Author Topic: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports  (Read 8339 times)

Daniele

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #120 on: March 15, 2021, 08:21:33 pm »
Hello,
I ask them and this is the answer:

"
That is some very old equipment and OS that you are running.

Unfortunately the NEO card does not support OS/2.
This is our only serial card and even all of our network products do not support OS/2."

 :'(

Regards

Neil Waldhauer

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #121 on: March 16, 2021, 03:10:22 pm »
I got more or less the same answer from Digi 20 years ago. I got the same from Quatech.

There are a lot of Gasonics PEP out on the used market. An internet search reveals dozens available. It's hard to imagine the use for them. I can imagine that the software could be modified to run on one OS/2 computer without the network. I would have set it up, but PEP was end-of-life by the time I worked on it.

I did make a replacement computer for PEP based on an Industrial computer. That computer cost quite a bit more than the current value of a PEP on the used market. Practically, it might make sense to buy two PEP and use one for parts.

The OS needs to be real-time, which OS/2 is not. But Windows and maybe Linux are worse at real-time than OS/2. The replacement for PEP ran on a real time OS.

Making OS/2 virtual probably makes things worse. Is there such a thing as a real-time Virtual PC? Anyway, that's why there are three computers. The right and left just do precise real-time control of the robots and oven.

An OS/2 machine with a Pentium 3 would easily control 99 serial ports in not quite real time. That's why so many robotics setups were using OS/2. Windows and Linux in the same situation would generally not control even one serial port. That's why there are so many network-based serial solutions - to off-load the real-time to a dedicated processor/operating system.
Expert consulting for ArcaOS, OS/2 and eComStation
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Kumar Bhatia

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #122 on: May 06, 2021, 05:04:37 am »
Hello,
I have some old industrial tools that has Pc with OS/2 warp 4 with a multiple serials ISA board interfaced with a 8 rs232 hub. I need to replace it with a windows7 pc host with virtualbox and OS/2 guest. The VHD clone of the original HD works, but I cannot manage more than 4 COM ports (limit of emulation softwares).
I see boards PCIe or serial hub with USB connection, but none has Os/2 drivers.
Does someone know a solution of this ?
Thanks

Hi. First time here and first post. I am the CTO of a hardware design company (Est 1985) in Canada and have strong design experience with PCI, PCIe and USB products. Our company did the first design of the PCIe add-on I/O adapters for the PC industry. We have 1M+ adapters in the field and hundreds of PCIe adapters (some are listed on Amazon). Digi is no longer active on these I/O designs. Startech imports offshore goods under private label.

What are the specifics of your requirements? Will you be running eCOMSTATION? We are quite new to eCOMSTATION and have been recently approached by a customer to support our PCIe parallel adapters for dongle use on the same. However, have some experience with OS/2 and met with Mr. Sam Detweiller who is the author of SIO.SYS that we have seen referenced here.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sam-detweiler-a433702
* hope he is ok with this reminder :)

Sam came to our company many moons ago when he resided in Michigan (IBM), just prior to us becoming a supplier to PictureTel who used our ISA adapter (back then) on OS/2. It was the industry's first jumperless I/O adapter.

If there is a need and demand, we can review on how we can support this requirement. We are very comfortable with PCIe, uPCI bus adapter designs.

Respectively, we have numerous designs today with 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 ports on PCI and PCIe bus with RS232 interface. Perhaps one of our existing models can work for your needs?

Welcome feedback and continued dialog.

Thanks.
Kumar Bhatia
Axxon (OEM) Inc.
kumar [at] softio.com
www.axxon.io (new website - we are still migrating our product offerings onto the new format)
www.softio.com (old website)

Neil Waldhauer

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #123 on: May 06, 2021, 04:16:25 pm »
I'm an OS/2 consultant. I have some picture of the few remaining OS/2 users. There are quite a few industrial automation programs from the 1990s that relied on serial ports communicating to programmed logic arrays to do their machine control. Many of these machines only lack a working OS/2 computer with serial port support to work again.

There is also the dongle situation, which traps users on old hardware. I worked at a dongle manufacturer, and I know that OS/2 was always supported, but never was a large part of the market.

OS/2 developers have the source code for the IBM serial port driver as a part of the device driver developer kit. This support is limited to hardware available in the 1990s, but if hardware documentation were available for new serial cards, someone could extend support of the existing driver.

I don't want to exaggerate the size of the opportunity. Most of my industrial customers have migrated to newer platforms. I'm hoping someone here has a clearer idea of what would be needed to extend the device driver support.
Expert consulting for ArcaOS, OS/2 and eComStation
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Martin Iturbide

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #124 on: May 06, 2021, 07:47:30 pm »
Hi Kumar, welcome to the forum.

I'm Martin Iturbide, the moderator of this forum and OS2World newsmaster.

eComStation seems to be no longer maintained, we haven't hear any news from that product and company since 2014. Today the OS/2 community is using a different OS/2 OEM OS called ArcaOS (Based in OS/2 Warp 4.52). ArcaOS is being actively developed and it is being sold to individuals and corporations that has the need to use OS/2 on modern machines. I would suggest you to contact Lewis Rosenthal from Arca Noae (company that created ArcaOS) and talk with him about the industrial necessity for OS/2 and serial multi port pci cards for industrial use under this OS.

My opinions are from a community point of view, and on this case, it is not commercial. I would prefer an open source driver for the modern PCI-e Multiport serial adapter and it possible can be spin off from some other open source drivers. I would love to have some reports that the Axxon multiport modern PCI-e serial adapter works on ArcaOS, but I think it will depend on the demand that you may get with this platform. Anyway, if you need any information about the platform we can help you here, as long as our time and knowledge are able to.

Regards
« Last Edit: May 07, 2021, 03:18:04 am by Martin Iturbide »
Martin Iturbide
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Dariusz Piatkowski

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #125 on: May 07, 2021, 03:08:43 am »
Kumar!!!???

Hi. First time here and first post. I am the CTO of a hardware design company (Est 1985) in Canada and have strong design experience with PCI, PCIe and USB products.
...
Sam came to our company many moons ago when he resided in Michigan (IBM), just prior to us becoming a supplier to PictureTel who used our ISA adapter (back then) on OS/2. It was the industry's first jumperless I/O adapter.
...
Thanks.
Kumar Bhatia
Axxon (OEM) Inc.

No way...it's been many many years since we talked, but say around the early to mid-90's I would stop by once in a while at your shop and just talk pure computing stuff, or better yet, the field of Artificial Neural Networks. Not sure if you recall, but during my first visit to your location I remember asking to speak to the president as the business name, Axxon, was just so darn close to the AXON of the ANN fame (and well, the biological build we all have within us), which was my field of study (thesis work) for my last year of undergrad at UofGuelph.

Anyways...a bit of a memory lane walk there, and welcome to our forum. We have just a couple of OS/2 users from Windsor on here, and as both Martin and Neil pointed out, this forum is largely focused on grass-roots type of discussion around our platform.

ArcaNoae on the other hand is the leader in the commercial space today, and I for one would hope they might need the sort of solution you can provide. Lewis will be able to answer this I believe.

Either way, would love to catch-up...heck, I remember you telling me about the assembler work you guys were doing at that time, most of it device driver software if I recall?

Kumar Bhatia

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #126 on: May 09, 2021, 06:31:44 pm »
Dariusz ! :) How are you ? I recall our last meeting @ TD Bank (Malden road) ages ago. How are things? Recall our meet our place well. Are you still in Windsor ?

Yes, we saw the writing on the wall ages ago on retail sales. We all have a background in either EE or Comp. Sci from the university and the business was an easy way to generate revenue for the real projects of interest. We have an in-house SMT line for our prototype / PCBA builds. The line is amazing and we have been able to place down to 01005 SMD parts and recently developed a breakout board with the Lattice ICE40UL1K (16 balls WLCSP package in a 1.4*1.4mm footprint). Learning about FPGA at our age is always fun but Verilog is fairly logical.

It has been a fun ride and we now have many designs for the PC industry and supply all the major players including the aerospace / airlines. In the movie Scully - the flight simulator from CAE has our adapter design from Windsor in there :) They use a real-time hardened version of Windows for this task and our adapter offered the hardware requirements demanded by this project. Our more current designs offer DMA engines on the PCIe adapters to allow for very high sustained data rates which robotic surgical firms are after.

We are researching edge node designs with AI but there appears to be always some monetary catch with the silicon companies. They want us (every client I suppose) to buy containers of silicon but then the ref designs are with some astronomical backend license. Still very much learning. On device drivers development - yes, we have a great team offshore that charges US rates :( but are solid. We have firm support on Windows and Linux platforms. With some bruises, did a design for a medical company for a robot that is running on QNX. No thanks to QNX for their zero support.

Hope you are well. Stay in touch. Are you in the software or hardware field ? If you are in Windsor, drop by and will show the SMT line which is a beast but cool when it is running. Hope that we can expand it with more equipment in the future.

On the OS2 support - I think we have some designs that can work but openly need testers to validate our knowledge that is on paper. It is not practical to write custom drivers, even if we could find the proper support materials and developers. Rather, we can properly match one or more of our designs with Mr. Sam Detweiller's device driver package. He worked with Mr. Ray Gwinn before this. The cost to develop a custom device driver can be easily $20k++ USD.

In summary, pretty sure we can support at least:

1S, 2S, 4S on PCIe bus with our existing hardware. More unique products are in development.

Stay safe!! Bye for now.

Kumar


Lars

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Re: OS/2 on Virtualbox with 8 COM ports
« Reply #127 on: May 10, 2021, 11:34:13 am »
If you can supply HW that defines I/O mapped registers (but NOT memory mapped) as the usual register set (Line control reg, mode control reg. etc.) and this register block is contiguous as usual for each supported HW I/F, then the default COM.SYS driver will do. COM.SYS just assumes the registers to exist that existed 20 years ago.
COM.SYS will read the BAR value(s) directly from PCI config space. The rest is done with a configuration file ("stepsize" of repeated register block for each HW I/F, for example).