EurOS/2 Magazine - Volume 1 Number 11

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Contents

WHAT'S NEW FROM EUROS/2......

Problems! Installing applications under OS/2.

Several EurOS/2 members, pushed into action by IBIS (International Banking Information Systems) have expressed interest in collaboration over the installation of software products with OS/2 workstations. A project is now being started to cooperate on the development of better and easier installation techniques. If you would like to join this group, e-mail Martin Brampton or fax to +44-171-246 6055.

An IBM representative has also expressed enthusiasm for promoting Netview DM as a solution to this problem, and to resolving any issues we have with this software. Anyone having particular issues with Netview DM please also contact me as above.

Caldera® sues Microsoft® for Antitrust Practices

Users of non-Microsoft operating systems will be interested to see that Caldera (of which Ray Noorda is majority owner) has purchased DR-DOS and launched a lawsuit against Microsoft. Based in Provo, Utah, Caldera announced its moves on 24th July 1996.

Caldera is seeking treble damages and a permanent injunction to halt alleged "illegal conduct by Microsoft calculated and intended to prevent and destroy competition in the computer software industry."

Again of interest to users of other operating systems, the Caldera law suit asks for a permanent injunction "Requiring Microsoft, for a period of ten years, to disclose to Caldera all APIs [programming instructions] for any new operating system it produces, as well as any modifications, enhancements, updates, or new versions of such operating systems at the time that such products are released for beta testing." A further clause of the requested injunction would prohibit "Microsoft from including code in any software products that has the sole or primary purpose of creating real or perceived incompatibility between Microsoft's products and Caldera's products."

UNLEASH THE POWER OF SMARTsort

If you have ever processed a large volume of data, you know that operations related to sort/merge/copy are very time and resource intensive. If you rely on the native sort routines provided by your operating system, you are well aware of the many severe limitations. Perhaps you are one of the more sophisticated users and have either coded your own sorting routines or purchased one of those sort/merge/copy utilities available in the market today. Both of those methods may leave something to be desired. Either the functionality isn't there or the performance isn't meeting your expectations. Whatever the case may be, you will be glad to hear about IBM's high performance, full function sort/merge/copy utility.

IBM's SMARTsort 1.2 is now available. It runs on OS/2, AIX and Windows NT. Granted that a sort/merge/copy utility isn't necessarily something you spend a lot of time thinking about, the truth is that a good sort/merge/copy utility can save you time, lots of it.

SMARTsort provides the following primary functions:

SORT
Sort records in ascending or descending order by key(s) with the following options:
  • filter (used to include or exclude) input data based upon Relational/AND/OR/NOT test criteria
  • create a numeric total by adding (called summing) the contents of a specific field from the selected input records
  • collate data using "cultural" collation rules
  • reformat or rearrange the location of input record fields to new locations on the output records
MERGE
Merge two or more previously sorted files to form a single file of sorted records with the following options:
  • filter input data based upon Relational/AND/OR/NOT test criteria
  • create a sum based upon a specific input field of selected input records
  • collate data using "cultural" collation rules
  • reformat or rearrange the location of input record fields to new locations on the output records
COPY
Copy one or more files into a new file. No sorting or merging take place, and the input records do not need to be in a particular sequence. It has the following options:
  • filter input data based upon Relational/AND/OR/NOT test criteria
  • reformat or rearrange the location of input record fields to new locations on the output records
CHECK
Verify the sort sequence of the input file(s). This function can be used to eliminate the redundant sorting of already sorted files. It has the following options:
  • filter input data based upon Relational/AND/OR/NOT test criteria
  • collate data using "cultural" collation rules

Those are the primary functions. There are also a large set of primary options, extended options and command modifiers that you can used to manipulate and customize your data, all at blazing speed. SMARTsort can be invoked from the command line. The SMARTsort command line interface uses a command syntax that is patterned after the X/Open CAE Specifications for a Sort command. SMARTsort can also be called through an application programming interface (API). Any programming language that supports a call interface such as those found in COBOL, PL1, FORTRAN, C and C++ can plug into SMARTsort. [To find out more about SMARTsort] please visit our web site or contact our SMARTsort HOTLINE by email at smartsort@vnet.ibm.com. If you would like to take SMARTsort for a test drive, simply request a 30 day free trial copy from the HOTLINE.

Exchange of Views, Magazine Contributions

Can you offer comments on your own experiences of OS/2 based server or workstation implementations? Contributions from readers are very welcome, especially in computer readable form. Please see contact details below or mail your ideas right now while you think about it! Or if you want to know something, mail in your request so that it can be mentioned in future editions.

Planned Meetings

The July meeting has been postponed to take advantage of the arrival of the Merlin beta, and will be held on Thursday 1st August. Please come if you can.

At present, meetings are taking place at 4 pm at the Moore Stephens Training Centre, 1 Snow Hill, London EC1A 2EN. Nearest underground stations Farringdon, St Paul's or Blackfriars. Please let me know your fax number for a map or details of local hotels. The formal presentations will usually finish by 6 pm, but are likely to be followed by extended informal discussions over light refreshments.

If you've any comments or requests concerning meetings or the magazine, we'd love to hear from you - contact details below. Which articles do you like or dislike?

OS/2 News

Unify Corporation recently formed an alliance with IBM to port its award winning Vision second generation client/server development environment to OS/2 and to connect to DB2. (As well as Win3, Win95, WinNT, Motif, and Oracle, Sybase, Ingres, Informix, ODBC, and Unify2000). Unify are trying to gauge the interest of the OS/2 community in Europe in a 4GL/OO based open systems development tool. Any suggestions would be warmly received. Please write to Ken Hingley of Unify - ken@unify.com mentioning EurOS/2.

Oklahoma City, OK, July 19, 1996 - SofTouch Systems is pleased to announce UniMaint 5.0 for OS/2 is now available for immediate delivery. UniMaint is a native, 32 bit application, first released in 1992, which repairs damaged OS/2 desktop files and uninstalls OS/2, DOS, and WINOS2 applications. Unimaint backs up and transports desktops across versions of OS/2 or onto other machines as well. In addition, it is used to view and edit Extended Attributes files, and view, edit, and repair INI files. UniMaint Release 5.0 now enables users to automatically move OS/2, DOS, and WINOS2 applications across disk partitions or onto other machines. UniMaint can also back up desktops automatically at user defined intervals, and it guides new users through the complex process of managing their system INI files with new function wizards. A new cross reference file of EXE files and DLLs permits users to identify unused programs and DLLs for removal.

Canton Michigan, July 22 1966 - Stardock Systems, an independent software vendor noted for their Object Desktop product, announced their intention to support IBM's upcoming release of OS/2 Warp code named "Merlin", as well as releases back to OS/2 2.11. Stardock are also making available a new product called "Process Commander" that shows information about processes running under OS/2 and claims to be the most effective "process killer" available for errant programs. The shrinkwrap should be available in October, and it is possible to obtain "Early Experience" copies for $45 plus $20 shipping to Europe up until Friday 2nd August. These will entitle purchasers to the final version free of charge.

MIAMI, Fl., July, 17 1996 - SPG announced today price reductions for their popular ColorWorks products and the targeted release of ColorWorks 3 in Q1 of 1997. SPG has reduced the distribution channel pricing for their current ColorWorks products to target the following "street price" to users:

  • $169 ColorWorks V2
  • $79 ColorWorks V1+
  • $99 ColorWorks V1+ to V2 Upgrade

ColorWorks V2: Our most powerful graphics program. Documented with an 11,000 Line help system, a 24MB On-Line MEGA-Manual on the CD-ROM, and a 580 page "library quality" User Book (full-color, hard-cover bound). ColorWorks V1+: Our very powerful entry-level program. Documented with an 8,000 Line help system, an 18MB On-Line MEGA-Manual on the CD-ROM, and 430 pages of User Manuals.

23 Jul 1996 - Intercom v3.14 for OS/2 has been relased by Revolutionary Software. InterCom is a telephone for the Internet. It allows you to communicate with anyone around the world for free via the Internet. It's features include:

  • 32-Bit multithreaded PM application
  • 16-Bit audio
  • Real time compression
  • Video
  • Runs on anything from a 14.4K modem or faster
  • and many others.....

InterCom v3.14 is released in the form of a shareware version. This version is fully functional. InterCom is a native OS/2 32-Bit Application. It was designed from the ground up to run specifically on OS/2 and is not based off any other previously written products. Information and periodic updates can also be obtained from the [Revolutionary Software WWW Server].

"We heard OS/2 users crying out for native QuickTime support" said Tom Harding, president of Practice Corp., "and it turns out the two technologies are very well-suited to each other." To create QuickMotion, Practice teamed up with Portele Systemsoftware of Germany. Both companies have previously delivered OS/2 multimedia components as shareware. QuickMotion instantly enables existing OS/2 multimedia applications to play QuickTime movies. "It's not a trick, it's OS/2" said Andreas Portele, founder of the latter firm.

To find out more about Object REXX you could read "Object REXX by Example" by Gwen Veneskey, William Trosky and John Urbaniak. It is published by Aviar with ISBN 0-9652329-0-5. If you do obtain a copy, I'd be glad to have a review!

The Object Management Group (OMG) is moving to set standards for the Internet, seeing Microsoft's Internet initiatives as a threat to platform independence. OMG has started by issuing a request for information about how to make its Object Management Architecture comptaible with Internet standards. Potential conflict with Microsoft centres on the expected adoption of a CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) linked standard for the Internet as a successor to HTTP.

Magazine format

The EurOS/2 Electronic Magazine is despatched by e-mail in HTML format. You can read it with the tags, but it is most effectively read using the OS/2 Web Explorer or a similar Web browser. Simply save the magazine in a convenient file, giving it a name with a .HTM extension. The file object can then be dropped on the Web Explorer and you will be able to read a fully formatted version of the magazine. Provided you are connected to the Internet, the live Web links will all work for you.

If you would like to access the EurOS/2 Magazine (including back numbers) through the Web, you can now find [the EurOS/2 Home Page] which houses all editions of the magazine and a few useful OS/2 files. The EurOS/2 web site is at a very rudimentary stage, but I hope to make improvements as time goes by.

Various methods of stripping off the HTML are available if required, including the use of PM Stripper, which can be obtained from the EurOS/2 web site. Alternatively, if you'd prefer to receive a stripped version of the magazine, please mail me to be moved to the appropriate list.

If you're getting the faxed version of the EurOS/2 magazine, you might like to switch to the electronic version - just let me know your e-mail address.

EurOS/2 Contact Information

We would like to encourage anyone working to achieve successful OS/2 implementations to participate in EurOS/2. All communications are despatched electronically, via Internet, Compuserve or fax. To receive regular information from EurOS/2, please let us know your first name, last name, company, job title, address, telephone, fax, Internet e-mail address, Compuserve e-mail address, and indicate which form of communication you prefer.

EurOS/2 can be contacted in the following ways
  • Internet at euros2@ibm.net
  • Compuserve to Martin Brampton 100303,2007
  • Fax to Martin Brampton, Moore Stephens, 0171-246-6055
  • Telephone Martin Brampton, 0171-334-9191
  • BBS Moore Stephens Infoline, 0171-334-0337
  • Mail to Martin Brampton, Moore Stephens, St Paul's House, Warwick Lane, London EC4P 4BN.

Web Stuff

There is now a rudimentary [EurOS/2 Web Site]. It includes all issues of the EurOS/2 Electronic Magazine, a little background information, and a few useful OS/2 related files. Further improvements are planned.

For a careful analysis of Merlin, the beta version of the next OS/2 Warp release, consult Kris Kwilas' Merlin Comments.

The [full Caldera press release] gives details of the suit launched against Microsoft. Caldera alleges that Microsoft has engaged in antitrust practices in the DOS market, and that "Microsoft has wilfully maintained a monopoly of the market for MS-DOS operating systems software".

Full specifications, reviews, and demo programs of SPG products including ColorWorks are available on the [SPG web-site]. ColorWorks users whom would like to participate in the ColorWorks 3 beta program should send a brief note stating their interest to info@spg-net.com.

For information on InterCom v3.14, see the [Revolutionary Software WWW Server]. [This URL was NOT functional at the time of writing.] To contact the author, mail to jtew@revsoft.is.net.

Practice Corporation have announced the availability of QuickMotion for OS/2, which gives OS/2 Warp systems the power to play QuickTime 1.0 movies. QuickMotion installs as an OS/2 multimedia plug-in component. For more information, visit [the Practice site].

The Animouse Web page has been updated to fit in with the rest of Sentience's Web site. Taking full advantage of WebExplorer's HTML 3.0 support, we believe the new page to be more readable and pleasing to the eye. See [The Animouse Web page].

The consortium of IBM, Apple, Netscape, Oracle and Sun who are promoting the Network Computer have published a [draft reference profile] for conforming systems. Apart from hardware requirements, this includes a Java Virtual Machine with Java class libraries, support for HTML and HTTP, mail support for SMTP and POP3/IMAP4, DHCP for dynamic IP address allocation and BOOTP for remote booting.