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Messages - Doug Bissett

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Setup & Installation / Re: Booting with NVMe
« on: April 15, 2021, 06:28:18 am »
I'm booting just fine from a Lenovo ThinkCentre M900 with a StarTech PCIe-4x NVMe card

Does that card attach to the BIOS? Mine doesn't.

I have a StarTech PCI SATA /RAID card, that I can boot from. It is in an old Asus P4VP that I use as a NAS box. It does add itself to the BIOS, so I should be able to boot from it (but I never tried).

As far as being a waste, new machines only have this type of drive, so we need booting support.

That is what I meant by "or it is your only choice".

Many people think that a fast boot is a good thing, but they only boot once in a while. Other things are used all of the time, and fast access helps out. Meanwhile, the boot code is just taking up space that might be better used for other things (it depends on the size of the drive). I would think that some (but not all) of the UNIX support would be good to have on a NVMe drive. Unfortunately, there is no obvious way to separate the often used parts, from the never used parts. I have been using the RAMDISK for temporary files. My RAMDISK is big enough for most things, and it doesn't matter if it survives a reboot (in fact, it is a good thing that it gets cleared at every boot). Now, I can use the NVMe drive for temporary files that are too big for the RAMDISK (large ZIP files, for example). It is, in fact, a little faster than the RAMDISK (according to the DFSEE speed test). However, it seems that the NVMe drive needs TRIM sometimes, and it is probably not good to keep reusing the same area. I am not too sure how that will work out.

Time will tell the tale...

Setup & Installation / Re: Booting with NVMe
« on: April 15, 2021, 03:23:13 am »
I got a Vantec PCIe adapter, and installed a 250 GB Samsung 980 PRO (PCIe 4.0 NVMe M,2). It works well, after the driver loads, but I cannot boot from it. The problem is that it is mounted on a plug in card, that the BIOS doesn't know about, so it won't boot from it (because it doesn't know it is there). Air Boot also cannot "see" it, because BIOS doesn't know about it. Most (if not all) machines cannot boot from a plug in card, if the BIOS doesn't know about it. This is true for USB too.

If you have a machine, that knows about the adapter, it should boot from it.

Then again, it really doesn't make much sense to waste one of those things for boot code, unless you boot 14 times a day, or it is your only choice. I am still thinking about how to use it effectively. At least it is non volatile, so it remembers what was put on it, unlike what the RAMDISK does.

Storage / Re: eSata
« on: March 27, 2021, 04:07:35 am »
eSATA has never been completely supported by any OS. that I know about. Even windows will usually refuse to eject it, until the system is shut down. For those who understand it, eSATA is a far better technology than USB, but lack of proper support makes it difficult to use.

NVME is a storage technology, related to SATA  (or eSATA, which is really just SATA with a different connector), or IDE. M2 and NVME are just other interfaces to storage technology. Which one will win the race, is yet to be seen.

In years past, there was the "winprinter' controversy. Today, "winprinter" is all that is available, because people didn't understand the difference (other than price). Pay double for a computer powerful enough to do the job, and save a little on the printer. This is really no different.

Manufacturers are going to choose the cheapest alternative, and they usually don't care if that alternative even works properly (and many of the new technologies don't work all that well). The only thing that will stop that nonsense is if users refuse to buy inferior technology. Most users have no idea what technology their computers use, so it isn't going to happen.

About eSATA, as a external device port, my opinion is that is loosing on the market (or maybe already lost).

No, it is not, yet, lost. You just need to watch for the option when you buy something that can use it. You do not need a specific eSATA port, it will connect to normal SATA ports, if you have an adapter (just a cable), or even just a cable with the appropriate ends on it. The killer, as mentioned above, is lack of support for mount/dismount, and that is not unique to OS/2 (and the cost, of course).

USB 3 is definitely going to take a chunk out of the market, because speed is no longer a serious difference. If they ever get USB quality under control, it may be the end of eSATA. I don't see that happening any time soon, but if the market goes away, so will the devices.

But as part of the OS/2 community, eSATA may be working better than USB 3, today.

Not from what I see. I have two eSATA devices. One has a USB 2 connector, which is definitely slower than eSATA. The other has USB 3. Running the exact same job runs so close to the same speed, that I can't tell which is faster. USB is somewhat easier to use, because of the mount/dismount requirements for eSATA. Which is better depends on exactly what you are doing with the device.

Having said all of that, yes USB does have some problems, that are being addressed. The biggest problem is that USB is often very poor quality devices, and that makes it very difficult to make every one of them work well, with any OS.

The race is still on. It is up to the consumer to determine which technology wins. Meanwhile, we need more drivers to make some of the new things work with OS/2. I know that NVME is almost ready. Nobody is working on making eSATA mount/dismount work, although there is a half way solution, if you want to mess around with it (not worth the effort, from what I see).

Storage / Re: eSata
« on: March 26, 2021, 01:56:21 am »
We are discussing an external drive case that used to have eSATA and USB3 sockets but which now only has USB3 socket - so there is no longer an option to use it as eSATA drive, it is now USB only.

I assume you mean an updated version of a drive enclosure, not one that magically removed it's existing eSATA connector  ???. You can still get eSATA enclosures (also with USB 3), but you need to watch what you order. Most vendors list the version with only USB first, because the eSATA costs more, and not many people even know what eSATA is.

eSATA has definitely NOT gone away, although USB 3 is giving it a good run for the money. If they ever get the quality of USB devices under control (apparently not even considered, in most cases), USB may end up replacing eSATA. Currently, I see no evidence that the companies who care about quality, are abandoning eSATA.

Storage / Re: eSata
« on: March 25, 2021, 08:05:31 pm »
1] eSATA works as per SATA ie must power off system to eject drive.

Not true. SATA and eSATA, are both hot plug technologies. Power off is not required to physically attach, or detach, either one. In OS/2 you MUST close out the file systems before detaching them (shut down the system). You can attach them, at any time, but in OS/2 you must reboot to get them recognized.

Note that some systems have a physical connector for eSATA, and the BIOS should, automatically, recognize that port as being for eSATA. Other systems may use an adapter (or just a cable) that plugs into a normal SATA connector on the motherboard. In that case, the BIOS should have a setting to tell it that the port is used with eSATA (but that doesn't seem to exist in all cases). In fact, that is only used with operating systems that recognize that eSATA can be plugged in, at any time, so it is irrelevant to OS/2.

I am not familiar with eSATA(p), so I don't know how the connector gets power for the external device. The devices, that I have, all use their own power source.

2] eSATA support was dropped at some point, I do not know when.

Not true. All that was dropped is the built in eSATA connectors. You can still use eSATA devices connected to normal SATA ports (see above).

Storage / Re: FAT32 - Netlabs or AN?
« on: March 17, 2021, 02:25:08 am »
How could FAT12/16 support interfere with IBM's FAT support, interestingly? Is not that Lewis Rosenthal who said you that nonsense?

No, I didn't hear it from Lewis. In fact I probably told him about it. This was early in the life of that driver, so things may have been fixed.

Regarding the exFAT, it is very useful if you use digital cameras.

Perhaps, if you have an older camera. I haven't seen exFAT in anything that I ever bought, and looking at the information on the net, it seems that most companies have decided that it just isn't worth paying Microsoft for the rights to use it. True, it is available, but nobody trusts Microsoft.

What's the rubbish is that? Why it's not legal? Because AN fears Microsoft? There are several exFAT drivers for Linux. Nobody proved so far that they are illegal, the same for our driver.

Regarding software patents and other rubbish. exFAT and FAT12/16 support is not more patented than FAT32. So, if M$ didn't sued us for using FAT32, then we could sleep in peace with FAT and exFAT as well.

It is not legal to use FAT32, without paying Microsoft for the right to use it (even if it is only a dollar). They own the patent (as they do with exFAT). Just because they haven't, yet, gone after somebody for using it without the legal paperwork being done, doesn't mean they won't, in the future. IBM trusted Microsoft, and look what happened to OS/2. AN quite rightly fears Microsoft, and they fear IBM too. Their contract with IBM probably prohibits using things like exFAT. If either company decided that AN broke any contracts, they could put AN out of business with the stroke of a pen. AN cannot take the chance. They are a US company, and must follow US law. Obviously, you don't care much for laws, but they are necessary, even if they are stupid. AN do supply the FAT32 driver, which is old enough that they are pretty safe. I do know that they spent a lot of money checking out the legality of many parts of OS/2. That is one of the reasons why some of the GENMAC drivers are not included with ArcaOS. They couldn't get permission to include them.

The bottom line is that you can do what you want. Arca Noae cannot take the chance. If people want to use your driver, that is fine too. Just don't put AN at risk because you think you are above the law.

The other reason was, that I can finally format a dump partition up to 4 GB with FAT16 (by selecting a 64k cluster size) which allows to use the original OS2DUMP (that only dumps to FAT16 partitions) without the need to install DUMPFS.

Well, DUMPFS is actually the FAT 16 driver, with a patch. You should also realize that ArcaOS 6.0 has new dump support. It will dump to FAT32 (or FAT16 if 2 GB is enough). It doesn't make much sense to make the dump partition more than 4 GB, because that is the largest size that a dump can be. Don't try to use the dump partition for anything else. The dump program doesn't care if you already have something in the drive.

Hardware / Re: Quatech SSP-100 Serial Port PCMCIA in ArcaOS
« on: March 16, 2021, 05:55:11 pm »
I have been sort of following this, but it is not entirely clear what you are really trying to do.

I have two PCMCIA modems, that do work fine (well, I no longer have a telephone line to connect them to, but ZOC communicates with them), when I take the time to set it up properly (they are just serial ports, with a modem attached). PCMCIA is very sensitive to the order of the lines in CONFIG.SYS, and you probably need the /VW switch on the ACPI.PSD line (if you use ACPI.PSD, which you probably should). You would need the proper PCMCIA driver (sounds like you might have that, but see below), and the COM driver (use PSCOM.SYS). All that does (is supposed to do) is create a normal COM port. Check that with the MODE command. Then, if you need software (if any) for the attached device, you need the OS/2 version (a windows driver isn't going to work).

That may be a "pretend" PCMCIA adapter. I found this information for IBM Thinkpads: Since your machine is actually quite new (in the life span of PCMCIA), you may have one of them (which would require it's own driver, probably not available for OS/2). In ArcaOS go to a command and run C:\sys\install\DETECT\pci.exe to get a list of what is actually attached (be sure to attach everything, then boot, then run the program). That should tell you which PCMCIA controller you actually have. Redirect the output to a file, and post it here.

ArcaOS does not install everything that you will need, but they do supply what is available for supporting the base PCMCIA. You need to supply any other OS/2 drivers that may be required, and add appropriate lines to CONFIG.SYS. It is in the DOCS, but the DOCS are ancient, and they don't tell you the whole story. I suggest getting my LCSS (Logical Config.Sys Sort - it is at HOBBES) to be sure that the lines are in the proper order, and position, in CONFIG.SYS. Also be aware, that "old notebooks" may have more than one serial port built in (possibly only used when attached to a dock). You may also need to have it all connected when you boot so it can do a proper configuration.

You might have better luck (and better performance) with a USB serial adapter, but be sure to get one that is known to actually work. I have a Belkin branded one, that almost works, but it depends on what you actually use it for. Years ago, I was able to operate a modem, but it didn't work with my UPS, or when trying to do a serial port trace.

Dave - I attach an image of how far the boot goes. You can see that the usb drivers are loaded.

Loaded. yes. Operational, no. The USB drivers normally take a few seconds (a LONG time, at computer speed) to finish initializing. During that time, there is no access to USB devices. Since OS/2 doesn't have any way to wait for initialization, it just assumes that the media went away (or the required file(s) aren't there), so it throws the error.

Some machines have a setting in the BIOS, something about "USB hand off", where the BIOS will continue to operate USB devices, until the driver takes over. That may work, sometimes, but could be very timing sensitive. The switch would need to happen exactly between file fetching, or the switch could happen while the file is being fetched (probably not a good thing).

Storage / Re: Best way to copy a volume?
« on: February 09, 2021, 03:25:53 am »
I agree with Neil. ZIP, and UNZIP. Just use the ZIP/UNZIP as supplied by RPM/YUM, or you are limited to 2 GB in, and 2 GB out. Be sure to use the parameters -9yrS to get everything saved, correctly.

Applications / Re: PMMail Where to buy
« on: February 07, 2021, 05:45:03 pm »
I am interested in taking a look at the newer version, but when trying to download username and password are needed?

The user ID is included in the link. Use your e-mail address as a password.

Applications / Re: [SOLVED] Issue with lSwitcher
« on: February 05, 2021, 08:57:38 pm »
Personally, I only use the widget. It is far less trouble than the program.

All classes, for XCenter widgets, get loaded (when XCenter starts), even if you don't use them. It is probably a good idea to remove unused DLLs from the XCenter plugins directory. Just move them somewhere else (close XCenter first), so you can put them back if you decide to use them.

Applications / Re: Issue with lSwitcher
« on: February 04, 2021, 09:41:40 pm »
There are two ways to run lSwitcher. One is by a program, and the other is as a widget in XCenter. Do NOT attempt to run both at the same time (best to not even install both, at the same time). You need to manually select which way you want to run it, when you get to the list of install options. Neither one is selected by default.

Applications / Re: VirtualBox 5.0.51 networking
« on: February 04, 2021, 09:36:40 pm »
Can anyone remember how to change that subnet to a subnet?  Otherwise I will have to revert an old computer back to XP rather than dumping it to make more room

In the VBox Network settings, I use:
Attached to: NAT
Name: <blank>
Under Advanced:
Adapter type: Intel Pro /1000 MT...  (You DO need to have the driver ready to install in XP)
Promiscuous mode defaults to Deny
Mac address is created by VBox.

When I boot XP, it queries my router, and gets a DHCP address. It has been a while since I tried, but I think this configuration will NOT "talk" to the host machine, but it will "talk" to the other machines on the network (should include a NAS). Use the Shared folders feature to "talk" to the host machine.

You can use Bridged network, to "talk" to the host machine, as well as the rest of the network, but that requires the ancient TAP driver. It works, but will slow your whole network to a crawl.

Storage / Re: DANIS506 - SATA III capable or not?
« on: February 02, 2021, 10:54:17 pm »
I'm with Dave. If the controller is SATA capable, and it actually supports SATA in AHCI mode (some very old ones don't), use the AHCI driver. Why would you would even consider doing otherwise?

Just add the OS2AHCI driver to config.sys (before the Dani driver), then go to BIOS, and set it to use AHCI. I use the "/N /F" parameters, on every SATA capable machine (including VBox), but you may want to see if it works before adding parameters.

Multimedia / Re: Updated Uniaud32 build
« on: January 31, 2021, 09:33:16 pm »
This *might* help fix a reported problem with system sounds interrupting a MP3 stream and not resuming correctly, which is a regression from the 2.02 driver.

I find that it takes more system sounds to trigger the problem, but it still happens.

Run PM123, and play something. then open a window that has scroll bars. Click to move out of the window. It makes a sound. try that a few more times, allowing the sound to finish. That seems to work, at least for a few tries. Now, click fast enough to start a new sound, before the first sound has finished playing, and it will lock the desktop. The mouse won't even move. Reset is required.

Now, an interesting thing: If I restart the desktop (without locking it), sounds come back. Sometimes, it seems to be okay (until the next restart). Sometimes, it is worse than before.

When it locks, there is a POPUPLOG associated:
Code: [Select]
01-31-2021  12:51:57  SYS3175  PID 01b1  TID 0002  Slot 0060
P1=00000001  P2=00000008  P3=XXXXXXXX  P4=XXXXXXXX 
EAX=00000002  EBX=00000004  ECX=00000000  EDX=004bb82c
ESI=00000004  EDI=00381be8 
DS=0053  DSACC=d0f3  DSLIM=9fffffff 
ES=0053  ESACC=d0f3  ESLIM=9fffffff 
FS=150b  FSACC=00f3  FSLIM=00000030
GS=0000  GSACC=****  GSLIM=********
CS:EIP=005b:1f0aa7a5  CSACC=d0df  CSLIM=9fffffff
SS:ESP=0053:004bb8d8  SSACC=d0f3  SSLIM=9fffffff
EBP=004bb910  FLG=00010206

MMPM.DLL 0001:0007a7a5

There is also a process dump, which shows this:
Code: [Select]
IBM OS/2 Dump Formatter for a retail or an hstrict SMP kernel.
Formatter is --> Internal revision 14.106_SMP
Dump file is --> Internal revision 14.202_SMP (process dump)
Symbol (c:\os2\pdpsi\pmdf\warp45_s\os2krnlr.sym) linked
Symbol (c:\os2\pdpsi\pmdf\warp45_s\pmctls.sym) linked
Symbol (c:\os2\pdpsi\pmdf\warp45_s\pmwp.sym) linked
Symbol (c:\os2\pdpsi\pmdf\warp45_s\pmspl.sym) linked
Symbol (c:\os2\pdpsi\pmdf\warp45_s\pmviop.sym) linked
Symbol (c:\os2\pdpsi\pmdf\warp45_s\pmmerge.sym) linked
Symbol (c:\os2\pdpsi\pmdf\warp45_s\doscall1.sym) linked
Current slot number: 0060
 Slot  Pid  Ppid Csid Ord  Sta Pri  pTSD     pPTDA    pTCB     Disp SG Name
*0060# 01b1 001d 01b1 0002 run 0800 f705f000 fcf477d0 fce91b98 06c4 1a PMSHELL
eax=00000002 ebx=00000004 ecx=00000000 edx=004bb82c esi=00000004 edi=00381be8
eip=1f0aa7a5 esp=004bb8d8 ebp=004bb910 iopl=0 rf -- -- nv up ei pl nz na pe nc
cs=005b ss=0053 ds=0053 es=0053 fs=150b gs=0000 cr2=00000000 cr3=00000000 p=00
005b:1f0aa7a5 ff7108         push      dword ptr [ecx+08]   ds:00000008=invalid
Loading version data ... please wait
Loading Process Information ... please wait

Loading structure info for WSeB/ACP SMP ... please wait.
....Structure definition file (warp45_s\kernel.sdf) loaded.
....Structure definition file (warp45_s\shell.sdf) loaded.
                        TRAP SCREEN INFORMATION

Trap screen 1 found at address #70:989c
This screen is most likely related to a previous trap.

P1=00000001  P2=00000008  P3=XXXXXXXX  P4=XXXXXXXX   
CS:EIP=005b:1f0aa7a5  CSACC=d0df  CSLIM=9fffffff
SS:ESP=0053:004bb8d8  SSACC=d0f3  SSLIM=9fffffff
EBP=004bb910  FLG=00010206
EAX=00000002  EBX=00000004  ECX=00000000  EDX=004bb82c
ESI=00000004  EDI=00381be8   
DS=0053  DSACC=d0f3  DSLIM=9fffffff   
ES=0053  ESACC=d0f3  ESLIM=9fffffff   
FS=150b  FSACC=00f3  FSLIM=00000030
GS=0000  GSACC=****  GSLIM=*******
No Symbols Found

Trap screen 2 found at address #70:9c84

P1=00000001  P2=00000008  P3=XXXXXXXX  P4=XXXXXXXX   
EAX=00000002  EBX=00000004  ECX=00000000  EDX=004bb82c
ESI=00000004  EDI=00381be8   
DS=0053  DSACC=d0f3  DSLIM=9fffffff   
ES=0053  ESACC=d0f3  ESLIM=9fffffff   
FS=150b  FSACC=00f3  FSLIM=00000030
GS=0000  GSACC=****  GSLIM=********
CS:EIP=005b:1f0aa7a5  CSACC=d0df  CSLIM=9fffffff
SS:ESP=0053:004bb8d8  SSACC=d0f3  SSLIM=9fffffff
EBP=004bb910  FLG=0001020

ASCII found at #70:9c84-12 is c0000005 (Exception Code?)
c0000005:  System Encountered an access violation

ASCII found at #70:9c84-9 is 1f0aa7a5. (Linear Address?)

ASCII found after trap screen: (Module name Object:Offset?)
MMPM.DLL 0001:0007a7a5
No Symbols Found


The dump is about 2.5 GB. I can get it to you, if you think it will help.

I am doing this on my Asus A88XN-A machine (AMD A6 processor), but I get similar results on my Lenovo ThinkPad L530 (Intel based).

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