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Messages - Mentore

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Comments, Suggestions & Questions / Re: Hobbes (Files) Reoganization
« on: July 25, 2022, 08:19:50 am »
Is it worth even keeping v3.1 (and 3.2) around? The latest 3.x was 3.3.6, which perhaps should be uploaded to Hobbes, same with 4.x where the latest seems to have been 4.5.0.
BTW, the last release of XFree86 seems to have been 4.8, which I could probably build, it's EMX, need gcc-elf and an EMX unixroot. Probably some of the xorgs from before they ripped out the imake stuff and/or OS/2 code could also probably be built. I don't see the point unless very bored though.

Hope you'll find yourself pretty bored ASAP, then  ;)

Off Topic discussions / Re: Slowing Down But Not Hitting the Brakes
« on: May 16, 2022, 08:04:05 am »
Well, this is just the kind of messages one would never write.
My sincerest condolences for your loss - it's clear from your words you love and respect your father.

Take your time. Mourn him and praise him as you find fit. Only after this, please come back with renewed strength.
Hugs from Italy.

As always, you all are a really rich source of information!
I'm following this thread and will see when I'll have time to put my hands on an ArcaOS machine (or more than one). Currently I'm struggling to find some spare time to try the betas for NLVs.


Internet / Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« on: April 15, 2022, 10:20:23 am »
I still have to finish a bare metal box (just found an used i3 machine which may be of use somehow) but time is short and chores increasing - plus, my wife gave birth to our son Gabriele 20 days ago, so I really don't know if/when I will be able to contribute again to software solutions on OS/2 platforms.

Congrats on the new member of the family!

Thanks a million Paul, I'll let him into OS/2 ASAP :D

Internet / Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« on: April 15, 2022, 10:19:42 am »
Congratulations Mentore, proud father one can presume  :)

Proud and happy I dare say :)

Hello all. Just a few thoughts here.
I recently was given some eeePC net-top boxes (Intel N160/270, 1 GB RAM, 160 GB hard drive each) mounting Windows 7 OS, and found they are perfectly targeted by linux distros.
Somehow the idea of connecting them in a private LAN and using them as a parallel PC solution (clustering) came to mind and, lo and behold, I found a Linux solution for this. Basically this should turn a group of PCs roughly identical in computing power in a "single" machine working on all the CPUs and resources of its components. This would mean having a "single" 7 CPUs PC with 14 GB RAM and more than 1 TB MSD, expandable adding other machines (more or less: of course there's much overhead due to LAN and other quirks).

And it's all OK and right. But: I was wondering if somehow a similar solution exists (or could exist) on OS/2 architecture? I seem to remember there was a PVM (Parallel Virtual Machine) software on Hobbes but never gave it a try.

I'll look at (if it still exist) and maybe study a little. In the meantime I'd love to hear your opinions (having a 8 CPUs OS/2 machine with 16 GB RAM would be fun).


Internet / Re: New Browser Delay Discussion
« on: April 15, 2022, 08:17:14 am »
Guys...I do not want to be seen as only pouring fuel on the fire, but I honestly think it behooves us to come up with another browser option if the OS/2 platform is to survive in ANY sort of form and/or shape. This is BTW coming from a guy who's been running OS/2 ONLY on bare metal all these you bet your "you know what" that committment is here!

Anyways, I bring back my suggestion to completely off-load the browser chores to a tiny bare metal platform where you can convert the darn box into an App server.

Literally, these things come in the tiniest of formats, some actually will attach to the back of your monitor's VESA bracket/mount and all you basically need is a power cable running to it (most are WiFI based, of course you can run a CAT cable if you want/prefer). Cost here is a couple of hundred USD, wide range of power hardware available, so you can pick something up for as little as $75. It is that cheap b/c it has no powerful GPU, crazy amount of RAM, or big SDD.

Combine that with a RDP solution like FreeRDP and our problems are nearly solved.

Heck, I'b be much happier pouring more money into fixing the current FreeRDP memory leaks than putting that cash into a native browser build.

Further on, we could all probably figure out the best combo to configure for our needs, and such a standard build could become an "off the shelf" solution for our use. Yes, I do literally mean: we should build an App Server image and make that available so that anyone else who wants to stand one of these tiny platforms just orders the hardware, dumps the image on there and installs FreeRDP on his/her current OS/2 box.

As they say: just my 2-cents!

Not a bad idea, just a little cumbersome maybe? Dunno. Maybe it's just me and my somehow schizofrenic way of seeing things: from one side, I'm thinking about building a linux eeePC nettop cluster solution just for fun (I've got six of these little boxes), from the other side I'm still attached to a one-box solution. I'm getting old, it seems  ;D

But yes: it's really an interesting idea IMHO. Also, in the current environment shifting to 64 bit there's not much time left.

I still have to finish a bare metal box (just found an used i3 machine which may be of use somehow) but time is short and chores increasing - plus, my wife gave birth to our son Gabriele 20 days ago, so I really don't know if/when I will be able to contribute again to software solutions on OS/2 platforms.

But HECK, how I miss working on the WPS.


Applications / Re: AVxCAT (v2 into test)
« on: March 07, 2022, 08:41:50 am »

AVxCAT v2 has progressed
Many planned updates and new functions are now available (only 3 to 4 new options/changes aren't fully enabled yet)
I need more feedbacks about (not finalized) current beta. (ini file is maintained compatible with older release despite new entries are added)


Hello Remy,
I tried to download it but got a strange error. The downloaded file was only 3 kB long.

Don't know if  I made a mistake and tried to download something else but still.


Setup & Installation / Re: ArcaOS USB installation - Rufus?
« on: November 17, 2021, 08:05:55 am »
As to Windows 10, my brother's opinion of it was to request me to order in an OEM base install of windows 7.

We followed some advice and disabled a whole lot of things, and Win10's idea was to download fixes and install + uninstall them.  You boot the computer and go have dinner before it had finished booting.

WOW, this is insane. Still can't figure how could go so bad for OS/2, given the competitors' level...


Setup & Installation / Re: ArcaOS USB installation - Rufus?
« on: November 16, 2021, 08:17:53 am »
Rufus does not even work on home-brew windows 7 isos either.

Hi Wendy,
actually I used successfully Rufus with the Windows 7 ISOs provided by microsoft (I happen to have two or three valid license keys and already used them). Rufus failed me when I tried to create a bootable linux distro for an old netbook, so it's clearly a YMMV situation.


Programming / Re: QBASIC POKE IN REXX is possible?
« on: November 08, 2021, 08:06:28 am »
I wanted to know if there is an instruction similar to QBASIC Poke in Rexx

POKE &H00006281, 238 in rexx =   ...


Hi Roberto,
as others answered, a direct POKE in a memory protected system is forbidden. It would most probably ruin everything and break the system.
Question arises then: why do you need to use POKE? I'm guessing you're trying to port some old QBASIC software...


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.


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