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Messages - Mentore

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Setup & Installation / Re: ArcaOS USB installation - Rufus?
« on: October 11, 2021, 09:23:00 am »
Hi Mentore, good chance your stick is going bad. Being 4GB's (big enough), it is probably old. I've had a couple fail, always in subtle ways. One wouldn't boot and another failed to mount the ISO image.
As for programs like Rufus, remember that OS/2 can't access USB until late in the boot, so the installer starts out by installing to a ram disk and running OS/2 of of that.

Thanks Dave and Martin. The stick I used is indeed pretty old and most probably is going faulty, so I'll ditch it and try a newer one. Will let you know ASAP - I can't wait to have a bare metal OS/2 machine again.

(And don't get me started on Windows 11.)


Setup & Installation / ArcaOS USB installation - Rufus?
« on: October 10, 2021, 10:48:42 am »
Hello all,
I finally got some free time to install ArcaOS beta in a Virtualbox environment.
Everything seems working fine so far. Have to install some applications, but I already saw some things that still need Italian translation - will make a checklist to discuss with my teammates. Now for a little problem:

I'm actually having issues trying to use AOSBoot and create a bootable USB stick. Everything goes well until the script ejects the thumbdrive and I re-insert it. Then, AOSBoot complains it can't format the USB stick and aborts.

Now: I'm not sure if this is due to the thumbdrive being "only" 4GB capable, or maybe because I didn't "touch" it with LVM, so I'd really love to understand how to use it with good results.

Speaking of USB boot sticks, I came across a USB tool named Rufus ( which allows to create a bootable USB for linux distributions or windows ISO files. Sadly it doesn't recognize ArcaOS ISO as bootable or suitable for transferring it on an USB stick.

Don't know what I'm doing wrong but I feel Rufus may be another simple way to obtain an USB ArcaOS installation media. What do you think about it? In the meantime I think I'll try burning a bootable DVD, if AOSBoot keeps failing me (puzzles me how I seem unable to use it, though!!!).


Games / Re: DOS VDM - USB and Game port Gamepad support
« on: October 02, 2021, 11:02:28 am »

At Warpstock there was a quick Q&A with Lewis and there was some talk about ArcaOS as a retro gaming platform.
There was some fast comment about gamepads/joysticks and DOS old games.

I asked on the FreeDOS mailinglist if there was something like a way to connect an USB gamepad and some "interpreter" that will allow old DOS games see it as a game port joystick. (So, in the end you can be able to play games that are supposed to use a game port joystick with an USB joystick).

Bret Johnson, that developed some USB device drivers for DOS ( , answer me that it is possible with his driver, but under a very specific USB hardware set running FreeDOS.

The final idea will be to be able to support an USB gamepad under DOS VDM for old DOS games, but it seems we are still some steps behind.

I just post this as a discussion topic and maybe something of the open source DOS USB driver/program can be useful someday for the OS/2 platform.


ISTR that Wim Brul developed usbecd**.zip "generic" drivers, which may be useful to understand/read classless devices. Maybe one could try these?

(Too bad I currently do not have an ArcaOS machine. Need time to install the latest beta for the italian NLV!)


Games / Re: OS/2 - ArcaOS - Native Games
« on: July 28, 2021, 09:05:13 am »
Digi's SDL trps the same.
What I think the bug is, is that it queries the list of possible full screen video modes, which here just returns one, 1680x1050 in my case, and then tries to go through the list of video modes to make sure they will work. At this point it crashes when trying to load the 2nd member of an array of one.
I'm not really a programmer and can't see the simple fix, I'll think on it some more.
The broken code is,
Code: [Select]
  else {
    IFDEBUG_VIDEO(sys_printf("xrick/video: SDL says, use these modes:\n"););
    for (i = 0; modes[i]; i++) {
      IFDEBUG_VIDEO(sys_printf("  %dx%d\n", modes[i]->w, modes[i]->h););

I actually don't like the for cycle written above: (reported below)

Code: [Select]
    for (i = 0; modes[i]; i++) {

It implies that the cycle should stop after cycling through all the items in the "modes" array but I feel this should be written better asking for the actual length of the array. Don't know if this is C-99 or some more modern incarnation (this code uses lambda expressions so I assume is pretty modern, and I'm no expert in this) but this writing leaves me perplexed.



I used PPWIZARD version 08.298 on OS/2 and the sources are gone, but is there an easy way to download my entire site?

I was pretty surprised by how much of it still work too. Thinking about reviving it :)



Did you per chance try wget?


Programming / Re: JSon to Rexx (stem)
« on: May 21, 2021, 07:55:03 am »
I'm waking this thread up after a long time. I started to write a REXX program to control the GL.iNet family of routers. These tiny routers can provide wireless support. But the user interface does not work with Firefox 45.

So I use curl and an API to control the router. So far, I can go to some WiFi hotspots, connect to them and surf the internet.

In order to do this, I needed to interpret the JSON file that CURL returns. So here I am. I used this:
  * Filename: JSon2Rx.cmd
 *   Author: Jan-Erik
 *  Created: Sat Feb 23 2013
 *  Purpose: Interpret a JSon-file and place in stem

I found it had a problem with one of the files I got. So I tried this one:
 * Filename: fromJSon.cmd
 *   Author: JANERIK
 *  Created: Sat Feb  3 2018

Amazingly, this hangs my ArcaOS computer. I type

fromJSon curldns.txt

and it never completes. Is there something wrong with my computer, or is fromJSon.cmd doing something wierd?

First question: did you try to validate the json file?

A REXX script should not be able to hang OS/2, but I'm afraid this may happen.


Just in case, this weekend, I will take a full backup of hobbes and put it on just to leave it archived. I guess nobody will get mad for it.


I don't think there will be problems with this. I also second your idea of an alternate "main" repo for OS/2 software.


I just took a quick look at the latest QEMU, it would take work getting it to compile. For example, the configure script is hand written by Fabrice Bellard, so probably not too different from FFmpeg's configure but definitely no OS/2 support currently.
Perhaps if I get bored, I'll see if I can get it to compile, but right off, running configure dies with "ERROR: main directory cannot contain spaces nor colons" so it doesn't like that our sh's PWD returns the drive letter along with the current directory.
Guess the first step would be to find the patches that were used for the last port.

A newer QEMU would be really interesting IMHO. Also this PC emulator could be interesting to test and work on ArcaOS NLS, which I'm working on but HORRIBLY slowly due to work and many other issues (personal life). I'll give it a try.



You may know that on my free time I like to organize the OS2World wiki, and try to link as much as OS/2 related material (let say it helps me with my anxiety these days).

I want to try to list and link all the PC Magazine OS/2 related article:
- The general OS/2 subject articles here (OS2World wiki) (software reviews, OS reviews, critic, etc)
- The development OS/2 related articles here (EDM/2 wiki)

The good thing is that is seems that Google books got permission to republish some the PC Magazine issues and we can found them online: Google Books.

I'm now requesting your help, if you find some OS/2 article on PC Magazine, let me know the name or issue or date, and I will include it to the wiki list.

BTW: I know PC Magazine was not our preferred Magazine at that time, but I just want to list the OS/2 articles.

Also, if you think we should do the same thing with other magazines (list its OS/2 related articles), let me know.


There is a bunch of OS/2 related material in an old and defunct italian PC magazine. I also wrote some articles for it and managed the column for a couple of years.
I don't know if we can republish it though, so the best I can do is link it here:

OS/2 related articles are present starting from issue 50 if I remember correctly (mostly related to the IBM / Microsoft wars, with a perplexed view on the OS development, until version 2.0 came).

Applications / Re: OS/4 (technical details only)
« on: March 27, 2021, 05:55:41 pm »
Hi G. M. Anchieri

I recommend you to open a ticket on "" (explain things in detail). The Bitwise guys does not visit this forum regularly and does not read all threads.
Possible they would like to focus first on having the browser on ArcaOS (with regular kernel) first, and maybe later they can check on that.

I think that opening a ticket will be a good "heads up" for them, but I can not predict their answer.


Truth be told, since (as far as I can remember) OS/4 is still kind of an unauthorized work it is definitely possible that this problem will not be solved. Even so, it may be worth a try, since if I'm not mistaken there are other problems with AVX under OS/2.

It's really too much time I don't fiddle anymore with my OS/2 machines. Definitely time to put these two up again. So much work to do, so little time...


Web applications / Re: Otter Browser 1.0 [teaser]
« on: March 08, 2021, 09:28:03 am »
First native OS/2 Otter Browser build ever, enjoy.

Really good news. I'm following this closely.
Thanks for all this work!


Applications / Re: Hpt path statement
« on: February 01, 2021, 10:11:35 am »
Greetings again,

I am setting up hpt husky (fidonet mail tosser) and all works fine.. except that I do not know how to put the config for husky one the path... I put all the executables in \usr\bin so can call husky from anywhere no problem. Husky requires a config file which is in C:\config\ in Linux I would just create a symlink to the config no problem, how do I get it to see the config file, I’ve put it on the path, I’ve tried set hpt=c:\config none of it works.  I can run it hpt -C c:\config\config but that’s not ideal... any suggestions?

Hope you are all well


Hi Rick,
a quick hack would be to use a desktop object, with the -C C:\config\config option in the command line call. Could you do with this?

General Discussion / Re: Revolutionary PC Technology
« on: February 01, 2021, 09:00:42 am »
The C64 probably interfaces directly to the hardware, so an emulator won't help.

Sure. But its software could be easily ported to OS/2 with a suitable interface. OK, I'm just kidding ;)

Hardware / Re: Does Arcaos support browsing phones?
« on: January 08, 2021, 11:00:51 am »
There's Samba. Some file managers have WiFi sharing which gives a web interface. Likewise with FTP. Or, sneaker net, either by ejecting the SD card (which was originally partitioned from OS/2 or plugging in a USB stick. I recently purchased a micro USB to USB A adapter that works well for plugging in a USB stick. Previously I paid $5 for the X-Plore file manager which I've been happy with (worked fine for free with no ads but a few things like WiFi sharing not enabled)
There's also which allows pulling the photos straight off the phone in most cases using PTP and which you might want to try first.

I always connected my android cellphone to my OS/2 machine via FTP without a problem, being able to browse its internals. For photos only, cameraderie is perfect AFAIK.


Programming / Re: SAF-T
« on: December 18, 2020, 10:41:49 am »

Anyone here with knowledge of converting accounting data from text files to SAF-T?

At the moment there are only three standard accounting reports that, by local law, must be availble upon request
from tax authorities. I think REXX and XML can be used for this.

Hi there,
I did a quick search and found this on GitHub:

seems it's just a python script doing the exact contrary of what you need.
I've got no knowledge of SAF-T format but, from what I can see, it's an XML file following a specific schema, so it should be not that hard to come up with a suitable converter.

Should you get out of luck please contact me at mentore . siesto @ alice . it, maybe I can patch up something (not sure about REXX though, since I can't access my OS/2 machines right now).


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