to avoid the issue with ECS 2.1.
Thanks for updates and don't let certain negative voices keep you from participating in the community and continuing your work on ECS. We are truly all unique characters here :).. and sometimes it's just best to ignore noise when it gets too loud.

« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 12:39:31 am by David Kiley »

Neil Waldhauer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 6
  • -Receive: 15
  • Posts: 295
    • View Profile
    • Blonde Guy
Re: XEU.com and eComStation
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2015, 03:40:33 pm »
Mensys and XEU have been fairly silent on their intentions. At Warpstock 2014, Menso de Jong  gave a presentation,  "The future of eComStation"  that is still their most recent position. I can say that the last release of eCS 2.2 beta 2 is a big step up from eCS 2.1 as far as installing on various machines I need to run OS/2 programs.

This is a link to the presentation (in OpenOffice format)

http://www.warpstock.org/filemgmt/visit.php?lid=207

I have promoted eComStation for some time. There is good will and on-going business available under that brand name. If XEU could release even something like eCS 2.2 beta 2 as the final, that would be a big step forward.

As far as eCS being a good end-user desktop OS, there are barriers to that happening. One barrier is simply the passage of time. Even Microsoft cannot make Windows into a good end-user desktop OS anymore. Their concept is a home appliance that is like a cell phone, except you plug it in the wall and it sits on your desk. As people migrate off the PC platform, you have to ask, what would keep you running a PC?
Expert consulting for ArcaOS, OS/2 and eComStation
http://www.blondeguy.com

Andi B.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 1
  • -Receive: 12
  • Posts: 312
    • View Profile
Re: XEU.com and eComStation
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2015, 05:52:38 pm »
On Warpstock Europe 2015 Gregory and Joachim from XEU gave a few infos about Mensys/XEU and the future of eCS, if any.

http://members.aon.at/buchinger/WSE2015/#IMG_4282.JPG

They told us their plan was releasing eCS2.2GA in October 2015. They also told us everyone with a valid SS after eCS2.1 (IIRC) are entitled to download 2.2GA. But searching Mensys download site I can't even get 2.2beta anymore.

Reading gugtracker it seems Joachim did some work on some bugs. Never heard anything from Gregory since WSE.

David Kiley

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 0
  • Posts: 31
    • View Profile
Re: XEU.com and eComStation
« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2015, 07:05:58 am »
As far as eCS being a good end-user desktop OS, there are barriers to that happening. One barrier is simply the passage of time. Even Microsoft cannot make Windows into a good end-user desktop OS anymore. Their concept is a home appliance that is like a cell phone, except you plug it in the wall and it sits on your desk. As people migrate off the PC platform, you have to ask, what would keep you running a PC?

Thanks to both of you for your links - very interesting.
The document above partially answers my question about what happened to mensys:

2012 was a crisis year for Mensys, severe problems in several areas.
In the Netherlands it is very hard to quickly scale down personnel
Part of the problem was a 50% decline in eCS revenue
Xeu.com was founded and took over eCS
2014: Large eCS order and Joachim Benjamins now works voor Xeu.com


So I guess it was a financial crisis caused by not enough ECS buyers that led to the changes in mensys... which is too bad. I guess I was too harsh on them then.

As to your question about users not needing desklop Operating Systems based on time - yes I see the movement towards clouded devices and mini android PCs which make personal computer history. I do like android but not sure how much I plan to go along with the crowd on that one. So it sounds like your saying you think os/2 only has less than 10 good years regardless of what happens?
« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 07:07:47 am by David Kiley »