EurOS/2 Magazine - Volume 1 Number 13

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WHAT'S NEW FROM EUROS/2...

Contents

Keeping OS/2 up with Windows

IBM and Citrix Systems announced on 26th September a major new solution to concerns over OS/2 users' ability to run 32 bit Windows applications. Citrix's WinFrame/Enterprise v1.6 multi-user application server software will shortly be supported by Citrix in an OS/2 operating environment. This will significantly expand the breadth of Windows applications available to OS/2 users, including users of OS/2 Warp 4. This support will provide OS/2 users access to 32-bit Windows applications in a network computing environment.

It looks like the end of the debate over how far IBM should go with Win32s and other Windows APIs. OS/2 now looks likely to stop with the present Win-OS2 support, including Win32s level 1.25. The chase after Windows APIs always looked hard to sustain, as it has long been believed that Microsoft modified APIs for competitive rather than technical reasons. Allegations have been made of the deliberate introduction of incompatibilities for purely commercial reasons.

The new direction is consistent with a general interest in running Windows software on servers rather than workstations, for a variety of clients that for technical or performance reasons are unsuited to local execution of applications. It remains to be seen whether this will be a precursor to more demands for native versions of popular applications, or whether it will add fuel to the move towards "thin clients" linked to high speed networks and powerful servers. Certainly, this announcement provides an excellent solution for large networks that need some use of Windows applications. An added benefit arises with programs that require data communications, and do not always support sharing methods such as Novell's NASI. The server can provide communications functions much more easily, with its centralised location.

With the WinFrame/Enterprise implementation added to native Java support, OS/2 version 4 acquires all the capabilities of a "Network Computer" together with the ability to run native OS/2 applications, and most DOS and Windows 3.x applications. "With the support of Citrix's WinFrame/Enterprise, OS/2 customers will have more options for application deployment across the enterprise," said John W. Thompson, general manager of IBM's Personal Software Products division. "This will give them access to a broader set of applications from their OS/2 desktop in a network computing environment."

IBM and Citrix say they are looking forward to exploring additional opportunities to exploit this technology for the benefit of IBM's OS/2 client base. The intention is to provide OS/2 users even broader and more highly integrated access to WinFrame/Enterprise servers over dial-up, LAN, WAN, intranet or Internet connections.

WinFrame/Enterprise Application Server Software

WinFrame/Enterprise multi-user application server software helps companies deploy 16- and 32-bit Windows, client/server and legacy applications quickly, easily and cost-effectively, while maximizing return on technology investment. These 32-bit Windows applications can be deployed across the extended enterprise, from various locations, type of client hardware, operating systems and available communication bandwidth.

Based on a network-centric computing model, WinFrame/Enterprise includes Citrix's ICA (Intelligent Console Architecture) -based universal, thin-client software that works in conjunction with Citrix's multi-user application server software. Enterprise applications execute on the application server, while only the graphical user interface displays on client devices over dial-up, LAN, WAN, intranet or Internet connections. WinFrame's thin client architecture provides the high-performance and universal application access required by many users, while the multi-user application server design offers IS professionals the economic benefits of single-point application management and control. In addition to OS/2 support, WinFrame/Enterprise supports DOS, 16- and 32-bit Windows, UNIX and Macintosh clients, as well as low-cost terminals and wireless devices.

WinFrame/Enterprise Availability for OS/2

WinFrame/Enterprise multi-user application server software is available from members of the Citrix Solutions Network, Citrix's certified reseller channel. It currently has a suggested retail price of $5,995 for 15 concurrent users. Additional concurrent user licenses are currently available in increments of five for $995. Citrix has announced that service and support of OS/2 clients connected to WinFrame/Enterprise servers will be available beginning October 9th, 1996 from members of the Citrix Solutions Network. WinFrame/Enterprise v1.6 client software is supported by the versions of OS/2 that include Win-OS/2 application support, these include OS/2 v2.11, OS/2 Warp Version 3, OS/2 Warp Connect, as well as the latest release of the operating system solution, OS/2 Warp 4. Additional information regarding WinFrame/Enterprise can be found on the Citrix home page.

About Citrix

Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTXS) develops, markets and supports multi-user Windows application server software under license and strategic agreement with Microsoft. The company's flagship product line, WinFrame, enables the high-performance, enterprise-wide deployment of Windows applications without regard to location or type of client hardware platform. Founded in 1989, Citrix is based in Coral Springs, Florida.

OS/2 Warp 4 "Merlin" officially launched

Merlin, or OS/2 Warp version 4, was formally announced on 25th September 1996. "OS/2 Warp will protect customers' current investments in client/server computing, while carrying them into the new model of network computing," said John W. Thompson, general manager for IBM Personal Software Products, who joined partners from JavaSoft, Netscape Communications Corporation and Lotus to introduce the new software. "OS/2 Warp 4 has the system management and networking capabilities needed to run businesses today. But it also comes with the hottest Internet and intranet abilities around -- and that will help customers move into the network computing solutions of tomorrow."

From Client/Server to Network Computing

OS/2 Warp 4 is claimed to be the universal client in client/server computing. Users of OS/2 Warp 4 will be able to access data on systems of many sizes, from peer networks to popular PC servers - including OS/2 Warp Server, Novell Netware and Windows NT - to mainframe systems. OS/2 Warp 4 also incorporates remote access capabilities, Mobile File Synchronization and Advanced Power Management, allowing users to take their offices on the road.

OS/2 Warp 4 is the first PC operating system solution to incorporate Sun Microsystems' Java technology, allowing users to run Java applets and applications independently of a Web browser on their desktops. OS/2 Warp 4 will come with the runtime code necessary for running Java applications, a Java developer toolkit and Java applet samples.

Easy to Talk To and Easier to Work With

OS/2 Warp 4 also allows users to talk to their computers, completely changing the way people interact with computers and redefining the phrase "ease of use." Incorporating IBM's leading VoiceType technology in speech navigation and dictation, OS/2 Warp 4 allows users to execute menu commands and dictate letters or memos simply by talking to their computers. The voice recognition software is speaker independent, meaning the computer will understand most users without training. The software even recognizes words in context and executes the correct spelling when it runs across homonyms, like to, too and two.

System Requirements

The system requirements for OS/2 Warp 4 will vary depending on options installed. Minimum requirements are an Intel 486/33 or higher with 12 to 16 megabytes of memory. For speech navigation: Intel Pentium/75 or higher with 16 to 20 megabytes of memory. For speech navigation and dictation: Intel Pentium/100 or higher with 24 to 32 megabytes of memory.

Installation by selecting options requires 100 to 300 megabytes of free disk space across user-selectable partitions. An installation of IBM preselected options requires 200 megabytes of free disk space. Other requirements are a 1.44 megabyte 3.5 inch diskette drive "A", an OS/2-compatible CD-ROM drive, an IBM-compatible mouse, 14.4 kilobyte or higher modem or network connection for Internet/Intranet access, a supported sound card for speech recognition and multimedia and a noise-cancelling microphone and adapter for speech.

Packaging, Pricing and Availability

OS/2 Warp 4 is immediately available in U.S. English in many countries and is planned to be available in 28 national language versions by the second half of 1997, beginning with many major European languages within the next 45 days. The suggested retail price in the United States is $249 for first-time OS/2 customers and $149 for upgrades from previous releases of OS/2. The incredible value includes OS/2 Warp 4, Lotus Notes Mail 4.1, an application sampler CD-ROM with light versions of approximately 80 OS/2 applications, and a CD-ROM with access to hundreds of OS/2 device drivers.

Mixed News on OpenDoc

Sundial Systems, who have developed or acquired a number of OS/2 software products, is announcing that both Mesa 2 version 2.1.6 and the beta of the corresponding OpenDoc component will be released coincident with availability of IBM's OS/2 Warp 4. OpenDoc enables users and developers alike to "build" cross-platform custom solutions using components such as Mesa 2 for OpenDoc. The initial version of the Mesa 2 for OpenDoc component provides complete spreadsheet functionality with almost all the features traditionally found in Mesa 2. Future versions will further integrate the component with OpenDoc's more advanced features such as containment and scripting.

Version 2.1.6 brings many substantial improvements to Mesa 2 including a reduced memory footprint and a much faster recalculation engine. Users will find improved support for international settings and full REXX support for Mesa's unique feed/signal interface. Graphic objects can now also be DDE linked into other applications. Also, there are additional formula functions, scripting functions, and enhanced import/export support for other spreadsheet formats. For more information, contact Carla Hanzlik, Vice President at +1-310-596-5121 or Carla@sundialsystems.com. Or visit Sundial on the Web.

However, despite progress in the application of OpenDoc and increasing interest in components, IBM appears to recognise that the OpenDoc initiative may not have enough momentum to become a major technology in the market. Although OpenDoc development is continuing, the emphasis seems to be shifting to Java linked initiatives that are commanding wider industry acceptance.

OS/2 Warp Server growth

On 17th September, IBM announced that OS/2 servers grew worldwide market share from 14.1 percent to 15.2 percent from the end of 1995 through the first half of 1996, according to IDC. The strong performance of OS/2 servers was bolstered by the availability of OS/2 Warp Server at the end of February.

Market anticipation for Warp Server was so high that OS/2 servers increased share five percent in the second quarter over the first quarter of this year. IDC defines share as determined by the number of new shipments and upgrades, which totaled 178,100 OS/2 servers in the first half of this year.

OS/2 servers maintained the number two position in total server installed base, including both file and print serving and application serving, against Novell NetWare, and beat all UNIX systems combined. "The bottom line is, OS/2 servers, particularly Warp Server, are gaining market share in an extremely competitive environment by helping customers build critically needed PC LAN infrastructures for intranet and Internet application serving," said Art Olbert, vice president of server products, IBM Personal Software Products. "In fact, in June Warp Server outsold its predecessor, LAN Server, indicating early and strong market acceptance of Warp Server by our customers, who range from small businesses to large enterprises."

"With Warp Server, IBM has substantially enhanced the value proposition of its strategic PC LAN OS/2 application server," said Phil Johnson, IDC global director of UNIX and server operating environments. "The continuing growth of IBM's OS/2 server shipments suggests customer commitment to this well-established application server platform."

Some recent OS/2 server customer wins include: the State of California, which purchased 300 Warp Server licenses; Banca Commerciale Italiana in Milan, which bought 1,600 Warp Servers; Dean Witter, which is rolling out 900 Warp Servers; Comerica Bank, which purchased 270 Warp Server licenses; Furrs-Bishops Inc., which is running Warp Server in 125 stores across 13 states; and Trustmark National Bank, which is upgrading all of its servers to Warp Server. These installations demonstrate the strength and breadth of Warp Server to satisfy customer needs ranging from small business applications to mission-critical operations.

IBM also announced a symmetric-multiprocessing (SMP) feature which will be available for Warp Server Advanced on September 30.

Object Desktop Professional Launched

Monday, September 8, 1996, Canton MI -- Stardock Systems announced that its new flagship product, Object Desktop Professional, is generally available through its reseller channels. It contains all the features of the best-selling Object Desktop plus corporate-centric features such as universal document viewing, security, desktop standardization, backup, INI repair, internet help integration, and a lot more. Stardock expects most users to stay with Object Desktop with power users and corporate desktops moving to Object Desktop Professional. With Object Viewing, Stardock integrated most of the common file formats into OS/2 itself making Object Desktop Professional very attractive for corporations running a mixed set of applications.

One of Object Desktop Professional's most impressive features is the Object Advisor. Object Advisor integrates on-line help into the internet/intranet world via HTML. When a user clicks on an icon with the Advisor trainer opened, a window appears explaining what the icon does with link options to either other HTML documents on the machine, the server, or on the internet. This makes the Object Advisor a very powerful aid to corporations trying to reduce the costs of maintaining a help desk or other internal technical support. Commercial developers can also look to greatly decrease support costs by providing advisors that allow users to link to their web sites to download updates automatically.

Corporations or end users looking to standardize their desktop and manage multiple desktops will also find the Desktop Backup Advisor to be essential. Not only does it make managing desktops very easy, it also can completely repair OS/2 INI files quickly and easily making OS/2 faster and more stable.

Other features include Object Backup which can back up systems to the network, floppy, and external devices (such as ZIP drives and ATAPI/IDE tape drives). Object Inspector makes it easy to create Workplace Shell objects as well as modify the class table. An enhanced version of the Object Navigator can view any type of file format within its view pane. A host of other features will delight both IS managers and OS/2 power users.

Stardock Systems can be reached at +1-313-453-0328, fax +1-313-453-1480, web site or email info@stardock.com.

OS/2 Technical Tips

Libpath clever stuff

You may know this already, but TVFS (an IBM EWS freebie) is an effective solution for ever growing LIBPATH statements. You create a virtual partition and assign arbitrary directories to it. I've been using it for a couple of months now and have not seen any ill effects. For example here's my current LIBPATH:

LIBPATH=.;E:\OS2\DLL;E:\OS2\MDOS;E:\;E:\OS2\APPS\DLL;E:\MMOS2\DLL;E:\MUGLIB\DLL

E \OBJDESK;E
\TVFS;T:\APPLPATH

and I assign a bunch of subdirs to T: like so:

rc = TvLink("-drntx T:\applpath G:\tcpip\DEMO");
if (rc <> 0) then call shutdown;
rc = TvLink("-drntx T:\applpath G:\tcpip\dll");
if (rc <> 0) then call shutdown; 
rc = TvLink("-drntx T:\applpath G:\appsdll"); if (rc <> 0) then call shutdown;

... and so on

I've set up LIBPATH, PATH, DPATH and HELP in this manner.

Nolly Unvala.

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

We are developing an exciting autumn programme, covering diverse topics by a range of expert speakers. Meetings currently planned are:

  • Tuesday 8th October 1996 - Internet and OS/2, a practical guide. This will include information on linking a network to the Internet via an OS/2 machine, security considerations using OS/2 TCP/IP with the Internet, the IBM Internet servers, CGI scripts in an OS/2 environment, linking VisualAge software developments to the Internet, the use of Lotus Notes under OS/2 for the provision of Internet services
  • Thursday 7th November 1996 - "Merlin" released, the future of OS/2, when IBM speakers will present the final release of OS/2 Warp version 4, demonstrate its major new features and talk about future plans for the OS/2 family
  • Wednesday 18th December 1996 - featured speaker will be Romilly Cocking, international OO expert. Topics relating to object orientation and OS/2.
  • Further meetings are being planned for 1997. Do you have a topic on which you would like to speak? Is there an area you would like to see covered at a meeting? Please let me know.

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. For the very latest information on meetings, please refer to the EurOS/2 Web Site. 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

MT. LAUREL, NJ - September 25, 1996 - Creative Systems Programming Corporation, developers of Golden CommPass, have reached an agreement with CompuServe to continue the development of interactive OS/2 products for the CompuServe Information Service. CompuServe will deliver code, tools and documentation to Creative Systems Programming Corporation. This deal will allow Creative Systems Programming Corporation to continue to provide industry leading tools to the OS/2 community for accessing the CompuServe Information Service and the Internet. New developments will fully integrate with the latest features available in OS/2 Warp 4, including Internet connectivity and voice dictation. Larry B. Finkelstein, president of Creative Systems Programming Corporation, said, "We have been working with CompuServe since early this year to insure that the OS/2 community is represented and that development on OS2-CIM is continuing. We are very excited that we can now deliver new cutting edge products to the OS/2 community and that CompuServe has shown a commitment to serve this valuable customer base."

Innoval announce that demo copies of the Post Road Mailer will be included on a sampler CD packaged with Warp 4. They are also announcing Post Road Mailer 2.5 with Netscape Navigator accommodations and expect to deliver it by the end of October. Details about this announcement are included in the [Best of OS/2 web site]. Also annnounced is Post Road NetExtra for the OS/2 version of Netscape Navigator. This provides advanced bookmarking of pages into nested folders, nicknamed page retrieval, an unlimited month-by-month history of all visited web pages, a persistent jump list that is carried forward from session to session, and a local agent for downloading a series of web pages to a user's hard drive. Downloaded web pages, called "wacked" pages, can be viewed very quickly, even while disconnected from the Internet. To contact Innoval, call +1-914-835-3838 or innoval@ibm.net.

PM Timer/2 will be uploaded at ftp-os2.nmsu.edu where you can find it first in the /incoming directory and later in the os2/comm or os2/wpsutil directories as PMT100.ZIP. This is the first international release of PM Timer; previous release was Dutch only and thus only released in the Netherlands. You can also get it from [the author's homepage] (There's also a screenshot available.) PM Timer/2 is an online phone costs calculation program for OS/2 Presentation Manager. It gets rid of the hassle of having to use a different logfile for every communications program you use, not to mention the programs that don't even keep a logfile (think about Dial Other Internet Providers in the OS/2 Warp bonuspak). PM Timer logs all your outgoing calls in one single logfile and calculates the phone costs made in a specified period of time on your demand. PM Timer will monitor the serial port to which your modem is connected and detect any connections you make with your modem. Furthermore, if desired, you can run PM Timer unattended from batchfiles using commandline parameters. And, with PM Timer running you'll always keep track of your online (surfing) time, even if the PM Timer window is invisible. PM Timer places a small clock that displays the online time in the currently active Presentation Manager window's titlebar.

2Rud Software has announced the availability of SpellGuard v1.2. SpellGuard is an as-you-type Spell Checker for PM programs, programs that run in an OS/2 Window, and DOS programs in a DOS Window. It can find the closest match and replace the incorrect word with the correct one and you can add words to the 77K word dictionary. Dictionaries are available for a number of languages, and the author is interested in addding new dictionaries. SpellGuard is fully 32bit and takes full advantage of OS/2. It is multi-threaded, takes very little CPU and has a comprehensive help system. It also includes a dictionary maintenance program and a program that allows you to add a file of words to the dictionary. SpellGuard can be found on CIS; GO OS2SHARE lib 1:

  • SPLGRD.ZIP (exes, docs, dlls, dictionary) best for new installations
  • SG_UPG.ZIP (exes, docs, dlls, no dictionary) best for existing installation
  • SPDICT.ZIP (US English dictionary)

or via BMT Micro, 452 Horn Road, Wilmington, NC 28412-2411 - U.S.A. - phone: +1-910-791-7052, fax: +1-910-350-2937, bbs: +1-910-350-8061. Refer to our World Wide Web Links to access BMT Micro through the Internet.

Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - September 5, 1996, Hethmon Brothers announce the release of Inet.Mail for OS/2 Internet Mail Server. Inet.Mail for OS/2 is a full featured SMTP/POP3 mail server for the OS/2 environment. It features a Presentation Manager interface for all functions and has been designed from the ground up to take advantage of OS/2's multi-tasking and multi-threading. Inet.Mail completely replaces traditional sendmail and takes the mystery and agony from configuring internet mail. Features include:

  • PM interface
  • Native OS/2, not a Unix port
  • Multi-process for reliability
  • Multi-threaded for speed and low resource usage
  • Context sensitive help
  • Ability to handle multiple aliases
  • Can send mail through a gateway
  • Can act as a relay host
  • Can limit the number of simultaneous connections
  • Can limit incoming email message sizes
  • High degree of reliability under system crashes
  • Can automatically forward mail
  • Can automatically cc mail
  • Can execute a local process on delivery
  • Supports APOP for POP3
  • POP3 send extension supported
  • Supports UIDL for POP3
  • Extensive logging available
  • Rexx interface available
  • Mailing list software included
  • Auto reply software included

Contact BMT Micro (see above or web links) for access to evaluation software, pricing or registration, or for general information visit the [Hethmon web site] or write to sales@hethmon.com.

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 an early stage, but I hope to make further 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
  • WorldWideWeb at http://www.moorestephens.com/euros2/ where all past newsletters and other publications are searchable
  • 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

15th September 1996 - HyperWeb Publishing has updated "The Best OS/2 Software" page which features outstanding shareware, freeware, and beta software including disk utilities, editors, games, internet applications, and more. Also provided are links to fixpacks, CSDs, updates, and patches to a variety of popular OS/2 shareware and commercial applications.

Australian Lewin Edwards has recently started a service to provide free web exposure for people who support non-MS OSs, in almost any capacity. He is offering authors, vendors and OS/2+MacOS-using businesses 1Mb of US-hosted web space on zws.com, up to 8 email addresses (limits increasable by request), and also 100Mb ftp space on his Australian ftp server when it comes online [local Government/telco problems are brewing which is causing a holdup]. Anyone interested should [browse] to see what the site looks like, then [check] that they meet the criteria (which anyone reading EurOS/2 magazine probably will 8-)

The EurOS/2 web site now carries reviews written by Brad Wardell of OS/2 Warp 4, NT 4 and a comparison between the two.

You've just got time to arrange to go to the finest software developer conference in the world - ColoradOS/2. The conference commences on Sunday 13th October 1996. Personally recommended!

For a wide selection of OS/2 shareware products, consult BMT Micro of 452 Horn Road, Wilmington, NC 28412-2411, USA. Phone: +1-910-791-7052, fax: +1-910-350-2937, bbs: +1-910-350-8061. They operate an [web site] and you can contact them via e-mail as thomas.bradford@bmtmicro.com.