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Messages - Roderick Klein

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Article Discussions / Re: eComStation 2.2 Beta First Impressions
« on: March 31, 2013, 12:31:13 am »
You also need some sort of Quality assurance, to be sure that incorrect drivers, or programs that have not been individually verified as working by a number of users, do not end up being distributed. It may sound like that would add to your workload, but I know that you would find otherwise, once it is in place. Having two, or three, people sit down and install to a couple of different machines, is just not going to please very many people, as you can see by the results from the first beta (which is more like an Alpha release IMO).

Well the first hint the Q&A has taken place quite extensively is in the fact we first wanted to release the beta at the beginning of December and we where 3 months later.
If you look at the bugs report on the 2.2 beta of all the about 60 bugs opened they are down to 5 or 6 top bugs that are all the same problem in danis506.add, os2ahci and USB drivers.
Last minute the beta was delayed again to fix the problem with the T500 laptop and os2ahci. There are still issue's and another bug report will go out tomorow to fix an issue on os2ahci that should fix 3 or 4 identical OS2AHCI bugs.

Overal the eCS beta has been tested on more then 50 different models of machines to determine if ACPI worked in APIC and SMP mode and Panorama worked properly with MTRR setup.
eCS 2.2 beta has also been tested on T42 R40 and T40 at the Mensys office.

The reason we like todo as much as possible Q&A in house is because a lot of issue's are not EASY for end users to debug. I have spent over the last 6 months or so some very long days in the Mensys office to slam bugs out of the USB drivers with David and Lars, debug ACPI and NIC drivers.

Looking at the list of of device drivers modified and looking at the results so far (I don't like bug reports :-)). But looking at how it works I don't consider it that bad.
eCS 2.2 is the biggest overhaul of eCS ever. Just about every device driver has been updated involved in the boot process.

Roderick Klein
Mensys B.V.

Article Discussions / Re: eComStation 2.2 Beta First Impressions
« on: March 30, 2013, 11:43:29 pm »
However, a few minimal files for VDM are always installed. (It
is the IBM installer that does this automatically.) We've found that
there is no way around this, as they are required by some core OS
components (I believe GRADD requires VDM support; IIRC something else
does too, possibly APM or somesuch).

Java 1.1.8 is now always installed. This was discussed a couple of
years ago in a problem ticket, although I don't have the reference
handy. Certain system components and configuration tools simply do not
work stably with any later version of Java. Attempting to allow
flexibility in this just caused too many ongoing problems and
compatibility issues. Given how small and unobtrusive a minimal Java
1.1 installation is, it was decided to simply install it always.
Please note that it is tucked out of the way in a system directory,
and adds absolutely nothing to CONFIG.SYS or the environment.

I'm aware that some users will be unhappy about this. This is one of
those issues where it's just impossible to satisfy everyone. Trying to
compromise just led to unhappiness and confusion anyway.

I'm sure it's time to replace both the IBM installer and the FI
installer - since a really long time. Unfortunately we're still
trying to get the eCS installer copy the selected files to the HD.
Instead we should concentrate on replacing system components. How to
install them is clear: Copy them to HD - it's as "easy" as unzip an
archive file after processing the selected options while regarding
the recognized HW.

Time to free resources - replace the installers!

It has been dream of mine to get all the installers out the door. I talked to severeal people to try it and I tried to work out EXACLT what for example RSPINST does.
And its not that easy as it looks. I worked on replacing minstall from IBM (which was broken) I worked with a lot of people trying to get RSPINST out the door.
It simply not going to happen unless somebody wants to volenteer and sit down for about 2 months.

We have currently better fish to fry then cleaning up more old installers. Just to even think of how rspinst works differently on DBCS installations...

Roderick Klein
Mensys B.V.

Article Discussions / Re: eComStation 2.2 Beta First Impressions
« on: March 30, 2013, 11:40:03 pm »
While the option is there and currently the disc checker is causing some problems. Be very carefull with recommdening people to just disable it without reason.

The genmac problem has been fixed in our build tree. Problem found!

Article Discussions / Re: eComStation 2.2 Beta First Impressions
« on: March 30, 2013, 10:15:02 pm »
That the danis506.add driver is not working on all systems is not surprising. It has received maintenance to fix some bugs that have been reported and that broke some stuff it seems.
If you have not done so yet, please report a bug in the bug tracker. Also check the eComStation bugtracker if the defect you have is already open.  Thats saves us some time!

Basically the following issue's have been found and are being worked on.

* On some older systems the DANIS506.ADD driver does not see the CD ROM and/or HDD. Regression in the code needs to befixed.

* Some systems the OS2AHCI driver does not show the hard disc or you get an LVM error. Both items are under  research and if the people that reported the problem can follow the instructions we will be posting in the bugs over the next couple of days we should be able to fix these issue.

* On some systems the USB driver don't work. eCS 2.2 ship with new USB host controller drivers and new mouse and keyboard drivers. Again over the next couple of days we will
we will post information that we hope will follow to we can debug these issue's. Again remote stuff remotely is not easy but we will make it as easy as possible.
One benefit compared to the IBM USB driver is that the new USB drivers contain tracing facilities

Its of no use to release a new beta RIGHT now. But the problem with Genmac not installing correctly with the beta has been resolved and the fix in CVS. Also the some problems in the NAPS GUI (MPTS replacement) and the CUPS wizard are partly/are being worked on. So your bug reports are useful! But some bugs take more time to fix then others.

The problem with OS2AHCI and LVM not working is already being looked in. So please stay tuned to your mailbox for feedback from out techteam. And as always
when possible provide \var\log\ That is a treasure room for us with information.

Roderick Klein
Mensys B.V.

Article Discussions / Re: eComStation 2.2 Beta First Impressions
« on: March 29, 2013, 12:31:27 pm »
Finally I was able to test this beta on my machine at home (i7 on an Intel DH67CL mainboard). Finally eComStation is able to go beyond the preboot! :)
Unfortunatelly the good news stop there, since as soon as eCS starts loading, USB keyboard and mouse simply stop working. Since this mainboard doesn´t have PS/2 or serial/keyboard ports, I cannot proceed the instalation beyond the graphical shell starts (the Welcome! screen is the last one I was able to see). Problem already reported at bugtracker (I am not the only one... there was already someone with exactly the same problem).
Another thing: I was able to get to this point using Panorama drivers. When I tried SNAP (since this machine has an ATI Radeon X850 PCIe as videoboard, which is supposed to be supported by SNAP in accelerated mode), the boot hangs just after SNAP loading message is shown. Since it seems SNAP is not being actively developed, I don´t know it is worth to post something at eCS bugtracker.

The USB problem is known and should be easier to trace with the new USB drivers we include.  If the system does not hang you can use (with the proper setup) OS2 trace facility via the PMSHELL.
So I guess the the USB problem should be located without to much difficulty.

As for SNAP. Development is not stopped, SNAP is moved to the  background. Some research has been done however. Just nothing publicly visable!  Its just we moved the priority to other points such as ACPI. I don't claim full functionality. But the new ACPI compared to the 3.18 version has made mayor mayor progress (in my opinion). Also the USB drivers and OS2AHCI needed priority.
While some tickets raised on these topics (USB and OS2AHCI) in general we are in a pretty good shape.  We can consider looking at USB 3.0 when eCS 2.2 is shipped and SNAP.
SNAP BTW has more defects then just MTRR issue's. So rest assured SNAP will get back in the spotlight. But mayor work was needed.

At least so far I have not heard  of any positings about ACPI failing. I know they are out there does systems. But we are in much better shape.

Roderick Klein
Mensys B.V.,


Roderick Klein
Mensys B.V.

Article Discussions / Re: eComStation 2.2 Beta First Impressions
« on: March 27, 2013, 08:27:05 pm »
Thanks all for the testing. Please open tickets. WHile having 2 days off I do monitor things and when have time will answer support tickets opened! Back in the office on friday.

Your feedback in the form of tickets is greatly welcomed and proper processed tickets we can hopefully quickly resolve the bugs!

Roderick Klein
Mensys B.V.

Article Discussions / Re: eComStation 2.2 Beta First Impressions
« on: March 26, 2013, 11:15:37 am »
Well that's not how the installer works. The page previous (the page before you specify the UNIXROOT path), thats where you need to make the selection. Click on the + for "System extensions"
"Then software compatibility extensions" and under "unix ports framework" You can switch the between the two options.

Because the option is select by default to install RPM (which is needed for ODIN and QT 4 and Java) on the next page that option is displayed
"the unixroot path".

So you can disable that option BUT you will not get Java 6, QT 4 and ODIN and Flash.

Roderick Klein
Mensys B.V.

Article Discussions / Re: eComStation 2.2 Beta First Impressions
« on: March 25, 2013, 11:36:53 pm »
PLEASE PLEASE open a bug report. Otherwhise forum postings can not manage this!!

Sitting between the developers and forums make it just about impossible to make proper bug resolving possible.

In this case do an LVM /startlog:driveletter:\directory\log.txt. And put that in a ticket!
In combination with that disc layout we can find out whats wrong possibly and put the exact error message in the ticket
that the disc checker reports.

Roderick Klein
Mensys B.V.

Article Discussions / Re: eComStation 2.2 Beta First Impressions
« on: March 25, 2013, 11:18:56 pm »
Well we had slight hick up :-(

We put the ISO online at 16:00 hours Amsterdam. But at 22:30 we withdrawn the ISO.
As I type this a new one is being uploaded. We discovered what I would call a critical defect.

The defect was in the fact that when installed to hard disc the two files \os2\boot\ usbohcd.sys and usbehcd.sys where still the IBM version.
We missed ONE pack file in which the files are. \os2image\disk_5\usb was correct.
Os2image\bundle0 missed an update.

The joys of IBM installer framework. Its pretty complex stuff.

Sorry for the inconvience. The new ISO just finished uploading and will be accessible within 10 minutes again.

Roderick Klein
Mensys B.V.

Article Discussions / Re: eComStation 2.2 Beta First Impressions
« on: March 25, 2013, 09:07:39 pm »
Get a system with an Intel mainboard chipset and ethernet NIC for wired support and you should be OK.

Roderick Klein
Mensys B.V.

That issue is fixed with the upcoming beta CD of the demo CD.  We did some SMALL fixes. But needs some more work.

Now testing on the last or second last internal beta of eCS 2.2 before it goes public :-)

Roderick Klein
Mensys B.V.

Hi all. Just my 2 cents: I booted my eCS workstation from eCS demo CD and all went OK. This is an AMD Phenom II X6 with 4GB of RAM and ATI X850 PCIe video. Runs very well under eCS 1.2R so far.

eCS 2 demo boots with standard settings. Afterloading the Intel PRO/1000 PCIe MAC driver it sits and waits for quite a while (~30 secs) with keyboard being unresponsive - I was almost about to do a reset. Eventually installation continues, boots into the desktop and is usable by and large. Firefox 10.0.11 comes up nicely and connects to the internet using my LAN connection.

What did not work and works in my eCS installation:
- sound did not work (I am using an old PCI Nightingale PRO)
- ACPI 3.21.07 only initializes one of the 6 CPU cores (this might be by design)
- Flash is not working (seems not to be installed)
- HTML5 did not work - maybe due to missing sound

Just a first impression - will do some more extensive tests.


We disabled THE smp support in THE boot by default. Some systems boot from cd trap when smp is enabled. This does not happen with the boot from hard disk. You can switch on the smp support in the preboot menu.

This hang you you experience for 30 seconds is most likely caused by a bug in the currently used USB drivers. We are down to 1 bug to replace the IBM
USB drivers. As mentioned this is a beta of the demo cd.

Roderick Klein
Mensys b.v.

One advantage of public transport compared to driving my motorcycle. I can work on eCS on my laptop in the express bus :-)

I'm currently running final tetss on the virtualbox hang on the geneproto.exe and virtualbox that should be fixed.As for Xwlan on the todo list. But for the gemac drivers.
The driver

A) Is not auto detected by the preboot.

B) My intel 3945 chipset in my T61 does not load correctly.

The primary reason to bring out the demo CD is to show some other things amoung Panorama and ACPI progress. While not there yet it shows we remain on the move...


Roderick Klein
Mensys B.V.

Article Discussions / Re: Atheros card driver
« on: March 08, 2013, 03:53:13 pm »
From what we can tell the NIC driver uses a API interface they put in the OS/4 kernel.
If it will work on the OS/2 kernel I don't know.


Frankly: I don't care if APM or ACPI versus suspend/resume works. I don't care that the lame Panorama now is faster than before (and still slower than my crappy Android phone while we're at it). I don't care about these incredibly improved, groundshakingly different desktop icons. And heck, I don't even care about USB improvements if I could trade all this for an OOTB WIFI support.

you are right.   wifi, wifi, wifi !!!!!!!!


Let me answer Andreas his point. I wrote on as well. Tests an a T42 and T40 with suspend and resume have so far worked.
You can switch to legacy mode. As for the hot CPU. What version of ACPI was this that you tested with ?
I don't know with which version you tested.

All recent versions of ACPI  implement HLT support on the SMP kernel. So you should get the same result my T61 is right now 44 degrees celcius.
But we have not really received bug reports if recent version of ACPI don't work with the HLT on older notebooks to keep the CPU cool.
The HLT instruction has been implemented in the x86 CPU's since the first versions of the CPU (earlier then the 286).

So either you are running an older version of ACPI (pre-dating  3.20 version) or we do have a bug. But as long as there is no bug report
its guess work what you report is based on.

And as I have written before. The whole ACPI upgrade and USB was needed. So the wifi support is in the beta demo CD (the website also mentions this as a beta!).
I will look at this over the weekend. Final release of the eCS demo CD will be in the second week of April together with eCS 2.2 German and English final version.
Beta of eCS 2.2 will be released next week.

Roderick Klein
Mensys B.V.

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