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Messages - Doug Bissett

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Communication / Re: COM Port Setup
« on: November 28, 2023, 06:12:59 pm »
I am trying to setup a COM port under ArcaOS. Do I need to add any statements in Config.sys? I tried mode com1 through com8 and it's not recognized. I don't see any COM ports in the hardware manager either. I'm not using a USB->Serial but an actual COM port on the motherboard.

The AcaOS installer often misses the presence of a COM port. Look in CONFIG.SYS, for:
Code: [Select]
DEVICE=C:\OS2\BOOT\PSCOM.SYS(C: is your boot drive). If it is not there, add it. If it is there (a remote possibility is that it will be COM.SYS), it should work.

Note, that software modems won't always work.

I suggest that you post the entire testlog. It has other interesting information.
I'm probably doing something wrong because the file containing that quote was HUGE.  I hesitate to impose it on this Forum.  "Attachments and other options", below the entry-posting window, looks simple enough but I need to be sure you get the wanted file. There are a lot to choose from.  And I'm posting via my Windows 10 laptop, not my AOS Machine; juggling them gets messy, involving unreliable USB sticks.  (&c)   :(  Can you be more specific, please?  Like in those old fairy tales, be careful what you wish for.   :-\

(Last moment reply:)  Martin, thanks for the Lenovo URL.  I'm not sure which of those is closest to mine.

There are many of those things. The ONLY way to know, exactly, what you have, is by using TESLOG, for that specific machine. Anything else leaves us wondering what it is.

(Re: Doug)  M900?  Oh, Lord.  I'm guessing that "a Tiny" doesn't quite cut it as an answer.

"Tiny" has nothing to do with it. What is the model, so we can tell, exactly, what it is?

The "Tiny" probably means that it has no cooling fan, and will be somewhat sensitive to heat (which will cause it to slow down, to protect itself from overheating). Not a great problem, but be aware that placing anything on top of it (or even near it) will tend to capture heat, and aggravate the problem. Otherwise, the "Tiny" should be much the same as a "normal" PC. The question is: is it UEFI capable, and is it enabled properly? If not, the new Arca Noae support for DOS/WIN will not be enabled.

If there is a way to ask the m/c, I can give it a go.

Go to a command prompt, and run "TESTLOG GENERIC" (no quotes). It will create a lot of information about the machine, and how it is configured. Post it here.

Looking back, I see that you said it is a Lenovo n900 computer. Which one? There are a lot of different models of m900.

Then, is it installed using Legacy support (in the BIOS), or in UEFI mode (without the CSM)? If it is not UEFI, without the CSM, you do not have the new DOS/WIN support that UEFI supplies, and the old CSM is likely not capable of running your DOS/WIN programs. The symptoms, that you describe, would seem to be what happens, when trying to run DOS/WIN programs with a broken CSM (most of them are broken, in machines less than about 15 years old).

(or maybe using Alt+F2 did it) because the system booted up normally.

That is an indication that you need to properly sort your CONFIG.SYS. Look up LCSS (Logical Config.Sys Sort) at HOBBES. It may not help, but it usually does, when Alt-F2 helps. They both change the load timing, which often causes trouble. The other option, is to put a file, named Alt-F2on.$$$ into the root of the boot drive. The presence of that file (contents don't matter) will do Alt-F2 for you. That will not make DOS/WIN work, but booting will likely be fixed (no guarantees).

Applications / Re: ANPM disables netlabs-experimental repository URL
« on: November 17, 2023, 07:34:25 pm »
That is not the URL that installing the netlabs-exp package provides. Use ANPM to uninstall the netlabs-exp packae (if installed), and install it again.

Hardware / Re: Using a UPS to save SSDs
« on: November 10, 2023, 05:49:47 pm »
(Re: those cables)  I mis-phrased, intending to say I presume Seagate ensure supplied cables work properly with their HDD.

Seagate. like every other manufactuer, use the cheapest cables they can get. USB cables are basically two kind. One is used for charging devices, and the other is used for data. In fact, both are the same (although some charging cables don't have the data wires). I would expect the USB cables, that come with any device, will work with the device. The connectors, and the legth, are the inportant parts.

(Re: the Apollo Lunar Lander)
16K, in those days, was a huge amount of memory. Remember that it was not running an operating system, only a very specialized, highly optimised, program.

we hear Not A Lot about Error Correcting Code (ECC) RAM in office m/cs.

ECC, when it was first developed, was am expensive stop gap for poor manufacturing. Today it is an advertising gimick. Memory rarely fails, eliminating the need for ECC (which is just as likely to fail, and slows memory speed). It is generally only used for "mission critical" computers (usually in hospital monitoring machines). If those who mandate that (usually governments), really understood it, thay wouldn't bother.

Hardware / Re: Using a UPS to save SSDs
« on: November 10, 2023, 01:39:21 am »
Crucial: no experience of them. And I've concluded from your input that my backup drive may as well be one of those quaint Olde Worlde electromechanical things, with a simple USB-3 cable (to suit), around 1TB or even 500GB, formatted in FAT32 (purely for inter-OS portability).

Crucial has really good performance numbers, and I have had no reason to question that. I will never buy a spinning disk again. They are more expensive, more delicate, and slower than SATA (AHCI) disks. I may even switch totally to NVME sticks, even for external (USB) drives.

Seemingly it comes with two types of USB-3 cable, which is handy and probably means they can cope.

Cables don't mean much. Adapters are available.

Avoid: Western Digital and San Disk got no applause, so chuck them on the compost heap.

If you have them, use them, but I wouldn't buy a new one.

[quoteEthernet would mean more cables littering the floor.][/quote]

There may be an advantage to using Ethernet, but I don't know what capabilities your printer has. My HP OfficeJet 3830 has WiFi. No cables, and more function than using the USB connector. If it does what you want, use it, but I would avoid connecting it to a battery.

Hardware / Re: Using a UPS to save SSDs
« on: November 07, 2023, 06:33:00 pm »
Thus far, I've not been aware of that SATA/NVME issue, so "pass".

Check out NVME. It can be your only "disk" in your machine, as long as the machine is new enough to be capable of booting from it. NVME SSD  is a LOT faster than SATA SSD. The cost is comparable.

Scarily, I've been backing scrappy stuff to a Kingston 1GB USB-2A (Data Traveler II, "migo") bought in 2006 and simply trusting all is well.

Well, 1 GB will keep the backup size under control. I don't think you can even get sticks less than 32 GB any more, and they are more expensive than 256 GB sticks. Kingston is one of the netter brands, but if it is from 2006, you are pushing your luck.

(Re: NAS boxes, PSU quality &c)  NAS boxes I have never dealt with, ditto RAID (other than theory, which suggests a five-way drive setup is Good.  A review on the Net really liked the APC ES700G (NB the 'G' apparently matters).  Further info on an APC site suggested that model would cover my needs, besides having 4x surge-protected sockets + 4x surge- and battery-protected sockets.

NAS boxes are useful, if you need one. If you don't know anything about them, you probably don't need one. Same goes for RAID. RAID is not really supported by OS/2, so it is a waste of money. USB enclosures will serve the same purpose, for a simple system configuration.

Guess: perhaps the symmetrical, doubled-up structure of 3C gives more reliable contact, on top of the higher speed forcing better construction?

Almost anything is better than Type A USB connectors (especially when used with USB 3.x).

Wikipedia article underlines how battery life can be consumed by deep-discharge events.

Deep discharge is a killer. You want to be shut down, by the time it gets to about 50%.

Hardware / Re: Using a UPS to save SSDs
« on: November 06, 2023, 10:32:10 pm »
I think there are some misleading (or unclear) statements made.

The news is not good: not only is whatever you are recording to SSD (or working on) apt to get broken but so too is the hardware.

This is more likely to happen with a spinning disk, than with an SSD. Now, by "SSD" do you mean a SATA (AHCI) SSD, or do you mean a NVME SSD? OLD SATA SSD are far more likely ti fail (for more than one reason), then those less than about 5 ears old. The same is true for spinning disks. NVME SSD is new enough that they generally don't have problems.

Now, I will state, that any drive, that survives the first 6 months, is probably good for 10 years (if properly handled). SSD does not have the vibration, or dropping, problem that can affect spinning disks. There are always exceptions.

My plan during work sessions: load RAM Drive with files being developed, do work, then save new file versions back to the SSD.  Which seems likely to go a lot better if I had an UPS minding my back.

An UPS has its place, but don't bet on it "saving your work". There are many other reasons why you can lose it. Again, is it a SATA SSD, or a NVME SSD? NVME SSD will operate near the speed of a RAMDISK, without the problem of losing everything if the power goes off (or many other things). A modern SSD (either kind) will likely last 30 years. Using the RAMDISK, is likely to extend the SSD life by about 3 months. Other things are more likely fail first.

The last thing you need is to check the quality of the power supply for the computer you are getting, no matter how much you protect the computer if its power supply goes fut you can lose all your work which is why I am a great advocate of using a NAS box with raid disks to store everything.

A NAS box is simply another storage medium. Until your work is copied to it, there is an exposure to losing it (even a NAS box can fail).  If you "build your own", you can select a PSU. If you buy a complete box, you get what you get. In either case, it can fail (usually if it lasts 6 months, it is good for 10 years).

Volt-Amps, check -- power factor and that good stuff.

Interesting information, but it tells you nothing about how long it will keep your system powered. Each system quotes power usage, but that is mostly if it is fully loaded. I doubt if any system ever comes close to what they quote. <more below>

I routinely add end-of-session backups onto Kingston 32/64GB USB MSD sticks.  Mind, given what I hear about SSDs, let's make that "2x backups".

Well, as mentioned, USB sticks are notoriously unreliable. Do not buy cheap ones, but the expensive ones are not much better. Personally, I find that Kingston sticks are okay, but they are SLOW. I got a couple of PATRIOT brand sticks, that seem to be better than most. I probably won't buy any more sticks. Get an SSD enclosure. The biggest problem, with USB, is the Type A connector, especially when using USB 3. Type C connectors are far better.

I gather you have found APC/Schneider worthy of your trust.

I have two APC units. They have been very good (but this reminds me that I need to test them). The biggest exposure is battery failure (they don't last forever, and it depends on how much they have been used). <more below>

As SSDs apparently can be damaged by power failures/surges, I plan double backups to USB sticks, good quality ones.

Any hardware can be damaged by power failures/surges. Make sure that you have SURGE protection (usually part of an UPS), even if you don't have an UPS.

Would that rate as safe enough for archiving?

Personally, I prefer SEAGATE disks (internal, or external), but I have started using CRUCIAL SATA SSD for performance, and so far they are performing well. I have a NVME SSD (Samsung 960 Pro), in my main machine, but the machine is not smart enough to boot from it, so I use a Crucial SATA SSD to boot.

Okay (this is "<below>"). UPS is meant to ride through power problems that last less than about a minute Almost all of them will do that, but the length of time after that first minute will vary by how much power is needed, and how much power is available. One would think that simply pulling the plug, and wait for it to shut down, would be good test for that. First, it is recommended that you do not just pull the plug. That can cause large surges (although the UPS should filter them). Use a power strip, with a switch (or simply turn off the breaker) to test. One warning, is that you reduce the battery life, every time you do that (more than once I had a real power outage, and the UPS turned off immediately, because the battery was at end of life).

Okay, if the power is still off, after one minute, you need to save your work (can be automated), and shut down.  I recommend that you do NOT try to start your machine after power is restored, for a few minutes. That avoids a possible second/third power fail. The trick with saving your work, is to be sure that you can do it quickly (two minutes).

You can spend a LOT of money, for a longer time.

Now, I use a couple of (older) APC UPS. One is a BE550G and the other is a BE750G. I use mAPCUPS (it is at HOBBES) to monitor what is happening. That program can be configured to do what needs to be done, even if you are not watching.

Okay, now you need to decide what to connect to an UPS. The UPS that I have have two sections. On is powered from the battery, the other is simply surge protected (and goes off, when there is a power outage). You are interested in what needs to have power, for long enough to get shut down. So, to the battery supplied outlets, you connect the main machine, the screen, and any other devices that are going to cause shut down problems, or start up problems (running CHKDSK on a large USB attached drive can take a long time). Those can include NAS boxes, externally powered USB drives, network hubs, USB, hubs, and so on. If you don't need it to stay on, don't connect it to the battery supplied outlets.

You may notice, that I did not include a lamp (of any kind). You have the screen, that is a good light source. I keep a couple of LED flashlights handy, which I can find using the light from the screen. Some lamps (Fluorescent, especially) cause a lot of electrical noise, and should never be near computer equipment.

Printers can be a bit of a problem. I don't use powered outlets, for them. Generally, they are better off on the surge protected outlets.

That should be enough, for now. Ask questions, if you have any.

Events / Re: Warpstock 2023 - Presentations
« on: October 29, 2023, 07:08:03 pm »
1) How to connect Android smartphone to OS/2? to exchange data

I use the Cx File Explorer app (on the phone). I communicates with FTP (from Peter Moylan) or SAMBA. It uses the WiFi connection.

Known problem. It is supposed to get fixed, eventually.

General Discussion / Re: Firefox or Dooble for the OS2World Forum
« on: August 31, 2023, 01:36:03 am »
I have been using Dooble, for most browsing recently, but it is not very user friendly. I tdoes work fine with OS2world, as it is. It also works fine with Firefox, so don't go breaking something for no reason.

General Discussion / Re: when will version 5.1 of ArcaOS be released
« on: August 28, 2023, 12:39:18 am »
Looks as if the Arca Noae main server has not been updated (or: upgraded?) to handle the expected traffic :( . Apparently that is not included in the "steps to upgrade our infrastructure", although everybody must log in on that server in order to be able to click on the upgrade button.

It was, but not enough to handle the unexpected number of users.

Is there anything in it that is a 'must have' option?

That depends on what you mean by 'must have'. If you are happy with what you have, probably not (and I understand that there will be a 5.0.9 release). The biggies are:
  • Better support foe DOS/WinOS2.
  • Support to run on modern (EFI) hardware. (required for the DOS/WinOS2 support).
There are more things, but most are included in the 5.0.x updates. If you don't need those things, installing 5.1 will not do much different than installing 5.0.8 will do.

Applications / Re: Registry editor
« on: July 11, 2023, 01:07:56 am »
I think you are using the wrong tool to read the ini file.

No. REGEDIT2.EXE is a proper registry file editor (doesn't mean that it doesn't have a bug), and it has nothing to do with Peter Moylan's work.

I'm using \OS2\SYSTEM\REGEDIT2.EXE. If I open the HINI_USER_PROFILE, then all is well. But if I open the OS2.INI file on another drive, then the REGEDIT2 closes with a new entry created in POPUPLOG.OS2.

I am not getting a POPUPLOG.OS2, but the INI file has been modified by other things.

The first thing, that I would try, is a different INI editor. I have used some of them (from HOBBRS), in the past, but don't have one installed now.

Events / Re: AN posted pricing for 5.1
« on: June 19, 2023, 10:14:46 pm »
Doug thank you for your concern but I have weighted the pros and cons.

You probably thought about it. Many will blindly upgrade, without considering what they are doing. Don't get me wrong, ArcaOS 5.1 is a huge step forward (with a few minor backward steps), if you have the hardware to run it (it does install, and run, without UEFI, but it is basically 5.0.8, when you do that), or if you want/need one of the new features. Otherwise, you are spending money to keep Arca Noae in business (not a bad thing). Arca Noae is continuing to support the 5.0.x line, for a reason.

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