Author Topic: Benefits, purpose for OS/2/eComStation, and Serenity's vision  (Read 22395 times)

Doug Bissett

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Re: Benefits, purpose for OS/2/eComStation, and Serenity's vision
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2013, 03:10:44 am »
It's fun to talk with knowledgeable people such as yourself, Doug. Do you see eComStation working up to 64bit in the next 2 - 4 years? Or maybe even sooner? Also, don't worry, it's not all for naught telling me all of this stuff. I'm installing Virtualbox right now and going to try out OS/2 that way. I'm a PC Guru, and it would be shameful for someone to ask me "Hey, have you used OS/2?" and I would have to say No. Yes, I'm a technophile. lol

Some would argue with you about the "knowledgeable" part.

No, I don't see OS/2 (eCS) going to 64 bit, unless somebody can build a 64 bit kernel with the capabilities of the OS/2 kernel. Nothing is quite like it, so it is not as easy as taking a Linux kernel, and fitting the rest of OS/2 to it. In fact it may come to that someday, when other options run out. Whether it can be made to work, or not, will depend on a lot of things. The biggest obstacle will be finding competent programmers to attempt to do the job. Apparently, a few have tried, but it seems that they gave up (or they have hidden their work).

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But I thought eComStation was the rebirth of OS/2? Doesn't that mean they have the source code? How are they supporting newer hardware if that isn't the case? That's a tad confusing. So you're basically telling me when we start doing 128bit computing and only have backwards compatibility for 64bit, no 32 bit software will work? I thought eCS already made it translate 32bit to 16bit(kernel) stuff?

No, eComStation is not the "rebirth", it is more like the "extension" of OS/2. Some would say "life support". No they do NOT have the source code, except for a few drivers, and a couple of other things. They do have the source code for a lot of the newer stuff, that has been added since IBM abandoned it (which isn't entirely correct either, IBM still owns OS/2, and Mensys does pay royalties to use OS/2). In fact, there was a rumor going around, that IBM has managed to lose the source code, but I doubt if that is actually true. They have neither confirmed, or denied, that rumor. 128 bit processors are currently an unknown entity. When they start to show up, decisions will need to be made, but I suspect that 32 bit capable processors will be around for a while. I don't know the details of converting stuff from 32 bit to 16 bit. I think most of that is in the device driver interface. Support for newer hardware mostly involves device drivers. ACPI support was, apparently, developed with the help of Intel. The biggest thing that keeps it going, however, is that there are a number of very knowledgeable programmers (I won't attempt to name them, because I will miss some of them), who do wonderful work, with very little to work with, and Mensys tries to keep it all together, with a "shoestring" budget, and a lot of diplomacy. After they pay for staff (two of them, I think), royalties, some important development projects, and expenses, there wouldn't be much left.

Give eComStation a try (older versions of OS/2 can be made to work in VBox, but you need to know a lot about it to get it to work properly). You may learn to love it, or, you may hate it. There is rarely a middle ground.

lmotaku

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Re: Benefits, purpose for OS/2/eComStation, and Serenity's vision
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2013, 03:55:34 am »
Who, and why would people argue about you being knowledgeable? You seem to know a lot about the operating system, more than an average or business consumer. I think the average and business consumer alike just want things to work, the only difference between the two is work and play. I mean, some people do work from home (Writing, image editing, browsing the internet for research), but managing clientele and book keeping is probably more of a business need.

There are a few things important to me, and I'd say it's Flash, Java, and multimedia support. My main PC has a Super-Multi bluray player. I have a feeling eCS won't support it(yet anyway). I know there is a VLC port, so I could run DVD media, and possibly some video formats. But X264 / avc? Not sure. I know VLC has everything, but if it doesn't support my graphics card's capabilities it probably won't be so easy. But, like I said, going to try it anyways. I don't like Mac OS, but I don't hate it either. Everyone has their own likes, preferences, and needs.

eCS might just replace my "test/play" installs of linux(usually Ubuntu), I really hate the Unity UI. It won't grow on me either. Same goes for Windows 8. I like my start, at the bottom or top of the screen, I also like to manage my tasks this way. Forcing me to have a Media Center UI from the start(Windows 8 ), or a unique UI that is meant for mobile devices, is not moving forward.

What kinda shell style to use that best fits my 1080p display, could, and should, forever be the /users/ choice. Not the developer, and certainly not a bunch of groupies that hang on to every word a company says and eats it up like "That's how it is".

I'd like to again, thank everyone for their responses.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 04:04:31 am by Larry »

Doug Bissett

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Re: Benefits, purpose for OS/2/eComStation, and Serenity's vision
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2013, 06:22:03 am »
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Who, and why would people argue about you being knowledgeable?

I will let that one rest. There are a couple of people who seem to think I should just shut up, and go away. Oh well, I can ignore them.

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There are a few things important to me, and I'd say it's Flash, Java, and multimedia support. My main PC has a Super-Multi bluray player. I have a feeling eCS won't support it(yet anyway). I know there is a VLC port, so I could run DVD media, and possibly some video formats. But X264 / avc? Not sure. I know VLC has everything, but if it doesn't support my graphics card's capabilities it probably won't be so easy. But, like I said, going to try it anyways. I don't like Mac OS, but I don't hate it either. Everyone has their own likes, preferences, and needs.

We have an almost "latest" FLASH, and JAVA. They use a lot of support that was created for the ODIN project (which is based on WINE, if you know about that). Both seem to have a few quirks, but that seems to be true in windows too.

To be honest, I don't know if BlueRay will work, or not. I think my CD/DVD drive is also BlueRay capable, but I don't think I have ever seen a BlueRay disk, never mind try to use one. DVDDAO is supposed to have support for BlueRay, but I don't know if it works. VLC is available, and it seems to work pretty well. I am also not too sure about X264. I think there is a program to do that, but I have never tried it. I also don't know about avc. We do have FFMPEG which seems to do a credible job of format conversion, but doesn't support everything. The biggest "problem" seems to be with Microsoft proprietary codecs. They just aren't available for non MS operating  systems.

Graphics card... Well, it depends on exactly what it is, but my bet would be that it is too new to be supported by an accelerated driver (read SNAP). That doesn't mean that it won't do a reasonable job, in a lot of cases.  There are two main video drivers. One is called SNAP (was SDD - Scietech Display Doctor -  at one time), but development on that stopped a few years ago. It will support many newer cards, but only in VESA 2 mode, which is pretty slow. There is also PANORAMA, which also works in VESA 2 mode, but it has an added buffer that improves performance. Now, I hear that Mensys has acquired the OS/2 code for SNAP. Apparently, nothing has been done with it, yet, so it is difficult to know what, if anything, will come from that.

You should be aware, that eCS 2.2 beta is due to be released "soon". "Soon", in the past has meant anything up to two years. I think they (Mensys) are trying to do better, but most eCS users want it done right, rather than quickly. It is a difficult job, with one or two guys doing most of the coordination, and not many more doing the work. If you jump in with eCS 2.1, a lot of the newer stuff will be missing. You should also be aware, that eCS is cheaper, if you already own a copy of OS/2 warp4, or later. Sometimes they become available on places like e-Bay. I haven't checked prices for a long time, so a little research may be in order. You can also go to http://www.ecomstation.com/ where you can order a free demo CD (electronic delivery). It is currently also a beta version, and it does have a few problems, but they may actually be fixed by now (or "soon"). It will NOT allow access to your real disk, and it has a few other restrictions that make it useless for anything but getting a bit of a feel for eCS. Depending on your system, it may work well, or it may be impossible to make it work. It should work in the latest VBox though.

BTW, I should mention that I have no connection to Mensys, other than as a satisfied customer. I did work for IBM, as a Customer Service Specialist, large systems, but retired (at a young age) in 1992. I have used OS/2 since version 2.0.

lmotaku

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Re: Benefits, purpose for OS/2/eComStation, and Serenity's vision
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2013, 02:21:41 pm »
Thanks again Doug. I know about GPL software such as WINE. There was another one too, but it became a pay-for software after a few beta releases. Anything you have to "pay for" on Linux I tend to ignore pretty quickly. IBM? 1992? Doesn't retiring at a young age mean you quit or they laid you off? Or did you win the lottery? Haha.

In 1992.. I was 4.. so I wasn't doing much. In 1994 however I was working with old Commodore 64 systems. I self-taught myself how to write tape drive bootup codes and what not for games. (My parents had no idea how to turn the thing on.) I would play around with that until I got annoyed with the please turn over the cassette message every 5 minutes, returning to our Turbo Grafix 16, or Sega Genesis.

Having some issues running eCS right now in VirtualBox, but going to try a few things before I try a more updated beta/demo version.
(I've determined SNAP works, Panorama hates it.)

If you're curious as the what issues I'm having. First it froze up VB after Phase 1, I tweaked a few settings, got to almost the end of Phase 2. But when I woke up this morning after seeing it boot up, and having a desktop before I went to sleep, it boots past the graphical logo to get an error: "The system detected an internal processing error at location ##0168:fff1da1f - 000e:ca1f". So I'm going to try HPFS instead of JFS. If it fails this time, I'm going to see if I can effectively "skip" phase 2.

Update: as of 10am(EST), I now have a working install. I don't know why VB/eCS worked better with HPFS as opposed to JFS, but it did. Didn't tweak too many of the settings in the installer, besides making sure it was just using IDE. It had "Floppy" set on USB, which I don't have a floppy usb drive, so I set that to 0.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 03:13:17 pm by Larry »

Dave Yeo

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Re: Benefits, purpose for OS/2/eComStation, and Serenity's vision
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2013, 06:59:02 pm »

There are a few things important to me, and I'd say it's Flash, Java, and multimedia support. My main PC has a Super-Multi bluray player. I have a feeling eCS won't support it(yet anyway). I know there is a VLC port, so I could run DVD media, and possibly some video formats. But X264 / avc? Not sure. I know VLC has everything, but if it doesn't support my graphics card's capabilities it probably won't be so easy. But, like I said, going to try it anyways. I don't like Mac OS, but I don't hate it either. Everyone has their own likes, preferences, and needs.


As Doug said, we have Flash, Java is coming along. For Multimedia support, FFmpeg, libav, MPlayer and I believe VLC all support OS/2. X264 refused to support OS/2, mostly due to our not having YASM and them not liking NASM but it isn't that hard to build X264.
No bluray as our UDF file support is too old and most newer graphic cards run unaccelerated.

Doug Bissett

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Re: Benefits, purpose for OS/2/eComStation, and Serenity's vision
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2013, 09:29:09 pm »
Thanks again Doug. I know about GPL software such as WINE. There was another one too, but it became a pay-for software after a few beta releases. Anything you have to "pay for" on Linux I tend to ignore pretty quickly. IBM? 1992? Doesn't retiring at a young age mean you quit or they laid you off? Or did you win the lottery? Haha.

It was a bit of every one of them.  :D   At the time, IBM was downsizing, and they made all employees an offer I couldn't refuse. I don't think they realized that I had enough time in to qualify for early retirement, and expected me to stay. Fooled them.   :)

Having some issues running eCS right now in VirtualBox, but going to try a few things before I try a more updated beta/demo version.
(I've determined SNAP works, Panorama hates it.)

It is usually better to install using GRADD for video, because the extensions (to integrate the eCS desktop to the host desktop) simply replaces the GRADD driver.

If you're curious as the what issues I'm having. First it froze up VB after Phase 1, I tweaked a few settings, got to almost the end of Phase 2. But when I woke up this morning after seeing it boot up, and having a desktop before I went to sleep, it boots past the graphical logo to get an error: "The system detected an internal processing error at location ##0168:fff1da1f - 000e:ca1f". So I'm going to try HPFS instead of JFS. If it fails this time, I'm going to see if I can effectively "skip" phase 2.

Phase 2 installs most of the stuff that you need.

Update: as of 10am(EST), I now have a working install. I don't know why VB/eCS worked better with HPFS as opposed to JFS, but it did. Didn't tweak too many of the settings in the installer, besides making sure it was just using IDE. It had "Floppy" set on USB, which I don't have a floppy usb drive, so I set that to 0.

The floppy setting is not important. It puts a zombie floppy drive into the Drives object, that does nothing, until you plug in a USB floppy drive, if it is set to 1. 

I remember that I used HPFS for the boot volume, and it works fine. If you create a second drive, in the virtual disk, it works properly with JFS.  I think that VBox has some sort of incompatible setup that the OS2 loader doesn't comprehend when used with JFS, but I never followed up on that. It seems to be a fault in VBox, because booting from JFS on real drives works well.

walking_x

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Re: Benefits, purpose for OS/2/eComStation, and Serenity's vision
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2013, 12:23:32 pm »
DVDDAO is supposed to have support for BlueRay, but I don't know if it works.
It works, really... I'm wrote some disks on 8x speed (36Mb/s) - on PC with danis... Nice result for 14 years old system and 16bit SATA driver ;)

Doug Bissett

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Re: Benefits, purpose for OS/2/eComStation, and Serenity's vision
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2013, 03:47:59 pm »
DVDDAO is supposed to have support for BlueRay, but I don't know if it works.
It works, really... I'm wrote some disks on 8x speed (36Mb/s) - on PC with danis... Nice result for 14 years old system and 16bit SATA driver ;)

Thanks for that. Can you read the BlueRay disks with OS/2 (eCS)?

walking_x

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Re: Benefits, purpose for OS/2/eComStation, and Serenity's vision
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2013, 05:37:13 pm »
I use it only for backup, so never tried to insert a movie ... but my own written disks can be read - both in cfds and udf format.

lmotaku

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Re: Benefits, purpose for OS/2/eComStation, and Serenity's vision
« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2013, 02:26:35 pm »
As long as the hardware drivers detect that the bluray drive is readable, I suppose it's then up to the software on eCS to determine that. I suppose VLC could do this job.

Martin Iturbide

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Re: Benefits, purpose for OS/2/eComStation, and Serenity's vision
« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2013, 08:19:53 pm »
Hi.

I don't have a Bluray on the PC. Does it use a different file system for the discs?

Let remember that for a DVD to read on eCS we require the UDF driver installed. Will the bluray will require something similar?
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lmotaku

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Re: Benefits, purpose for OS/2/eComStation, and Serenity's vision
« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2013, 10:26:46 pm »
All bluray media seems to be using UDF 2.5
BD-RE v2, BD-R and Rom is 1.0?

Doug Bissett

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Re: Benefits, purpose for OS/2/eComStation, and Serenity's vision
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2013, 12:54:59 am »
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Let remember that for a DVD to read on eCS we require the UDF driver installed. Will the bluray will require something similar?

This is not entirely correct. CD, and DVD (and possibly BlueRay) can use one of UDF or CDFS as a file system. There is also a hybrid that combines both. I think there is a way to get DVDDAO to write UDF format (possibly a hybrid), but I never tried it. Normally, it write CDFS format.  BlueRay should use UDF format for most things (like movies).

You can read about the UDF capabilities in eCS 2.1. The doc is in C:\OS2\BOOK\UDF.TXT.