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Messages - Doug Bissett

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Mail-News / Re: PMMail: 2.00.xx to 3.22 migration...what to do?
« on: October 16, 2017, 12:02:40 am »
You are right, I will not be logging this as a bug though. I was able to come up with a work-around, although the fact that my GROUP.DB file is empty is somewhat strange, because if I understood correctly this stores the Address Book Groups...and I certainly do have them present in my old PMMail...sooo??? LOL

Probably easiest to just recreate the groups. They probably needed trimming anyway.  :)

I will just toss this up to the ancient version of PMMail I have been running. No sense spending any more time on something that's suspect to start off with.

It would be interesting to know what the real problem was. Obviously, there was something wrong with that file, since you couldn't do a CLI copy. However, trying to figure it out could be an exercise in frustration.

Doug, thank you once again for all the insights, suggestions and help, greatly appreciated!

Glad to help. I hope PMMail works well for you, and I hope we can find somebody to do more work on it. The project is mostly paused, at the moment, but it is definitely not dead.

Setup & Installation / Re: ArcaOS 5.0.1 on Dual Boot.
« on: October 14, 2017, 09:15:50 pm »
I think I'm getting the usual limitations of ArcaOS installation tools.
- "Disk 1 reports a corrupt partition table".
- "LVM Error ( 8 ) - Operation is not allowed" when I try to create the partition.

Yes, completely normal.

1) Is there another way to fix how ArcaOS see the partitions without Dfsee ?  (without wiping the hard drive)

Well, first, the ArcaOS tools are extracted from DFSEE, but DFSEE is more informative. Did you READ the README, in the root of the DVD?

Warning: DO NOT use DFSEE, booted form any OS, other than OS/2, to try to adjust anything, or it will probably do it in the windows way, and OS/.2 won't like it.

I encourage you to wipe the hard drive then follow this How-To:

It depends, exactly, how the disk was created. With win 10, you probably got the layout for very large disks, using a geometry that OS/2 cannot use (even though the disk is only about 350 GB). If that is the case, you need to back up win 10 (the ONLY tool, that I know of, that does the backup/restore properly, is ACRONIS. If you have a Seagate disk drive, even in a USB enclosure, you can get the SEAGATE DISK WIZARD, for free. It is a cut down version of Acronis, and works well). Back up win 10, using the files and partitions option, then use the ArcaOS tool to wipe the disk, and partition it properly. Then, you can restore win 10 (don't forget to make the Acronis boot disk first), and proceed to install ArcaOS. Be sure that you do NOT restore the boot record, or you will end up where you started.

If the disk geometry is something that OS/2 understands, the ArcaOS tools should be able to make the adjustments.

If you are going to do a new install windows (linux etc.), be sure that windows (linux etc.) does not  partition the disk. Plan ahead, and use OS/2 (mini)LVM to make all of the partitions, or you will likely end up with windows type partitions, and OS/2 doesn't like that.

Mail-News / Re: PMMail: 2.00.xx to 3.22 migration...what to do?
« on: October 14, 2017, 05:13:19 pm »
I did file a request for a new ID on the bugtracker, but it's been a couple of hours now and I still have not received anything in my email. I'll give it a bit more time.

Did you get a response to this? Apparently the ID was created, and sent. If you didn't get it, I will see if I can figure out what happened.

Mail-News / Re: PMMail: 2.00.xx to 3.22 migration...what to do?
« on: October 14, 2017, 07:33:40 am »
Well, in the end I found out that the GROUP.DB file being 0 (zero) bytes in length is what was causing the problem. Simply including a digit (I used a 0) in the contents of the file allowed the migration tool to successfully pass that check and eventually produced a working PMMail application.

Well, I am glad that you got it. GROUP.DB  is supposed to contain the address groups. If there are no address groups, It can be zero bytes.

On my system attempting to do a CLI copy of that very same file produces an error, which I believe is to be expected. XCOPY on the other hand, which is also used during the migration process, does successfully copy the file over to the NEW install. At least that's what I have been able to surmize given the results I see in the filesystem folders.

That would seem to be somewhat strange. I can copy a zero byte file, with no troubles, so there must be something wrong with that file. Possibly a bad EA, or something like that. Stranger things have happened during a migration.

Given the date/time stamp of the group.db file present in the NEW directory it certianly appears that the Migration process successfully copies it over in the first place, but then fails later on as it attempts to create a backup???

The backup copy is made after the main xcopy, and before the tool modifies the file. In this case no modifications are needed, because it was empty. The copy should have worked though. The only conclusion is that the file was somehow defective. I do know, that there is a flaw in the kernel handling of defective EAs, but trying to prove that now, is probably impossible. If it is the kernel EA problem, ZIP would also crash on it, but adding the "0" seems to have fixed the problem, somehow. Now, you don't have a broken file.

OK, problem solved. I am happy to report that SMTP Authentication works well and that other than this one "gotcha" the massive amounts of my emails across three separate accounts were migrated without any other problems. This is pretty impressive given the amounts of data!

Happy to hear that you got it. You probably should do a Re-Index all, in each account, before doing too much more. If GROUP.DB  was not being used, it should be empty. You may want to open the file, in the editor, and remove the "0" that you put into it, otherwise, you should be good to go. Don't forget to turn off the "Leave messages on the server" flag, in each account (Receive tab), if you got that turned on. If you don't mail will pile up in the server, and that usually causes mail to be rejected.

Don't assume that everything still works exactly the same as before, but most of it will. The Help is much better, but not perfect, and the FAQ (there is a link in the PMMail Help menu) should be mostly correct.

Have you tried just copying the folders over to your new install rather than running the migration tool?  You might need to re-index the folders after.

That would be something to do, when nothing else will work. The problem was not in copying the folders anyway, it was in the GROUP.DB file, which is part of the address book. As I recall, the only changes are to adjust the paths to point to the new location, but there is nothing to adjust if it is empty. Copy works okay, on zero length files, so it should have worked on that one too.

I'm afraid that is not going to work given how old my version of PMMail is. Reading through the documentation it specifically states that the Migration tool makes certain changes to the data files in order to make them usable by the new release.

Actually, it will work, but there may be a few things that need to be manually updated. I wrote the migration tool, and I don't remember all of the things that it does. I would need to go and read the code (it is done with DrDialog, which is REXX), and the last change was in January of 2015.

I did file a request for a new ID on the bugtracker, but it's been a couple of hours now and I still have not received anything in my email. I'll give it a bit more time.

Hmmm. I am not sure who is doing that now. If it is who I think it is, it may take a day or two, but I will rattle his chain. I am not sure if it would be worth while to make a bug report, or not. I am the one who would need to look after it, and all I can do is write it off as a bad file in the original PMMail. This is definitely not the first time something like that has happened. Then again, it probably wouldn't hurt to document what happened, but I don't think there is anything to do to fix the problem, short of completely rewriting the tool, and that isn't likely to happen. It isn't perfect, but it does the job (sometimes with a few glitches).


Mail-News / Re: PMMail: 2.00.xx to 3.22 migration...what to do?
« on: October 14, 2017, 12:24:38 am »
Are you suggesting that I put NEW child folders into the account specific default SENT parent folder? I thought of doing this before but I always assumed that it was a bad idea to mess with this folder. It certainly makes a lot of sense, and for starters I would be able to do a search in the SENT folders, which today causes my PMMail to simply crash.

Yes. Child folders in Sent are okay, but they should all be sent files, or you might get some strange entries in the list. That is, don't try to put both sent, and received, files in the same folder. The display is a little different.

OK, so a specific issue I have is that I only have about 1.5Gig left on my application drive (also happens to be my boot drive, but that's the legacy of the original install I did). So the option I have is to move my current pmmail directory structure to a different drive, where I have a bunch of space, wipe it off of my boot drive and then do the WarpIn based install. Will the installer itself attempt to migrate the old PMMail stuff during the install, or is this a separate process one does later once the NEW PMMail install is completed?

It is really a separate process, but the migration tool is started after the WarpIn install is done, and before it terminates. In this case, I would suggest installing to the new location, and just let the tool do the copy. That is supposed to work, and it should give you the default setup, with all of your accounts, and files. Don't touch your old install, at this point. It should still work.

The 2nd question is: does the migration tool/process simply need to find a disk directory structure of the old PMMail, or is it looking for some application specific install/config data?

It actually looks for the INI entry that the old PMMail puts in one of the INI files (USER.INI, I think). That should point to the old PMMail, but many users have managed to lose that entry over the years, so i would be surprised if it is there, and correct. Just point the migration tool to the old base PMMail directory, and it should do the job.

Basically I am wondering if my plan to move the current install to the spare drive has a chance of working?

I think it should work, but I don't remember doing a copy to a different drive. Let's see what happens.

UHOH! something has come up. I will have to follow up later...

Mail-News / Re: PMMail: 2.00.xx to 3.22 migration...what to do?
« on: October 13, 2017, 08:30:23 am »
First BACK UP what you have, just in case something goes wrong (and it could, simply because the version you are using is very old).

You may want to join the mail list. See That is the best place to ask questions, and find answers to problems, but you need a working mail program to use it.

Next, be sure to READ the information that is presented by the installer, and it would probably be a good idea to look through the FAQ Setting up secure server support is explained in the FAQ, in a different way than it is in the Help. Some people find one, or the other, to be confusing, but they usually figure it out by using both.

I would suggest that you think about reducing the number of messages in the primary folders (Inbox, Sent, and any that you filter messages to). I usually put old messages into sub folders, by year, or month, depending on the amount of activity. Sub folders of the Sent folder take on the characteristics of the Sent folder. You will get much better performance by doing that, and migration will probably be better too.

Then, Re-Index the important folders, to be sure that they don't have surprises in them. The new PMMail can Re-Index whole accounts, but the old one can't (I assume that your version can do folders, but it may not).

Okay, now that you have done some preparation, try it. It will ask for a new location, and basically copy all of your mail etc. to the new location (it is a new directory structure, and some files are modified to match), so be sure that you have enough space. The old PMMail will remain operational, until you decide that the new one is working. Again, READ the instructions, and remember that any mail that you SEND with one, will not be in the other. The new accounts are set to NOT delete mail from the POP server, until you set it to do so, so Incoming mail can end up in both places, as long as you process it with the new program first. If something goes wrong, you can ask what to do about it, and, worst case, erase what was done, and start over.

Another thing, is that the "Migration Tool" is badly named. It does the migration, but it also does a couple of other things, like make PMMail the default mail program, and remove the old PMMail (it actually ZIPs it up), when you select those options. It should never try to do a new migration, when the source is the new PMMail, However, if you don't have a standard setup, odd things can happen. Please ASK what to do if something goes wrong.

Oh yeah, the new spell checker needs to have the appropriate files beside the main installer, when you do the install. Page down on the PMMail home page to get the ASpell packages that you need. They are used by the main installer.

Be especially careful with existing filters. Some fairly serious problems were fixed, and that means that some filters now actually do what they are supposed to do. A few people got caught using incorrect filter operation, which now doesn't do what it did before.

You mention SPAM. PMMail now uses the BogoFilter program, so you will probably want to use that, and get rid of your own SPAM filters. I guarantee that BogoFilter will do a better job, after you properly train it (usually takes a few days, but it is not difficult to do).

That should cover most of it, but I may have forgotten something. Try it, and see what happens.

Mail-News / Re: PMMail 3.22 and SMTP authentication...can it do that?
« on: October 12, 2017, 07:12:41 am »
[quoteI do not have a problem paying for a sir, happy to pay for my 3.x PMMail upgrade. What I do not understand is this requirement to purchase a VOICE membership and then pay once again for the product. If I have no desire to be a VOICE member then why am I being forced to pay for it?][/quote]

That whole procedure was changed. You will need to read the new instructions (which I, admit to not doing).

The reason why it was done like that, was that those who were members when VOICE bought the rights were the ones that paid for those rights, so they were grandfathered into getting PMMail. Those who joined after the purchase were charged for the program. Since VOICE tries to keep the costs down, they decided to just have the user pay twice for a membership, rather than having to pay the banks (or, whoever) for a whole new method to collect money for PMMail. They already had to pay to collect memberships. Now that the whole operation has moved to the Netherlands, the rules have changed, and so has qualifying for PMMail, but you still need to be a sponsor of VOICE. PMMail is, after all, a bonus for supporting VOICE (which you really do want to support, since they support OS/2).

It really is THAT simple...nothing more to it...let me pay for the product I purchase, that's all I'm asking.

Well, no it isn't that simple. When VOICE bought the rights to PMMail, the board decided that it would be a bonus for those who support VOICE. After all, they own it, so they can say how they will use it, and if you want PMMail, you become a supporter of VOICE (at least for one year). The PMMail license doesn't end, if you decide not to support VOICE, but it does make it that much harder for VOICE to support OS/2.

Mail-News / Re: PMMail 3.22 and SMTP authentication...can it do that?
« on: October 11, 2017, 07:10:22 pm »
I just never felt like I needed to upgrade.

You just don't know what you are missing...

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).

Paid? For what? You paid for version 2.x, which was owned by somebody else. VOICE bought the rights, so they have the right to charge a fee for their work on version 3.x. PMMail is actually a bonus for being a member of VOICE, nothing more. The proceeds are used to support OS/2, in many ways, and VOICE is a non profit organization that very much deserves support. BTW, ALL work done to PMMail is done by volunteers.

 Please see for the details.

Programming / Re: Non-yum/rpm vs. ordinary (?) eCS
« on: October 07, 2017, 06:50:38 pm »
What's beyond me is that we have native archive programs to get a zip file. Why we have to use 7zip is not clear.

Well, for one thing, 7ZIP compresses better than ZIP. I see, typically, about 10% reduction in the archive file size. Not a big thing, until you start to upload a 2 GB dump file, or download a 1.3 GB file. I have a 2 GB dump file that compressed to about 850 MB, and the ArcaOS download file is about 1.3 GB, and the compressed size is about 900 MB. 7ZIP is just a new tool to do the same job, better, so why not use it?

7-ZIP is at HOBBES. ArcaOS has a GUI front end, which is also available elsewhere.

Hardware / Re: ArcaOS 5.0 on an Aspire One Computer.
« on: October 07, 2017, 06:35:53 pm »
Easiest is to download DFSee and use that. It has a script in one of the right hand menus to create a FAT32 formatted flash drive.

Format works the same as format on normal drives. You need to use (mini)LVM to add the LVM signature, and add a volume, then RMB on the icon, and select Format. Follow the directions. FAT32 is also supported in this way, when you have the new FAT32 driver installed.

Programming / Re: Non-yum/rpm vs. ordinary (?) eCS
« on: October 06, 2017, 04:57:36 am »
I will admit, that I do NOT like RPM/YUM, at all, BUT, you are not going to survive in today's OS/2 world without it. It is just way too complicated to try to keep up manually. Of course, you do have the option to stop doing updates, but that will probably cause more problems than you might expect.

The Arca Noae Package Manager (ANPM) makes it a LOT easier to use RPM/YUM. I strongly recommend starting to use ANPM (RPM/YUM) when you install a new system, and don't look back. It can be a bit messy trying to add ANPM (RPM/YUM) to an old install, but it can be done, if you take the time to understand how RPM/YUM works. There is a new ANPM in the works, and it should help to avoid some of the dumb things that RPM/YUM can do to you.

RPM/YUM is never going to replace some of the WarpIN installers, and it won't replace some of the ZIP installers. What it will do, is save you many hours of messing around, trying to figure out what you need to do to make some modern programs (like Firefox) work properly. Today, I tried the new Firefox 45.9.0, which was installed using ANPM (RPM/YUM). It took about one minute, to install (with all of the required support), and it is working well, so far.

Setup & Installation / Re: USB questions
« on: October 04, 2017, 05:44:14 pm »
My main concern is the compatibility of out USB drivers especially if anyone wants to use modern equipment, motherboards, portable drives - HD and DVD, etc in view of the fact that almost all laptops available here only have USB3 ports.

It is highly unlikely that a USB 3 port will work, until we have a USB 3 driver. You may have options to make the USB system run in USB 2 mode, but even that may not work without a USB 3 driver. It all depends on how the feature is implemented.

I know that USB 3 is fairly high on the todo list at Arca Noae, but, AFAIK, even Lars hasn't tackled it, yet. This one probably needs to jump ahead of WiFi, as a must have. From what I have been reading, it is likely that SATA (AHCI) will eventually be replaced by USB, and that will probably happen sooner, than later, simply because USB is CHEAP.

As usual, be careful what you buy, if you want to use OS/2.

Applications / Re: Visual BASIC for OS/2
« on: October 04, 2017, 05:25:37 pm »
It most likely "upgraded" your SOM for you

If it is anything like other IBM software packages, it probably added a bunch of paths, and other things, FIRST in the sequence (in CONFIG.SYS). Meaning that modern versions will be blocked, and the system will try to use the ancient versions that the packages supply.

Applications / Re: XWorkplace and missing folder contents...
« on: October 02, 2017, 12:14:20 am »
Here's how I see it: a lot of people use XWP but you're the only one I recall having this particular issue.

Bull. I gave up complaining about this issue, years ago, because I "am the only one with the problem". I have tried many things to try to isolate the problem, but it still happens, once in a while, with ArcaOS. It will be fixed, temporarily, by a WPS restart, but it always comes back in a few minutes (usually long enough to save my work, and reboot).

Reboot is the only thing that fixes it for any length of time. I don't, and never have, used any other add ons (except to try them), except for DragText. This has happened a few minutes after boot, and the system has run for a week, without seeing the problem. It has persisted over many machines, many versions of XWP, and from before I started to use eCS. In fact, it may have nothing, at all, to do with XWP, but it is the most likely suspect. I suppose I need to open a new issue about it, but I can't add too much to the story. The best that I can hope for, is that one of the main developers will see the problem, figure it out, and fix it.

16:9 screen ratios are useless in any size less than a 28 inch screen, not enough height to do any useful work (they were designed for TVs to let them display wide screen films).

Personally, I LOVE the 16:9 screens that Lenovo put on the T510 and L530 ThinkPads. They are 1600x900 pixels, not the 1366x768 junk, that really is pretty useless. You do need to watch the options, and get the right thing. Panorama works well with them.

FWIW, my sister has a 16:9, 23 inch, LG screen, that is 2560x1440 pixels (or something like that). I haven't seen one of them, on the market, for a long time. Too bad, because it looks great.

As for a "retro" ThinkPad, I would watch the specs, very carefully. My bet is that they only LOOK like an old IBM ThinkPad, but contain modern, too smart for it's own good, electronics.

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