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Messages - Doug Bissett

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Applications / Re: Updated RPMs - big release chunk...
« on: October 12, 2021, 07:21:59 am »
Therefore, I'm curious if anyone has already pushed that UPGRADE button yet and what has your experience been like so far?

It appears that the switch from i686 to Pentium4 is causing some problems. I haven't investigated enough to be able to describe the problems, but it looks like it is trying to update some i686 packages with the Pentium4 packages, and it decides that there is a conflict. I expect that it will take some time to sort it out.

One odd thing, is that AOO 4.1.8, on my main machine, starts up, but as soon as it displays the contents, of whatever I open, it crashes. On two other machines, it is not crashing. I haven't had the time to try to determine what is going on, but it looks like I will have to restore the old setup, so I can get some work done. Fortunately, I have recent backups.

BWW has got a problem, where they assume that no trouble reports from people who try the experimental stuff, means that there is no problem with them. More likely, nobody is actually trying to use that stuff until it gets moved to the release repository.

Those who are looking for something useful to do, should look at doing some serious testing with stuff that shows up in the experimental repository, and report problems, before we end up with a mess.

Applications / Re: xWorplace - xCenter issue(s)
« on: October 07, 2021, 03:15:16 am »
@Martin - It is a two step process to add a widget.. First you must select "Create a Widget" on the popup menu - and select the widget you want to "create" from the list.  Then you have to add the widget using the "Add Widget to Tray" option on the popup menu.  For versions 1.0.13 and 1.0.12 the "Add Widget to Tray" option is missing from the popup menu.  The first attachment (popupmen.jpg) shows the popup menu for v 1.0.13 (and for v 1.0.12)

This false. If you want to add the widget to a TRAY, you need to do it with the TRAY widget. Personally, i remove the TRAY widget because I really don't want a two step process. Just add the widget, and it goes in the XCenter.

But the AOS version of xWorkPlace is not the same as the "full" version of xWorkPlace - and possibly not the same as xWorkPlace lite (although I didn't install xwps lite to compare).  The AOS version is missing turbo folders with the different way of associating files to program objects - for one example.  I am not saying the AOS version is bad - it isn't.  It is just missing some features that I want.

Actually, you really do not want those extra features. They were omitted from the AN version because they are known to cause problems. The lite version is pretty well identical to the AN version, but doesn't contain  the extra widgits.

The conclusion is at this point in time there is no easy way for AOS customers who want to run the lastest version of full xWorkPlace to get the removable media widget installed.

As I said, the "full version" of XWorkplace contains a few features that can cause problems. I was using it on one system, but the latest ANXWP has all of the features that I need, so I quit using the full version.

What do you think you need from the full version? I don't find anything in the full version that is useful, that isn't in the AN version.

Applications / Re: xWorplace - xCenter issue(s)
« on: October 06, 2021, 07:47:20 pm »
Installed xWorkPlace 1.0.13 which I got from Netlabs.

Why? XWP is part of ArcaOS, and the ArcaOS version contains a few things that the Netlabs version does not have (like REMM, which may still be there from the ArcaOS install). What else have you back leveled from the ArcaOS install?

1) Where are the removable widget files on the AOS installation media located and/or how do you install?


Just double click it, to install, and be sure to  allow, or replace, anything that it asks about.

2)  The Netlabs page for xWorplace says "Rich [Walsh] compiles special versions for ArcaOS and the current official version"   Are those "special versions" just  eWorkplace, or is there an AOS specific version of xWorkplace?

It is a reworked build (lots of fixes). The fixes have been put to Netlabs, but not all widgets have been put there.

Mail-News / Re: pmMail 3.24 serious problems
« on: August 19, 2021, 10:31:17 pm »
Given that this is happening in your SENT folder, I am curious: how many messages are in there?

Good thought. I theory, 20K messages should not be a problem. In practice, it is best to keep folders to no more than about 5K messages (no more than 1K is better). Making sub folders of the Sent folder, maintains the sent folder characteristics, and it can make it a LOT easier to find things. The actual problem is not the number of messages, but trying to display that many messages in the OS/2 container. That really needs to be changed to a "sliding window", of the actual message content, rather than trying to show them all in one window. Unfortunately, VOICE lost the main programmer, a couple of years ago. We have another person who does it part time, but he is far too busy, on more important projects, to do anything other than fix problems that impact normal operation.

One of the "problems", that I have seen, is that folders that are used while online (INBOX, SENT, OUTBOX, and any place where messages would be filtered to), can become large enough that they can actually cause a server timeout, while waiting for PMMail to process messages (XML processing is not very fast, apparently by design). That will, of course, be much worse when PMMail needs to re-index folders (that can happen if the indexing becomes corrupted somehow - like a failed re-index).

Personally, I purge most of my e-mail, after 12 months, after moving anything that should be kept to folders that are never used while online. That seems to be working well.

Mail-News / Re: pmMail 3.24 serious problems
« on: August 19, 2021, 08:03:06 am »
The missing FROM: thing is from some years ago. That is information only, and isn't what is causing your problem.

David's suggestion to update is probably a good one (see, for more information), Be sure to do the required YUM updates. Do that before installing, if you can, but I suspect that there is some other problem that is causing the re-index problem.

You can get to the PMMail Mantis Bug Tracker using Help-> VOICE on the web-> PMMail technical Support. Log in or sign up for a new account. If you open an incident, be sure to include verbose logs, and a detailed description of the problem, along with any other information that may prove to be useful,

Be assured, that your messages are probably safe, From what you say, something is causing a re-index to fail, which is simply the generated message index. PMMail (32809) - Jul 25 2021 16:20:17 +0000 (GMT) may (or may not) fix the problem, but it would be the first thing to try. You may want to BACK UP, so you can get back to where you started. Often, simply doing Re-Index again will get past whatever it doesn't like (especially if you haven't done a Re-Index recently, which would seem to be the case since you don't know about the FROM: thing), I have also seen stray, non message, files get put into the folders, and that can cause problems.

Did you, by any chance, install the libc, and libcx, updates from the netlabs-exp repository? I haven't seen any problems with that, but they are new, and probably not well tested.

Applications / Re: Apache OpenOffice no longer starts
« on: July 16, 2021, 01:22:33 am »
Hi Greg,

There are some DLL's that you need to upgrade but I cant remember which ones now but you should find the list in the readme file.

Actually, that is what causes the problem. Greg said "I removed it and loaded AOO-4170-GA" You need 4180-GA to work with the latest DLLs. Unfortunately I don't remember which DLL needs to be down leveled (might be libicu). Updating to AOO 4.1.8 solves the problem.

Setup & Installation / Re: OS/2 installation on IBM T43 (intel based)
« on: July 03, 2021, 10:33:02 pm »
I have searched through various forums and wiki posts and looks like OS/2 is only properly installs on ATI based T43. Didn't want create a new topic because I probably already know the answer, but have not found any topics to resurrect from the dead. So my question is simple, are there any workarounds or ways to install OS/2 on Intel T43 or am I out of luck and the only solution is to use ArcaOS. Thanks

There are two major versions of the T43, that I know about. One is model 2xxx (Lewis R, at Arca Noae, has a 2xxx model, that he uses a lot - I think it has Warp 4.52 on it along with various versions of ArcaOS). The other (like mine) is an 187x (not near it, so I can't check, but it is Intel). There is nothing special about either model. The ATI part is probably an additional video adapter. The easy solution is to use ArcaOS, but I have used eComStation with it. No problem installing either one. I got the  T43 after eCS was available, so I never tried an older OS/2, but there really should be no problem (as long as you update the necessary parts like using the Dani driver, and SNAP for video - Panorama works well too). If it does have the "special" video adapter, you may need to disable that. UniAud works for sound.

My T43 (187x) has an IDE disk (I wish it was SATA, but it is not - I don't know about the 2xxx model). OS/2 should install with only minor problems. The biggest advantage to using eCS, or ArcaOS, is that you don't need to load updated diskettes to get it started (not a problem, if it has a diskette drive, but there are was around that too. You would need to make a bootable CD, with the diskette contents on it - not an obvious thing to do).

Applications / Re: Creating some apps RPM packages
« on: June 22, 2021, 08:26:30 am »
The problem with using a database that only has 2 levels to track installed products (like WarpIn) is if the product has lots of components the "application" is listed multiple times with different "keys" in order to list the different components or subsystems.  If you want to deinstall the product you have to deinstall each of the application-key pairs. To use an example: Doodle's Screen Saver is listed as an application 29 times (on my machine) in WarpIn's database. So to deinstall one has to right-click 29 times on the application and select deinstall.

That is true. Back when WarpIn was developed, it was unusual to have more than one component. Three, at the most, so it wasn't much of a problem. If you want an example of a complicated WarpIn installer, have a look at the GENMAC installer. One of the "problems" with WarpIn, is that it is very flexible, and can easily be augmented using REXX. Lots of people have invented ways to use that, and sometimes it can cause problems.

You can select more than one package, using the standard selection methods. If it was packaged in a way that keeps all of the parts together, that is pretty easy. To use DSS as an example, click the first entry, move to the last entry and Shift click. They will all be selected, and you can RMB to uninstall them all. I suspect that it would be far more work, than can be justified, to change that, and it would probably break a lot of things that work now.

But the issue is why should I have to?  When the better way is to simply give the user the choice on where to install a product when using APM/YUM/RPM.

You do have the choice. Very few things must be on the boot volume. Back when DOS, and WinOS2, support was created, a 10 MB (yeah, "MB") hard disk was HUGE. The disk size did not become a problem until disk larger than 2 GB became available. IBM never fixed the problem, so somebody developed 2GBfix to avoid the problem (there are a couple of others, but 2GBfix works best). If you don't want to use that, it is your choice. Probably the best approach is to have a small partition dedicated to DOS/WinOS2 programs. That could be the C: drive, if you make your boot drive something other than C:. Another way to avoid using space on the boot drive, is to put the RPM/YUM stuff on a different drive.

When the better way is to simply give the user the choice on where to install a product when using APM/YUM/RPM.

Using WarpIn, you can select where to put things, but it usually doesn't make sense to do that. The default locations (as defined in the WarpIn settings, which I usually change, to my own preferences, at OS install time), are usually best. I assume you meant ANPM, not APM (a power manager) with RPM/YUM. You need to realize that RPM/YUM is designed to work with Linux, which usually has fixed (not selectable) locations for things. A lot of that was never changed, because it makes it easier to port programs from Linux. In fact, there are very few programs that actually get installed using RPM/YUM. Almost all of that stuff is support for Linux ports, which are often installed by WarpIn. There is a RPM package for Firefox, but I doubt if it will ever be pushed to the release  channel, simply because Firefox is no longer being ported for OS/2. From what I hear, the new browser (Otter) will be an RPM package (probably with no other options for installing, because of the complexity involved).

I think Martin IS intending to distribute old style OS/2 apps that way.  And I think it is an excellent idea if we can get some flexibility in the install process.

Old style OS/2 apps are not suited to distribution as RPM packages, and it would be a lot of work to do it, for little, or no, gain. Other things could use a little polish, and it would probably be easier to repackage the very old programs as WarpIn packages (many of them just need to place the files, and add an icon). RPM/YUM is useful when there are many *NIX requirements. It is not as useful when it is a stand alone program, but it should be possible to do it.

I am just trying to, politely, suggest that adding the ability to select a destination for a application when installing with APM/YUM/RPM would be a fantastic feature.

Perhaps so, but that would make it a LOT more difficult to port RPM and YUM (ANPM just uses some intelligence to run YUM). They are not designed to do things like that, and changing too many things tends to break other things. In fact, it is probably possible, if the the person building the package can find a way to do it. I understand that scripts are used to do some things, perhaps they can ask where to put things, when the package might actually work in non standard locations. The main "problem" is that doing things like that, makes supporting the whole thing a lot more complex, and one thing that we don't have, are a lot of support people to try to figure out what some user has done to themselves. It happens often enough when it is a supported configuration. The other problem is that some future change might make whatever was done fail to work. Then, who is going to figure that out? There just aren't enough people to do it all.

Applications / Re: Creating some apps RPM packages
« on: June 22, 2021, 04:34:59 am »
although it needs a better database for storing installed app information;  the 2 levels that INI files provides is not enough.

What is missing?

What Martin was talking about was RPM-izing legacy type OS/2 apps.

Which is okay for learning how to do it. I hope he doesn't actually try to distribute old style OS/2 apps that way. It is not appropriate. Some of them are not even appropriate for WarpIn.

That means I really need to keep my boot drive partitioned at 2 GB or less and I need to be careful about what I install on the boot drive so I don't run out of space.

Actually, that is not a restriction. You should use, possibly with the patch to lower the returned space even further It doesn't matter how big the drive is, the biggest number that DOS will "see" is slightly less than 2 GB. 2gbfix is included in ArcaOS. DOS can only "see" 8.3 file names too. All others are invisible.

The downside of RPM verses WarpIn is it looks like RPM is much more complicated to setup.  I mean complicated for the app maker to setup an install to work with RPM.

RPM is "more complicated" because it usually needs far more links to dependencies, but the person who builds the program usually knows what is required, so it is easier for them to do it. Other than that, it is just a "learning curve". WarpIn can burn you pretty bad, if you don't get it right, and it doesn't handle dependencies, which means the user can also mess it up. RPM/YUM can also burn you, if it isn't done properly.

Neither installer is "perfect". They are what they are. The main purpose of both, is to make it easy for a user to get a program installed correctly, so it will work. In most (unfortunately, not all) cases both work as they should.

One of the reasons why I object to restoring old programs to HOBBES, is that some of them were removed because the WarpIn installer was doing bad things.

Applications / Re: Creating some apps RPM packages
« on: June 21, 2021, 10:28:58 pm »
I have never understood the reason for using RPM/YUM as an installer in OS/2/ArcaOS.

It is very simple. That is the way some of it is being done, by choice of those who do the work. They have no intention of changing that.

We have a very good installer in WARPIN, it can find where older versions of programs are, make new directories and add them to the LIBPATH and PATH and so on.  I assume it was discarded because some people thought writing the install script was too much effort when they could dump everything in the same directory - not a good idea.

WarpIn has not been abandoned, it is still used when the person making the package wants to do it that way (many packages in ArcaOS are installed using WarpIn). It can also be done with ZIP files. The choice depends a LOT on what is being packaged, and what the dependencies are.

I too do not update my install unless it is something I can download and install myself.

VERY BAD idea. I can't emphasize that enough. The YUM package manager does a LOT more than simply install things (use the Arca Noae Package Manager - ANPM to make it simple, and get it done right). If you don't use RPM/YUM, you can be missing parts of what is required (plus you can end up spending DAYS trying to sort it out). It also makes sure that all of the parts end up in the proper place (it is NOT just a simple target). Many Linux ports simply assume locations, so even if you have something, somewhere, it may not be found, if it is not where it is assumed to be.

RPM/YUM is just another package installer, made MUCH easier to use, when you use ANPM to run it (and ANPM has more features coming). It can be somewhat tricky to convert an older system to use  RPM/YUM (there are way too many things that users did before, that can mess it up). It is easy if you use it from a new install, and NEVER try to outsmart it.

Isn't there a VirtualBox drive pass through thing? Quickly searching, yes it seems to be described in section 9.10 of the manual. Linux description, where the only problem was permissions. This should work to mount you SSD, though perhaps not since you are also booting Windows from it, I think it should though it needs testing.

I played with that, a couple of years ago. I was using a win 10 host, VBox 5.<something> and one of the earlier ArcaOS versions. It worked okay with a FAT32 drive (less than 2 GB, and removed from windows to avoid conflicts). Trying to use it with a JFS volume looks like it would work, BUT, the LVM information is NOT passed through. Only the raw partition is made available, and VBox adds a partition wrapper that contains the partition information (including the lack of LVM information). At that point I quit, because I didn't want to mess with the partition in question. I am not sure if LVM, in the guest, would add valid LVM information to the pseudo drive, or not. If it will, I am not sure if it will remember it. I am also not too sure if doing that will cause other problems. It really shouldn't, as long as the drive is properly closed at shutdown, but that is untested, by me.

I should return to that, because I would also like to be able to use a real JFS drive from an ArcaOS system, in VBox. I suggest that you need a test system, where it doesn't matter if it gets messed up. Be sure to test what happens when the VBox is terminated (reset it), and when the host is terminated (pull the plug). If a simple CHKDSK recovers it, all is good (probably a good idea to try it multiple times)

FTR, using Shared Folders won't do it, unless the host system can read (and possibly write) the JFS partition. It will probably work with a Linux host, when it supports JFS drives (Puppy Linux, used by the DFSEE Linux packages, does that). In VBox, the Shared folders are presented to the guest as network drives.

I said "JFS", but it should apply to HPFS too.

I installed AD blocker on my Android phone. Otherwise, the site would become close to unusable.

About a month ago, I started using this: When used with the HOSTS file, from:, I see very few ads. I set my router to use that site, and it blocks for my phone too. So far, it seems to be a good solution.

You can span ADVANCED volumes (even on different physical disks), but I don't know about >2 TB volumes. Advanced volumes are not bootable.

I did it, years ago (much smaller disk, of course), with mixed results. It did work okay, but introduced some very messy maintenance challenges. Eventually, I just consolidated it all, when I got a new disk that was big enough to hold all of it.

It would be educational to know if it works with large disks, but I don't have one to play with.

Not sure if a RAID setup will work under OS/2, a hardware one might but then you're stuck if your MB dies unless you get another close to the same.

Even if it is a hardware RAID (highly unlikely), it might not work in OS/2. Some years ago, I got a SATA PCI adapter, so I could use SATA disks in my antique Asus P4VP-MX machine (I use that machine as an ArcaOS based NAS box, with a 2 TB drive). It has a hardware RAID on the card, but it is not usable with OS/2, simply because it needs a driver to turn RAID on at boot time. The whole RAID setup is done by code that is attached to the BIOS (no OS required), but it needs that driver to actually turn it on, or it just uses the basic, single drive, disk access (which is exactly what I want anyway). I did not bother to try to make RAID work <see below>.

At the time, I did some reading about how RAID actually works (there is more than one method), and quickly came to the conclusion that RAID is a rich man's toy, that isn't worth the work, or expense. Sure, if you are doing medical monitoring, or  the machine isn't available for manual repair (like space craft), when storage goes bad, but in a normal work station it is nothing but unnecessary overhead. High performance, high demand, servers may justify it, but, as Arca Noae found out, if the RAID controller goes bad, it can take out ALL of the copies, leaving you to rebuild your system manually (you still need to make good backups, and that is less work than trying to manage a RAID). It is also a good idea to get a spare disk, because they all need to match, and a match may not be available when one goes bad (probably won't happen in the next 30 years anyway).

The rest looks like it should work, but you are probably spending more money than it will be worth. If you use the machine to run games, under windows, it might be worth it, but you are selecting a lot of expensive (even with discounts) hardware, that isn't going to do anything for OS/2 (the video adapter, for instance - most modern processors come with a video adapter built in, that will run circles around older devices, when using Panorama). Ask yourself: "what are you going to do with 1 TB of disk space?". Even 500 GB of disk space remains mostly empty, on my systems (except the 2 TB drive, which contains multiple backups of all of the rest of my systems).

Those large disks lead to a user not maintaining their disk space, which adds to the size of backups, and not being able to find what you are looking for. I know, for sure, that about 30% of the data on my HDDs should be removed (80%, if you count windows), but it is just too much work to do it. It would have been easy, if I had maintained a 250 GB disk, over the years. My two 1 TB drives are left with large empty spaces, just waiting for something to get lost on them. My most efficient system has a 30 GB disk, and 6 GB of that is taken up by win98 (I boot that about once per year, just because...). ArcaOS 5.0.6 is quite happy with the rest. Of course, I don't keep my photos, or music collection, on that disk. They get saved to a DVD (it does have a DVD drive - USB also works, but it is a single USB1 port), and that works just as well as having them on the HDD (I don't use that machine much anyway).

I did replace 500 GB HDDs, with 500 GB SSDs, on two of my laptops. That was not to gain speed (it helps), but more for shock protection. The price, of SSDs, is now in the "reasonable" range. If you want "high speed" disk, get a high performance NVME device, but be sure that it will use all 4 PCIe lanes for data transfer (4 lanes seems to be what is now available, it should be possible to use all 16 lanes, when/if the devices are produced).

Applications / Re: Interest in Dr. Web Antivirus?
« on: May 26, 2021, 08:03:22 pm »
What's the point of an anti-virus on OS/2? Sure if it is working as a mail server or even file server for other operating systems, it could be handy, but otherwise?

It is always good to be sure that you don't, accidentally, pass on a virus to some poor, unsuspecting, unprotected, windows user. It is also possible for some of those XUL things to infect an OS/2 system.

You can also get yourself into trouble if you accidentally send a virus to someone. Some companies check mail, as it is sent, to see if their users are sending viruses. That can get you black listed, but usually the message just disappears into the ether (sometimes it doesn't have to be an actual virus, it just needs to be something that might be a virus). Even worse, is that a receiving server can detect it, and get your whole domain black listed. Somehow, all of these measures can't seem to stop the problem, but they can create problems for legitimate users.

I was using ClamAV, for a long time. A few months ago, it quit updating, and I couldn't be bothered to try to figure it out. It was also not usable, without using CLAMD, which uses HUGE amounts of shared memory space (mostly upper shared space, so that wasn't too much of a problem). I did add a script to PMMail, to run ClamAV as each message was received. That was working okay, but the overhead was pretty high. Over about 10 years, I only trapped about 5 viruses (two of which were false positives). The other problem was that only incoming mail was checked, I had to manually check any other files that needed checking.

As for Dr. Web, I would need a lot more information about exactly how it works, and the cost, to make any decisions. One option would be for somebody to buy 5 (or more) licenses, and sub license them (depends on how that goes over with the owners). It would probably mean that whoever does it, would need to do front end problem resolution. Overall, I can't see that it would be a popular item.

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