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Topics - Dariusz Piatkowski

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Storage / Extended Attributes - OS/2 only thing?
« on: January 07, 2018, 06:28:41 pm »
The Q may seem really trivial, I always thought that most of the filesystems out there supported some kind of EAs, see and However, as I near my attempted migration to a 4TB NAS box I struggle with the concept of retaining my EAs (mostly image thumbnails).

Specifically, my NAS box (ZyXel NSA325 v2) does not appear to handle EAs. OK, but my NetDrive links me up with both my Win7 and XP boxes, yet there as well a simple copy of an image file with thumbnail present fails. On the other hand, the minute I strip out the thumbnail all is good.

So is the problem here a missing setup on the "other" side, meaning Win7/XP/NAS? Or am I looking at some NetDrive plug-in issue here?

Before you ask, the NetDrive shares are setup to support EAs, meaning, the link is defined as if the remote box (Win7/XP/NAS) supported EAs. Therefore, I believe that the OS/2 side would attempt to share the EAs and the failures I'm seeing stem from the fact that the remote boxes do not support EAs.

Why do I care so much about retaining the thumbnails? Well, our whole photo album is going to go to a NAS box. I use PMView to browse, or mobile apps otherwise. PMView is much faster to display human digestable directory contents (images) if thumbnails exist, and given that Samba clients appear to have to read the full directory contents before displaying anything locally I am hoping I will be able to avoid this lack.

Unfortunately due to my "EAs on remote side" issue I have not been able to test out this theory.

I am also considering using a NFS or even a FTP NetDrive plugin...but absolutely no idea if/how EAs would be impacted in that case....more testing needed...LOL!

Storage / Is there OS/2 specific way to deploy a desktop system SSD?
« on: December 28, 2017, 06:30:18 am »
As the subject says, is there anything here I need to be aware of?

I am talking a Samsung 850 EVO drive, 250 GB, SATA interface. It is going to replace my WD VelociRaptor SATA drive.

Reason why I am asking is that I do (faintly) recall some stipulation that on the SDDs one has to carefully align the partition boundaries??? There of course is no OS/2 TRIM support, some of the newer motherboard BIOSes support something like TRIM, which means the OS level device driver becomes irrelevant, but I am not at that stage yet.

For now, I simply want to move my spinning drive to the SDD.

Any hints, suggestions, or "do not do this" would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Hardware / Who has a functioning dual-head display configuration?
« on: December 27, 2017, 05:00:47 pm »
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Everyone!

Given the massive holiday sales deals around here I picked up an 'Open Box' DELL U2415 monitor. This is one of very few modern displays still supporting a native 1920x1200 resolution. Since the current video driver support is, for all intent purposes, non-existent as far as new/recent video hardware is concerned, I was pretty happy to see that this new DELL panel was recognized without any problems by my IBM SNAP driver (did not try with AN SNAP nor Panorama). This has not been the case for my old and reliable Samsung 245T displays, needless to say, I still love 'em.

Of course other OSes support crazy resolutions and display modes, like my kids' Samsung S32D850T panel, which will do WQHD 2560x1440. For us however, AFAIK the max limit given the above described limitations is that 1920x1200, or right around there.

So what I am curious about is who actually has a working dual-head display setup?

When I attempt this setup on my machine, the ATI X850 XT PE card forces one of the displays into using a VGA cable, while the secondary head can do DVI. This is a limitation of the SNAP drivers, is well understood and specifically noted in the docs. Since the new DELL does not have a VGA input port I could not use it since my Samsung 245T panel has a problem with that 1920x1200 resolution in VGA mode (SNAP can not handle the EDID the panel has which has the portrait-landscape flip resolution coded as extended mode, and that causes SNAP to scramble the video signal into a weird 920x resolution).

Soooo.....back to my topic...who has a working dual-head display? What are you using? I see this as the only viable way to expand the physical display on our platform.


Setup & Installation / ANPM error after attempted git install...
« on: December 12, 2017, 05:20:42 pm »
ANPM 1.01 here, non AOS install, Warp4 CP2 FP6 SMP.

ANPM has been working well for me, had some teeting problems, but worked through them. Well, last night I attempted to install git, given that my goal is to build FF.

The main git install (through the front-end GUI) seemed to have successfully kicked-off, but then along the pre-reqs (perl related stuff I think?) something went wrong. Needless to say, I am now getting the following error message from ANPM and no repositories are showing any packages:

"...Cannot retrieve repository metadata (repomd.xml) for repository: arcanoae-stage. Please verify its path and try again..."

Does anyone know what this means? I would rather troubleshoot this on my own given that my previous experience logging a ANPM/RPM/YUM ticket was a disaster.

BTW: For what it's worth, I have last-night's (working) backup of ANPM (I do incremental each night), so if troubleshooting the step-by-step way fails I can always recover to a working ANPM only problem with this approach is that I have absolutely no idea what are all the different pieces of ANPM, and really, more correctly I suspect the underlying RPM/YUM, as they seem to be spread throughout a typical OS/2 install (ie various directories, etc...)

Programming / Which GCC to run with?
« on: December 04, 2017, 09:43:06 pm » I never thought I'd have this kind of a problem on our platform: too many versions to pick from!!!

My goal is to be able to build a CPU-family specific version of Firefox. I see that current builds are using 4.9.2 GCC. In the meantime, Paul on his Unix ports page lists a whole whack of GCC versions...right up to 7.1.

As it pertains to our platform, can anyone give me a run-down of why one should build FF with 4.9.2 where (presumably) a better version like 7.1 is available?

FYI, I reviewed the published Change Information, as per the ULRs below:

1) 4=>5
2) 5=>6
3) 6=>7

...but really, unless you know this stuff very well (and I do not), it's hard to make sense of it all.

So does it all come down to something as simple as libstdc++ & libstdc++6 being only available in 4.x level (through official RPM/YUM)? This question only pertains to software that one might produce using GCC7 and distribute w/o the runtime libraries. But if I was to build an optimized version for my local use only, would it not make sense to build using GCC7 and utilize as many of the fixes as have been accumulated since 4.9x?

I realize FF is complex piece of work, but before I blindly jump into this, spending I'm sure a pile of time to get this working, I'd like to better understand some of the fundamental decisions and their impacts.

Internet / Torrent - what is actually working???
« on: November 16, 2017, 05:48:47 am »
There is an old movie I want to find, actually a tad of film history, but anyways...previously I used the PMFACT application, which has it's own Torrent client (ACT.EXE) on a couple of occasions, but that was a very long time ago and I maybe downloaded a total of 1 or 2 things that way.

Well, trying to do this now produces a repeatable SYS3178, which appears to be a divide-by-zero exception:

11-15-2017  11:48:14  SYS3178  PID 00b3  TID 0001  Slot 00da
EAX=00000018  EBX=00000000  ECX=00000000  EDX=000771d8
ESI=00070da3  EDI=00450d98 
DS=0053  DSACC=f0f3  DSLIM=ffffffff 
ES=0053  ESACC=f0f3  ESLIM=ffffffff 
FS=150b  FSACC=00f3  FSLIM=00000030
GS=0000  GSACC=****  GSLIM=********
CS:EIP=005b:000355f9  CSACC=f0df  CSLIM=ffffffff
SS:ESP=0053:000b7e50  SSACC=f0f3  SSLIM=ffffffff
EBP=000b7e60  FLG=00010216

ACT.EXE 0002:000155f9

I did install CTorrent, but PMFACT will not co-operate with it, it throws a VREXX exception, so the only option appears to be the provided ACT.EXE.

So off I went searching for things and came across QBitTorrent. Installed fine, was thrilled to see that. I tossed my .torrent file at it...but the STATUS simply shows 'Stalled'. Some more digging around (yeah, lol, as you can tell I am definitely NOT a Torrent maven) and I located an updated Nov_2017 list of trackers, added them to my install...but I do not actually see the app connecting to them.

It also appears like the QBitTorrent uses a separate Tracker list for each torrent...???

Therefore, I'm curious: what is everyone else using?

Utilities / Why is my Task-List window auto-showing after end of cmd.exe?
« on: November 01, 2017, 06:44:17 pm »
So I figured I would setup a quick program object to initiate the 'which.exe' utility (allows you to search for an object across multiple system paths, etc - sort of an all purpose version of whichdll.exe), that I would place in my WarpCenter tray for easy access.

I defined the object as follows:

2) PARAMETERS = /C "G:\UTIL\MISC\LOCATE.EXE -labdsu [Object Name to Check] "%*""

Works fine, it accepts a wildcard object name parameter, the only problem is that when the program completes it immediately jumps to the OS/2 Task-List window...see attached screenshot...I have no idea why it does that...???

This is not the only objects that does this, other such cmd.exe windows do that as I'm guessing it's some sort of system-wide settings somewhere? For the life of me, I never remember coming across this before...



I just installed the AN release of the SNAP video drivers here. What I found was both exhilarating and somewhat dissapointing (well, just a tad bit, but read on), so I thought I'd share my experience.

My findings relate to the differences between the IBM/SciTech SNAP drivers (the latest publicly available build being 3.1.8 I believe) and the current SNAP drivers that are shipping with the ANOS, that being 'Build No 506'.

Alright, so ATI X850 XT PE video card here, driving my Samsung 245T panel at 1900x1200 resolution.

OK, good, heck GREAT stuff first. I used to suffer from that annoying OS/2 version of the "Blue Screen of Death"...LOL, meaning, as the GUI comes up and WPS is starting to initialize my system would simply hang. Not a hard hang, CTL-ALT-DEL would allow a re-boot w/o a chkdsk. This would only happen if I ran all 6 cores of my AMD Phenom CPU enabled. Since that made my box un-usable I disabled the 6th core in BIOS and simply used a crippled system with 5 cores only. But hey, at least it worked!!!

Well, I am thrilled to report this issue is now longer a problem, I can routinely re-boot using the full 6 cores, no WPS start-up hang, all good! This is a great result. My understanding is that the SNAP drivers had some SMP related issues addressed, so if this was one of them it certainly did the trick. what's the "problematic" piece to report on?

Hmm, the video performance is down. Not sure why that is the case, I will log a ticket for the SNAP team and point to a few things I'm seeing, but in short, take a look at the before & after Sysbench 0.9.5d results:

1) old IBM/SciTech SNAP drivers

   BitBlt S->S copy      :     9175.950    Million pixels/second
   BitBlt M->S copy      :      293.762    Million pixels/second
   Filled Rectangle      :    22804.327    Million pixels/second
   Pattern Fill          :     3514.758    Million pixels/second
   Vertical Lines        :      173.654    Million pixels/second
   Horizontal Lines      :     1342.758    Million pixels/second
   Diagonal Lines        :       69.059    Million pixels/second
   Text Render           :      853.040    Million pixels/second
   Total                 :     1145.656    PM-Graphics-marks

 Direct Interface to video extensions - DIVE
   Video bus bandwidth   :     1123.420    Megabytes/second
   DIVE fun              :     3834.609    fps normalised to 640x480x256
   M->S, DD,   1.00:1    :     3831.759    fps normalised to 640x480x256
   Total                 :     1432.589    DIVE-marks

2) new AN SNAP drivers

   BitBlt S->S copy      :    12437.376    Million pixels/second
   BitBlt M->S copy      :       58.650    Million pixels/second
   Filled Rectangle      :    46704.301    Million pixels/second
   Pattern Fill          :     3507.515    Million pixels/second
   Vertical Lines        :      173.718    Million pixels/second
   Horizontal Lines      :     1267.768    Million pixels/second
   Diagonal Lines        :       57.530    Million pixels/second
   Text Render           :      859.766    Million pixels/second
   Total                 :     1033.508    PM-Graphics-marks

 Direct Interface to video extensions - DIVE
   Video bus bandwidth   :      223.803    Megabytes/second
   DIVE fun              :      763.788    fps normalised to 640x480x256
   M->S, DD,   1.00:1    :      763.845    fps normalised to 640x480x256
   Total                 :      285.501    DIVE-marks

In particular, the 'BitBlt M->S copy' and DIVE performance is severely down. In terms of application impact that is making my FF so slow that I can literaly see the page re-draw...OK, we are not talking here line at a time, but you can see the refresh whereas before it was lighting fast.

The drivers claim that write combining is enabled but in the GRAPHICS.LOG I see there is a failure report of some type, so there is something here that probably needs further review.

That's all for now. I would love to hear from anyone else who's using the AN SNAP drivers on their system and what you are seeing?

Utilities / Unzip 5.52 vs 6.00 date differences...why?
« on: October 18, 2017, 11:43:33 pm »
So I think it's pretty simple issue I'm looking at. My utility to deal with ZIP files is: RPF ZipControl, v2.6.4, a pretty nifty GUI, but relies on the zip/unzip EXEs themselves for the crunching work.

For a long time I was using unzip 5.52, but as I'm attempting to clean-up my machine in the continuing drive towards the RPM/YUM assimilation (LOL, yeah, I imagine meeting Borg would be just as fun) I discovered that installing the currently available unzip package gets me unzip 6.00, with a side-effect though!!!

So the result of unizp 5.52 gives me good, actual DATES in the ZIP archive, the 6.00 on the other hand gives me all 2020 dates, ugh???

I suspect something has chagned, is it in the unzip itself? Is there a CLI option I need to account for? Any ideas?

Mail-News / PMMail: 2.00.xx to 3.22 migration...what to do?
« on: October 13, 2017, 04:46:41 am »
Alright, as the subject says, are there any known "problem spots" and/or preferred steps in attempting this?

My current 2.00.1500 install is ages old...about 1.8 Gig in total disk space, 3 accounts, the big one (mine) about 10k msgs in the SENT folder alone). Lots of different built-in filters (SPAM and various folder sorting), some stuff in the address books, etc, etc.

Sooo...I do not have 3.22 installed yet, but it will be done through the WarpIn package. The current version was a ZIP based install, so if I understood what I had read about this so far I should not try installing OVER the current install. Not sure yet what the migration process is like, is it done during the install, or is this a separate process altogether?

I would appreciate any & all hints and suggestions you can make. My intent is to migrate as much of my current emailstore as possible.

Mail-News / PMMail 3.22 and SMTP authentication...can it do that?
« on: October 11, 2017, 06:16:35 pm »
I have an absolutely ancient version of PMMail here, lol, 2.00.1500, but it's been working fine for years now and with all my written SPAM and email filters I just never felt like I needed to upgrade.

Well....that time has apparently come. I just moved from a DSL to Fibre ISP provider. I want to preserve access to my DSL email account (which the DSL provider is happy to do for me) but now that I am no longer on their domain I need an email client that does SMTP authentication. My current version does NOT. It simply accepts the SMTP server name and port number, but nothing beyond that. It does have the option to do POP, but my email provider does not.

Sooo....that implies I need to find a new email client. I would prefer to stay with PMMail, although the current license deal seems a tad strange...sorry, VOICE membership required first? Why do I need to do this given that I am already paying (or have paid) other license costs (either specific applications, or stuff like AN, etc, etc...but that's a different conversation altogether).

The other option I have is to try the Mozilla/Seamonkey/Thunderbird thing.

Back to the PMMail question then: can someone confirm that the outbound SMTP email option provides authentication?


Networking / Moved to UltraFibre 120 Mb/s but OS/2 chugs at 10 Mb/s...???
« on: October 06, 2017, 06:07:29 am »
So here is a weird one...I have been using phone line DSL for a number of years...finally with two teenagers at home and their seemingly insatiable desire for media (well, we all enjoy it once in a while LOL) I took a plunge into the Fibre options.

Today the local cable provider ran a coax cable from the box at the front of the house (fibre backbone) to the house. He installed the modem, I hooked my WifFi router up, all good right???

Well, to my surprise, the OS/2 machine can only fathom a lousy 800KB/s, which is roughly 8Mb/s, whereas the exact same download on my Win7 box literally flies almost 10x faster giving me an avg 7100KB/s, so nearly 70Mb/s.

What gives???

My NIC is classified by PCI utility as "RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller", Device 8168h, that makes sense. I am using the MMRE drivers, and even though this appears to be a hardware issue I am nearly 100% it is not. I can do a xfer between any of my home devices at much faster the NIC itself and the OS/2 drivers seem to be very capable of moving FAST.

...and so I'm stumped here!!! Where to go next with this?

I have never had to try to troubleshoot this kind of a problem, I suspect maybe some tcp/ip settings need to be changed?

Needless to say, the move to UltraFibre120 seems to have been much of a fizzle on my OS/2 least the rest of the house devices are seeing the problem is I do almost all of my computing/on-line work on my OS/2 box!

Applications / XWorkplace and missing folder contents...
« on: October 01, 2017, 06:05:35 pm »
So I've been struggling with this for a while now. Running XWP 1.0.11 here, SMP system with ACPI 3.23.06 release and 5 of the 6 CPU cores enabled. The 6th is off-line since attempting to bring WPS up with it enabled results in the dreaded WPS blue-screen hang.

Alright, so the issue is that any folder views, but most evident with the Drives/filesystem objects, stop populating. Initially, they will show objects, but eventually as I open new ones they halt, so the folder remains blank. As soon as this happens, even though it may have happened with a filesystem folder first the remaining WPS folder objects stop populating as well. The result is that my OS/2 box simply becomes unusable, I can no longer access any of my data or program objects. Re-boot is the only solution.

I have not found the root cause yet. I tried many things, playing with various setups, Lazy icons on/off, etc, etc. What I did notice is that putting my system into a single-core mode (by shutting off the remaining 4 cores) appears to work fine, so that implies the XWP folder functionality somehow runs into an issue in SMP environments.

There is a LOG entry generated in the xwptrap.log file (attached to the post, it's a bit lengthy), but that log does not tell me much.

Since 1.0.11 upgrade I have attempted to use the XView option...maybe that is causing the problem? Hard to tell, because even when I do not open any folders which use this mode the issue does show up anyways.

Most recently I found the following issue in the 'Workplace Shell' object when reviewing the 'Sort' tab I find multiple occurencies of the 'Real Name' option, see screenshot in the attachment. I took some time to go through the INI files but could not find where XWP gets this info. The HELP system gives the following info:

Sort by real name: this sorts a folder alphabetically according to file-system names. Since only file-system objects have real names, abstract objects will not be sorted properly.

...needless to say, I have not been able to figure out why I see multiple entries. This may be a whild goose chase, but I have nothing else to go on at the moment.

So the question to everyone: have you seen this behaviour, can you shed any light on what else I should look at?


This is a bit of a vent/rant, but I figured that's what the forum is for where I can share my experience at the very least, and if I am DEAD wrong, I want to hear from you guys.

So recently I logged a ticket for the RPM team (

My ANPM installation was failing to update the 'rpm' package. The log contained information which I uploaded to the ticket. The individual who picked up my ticket, alias 'diver', right from the start assumed that I could apparently read his mind and despite the fact that I requested multiple times that he provide detailed CLI command to troublshoot the issue with, he failed to do so.

Finally I got fed up with the BS. You see, I have some 20+ yrs of IS industry experience, a lot of it at the front line(s) of customer support, and given the type of bahaviour I saw in this ticket exchange I can tell you plain and simple: no corporation would allow a customer to face such poor behaviour. I stated so in the ticket, at which point in time I was told point blank by 'dmaik': "...your behavior is clearly arrogant...".

Am I the only one to encounter this? I do not know who these individuals are, although I am guessing who 'dmaik' maybe be. Anyways, what floors me is that in such a small community that OS/2 is today we still have this type of an attitude, that almost condesending "I know stuff and you do not" type of a talk-down.

I am only familiar with the OS/2 version of the RPM/YUM implementation. Given my current use of this process it is clearly buggy and/or maybe the logic is not sound. I have now had multiple issues with either failed updates, or most often pre-requisites that the RPM/YUM do not respect. The RPM team, whoever they may be, simply do not get that, or they simply do not wish to understand the full level of problems that the extended user community faces, or so it feels at the moment.

Internet / FF45.5 - choppy response/window scrolling anyone???
« on: May 21, 2017, 03:19:22 am »
Installed the 45.5 release of FF having installed the various came up OK, but very quickly found out that pretty much all feedback to any input (window scrolling, text typing - such as in this window) is very choppy!

This means, there is a pronounced delay in the browser response.

To better describe this is to say that if one were to turn off the "Smooth Scrolling" feature the results would be what I'm seeing.

I will try disabling the SET NSPR_OS2_NO_HIRES_TIMER=1 mode next, just to rule it out...

Is anyone seeing something similar to this?

BTW: this is on a 5 core SMP box...plenty of CPU power, but strangely the CPU monito shows very little activity.

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