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Messages - Rich Walsh

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Applications / Re: Mount ISO as drive letter
« on: November 06, 2017, 04:00:45 pm »
FYI... ISOFS v1.04 is in its final beta-testing phase.

It fixes a bunch of bugs and offers a new control-panel type of app ('isodrive') to aid in mounting and unmounting ISOs. Unlike previous versions, you don't have to load ISOFS's daemon process from config.sys and have it running all the time - ISODrive will start it on demand.  v1.04 should be out in a week or two.

Applications / Re: XWP v1.0.12 Beta 1
« on: October 23, 2017, 06:43:57 pm »
I was wondering of the Xview option can be included on the "View" menu of the window?

The screenshot shows an Xview window displaying *its* View menu. Having an "Xview" submenu item there wouldn't make much sense. The "Icon" and "Details" view items control how Xview's right-hand pane displays objects.

Applications / XWP v1.0.12 Beta 1
« on: October 23, 2017, 01:28:16 pm »

I'm pleased to announce the first beta for XWorkplace v1.0.12.

Beta 1 is available in five languages and two versions:
- "Full", the standard full-featured build
- "Lite", similar to eWorkplace and ArcaOS Desktop

Portions of this update have been underwritten by Arca Noae, LLC.






Updates and Fixes

XCenter AutoOpen:
- XCenter will now open automatically at startup and after a Desktop
  restart - an icon in the Startup folder is no longer needed. This
  feature can be disabled in the XCenter's properties.

Details view:
- third-party WPS dlls built using the Open Watcom compiler could cause
  the Size field in Details view to be misformatted. XWP now checks for
  the error condition they cause and corrects it.

Class List:
- added descriptive entries for previously undocumented classes and
  updated existing descriptions. [from Lewis Rosenthal]

Trap log:
- added a new section to identify which exception handler caught the
  trap; updated other sections

- fixed trap at startup if XWP's list of Startup folders included
  invalid objects

- simplified the "Worker" thread code; removed obsolete thread priority
  setting from the XWP Setup notebook

- revised the Options menu; added a "Compact" option for Details view
- fixed an exception when files were rendered after a drop operation
- improved error-checking and exception handling.

Build system:
- made several changes to reduce the shared-memory usage of XWP's dlls;
  one of these also eliminated the need for translators to use a C
  compiler to build NLS dlls
- removed a misguided optimization which could cause third-party
  XCenter widget dlls to be 8-10 times larger than needed
- for XWP-Lite builds, suppressed Help file references to features
  that are not included.


Applications / Re: IFX is examining and cleaning your INI files...
« on: October 19, 2017, 07:23:19 am »
I booted to maintenance and ran chkdsk on all the disks. Then I ran ifx /fv and save the log file. Then I did a normal boot. What I notice is that ifx checks 3 drive but there are actually many more. C D E F G H K U are on the system and working.

This log was created while you were booted up on C: - is that your main system or the maintenance partition? The results are only meaningful if you were booted from the system that's having problems (each installation has its own set of INIs).

As to the drives listed... The system on your C: drive has references to files and directories on C:, D:, and F:. If you've never created a program object or shadow that refers to a file on, say, K:, or have never repositioned a folder window for a directory on K:, or renamed a file on K:, etc., etc., then you might not have any references to K: But... given that you have over 9000 handles for just 3 drives, that seems improbable.

Normally, I don't recommend CleanIni because it's far too aggressive, but in this case it may be called for. It will delete every handle which isn't being used by a program object or shadow. If you have 9000 handles now, you'll end up with fewer than 1000 when it's done. Overall, it's a lot safer for the non-technical user than XFix which can do irreparable harm if you're not up to speed on this stuff.

Applications / Re: IFX is examining and cleaning your INI files...
« on: October 16, 2017, 06:30:52 pm »
Greg, sorry to hear about the problems you're having. In the directory Pete mentioned ([BootDrive]:\sys\apps\ifx) you'll also find logs for the last 3 runs - ifx1.log, ifx2.log, ifx3.log. Could you post them? Including your config.sys might also be helpful.

Also, you may want to temporarily add the '/V' and '/F' switches to IFX's commandline in config.sys (e.g. "CALL=C:\sys\apps\ifx\ifx.exe /vf"). '/F' forces it to do a full check and clean (vs. just a check). '/V' will cause the same messages that end up in the log to be displayed as well. If it hangs, it will help to identify where. (Note: don't use '/R' in config.sys since that's the read-only flag. It's required when running from a booted system, but would prevent IFX from fixing anything if used in config.sys.)

Normally, if IFX finds an unrecoverable error, it will display a message and let you choose from 1 of 3 previous backups. Has this ever appeared? The only time I've ever experienced a hang was when I failed to respond to this prompt within 30 seconds or so. Just in case: if the informational messages stop scrolling by but no error message appears, try pressing '0' (number zero). This is what you'd press if the error prompt appeared and you chose to continue using the current set of INIs.

Mail-News / Re: PMMail 3.22 and SMTP authentication...can it do that?
« on: October 12, 2017, 08:34:52 am »
Back to the topic at hand...

I'm running PMMail v1.96a, so mine is even older than yours - and of course, it doesn't do authenticated SMTP either. Instead, I use Bob Eager's SMTP package ( which provides an SMTP server and client. Basically, you have PMMail send mail to your local server which just puts it into a folder on your system. You then run the client program which fetches the email from that folder and does an authenticated send to your ISP's SMTP server. It's a bit roundabout but it works for me - plus it gives me a chance to reconsider whether I really want to send it out at all.

However, why bother? If your new ISP will accept mail that has a From address from a different domain, why not use them? Astonishingly few people check headers (or even know they exist), so virtually no one will notice that the sending domain doesn't match the From address.

Applications / Re: XWorkplace and missing folder contents...
« on: October 05, 2017, 10:21:26 am »
I'm sorry to see that this problem still persists. I waited to reply until I had a chance to look at that worker-thread code.

Like much of XWP, It uses a mutex semaphore to protect some data that other threads modify. While this is perfectly OK, it's willing to wait indefinitely for its sem to become available. While I don't think the problem lies on this thread, it's easy to see how these indefinite waits could lead to a deadlock. Both threads A and B need to own semaphores X and Y to proceed. A holds one while B holds the other, so both wait forever for a semaphore the other will never release. If one of those threads handles populating folders, the WPS will grind to a halt. Where this is happening - if that's actually what's happening - remains a mystery.

BTW1... Have you ever tried disabling XWP to confirm that it really is the problem? It's easy: unlock 'xfldr.dll', rename it, then restart the Desktop. Don't rely on XWP to disable itself - this is the only method short of uninstalling that is guaranteed to do so.

BTW2... I'd still like to know what filesystems you load...

Applications / Re: XWorkplace and missing folder contents...
« on: October 02, 2017, 06:30:53 am »
Bull. I gave up complaining about this issue, years ago, because I "am the only one with the problem".

Thanks for advising. My apologies if I didn't recall that you bitched and moaned about this years ago - one rant tends to blend into another.

Happily, an unusual confluence of events today has opened a whole new avenue to explore - one that has nothing to do with XWP or the WPS. As you know, I got to see part of your config.sys today and the many, many filesystems you load. Perhaps that's where the problem lies. As I understand it, all filesystem requests go through the kernel's filesystem router, then out to the appropriate one. If something were to get messed up there, it's easy to see how some or all filesystem activity would grind to a halt.

Based on the excerpt of config.sys you posted, I see that you load:
  • JFS
  • HPFS
  • CDFS
  • FAT32
  • UDF
  • NDFS
Dariusz, do you use any of the less common ones on this list?

The best that I can hope for, is that one of the main developers will see the problem, figure it out, and fix it.

That's pretty amusing...

Applications / Re: XWorkplace and missing folder contents...
« on: October 01, 2017, 11:26:38 pm »
First, Dariusz, let me apologize for not responding to your email from Thursday. To answer your question, yes I have looked into this problem but I can't find anything.

Here's how I see it: a lot of people use XWP but you're the only one I recall having this particular issue. Perhaps that's because you may be the only person who has a particular, possibly unique, collection of add-ons that cause or at least contribute to the onset of this problem. Rather than attributing the cause to the lowest common denominator, XWP, why don't you look at the other stuff you have installed - particularly stuff that few people use.

For instance, the first thing I noticed when I looked at that very odd screen shot were those doo-dads on the titlebar. I've never seen them before - what puts them there? What other WPS "enhancements" are you using? One of them may be causing the problem or simply triggering a seldom-seen bug in XWP but we'll never know until you do the legwork to identify the proximate cause. Anything that registers a WPS class should be high on your list of suspects.

Start by uninstalling a few of the the least common or least useful add-ons, then wait a while (a week?). If the problem still happens, you know what isn't to blame, so you can reinstall them and try removing other stuff. Once it looks like the problem has been banished, start adding things back until it reappears. Yes, it may take a while (a month or more), and you may find yourself inconvenienced by the lack of this or that - but after a day or two of disorientation you may also find that a lot of this stuff isn't as must-have as it once seemed.

Applications / Re: Windowed win 16 session
« on: September 26, 2017, 05:46:21 pm »
Has anyone got a windowed win 16 session to run on ArcaOS with the panorama driver?

Modify existing vsvga.sys line config.sys:
DEVICE=C:\OS2\MDOS\VSVGA.SYS /int10textgrfxsafe

Add this to autoexec.bat:

Setup & Installation / Re: ArcaOS keeps rebooting
« on: June 12, 2017, 10:03:27 pm »
And then there is an updated USBMSD.ADD. It's not only updated to support "large floppy".
I also spent considerable time in making it work more reliably with USB mass storage devices.
I'm well aware of your efforts to get "problematic" USB devices to mount reliably since we've discussed this privately. Others may not be aware of this, so it's good that you have provided a more thorough description of your driver's benefits. However, I don't have any problematic devices so I place more value on the stock driver's 3-second mount time vs the 10+ seconds it takes your driver.

It can be used with the AN stack without any problem or restrictions.
That's good to know. I was under the mistaken impression that USBMSD was subject to the same restrictions as the other USB components. I'll certainly give it another try to see if I can get it to recognize a big-floppy - try as I might, I couldn't using one of your betas from several months ago (operator error, perhaps).

the reason why nobody has yet written a utility for writing the DLAT sector is twofold: there are people who would jump into your face if say USBMSD.ADD would write something to their media without them knowing (large floppy support creates a fake  DLAT in memory therefore this is not a prob in this case).

And with good reason! However, that's not what I was whining about. I was bemoaning the lack of a simple utility to handle this common-enough problem without having to jump through hoops. I can't help but suspect that Jan could significantly enhance his revenue stream if he were to offer a $5 app whose sole purpose was to "condition" flash drives to work with OS/2.

Setup & Installation / Re: ArcaOS keeps rebooting
« on: June 12, 2017, 09:41:56 am »
I know it's not the cure for every problem but regarding USB you could try my driver set.
Go to and search for "usbdrv".

I downloaded  Most of the files (except the ones in the os2\trace folder) are already in my C:\ drive so how do they differ?

Except in one particular circumstance, these drivers aren't going to resolve your issues (sorry, Lars).

If your USB media are partitioned, they are being rejected by OS/2 because they lack LVM info. This is data that OS/2's disk subsystem writes at the beginning of a partition that tells it (among other things) what drive letter you'd like to assign to the disk. You probably encountered this the first time you tried to install AOS on your hard disk: the installer's Disk Utility came up and advised LVM info was missing. It offered to add it and you said OK - end of problem.

The stock answer for fixing this is to use the program "DFSee" to add it ( DFSee is a great program and can fix disk problems that nothing else can. But, it can be extremely daunting to use, and frankly, it's just overkill for what should be a fairly simple operation. Why no one has ever seen fit to write an easy-to-use utility to address this fairly common issue is beyond me.

The one situation where Lars' driver can be helpful is if your media is formatted as a "large floppy", i.e. it doesn't have a partition table and is layed-out the way a diskette would be. This is the way Windows traditionally handled USB storage media and most USB sticks were formatted that way (though the last few I bought were, in fact, partitioned). IIUC, Lars' mass-storage driver detects that the system is looking for LVM info and generates it on-the-fly to keep the system happy. Be aware that you can't do a mix-and-match combining some of his drivers with AN's: it's all or nothing.

The one exception to the all-or-nothing rule (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) are the files you mentioned in MMOS2. These provide USB audio support and have enhancements that the AN version lacks. If you're having problems with Uniaud and you have a USB audio adapter, you may want to try installing them. I'll have to leave it to someone more knowledgeable than I to fill in the details.

Applications / Re: Problems with Windowed DOS sessions
« on: June 12, 2017, 03:38:40 am »
I just wanted to add a further confirmation that '/int10textgrfxsafe' combined with 'mode co80' as described above (and in the readme) does work (at least for my low-end Intel integrated graphics). And, not only for DOS (which I never, ever use) but for windowed WinOS/2 sessions as well (which I use when in need of a hexadecimal-capable calculator). My thanks to Dave and Kevin!

Setup & Installation / Re: ArcaOS keeps rebooting
« on: June 10, 2017, 06:20:02 pm »
One issue: not that I am particularly interested in Games but none of the apps (Klondike, Solitaire, Mahjongg) will open after I double click their icons. So far this seems the only problem.

TeLLie's suggestion that you run the app from the command line is a good one since you might get an error message that some needed dll couldn't be loaded. However, there's something else you should look at: what file is each program object pointing at.

Clearly, "Mahjongg" should be starting 'C:\OS2\APPS\MAHJONGG.EXE'. If you open the program object's Properties and it shows, say, 'C:\MPTN\ETC', you have a big problem because your file handles table is corrupt. This particular type of corruption is something that no ini cleaner (whether "IFX", "checkini", or whatever) could possibly identify or resolve. In this case, LosePete's earlier suggestion to run "XFix" would be spot-on. However, you'd need a fair amount of assistance to resolve the issue. Let's hope it doesn't come to that...

I am using XWP "full" version (that is,not the lite version) 1.0.11 available on Hobbes. I would think that is about the version that AN delivers.

ANXWP is at version ..umm.. 1.0.11++. I've made about 10 changes since 1.0.11 and checked them in to the Netlabs repo but I haven't built a new generic version yet because all the NLS files need updating. I'll try to get that moving.

Setup & Installation / Re: ArcaOS keeps rebooting
« on: June 10, 2017, 10:08:17 am »
I have decided to reinstall ArcaOS.

On the whole, I think that's a very good idea. As I mentioned previously, I've never heard of XWP causing the kind of problems you've encountered, so something in the installation must be really messed up. Since I'm the one who would probably have to fix whatever might actually be wrong with XWP, I have a vested interest in you having a successful install  :)

Just two bits of advice if you haven't reinstalled already:

* if you choose the Advanced option which lets you choose what will be installed and where, avoid using the "Back" button. I installed AOS many times and the only failed installations I encountered were those where I paged back and forth. Indeed, I'd suggest going all the way through, paging back and forth as much as you want to get a good idea of your choices, then cancelling the whole thing on the last page. Do this a couple of times if need be. By the third time thru you'll know exactly what's available and which options you want and will be able make your choices without hesitation - and without going back. The install will almost certainly be successful.

* I have to strongly disagree with Greggory as to choice of video. Unless you have a fairly ancient video chipset that it supports, SNAP is semi-useless: it's far slower than Panorama and in many cases is unable to support resolutions that weren't common 10+ years ago.

Let us know how the new install works for you.

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