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Messages - Doug Bissett

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1
Applications / Re: ClamAV-GUI v3.5.1 (rexx based)
« on: December 03, 2017, 07:55:48 am »
Clamd.exe, from 0.99.2, uses a huge amount of upper shared memory space.  Try increasing VIRTUALADDRESSLIMIT to, at least, 2560, but 3000 might be better.

2
Article Discussions / Re: Large Floppy Support Discussion - USBMSD.ADD
« on: November 27, 2017, 05:44:28 am »
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Actually the most important problem WAS and IS solved.

Actually, it is not. An effective work around has been developed, but the problem has not been solved. In fact, the USBMSD driver should be completely transparent to the file system. The problem exists because the FAT32 support is not properly written (probably not designed properly, in the first place). Some improvements have been made recently, but it is still not a proper file system, therefore it needs some special handling to make it work. No other (supported) file system needs help to make it work with USB.

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And I can not recommend to use JFS in conjunction with non-removable USB MSD under OS/2 for production level at the current state.

That is flat out ridiculous. The current JFS is, IMO, the most reliable OS/2 file system to use with any device (removable, or not), that can use it. I find it far more reliable than HPFS ever was, and the performance is a whole level higher (especially with removable media). Personally, I would never use anything else, if there was no need to be compatible with other operating systems.

Having said that, I do use HPFS with the ARcaOS, or QSINIT, RAMDISK.  The reason is that the RAMDISK can be created with HPFS format, and I can turn the cache size down to minimum (64 KB), which helps performance (it would be better if it was zero, but that is not allowed by HPFS). I also use FAT32, to be able to interface with windows, which is still a necessary evil. I do turn off EA support to avoid problems caused because the FAT32 file system, in windows, does not know about them, and it causes nothing but problems, for very little gain. FAT (12 and 16) still has some limited use, but I try to avoid them, except for special things. The new addition of ExFAT support to the FAT32 driver, is interesting, but I don't know how useful that will be in the long run. I do know that there are serious questions about the legality of doing that, which is the reason why Arca Noae.removes that feature from the FAT32 driver that they distribute. There has been some discussion about porting the EXT file system to OS/2. I don't know much about that, so I won't comment, but word is that it is much like JFS. I also don't know much about HPFS386, but I suspect that JFS is more than a suitable replacement.

3
Article Discussions / Large Floppy Support Discussion - USBMSD.ADD
« on: November 24, 2017, 08:20:13 pm »
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As I said multiple times this issue is already solved with my USBMSD.ADD driver.

Actually, it is not totally solved, and I know that that is the reason why AN has not picked up your changes for large floppy support. As I understand the problem (and I could be wrong), you wrap the contents of the drive in a software wrapper, but that doesn't include the MBR that is written on the device.  That works fine, until you decide to wipe the device, and recreate it, or even format it to a different file system. Since the "virtual MBR" is in memory, such changes modify the contents of memory, and not what is on the media. That works fine, until you eject it, and try it in another system. Then, the contents of the stick don't match. In other words, your approach does not allow an OS/2 user to properly manage media on USB sticks, because part of what needs to be on the stick, is only in memory (but only for FAT32 formatted sticks).

I think you have developed a "work around" for the real problem, but a "work around" that requires using some other OS, just to wipe the media, or even reformat it to some other file system, isn't up to the job.

Nothing wrong with what you did, but it is an incomplete solution, and not ready for prime time.


4
Article Discussions / Re: ArcaOS Wishlist - 6 months !!
« on: November 24, 2017, 05:26:26 am »
First, I will state that I do NOT have any interest in ArcaOS, other than as a satisfied customer. I do some software testing for them, on a totally voluntary basis. Most of what follows is only my view of what is going on, and I do not have any sources, other than what I need to know to be able to test software.

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But: as it turns out ArcaOS is getting more and more closed source, so - even if these Drivers will be available those may be only licensed for ArcaOS I fear - may be not.

Actually, that isn't entirely true. Arca Noae is adding value (sometimes by removing unproven, unstable , or legally questionable, features from some things) to most of their drivers etc. and they are building them, with some support available. Those drivers are available, for all "current" versions of OS/2 (warp 4, and up, AFAIK). through subscriptions. The base code is shared with the open source repositories, when it is possible to do it, but somebody else needs to build, and support, that code. I think the Arca Noae build system is kept private, and probably has patches etc. that public sources won't have. When you purchase a subscription, you support Arca Noae in making better drivers (and other things).

Note, that modifications to the kernel are not likely to be made available, unless you have a license for ArcaOS. That is, apparently, part of the deal with IBM, and isn't likely to change.

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Unfortunately I can not get this LAN Compnent Update as well, as the 6 months of ArcaOS Subsrciptions just shortly dissappeard before these LAN Update was released. My other SSS expires at 31.12.2017 and seems not to have this LAN Update included. Even if I could - it would not be licensed for OS/2.

Perhaps you should have renewed your subscription. From what I know about the LAN update, it happened in the last couple of weeks, and I don't know if it will be released to the non-ArcaOS subscription (but I am inclined to think that it just hasn't got there, yet). Every subscription will run out, just before something gets released. That is one of the chances that you take when you fail to renew a subscription. It is not too late, just renew your subscription. Personally, I did let my SSS run out, because I have almost completed my conversion to ArcaOS, and I will use the ArcaOS subscription for updates.

UPDATE: On reading the announcement, it is obvious that the LAN Component Update can only be available as part of ArcaOS. Arca Noae is not licensed to make such changes to other versions of OS/2.

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I'm also experiencing some frustration with the time frame of the driver releases. I was expecting to see ArcaOS released (which I don't doubt it was a very hard work) and once that milestone was completed I was hoping that Arca's resources can be focused on releasing new drivers faster since they finished the hard work of putting the whole "installation package" together.

One problem is, that the installer is not completed (and probably never will be, There is always something new to work into the mix), and the same guys who do that are the ones who do drivers, and other things. There are only so many hours available, and they can't do everything.  It is true, that USB 3, and WiFi, are high on the user's wish list, but neither one is as critical as being able to install the base system. Many new systems don't have CD/DVD drives any more, so that is part of what they are working on. USB stick install has proven to work very well, when the machine will properly handle it. Very few machines will do that, and a lot of effort has been put into making it work on most machines. We should be testing that soon.

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USB 3.0 and 3.1 are needed.

So is GPT, and whatever that new one, for SSD, is. WiFi is also critical, but not as critical as some other things. Only a couple of people have any idea how to go about doing those things, or they are sitting back, and not contributing.

Speculation on what is being done, and what needs to be done, is not productive. If you need something, that isn't being done, make a business case for it, and see how many people support it. If only one person thinks they require something like punched card support, I doubt if they can make a business case for it, and they are even less likely to get others to support it. On the other hand, if a lot of people need USB 3 support, it may get bumped up the priority list. I do know, that those who are doing these things are working flat out, and they aren't about to release anything, until it is finished, and properly tested.

The scary part, for me, as a tester, is that I can sense that a number of things are coming down the pipe, and there will be a LOT of testing required, probably all at the same time that Christmas is coming.

I guess that I am trying to point out that griping isn't going to help. If you have some talent in software development, donate your time to a project. It doesn't need to be directly connected to ArcaOS, Many things need work. If you aren't a programmer, do testing for some project that somebody is working on. Help out with documentation (especially translations). Arca Noae has a group of people who are working on the project, at different levels. If you have a talent, that may be useful, make sure they now about it, but don't think you will step in, and run the project. It may also be possible that they already have enough people with your talent. Don't get discouraged, find another thing that you can do, that they may need. If Arca Noae can't use your talents, move on to some other project. There are lots of opportunities.

One thing, for sure: sitting back, and waiting for somebody else to do it, is simply going to prolong the wait.

I will point out, that not buying subscriptions is likely to make the time frame longer than what might be possible otherwise, but ArcaOS has no control over what a customer decides to do. Financial support can come quickly, or it may not come at all. Without support, not much will be accomplished.

5
Applications / Re: DBEXPERT crash with thunderbird open and firefox
« on: November 23, 2017, 10:35:50 pm »
C:\OS2\EXECMODE.EXE will also mark binaries s MPUNSAFE, and it is included in all current versions of OS/2.

6
Polls / Re: Compatibility with OS/2
« on: November 07, 2017, 04:21:21 am »
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ES/2 won't only be a 64-bit kernel.  It will be able to boot into both 32-bit mode and 64-bit mode depending on settings, or boot-time overrides.

That really doesn't make sense. If a user needs to reboot to use older software, why would you need a new kernel? There are many options to do that already, and there are probably very few OS/2 programs that could be converted to 64 bit programs. In a lot of cases, the source is not available, so it would require a complete rewrite to make those programs work. Programs like OpenOffice, and Firefox, already run better in other operating systems.

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I intend to write a full driver suite, and to create tools to help others port drivers to support as much hardware as is possible from published sources.

Why don't you start with drivers, and make it possible to convert to 64 bit, when/if that feature becomes available. Today, we need a lot of new drivers. If we don't get those drivers, there won't be any need for a new kernel because the platform will be long dead (unusable), before the kernel becomes available. There are very few people, spending long hours, trying to keep OS/2 viable, and that doesn't include even dreaming about a new kernel. Today, we desperately need USB 3. eMMC,  GPT, WiFi, (although this one is under way), and more.

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As I understand it, there is a legal barrier in what we're able to do with the existing OS/2 kernel and drivers.  We are not allowed legally to reverse engineer anything, or to perform binary patches.  Arca Noae was able to get a license to do that for their new release of OS/2, but for the rest of us it's out of bounds.

It is true, that you cannot reverse engineer the kernel (legally), however OS/2 is designed to be enhanced by simply replacing parts with new parts (Object oriented). Doing so is not going to cause legal problems, as long as you don't copy what somebody else did. Patches are a gray area. From what I understand, you are not allowed to patch something, then distribute the patched file (Arca Noae has an exemption, for OS/2 itself, but not for other things). It seems to be okay, if you distribute a patch that a user can apply to the original file.

As i understand it, one of the biggest problems with drivers, is that they need the device driver development package, from IBM (the DDK), and that is no longer available. Some people do have that package, and they can develop drivers, using it. If that package could be replaced, drivers would be easier to develop. In addition, I expect that there are more than a few DDK licenses, sitting idle, and those could be put to good use, if those who have them would donate them to somebody who can/will use them.

There isn't any point in putting a modern gas/electric hybrid engine in a model T Ford, if the tires are going to wear out next month, and they cannot be replaced. Better to find a way to reliably replace the tires, then worry about replacing the engine.

7
Polls / Re: Compatibility with OS/2
« on: November 07, 2017, 12:11:53 am »
You know that there is another approach to this.

If you look at the whole situation, the only reason why we think we need a 64 bit OS, is to run the bloated crap that is ported from other platforms (Mozilla, Office clones etc.). We have lost the ability to create compact, efficient, software for OS/2.. We are also very close to losing the ability to create drivers for modern hardware. Unfortunately, part of that is that the manufacturers won't reveal their secrets, but Linux seems to be able to get the required information, so it isn't impossible.

The OS/2 kernel is still very powerful, even without 64 bit. All it needs are some new programs to replace the crap that comes from elsewhere, and new drivers to run new hardware. A new, 64 bit, clone of OS/2 sounds impressive (and it would be very impressive, IF it can be done), but the software to run is old, and it is that old software that actually keeps OS/2 going, so complete compatibility is required, or there is no point in doing it.

Currently, there has been a break though, by using the technique to use memory above 4 GB, as pioneered by the QSINIT package. That is only the beginning of what could be done to use the expanded memory space. An API to be able to use that would solve a lot of the memory constraints, and the kernel doesn't need to get involved. Many more things can be done.

8
It probably has something to do with using the wrong which.exe. You should have one, and only one, which.exe, and that should be %unixroot%\usr\bin\which.exe. Others may conflict with that one. If you insist on using some other version, you likely need to use LIBPATHSTRICT with it.

9
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I'm curious, what are you guys setting your VIRTUALADDRESSLIMIT to?

I have been using 2560, but 3072 seems to work just as well. With less than 2560 (2048), I start to run out of shared memory space, after a couple of days. I do use the CLAMD.EXE, supplied by RPM/YUM, from netlabs-rel, and it uses close to 1 GB of upper shared memory space. Not using ClamD.EXE doesn't change anything, except I can use a smaller number for VIRTUALADDRESSLIMIT.

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LIBC Error: Couldn't register process in shared memory!

This error seems to have nothing to do with VIRTUALADDRESSLIMIT. It happens when I load DLLs high (I can't even run my system, if I don't do that with AOO, and FF). Take either one of those programs, open, and close, any combination, twice, and I start to get that message with anything that uses LIBC. Other things keep on working properly, but it takes a re-boot to get the problem solved (temporarily).

FWIW, I use the Quick Start feature with AOO, and that helps because it keeps the DLLs loaded, rather than unloading them, witch causes the problem. Firefox is another story. It will either crash, or I need to close it, at least once per day, so the longest that I can go, without a re-boot for the LIBC problem, is 2 days.

FWIW, I had to quit using eCS, because simply closing a program, with DLLs loaded high, would crash the system, about every second try, and trying to run AOO, and FF, at the same time, using DLLs loaded low,  was impossible. At least the new ArcaOS kernel doesn't crash the system, when the problem happens.

10
Utilities / Re: backup and restore using zip
« on: October 21, 2017, 01:06:26 am »
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zip -qryS drivec.zip c:

does make a good backup that works with symlinks (i.e. yum still works after restore)

Be aware, that ZIP and UNZIP,  as supplied by RPM/YUM, don't work without some of the DLLs from the %UNIXROOT% directory structure. You do need those versions of the program, to be able to handle files (in and/or out) that are larger than 2 GB.

11
Applications / Re: Applications OS/2 Needs
« on: October 20, 2017, 06:17:58 am »
My choices:

1) PM123 http://hobbes.nmsu.edu/download/pub/incoming/pm123-1.41.zip.

2) PMView http://www.pmview.com/. Not free though.

3) Sorry, not  one of my things...

4) eFTE http://trac.netlabs.org/efte/wiki. In fact, I rarely use any editor, other than E (really EA), that is the default OS/2 text editor, but eFTE has a lot of customization options, as well as prepackaged configurations.

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Utilities / Re: backup and restore using zip
« on: October 20, 2017, 05:59:28 am »
I use -9yrS. -y is supposed to handle symlinks as a standard file. That part seems to work, although I haven't tested everything.

Right now, I am concerned because -S (include system and hidden files) isn't doing what it says it is supposed to do. As a work around, I do ATTRIB -H -S os2* in the root of the boot drive before ZIP, and  (optionally) ATTRIB +H +S os2* again after. There are a few other SH files, but they are nothing to worry about.

FWIW, I have formatted a boot drive, and UNZIPed a backup into it, many times. It always worked, until -S quit working. By using ATTRIB, it works again.

I have also been looking at 7z as an alternative. It compresses better, and I copy the backups to USB sticks, which seem to be getting smaller, and slower, as time goes on.  :(

13
Hardware / Re: usb wifi in arca50????
« on: October 17, 2017, 11:19:44 pm »
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I used the usbecd23.zip to link the usb.

USBECD only makes it possible to use a program to read/write to a USB device. It probably would drive the device, IF you wrote a program to read/write all of the proper things. Chances are, that you would never figure out what it needs, to make it work.

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Then I followed the instructions on this website.
http://www.os2world.com/wiki/index.php/Testing_an_UnSupported_Network_Driver_with_GenMAC

The instructions there, are to use an unsupported driver with GENMAC. GENMAC is the same level driver as USBECD, and only one of them can drive an individual device. GENMAC knows nothing about USB, it only does PCI(e).

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Any help to continue ??

Probably not. You would be far better off to use an external ethernet connected WiFi adapter. There are a few of them available. I use an older D-Link 506L, It works pretty well, and it can be useful for other things.

14
Networking / Re: Mini PCI wifi cards
« on: October 16, 2017, 04:23:44 am »
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I'm trying to figure out what mini PCI cards (for the T4x platform) would work well with OS/2--or really ArcaOS. Sort of thinking out loud.

What is in it? Use PCI.EXE to find out. I think most, of the T4x line has network drivers. Personally, I wouldn't bother trying to replace whatever is in it. You would be better off to get an external WiFi adapter, that connects to the wired NIC. They are usually handy for other things as well.

15
Setup & Installation / Re: ArcaOS 5.0.1 on Dual Boot.
« on: October 16, 2017, 12:29:56 am »
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Doug: I don't know why you wrote "READ" in uppercase. I didn't read it completely. It is an 38 pages readme and the license of use does not says you need to read and memorize the 38 pages readme before using ArcaOS.  Which chapter do you refer to?

Well, if you don't READ the whole thing, you might miss something important. there is an index, if you don't want to READ the whole thing.

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I appreciate your suggestion about wiping all the Hard Drive, for the moment it seems to be the only solution. It means there is a limitation of OS/2 and ArcaOS to understand the geometry that Windows 10 uses when it prepared the HDD (Limitation that Linux does not seems to has by the way) (please remember this a  non-UEFI, non-GPT system). It even will be interesting for me to know which drivers, or utilities are the one that need to updated to understand different geometries.

It is the only solution. Microsoft seems to have found another way to mess up OS/2. Fortunately, we have people who figure out ways to work around the problems. Linux is a whole different story, they have an army of developers, and they have the source code to work with. We don't have either one.

I don't know all of the parts that need to change, I think that one of them is the kernel itself, if anybody can figure out what to change. There are other parts as well. LVM would probably be the most challenging, but all of the disk support stuff probably needs changes. Then of course, Microsoft has patents, and copyrights, that need to be sorted out, before anything can happen.

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without destroying the partitions and without reinstalling Windows 10 please let me know.

You don't need to reinstall windows. You need to back it up , change the partitions, using OS/2, then restore it. The biggest problem with that, is to use a proper windows backup program, and they are hard to find.

If you have a machine that has a recovery partition, you may need to create the media to replace that, although using it would destroy what you did to make OS/2 work, so you may not want to put it back on the computer. You probably want to keep the recovery media, in case you want to restore the computer to factory condition.

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