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Messages - Doug Bissett

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1
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.

2
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).

3
Applications / Re: Creating some apps RPM packages
« on: June 22, 2021, 08:26:30 am »
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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

4
Applications / Re: Creating some apps RPM packages
« on: June 22, 2021, 04:34:59 am »
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although it needs a better database for storing installed app information;  the 2 levels that INI files provides is not enough.

What is missing?

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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.

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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 https://hobbes.nmsu.edu/download/pub/dos/2gbfix.zip, possibly with the patch to lower the returned space even further https://hobbes.nmsu.edu/download/pub/dos/2GBFIXPA.ZIP. 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.

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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.

5
Applications / Re: Creating some apps RPM packages
« on: June 21, 2021, 10:28:58 pm »
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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.

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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.

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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.

6
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, https://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?t=25221 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.

7
I installed AD blocker on my Android phone. Otherwise, the site would become close to unusable.

About a month ago, I started using this: https://alternate-dns.com/index.php. When used with the HOSTS file, from: http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm, 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.

8
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.

9
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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).

10
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.

11
Applications / Re: theseus 4.001 trap in usbmon
« on: May 25, 2021, 08:17:58 am »
Dave, maybe the object is in the XWorkplace Startup Folder instead of the legacy WPS startup folder ? For me, it is in the legacy WPS startup folder.
No, it's always recreated in <WP_STARTUP>. That one is always processed before any XFldStartup object. Maybe it's recreated early on startup via PM_InstallObject, indirectly added by USBPRT.SYS. Quite unlikely and I suppose its notification window during object creation can't be disabled.

Actually, it does get recreated, if you delete the object. I don't have a USB printer, so I just MOVE it somewhere outside of a startup folder. It doesn't get replaced (it already exists), and it doesn't start (nothing to start it), so it can't take up resources, or cause problems. Not a useful approach if you do have a USB printer, but it makes sense when you don't have a USB printer.

12
Applications / Re: Desktop Enhancement for WPS
« on: May 15, 2021, 03:08:16 am »
Actually, a couple of years ago, I bought some WiFi capable "smart plugs", from Amazon. After a couple of days, i had a problem, where something, repeatably, crashed, while I was in Firefox. After I investigated, it was a program. called Hello.exe. Looking further, that is, apparently, one of those ransomeware things.  The, so called, smart plugs opened a path for the virus to be introduced into my computer. OS/2 just spit it out, with no damage. It did infect my router, but a reset to factory fixed that. Amazon did take them back, but nobody did anything else about it.

The "problem", today, is that perfectly valid software is classified as a "problem", simply because microsoft did not make a dollar, by "inspecting" the files.

13
Applications / Re: Desktop Enhancement for WPS
« on: May 14, 2021, 10:55:12 pm »
If microsoft didn't write it, or if the files were not submitted to microsoft so they can charge to "inspect" them, they will probably be classified as a virus, by the microsoft, so called, anti virus checkers. They are getting a LOT more aggressive at doing things like that, even with well known, third party, windows software (Avast, AVG, CCleaner, and probably more). Even worse, is that microsoft software will prevent such software from being installed, and will often just kill it when the user attempts to start it, if it is already installed. At least we don't need to worry about that.

Somebody, with very deep pockets, needs to haul them off to court.

14
Setup & Installation / Re: Booting with NVMe
« on: April 15, 2021, 06:28:18 am »
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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).

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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...

15
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.

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