EurOS/2 Magazine - Volume 1 Number 8

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Contents

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

Warp Server OOPS!

by Chris Novak

There is a small (and easily circumvented) problem in the gold version of OS/2 Warp Server Advanced. Not surprising in so complex a product! When you install the Advanced version of this product with HPFS (High Performance File System), instead of the regular 16-bit HPFS, you get a 32-bit HPFS (aka 386HPFS). This gives OS/2 Warp Server Advanced a good performance boost (helping it to handle more users than the Entry version). Everyone who installs OS/2 Warp/Connect/Server should create the "OS/2 Utility Diskettes" in the System Setup folder. OS/2 Warp Server Advanced users with the 386HPFS file system should also create the special 386HPFS Boot diskette to go along with their utility diskettes, as the standard utilities cannot recognize a 386HPFS file system!

The OOPS is in the creation of the 386HPFS diskette! The problem isn't the program, it has to do with the CD-ROM's manufacture. During the OS/2 Warp Server beta 2 (which was so gold that it glittered!), the CD-ROM's Volume Label was "WARP SERVER". For the 'gold' release, the volume label was changed to "WARP_SERVER" (adding the underscore between the words). Whomever made this change, didn't check for any volume label dependencies (sigh), and broke the 386HPFS diskette creation routine. The fix is easy enough. The affected program runs from the CD-ROM at \IBMLAN\NETPROG\WSBOOT.CMD. Edit this REXX command file with the OS/2 E editor, and change the volume label check in line 54 to replace the "space" between the words with an "underscore". Since you can't update the CD-ROM (it IS "Read Only", right?), use "Save As" to save the modified program to the \IBMLAN directory on your hard disk, and then run the modified command from an OS/2 Command Prompt and/or modify the 386HPFS Boot Diskette icon to point to the modified WSBOOT.CMD on your hard disk.

I've seen at least one other manifestation of this problem. Folks who installed SystemView Systems Management as part of the initial installation shouldn't have trouble, but those who wish to add it will run into the same problem; the SystemView Installation routine looks for a CD-ROM label of "WARP SERVER" and the gold cd-rom has "WARP_SERVER". There may be other similar problems, but I haven't run across them yet.

The Latest Web Explorer

It seemed that IBM was unsure whether to release the Web Explorer version 1.1b to supersede all the 1.0x versions. But the cat is out of the bag now as many copies are circulating. It is currently available on the IBM UK BBS, or you can call Moore Stephens Infoline BBS for a copy on +44-171-334-0337. On the Web, it can be obtained from IBM Raleigh, NC. The latest versions of the Web Explorer (1.03 or later) give you the ability to 'drag' a URL from Web Explorer onto your desktop or into a folder. This creates a URL object, which later may be dragged into Web Explorer for use. However, IBM doesn't offer a way to convert existing Quicklists into URL objects or vice versa. To the rescue comes Ini2URLs, a freeware program which lets you create Web Explorer URL Objects from the information in your Quicklist, or create a Quicklist from your URL Objects. With this program, you can rearrange the URL objects into one or more URL folders, and import/synchronize the organizational changes back into your Quicklist. Copies may be downloaded from: Roepcke Computing Solutions or from Moore Stephens Infoline BBS at +44-171-334-0337.

Problems!

Tim Walker's problem in the last edition brought a helpful response. He reports "I thought you'd appreciate an update on the situation I faced with the mach64 drivers, as EurOS/2 helped bring about a partial solution. Not long after my appeal appeared in the last newsletter, Reinout van Schouwen from TeamOS/2 Holland e-mailed and suggested I install the latest drivers, which he said should fix the problem.

"Well, I did this, and lo and behold, the DOS sessions came back! I still get problems with Win-OS/2 (i.e. it doesn't work - mind you, I hardly run any Windows apps anyway), and switching back and forth between fullscreen DOS games and the OS/2 desktop scrambles the DOS colour palette on some apps, but at least DOS sessions work now, and running the System Info Tool doesn't scramble the display. Are mach64 OS/2 drivers known for being so ropey?"

Any more problems??

Exchange of Views

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.

I'm currently involved in the setting up of an OS/2 based Web Server, and am considering ideas to maximise the security of the machine. Can anyone offer ideas?

Planned Meetings

The next meeting has been scheduled for Thursday 6th June 1996 and the following meeting will be held on Monday 15th July (usual time and location). The 6th June meeting will be devoted to a discussion of strategic issues affecting the choice of operating systems. By 15th July we hope to be able to provide you with copies of the Merlin beta.

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 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

Friends Provident is spending £500,000 on an OS/2 based telephone sales service aimed at developing new sources of business.

After headlines saying that British Airways was dropping OS/2, you might well have missed the two and a half lines tucked away at the end of another article saying "BA has denied a recent press report that it is jettisoning OS/2". In fact it seems that PCs that were running Windows 3.1 are being moved to Windows 95, and those that were running OS/2 are still running OS/2.

Barclays Bank is implementing "Lending Advisor", a new system developed at a cost of £12 million over the last three years. The system will monitor lending to a total customer base of 60,000 businesses, making recommendations on loans of £500,000 upwards. A central DB2 database runs on an IBM mainframe, and the client is OS/2.

The Smalltalk User Group (UK) holds its next meeting on 24th June 1996 from 2 pm to 5:30 pm. IBM and Parc-Place-Digitalk will both be presenting their current and planned technology for Smalltalk. For further details, [e-mail to Meetings Organiser, Robert James].

Development Technologies, Inc. has announced version 2.0 of their DeskMan/2 product. It incorporates new and enhanced features such as Workspaces, the MultiDesk Personal Desktop Facility, Workplace Shell Extensions and live desktop synchronisation.

The OS/2 Warp Internet Chess Client claims to be getting better and better! PMICS V2.0 beta 3 is now available for ftp download. It has been placed on the following sites: hobbes.nmsu.edu (/os2/games or /incoming), ftp-os2.cdrom.com (/pub/os2/games or /pub/os2/incoming) and ftp.onenet.net (/pub/chess/OS2 or /pub/chess/uploads/OS2) with filename PMICS2B3.ZIP.

The readme in the zip file contains all the new features. Here are the highlights...

  • Multi-board support
  • Simplified TimeSeal connections
  • Enhanced command entry

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.

Various methods of stripping off the HTML are available if required (see earlier editions of the magazine for details). 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, 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

Iona Technologies and IBM will work together to integrate their object request brokers. Iona will ship its Orbix 2.0 product for the Mac operating system by the end of the year. It will cooperate with Apple to ensure Orbix interoperates with applications based on the OpenDoc component object model.

Following Alan Chambers' interesting presentation on JAVA at our last meeting, you may want to know more about the database connectivity functions provided by [Java Database Connectivity (JDBC)]

One way to keep abreast of what is happening with Merlin is to visit the ["Highly Unofficial IBM OS/2 Beta FAQ Page]. Run by student Kris Kwilas, this provides a variety of interesting and topical information.

Merlin will include run time support for OpenDoc, so you may want to check what is happening at CI Labs, the people responsible for OpenDoc.

Looking for a bargain? The IBM Internet Connection Server for OS/2 can now be downloaded free of charge. You can actually download versions for Windows NT or AIX, but you'd naturally want the OS/2 version. Look at [IBM Raleigh, NC].

Throughout 1993 and into 1994, the computer trade press was predicting that Windows NT would dominate the office desktop; then Windows NT shipped. Throughout 1994 and 1995, the computer trade press was predicting that Windows 95 would dominate the office desktop; then Windows 95 shipped. Now the trade press is again predicting that Windows NT will dominate the office desktop, and some companies are switching to NT with no more rational basis than those predictions. This is the introduction to Paul Giangarra's tutorial of the technical differences between NT and OS/2 (both workstation and server platforms) that will be given at the October 1996 ColoradOS/2 Conference.

How will journalism adapt to the development of the Internet? Well, this week [Computer Weekly] has launched its own Web site with a fanfare.