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Topics - Wendy Krieger

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Utilities / OS/2 Keyboard Layout
« on: November 12, 2021, 09:42:11 am »
I wonder if there is any kind of OS/2 keyboard layout editor.  I want to put a few extra letters on my keyboard, like þ, ñ, ß, etc.

I saw something that was on hobbes i think, that might do it, but i'm still waiting in eCom to come up with the necessary key.,

Hardware / Virtual PC
« on: October 10, 2021, 01:02:15 pm »
EComStation had identified support for VPC.  I wish they would do the same for ArcoOS. 

Programming / REXX under OS/2 etc
« on: October 10, 2021, 11:22:22 am »
My first exposure to REXX was Quercus Personal REXX for DOS in 1993.  Anyone who has looked at Richard Goran's guide to REXX, or played around with REXXLIB.DLL, would have encountered it.  In its day, it was the fastest one going, because it tokenised everything after the control-Z.

It came in flavours for DOS, OS/2, Windows 3.x and 95/NT.  Of course, we were managing things like 4DOS and 4OS2 back then, on a freshly minted OS/2 2.10.

The language was somewhat more versitile than other languages like BASICA, in that it was more 'open' to the OS.  You could for example, edit binary files, and make decisions on what part(s) of the binary to edit.  Back in the day, I was collecting operating systems as they hit the deck. 

Quercus REXX is the only rexx that I replaced OS/2 rexx with.  Some programs did not like it (eg GearOS2), but because of limited memory and such, Gear (a cdrom burning proggie), was run in an OS/2 PM session, with filebar as the shell.

Looking at the feature-set, Quercus is closest to Regina, except that it is not ANSI complient (no changestr), but was getting sufficiently close to OS/2 that they were advising people to use the OS/2 functions where appropriate.  Some of IBM's commands were slightly supperior (eg FILESPEC, DIRECTORY).

Some of the early AI stuff (like renaming OS/2 icons and attaching help pages through the MINDEX object), were done in this.  Using Norton Utilities 'InstDOS', thing, one can create whole Windows/WinOS2 desktops through rexx.  I still do it that way.

PC-DOS 7  had a version of REXX for DOS.  It caused a few headaches with 4DOS, because it used REXX ,BAT scripts.

When the 486 finally died in 2002, I moved across to Windows 98, Windows 2000, and finally (last year), Vista 6.1.  None of these had REXX, but you could coax regina or even quercus to run in these environments.

4NT will see and use rexx .cmd programs, but i normally pass these through as .rex scripts.

Regina Rexx is about the only ANSI level REXX (non-OO), and being on DOS, OS/2 and NT, is pretty versitile passing batches through.  The recently posted RXLOOP.REX works just as well under OS/2 as under NT (where it was written)
All of the rexx scripts handle bignum.  Have a look at and my fibonacci series calculator (it's the world record, written under rexx).

Applications / Accelerated Installs
« on: October 08, 2021, 01:46:28 pm »
The current project is Accelerated Installs.

The idea is to reduce the time from a clean install of the OS to full working order.  While one can use something like Ghost or pre-installed zip files, I desired to have a fair bit of flexibility in this.  A lot of this is cross-platform, the ideas from one source copied to another.  Some of this stuff dates back to 1992.

The bulk of programs are either copied pre-installed, or pre-registered.  This means, for example, inserting the registry keys in before installing the program.  PMView, Larsen CMD, File Commander/2 work like that.  Strategically placing parts of the INI file work for GSView, Smartsuite 1.73.  4OS2, EFComm and OS2CMD already have their reg keys in the install.

Lotus Smartsuite 1,73

The slipstream was successful, so it installs on one run.  There is a version 1.60 + update on the eCS 1.0 disk.

Graham Utilities. 2.10

This involves a service pack, but the install can be streamlined somewhat.  The idea is to modify the eCS 1.0 install version to handle this without having to reboot.

TinyEdit and QEdit. 

These look for supplemental files in a hard-coded directory or the current directory.  Without the hard-code, T and T2 will try to open Thelp in the current directory.  Reconfigured to use c:\use\thelp.  Likewise Q dos and os2 look for spell-check in a hard-code directory.

Cmd2exe and Bat2com

These are variously OS/2 and DOS programs that produce a loader for programs, so that you don't have to modify config.sys or autoexec,bat and keep the program off-path.  Bat2com from Foley Hitec "Turbobat", which seems to work under HPFS.  (the pc-mag one doesn't). 

4OS2, Tcmdos2, Pmview, filejet, jetcmd, volkov commander, boxer, and lucide all work under this.  jetcmd and filejet can have their environment variables set in the loader.  boxer is DOS, OS/2, TKO and EZ versions.  FC/2 can be off-path, as long as you load it from an on-path file (eg fcw),

There is a Windows proggie of this name (Jim Lawless, 'com2exe'), but it allows includes of other files on top of just a batch compiler.

Programming / Descriptions for OS/2 Book files (*.INF)
« on: October 08, 2021, 12:45:25 pm »
I wrote this little rexx script, to describe .INF files under 4OS2, 4DOS and 4NT.

It basically extracts the title from the INF file, strips the '00'x bits and tells the 4os2 session this is the file.  At the moment it handles only one file at a time, which means that you run "select infdesc (*.inf)" at the command prompt.

It can tickle some bugs in regina.rex (os2), in that if the description has no spaces, the program will read it as two files, and under 4NT, the files have quotes around them, which 4DESC does not like.  But generally it works quite well.

Code: [Select]
/* rexx */
parse arg infile
call stream infile, 'c', 'open read'
desc = charin(infile, 108, 48)
call stream infile, 'c', 'close'
desc = strip(desc,'B','00'x)
if desc = '' then do
  say infile' has no title'
else do
  'describe' infile '"'desc'"'

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