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Messages - Lewis Rosenthal

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Ah, memories. I still have another five years or so before I use up all my long term capital losses. But I lucked out on some other investments so no worries. ;)
Dan, your contribution to the overall project was (and is) greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for taking the risk. The Virtual deal was just an unholy mess, unfortunately.

Anyway, it would be good to get together at Warpstock for another meal. We haven't broken bread in several years.  :)

Hi, all...

I seem to recall that one of Serenity System's early products was a product that could easily push configurations and applications from a central server out to multiple workstations.  Unfortunately i can't recall the name of that product, but I do seem to recall it worked fairly well.  Any idea what happened to that software (and did you happen to get the rights to it as a part of this announcement)? 

Wise Manager was the product I recall, and no, we did not get the rights to it (nor was it discussed). that said, Olafur seems to have a better recollection of the available offerings (but no, we neither asked for nor received any of these).

I see some value in some old Serenity Systems article that are not longer available on the site.

Can I have your permission to republish the contents of this page on the OS2World Wiki under the Creative Commons Share Alike license?

I see no harm in republishing the content, Martin. It's in the wayback machine, anyway. Go for it. I wold suggest cleaning up the broken links, such as to serenityvirtual.c-m, which is now owned/parked by someone else (those pages are available in the wayback machine, too).


But I think it is quite contradictory that if people associate Serenity Systems with the refocus on OS/2 client development, but buying SSI does not mean that Arca can not produce a new OS/2 client. 
It's not contradictory. We provide value for people running OS/2. I'm not arguing that there is no value in a fresh shrink-wrapped product (new version), but OS/2 is a mature, stable platform. Have any of us seen real value in the accelerated release cycle of Firefox, for example (on any platform), just because the version numbers keep incrementing?

We believe that it is entirely possible to provide current functionality (read: latest code) without necessarily burning a new disc. This isn't at odds with SSI's philosophy. It goes along with it.

I really hope there is a more deep reason or advantage why Arca bought Serenity that you can not comment because is part of a commercial strategy, instead that only for its branding.
Branding is a good thing, and useful to Arca Noae over the long term.

Please remember that the main dissatisfaction on the current days is that the community does not have an idea what is going on with eComStation. There had not been a single formal word since Dec 2013 about XEU/Mensys merge, all the "rock star driver developers" are now in Arca, and Menso has new job posted at LinkedIn. 
As I've said before, several times over, eComStation is not our product. As such, it is not for us to comment on what the publisher of that operating system does. Arca Noae is dedicated to providing driver enhancements and applications which bring a better user experience to the platform (OS/2 and OS/2-based derivatives). This is true whether a customer comes to us running IBM OS/2 Warp 4 or eComStation 2.2b2.

I was told at Warpstock that a "Arca-Mensys/XEU" agreement was close (by Menso), but the reality seems that there are no results.
Nobody from Arca Noae ever said that. I know that I didn't say that. We are still discussing options with XEU, that is true. Were we "close" at the time of Warpstock? Are we "close" now? I can't say for certain.

IMO, there is way too much emphasis being placed on a new packaged product. Attention should be paid to what might go into that product, and Arca Noae is essentially providing that content right now, in the form of updated drivers giving us the ability to run the operating system on modern hardware. Yes, installing fresh on a new machine is still a tedious process without a one-disc solution. We understand that. However, if you want a new version of eCS, you'll have to ask the people who publish it.  ;)

Article Discussions / Re: Arca Noae Happenings
« on: February 24, 2015, 05:33:17 pm »
Thanks, Tom!

We are all very busy. Some things are taking longer than any of us would like, but we are all focused on our tasks, and that includes a core group of dedicated beta testers and translators (who cannot be thanked enough for their time and energy).

Keep watching our announcements. There is more coming, and we will continue to bring new and greater value to subscribers of our updates.

The store continues to evolve, as well, with some new additions (products) planned in the coming months.


So much speculation...

Where to begin?

- Does it means Arca Noae can distribute/sell/build eComStation now?


- Did Serenity Systems company was sold his company twice ? - I wish I can do that :)   ...or it was not sold at the first place.

Serenity Systems International was never "sold." The development & marketing of eCS was handed off to/taken over by Mensys in 2007/2008 (I'm not exactly clear on the date, but surely a quick read of this article should refresh everyone's recollections).

- So now Arca Noae has an agreement signed with Mensys/XEU? SSI has an agreement with Mensys, and SSI was bought by Arca Noae.

This has nothing to do with Mensys, XEU, or any other entity.

- Or is it eComStation out of the equation, since maybe only eCS was sold from SSI to Mensys?

This has nothing to do with eComStation (the product or brand name) directly. It does have to do with name recognition. People associate Serenity Systems with the refocus on OS/2 client development. That refocusing launched eComStation. Thus, people associate - to this day - Serenity Systems with eComStation, even though Serenity really had little or nothing to do with eComStation after 2007/2008.

- Or this does not apply to IBM's OEM agreement? or it applies?

Whatever arrangement Serenity had with IBM was long over by the time Arca Noae entered the space. Arca Noae did not inherit, acquire, or otherwise happen upon an agreement with IBM as a result of this transaction.

- Or maybe Arca Noae just bought SVISTA ( and can return from the dead? :P

As we know, SVISTA was - and continues to be - a sore spot for many of us involved in things at the time. The Wikipedia article seems as complete a review as any (with references), to my recollection. Like eComStation and Serenity's license agreement with IBM, this product was long gone before Arca Noae was a figment in anyone's imagination.

Arca Noae's press release was entirely accurate: Whatever remained of the essence of Serenity Systems International is now part of Arca Noae. We did not acquire whatever original (or remaining) business entity there may have been. We look forward to being associated with the name of a company which is still so fondly remembered in our community.

Arca Noae continues to provide value to existing users of the platform. To that end, we are pursuing a number of other relationships with other people and companies, some well known and others less so. For reasons which should be obvious to even the casual observer, we cannot disclose all of our business details to outside parties, but we are happy to share good news when it comes our way. We view bringing under our wing as very good news. Please read the Serenity Systems About page.

Applications / Re: No word from Mensys/XEU - Alternatives?
« on: January 11, 2015, 09:03:27 pm »
It seems that in this case we can not define abandonware since nobody trust wikipedia :)


In that case these are the facts:
- There is no new version of OS/2 by IBM since 2002 when 4.52 was released.

No new publicly-available version, no.

However, I've written things for clients which have never been released to the public (see more discussion of similar situations, above). That doesn't mean I've abandoned them or that I would want someone else to pick them up and start selling them as his (or her) own.

- There are no new fixpacks since 2006. No binaries had been showed to exist prior that date.

Again, it is entirely possible that IBM supplied fixpacks to/for specific customers, and did not make these available either to the general public or to Mensys. This doesn't mean that IBM abandoned the code (abandoning the "code" is different than abandoning the "project," BTW).

- Individuals (Community members) can not acquired OS/2. They can only acquire the eCS brand.


- IBM discontinued all OS/2 part numbers. There are not OS/2 part numbers on their software offerings (Price lists).
- IBM give OS/2 support and new licenses to big corporate customers, which we don't know the name and haven't produce any updated binary since 2006. (There is no evidence of a newer binary).

No evidence, no.

Maybe it is a eCS sales pitch to make think people that IBM is behind eCS, but it is not. There haven't been any IBM updated binary since 2006, that is what the evidence told me. If somebody has see, and can share some screenshots, bldlevel of some IBM updated binary please let me know.

The OS/2 components in eCS are fully licensed by Mensys from IBM, to the best of my knowledge. I don't know that people think that IBM is "behind" eCS. Certainly, there is OS/2 code in eCS.

By the way, there is no need to label me as person that don't like eCS, I like it and use it, but there had been no progress in one year and very, very, very bad communication to the community.

I would never label you as such, Martin. You do a tremendous service for the Community, and I know you are an avid fan of the operating system and the philosophy behind it, and wish only for it to succeed.  :)

I still insist that the long term strategy should be try to clone the IBM components with open source alternatives. The first versions will suck and will have a lot of bugs, but we will have something that can be evolved, and not like close source software.

This was the goal of the Warpicity Proposal of Lynn Maxson:

Interesting reading, particularly in today's context.

Applications / Re: No word from Mensys/XEU - Alternatives?
« on: January 09, 2015, 03:48:39 am »
Hi, Martin...

But OS/2 is Abandonware according to the concept on Wikipedia, and I haven't see any new IBM OS/2 binary since 2006. If anybody has evidence of a new kernel, or any other binary, please let me know.

Wikipedia also says at the very top of that article:
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2009)

The talk page is much more revealing concerning the differing points of view as to what actually qualifies as "abandonware." Thus, I don't accept the definition as set forth on the article page, so I would have to respectfully disagree with your characterization that OS/2 is abandonware. People of good conscience may disagree from time to time, and we're still friends.  :)

Your agreement with me concerning IBM or Microsoft asserting claim is reassuring. I do applaud your work on Github (much as I dislike Github itself, which is a topic for another conversation), collecting some great stuff which may prove useful to developers and packagers in the future, and which should be preserved somewhere. I'm glad, too, that you don't actually consider OS/2 abandonware in the sense that you haven't uploaded any OS/2 code to Github!  :D

As for any new binaries from IBM, it is entirely possible that some patched binaries were delivered to support customers since 2006. The fact that such binaries were not made available for distribution to the general public, or whether any such code was actually delivered does not negate my point that IBM still sells support contracts for OS/2, and thus, they haven't abandoned it altogether.

Similarly, just because Microsoft announced EOL for Windows XP, and indeed, that deadline has passed, including the end of public binary updates and fixes, doesn't mean that XP is abandonware, either. In fact, far from it. Microsoft - like IBM - is currently selling (very expensive) support contracts for XP:

So, my argument is "not generally available" and "no public fixes, feature enhancements, or updates" does not equal "abandoned."


Applications / Re: Graphical package management utility (Arca Noae)
« on: January 08, 2015, 04:59:11 pm »
I was going to post some screenshots here yesterday, but couldn't figure out how to do that (yes, I should know by now, but I didn't have the time to jog my memory).

I'll post some on the Arca Noae blog later today, and will provide a link.

Yes, the goal is to provide a unified update utility which can provide access to multiple update channels (Netlabs release, Netlabs experimental, Arca Noae subscription, and various collections of WarpIn archives), completely configurable and extensible (add another channel to the configuration).

Concerning standardized WPS object locations, this would fall under the purview of another application to "clean up" the desktop clutter. I doubt that most OS/2 users would want this, as we're pretty much set in our ways, at this point. Configuring new systems for clients, I pretty much have a set pattern in my head, but these systems don't include a lot (decades) of extra apps and such. In any case, desktop organization is not the responsibility of the package manager, but the responsibility of the packager to direct where his files are to be stored, what objects to create, and where they should be created.

I get frustrated on some of my Linux distributions that something will install and I will expect desktop objects to have been created. The lack of standardization on a desktop interface itself (on Linux) often makes this difficult. OpenOffice on SuSE is one such issue, where the KDE desktop integration package is considerably dated (no kidding), and the current recommendation for those of us preferring KDE is to use the FreeDesktop integrations.

Martin: The Arca Noae repository will be a closed one, but either Netlabs or Rosenthal & Rosenthal might be willing to host third-party repos (it's not difficult to set up a yum repository). Building RPMs can be tedious, particularly when building from scratch. WarpIn is actually much easier, IMO. That said, updating an existing RPM is fairly straightforward, and can be scripted quite easily, so maintaining packages is easier.  ;)

Applications / Re: No word from Mensys/XEU - Alternatives?
« on: January 08, 2015, 04:42:52 pm »
And I consider OS/2 Warp and Warp Server for e-business Abandonware - Please read wikipedia:

"Abandonware is a product, typically software, ignored by its owner and manufacturer, and for which no product support is available. Although such software is usually still under copyright, the owner may not be tracking or enforcing copyright violations. Abandonware is one case of the general concept of orphan works."

OS/2 Warp and OS/2 Warp Server for e-business are abandonware since 2006 December 31. You can not buy OS/2 Warp and OS/2 Warp Server for e-business, you can not get official support. It falls under the definition of abandonware, but that do not mean that distributing abandonware is legal. The issue with Abandonware is that everybody tends to make its own concept about it to their convenience.

But IBM still does sell OS/2 to customers under contract and still sells support contracts (I know this for a fact). "Not actively marketed or updated" does not mean "abandoned." IBM (and others, including Microsoft) may still assert copyright claims over portions of the code, and while "Joe Hacker" may leave off working on his prized REXX script ten years later and forget about it, or XYZ Company may go out of business without selling its intellectual property, IBM and others are still around and do employ people to enforce copyright infringement.

Not speaking as an attorney, but having some experience in the US regarding copyright enforcement (and with a particular patent troll), I can tell you that proving damages is another matter. Considering the amount of money IBM gets for one of their support contracts, however, I would not want to be on the paying end of such a claim.

Risks are what they are. Big Blue probably would not even be aware of someone stealing its IP (on this scale). However, if a tech working at one of their customers decided to advise his superiors not to renew a maintenance contract because he could get the same operating system branded by someone else, including some level of support, such a non-renewal action might prompt people to sit up and take notice.

Thus, regardless Wikipedia's definition of abandonware, I would submit that IBM has not walked away from its copyrights and patents on various parts of OS/2.

Applications / Re: Yum update went wrong
« on: January 07, 2015, 07:14:49 pm »
Hi, guys...

Also note, that if you try to do something with the files that have a semi-colon in the name, using 4OS2, it doesn't work properly. The normal command processor doesn't seem to mind.

Properly worth to open a ticket at with a simple testcase.

Done, and associated with Ticket #18 in the report:


Applications / Re: No word from Mensys/XEU - Alternatives?
« on: January 07, 2015, 02:55:42 pm »
Hi, guys...

Some quick points:
  • OS/2 Warp (including Warp 4.52) is not abandonware. IBM still owns it, and IBM is happy to continue supplying and supporting it to their enterprise customers who pay them for service and support.
  • We (Arca Noae) are still in discussions with XEU concerning possible synergies between us. It is our undrstanding that they are indeed desirous of releasing eCS 2.2 as GA.
  • Arca Noae is currently focused on providing update and maintenance strategies for current licensees of OS/2 and eComStation, and not on producing our own distribution of the operating system. What is a new distribution but the previous distribution with fixes and enhancements, anyway?
Our last exchange with XEU was last month, so this news is current as of the end of 2014. I would reiterate that Arca Noae's software and driver subscription complements XEU's software subscription, and current eCS licensees may indeed get value out of both subscriptions.

I'll have some news to announce if and when we finalize our discussion, but be assured those discussions are still ongoing.


Hi, Olafur!

This are only my opinions about it, but I don't think "Translations and Localization" should be set as priority, only as a nice to have. (for the moment). I really prefer if some spark can be ignited to try to clone (as open source) important components of the platform (PM, WPS, SOM).

So users that do not understand English should do what?

Eff off?


Exactly my point.  :)

Martin, my friend:

1) One thing that it is important is that if an individual or community is going to help with translations is that the derivative work will be open source.
- For example: Translating NewView (which is open source), the derivative work (Code and/or documentaiton) can be distributed and open.
- But, as a bad example, requesting collaborative help to translate a commercial/close source software, and only one company/person has the right to distribute the work, does not work. Individuals feels like more being used, instead of feeling good to collaborate.

This was one of the problems I got when I tried to team with a group to translate eCS to Spanish.

I absolutely agree.

BTW, we (Arca Noae) are still short some translators for our new YUM/RPM/WarpIn graphical package manager. I have made it clear in my requests to the translation team that the application, when finished, will be:
  • free of charge for all to download and use (meaning, no purchase from Arca Noae required);
  • licensed under GPL (GPLv3, in fact);
  • useful for all users of OS/2 Warp 4 FP15 and above, as well as all eCS users, of any version;
  • useful for accessing several different repositories, and not just Arca Noae's repository; and
  • while the work benefits Arca Noae in the sense that subscribers to our update channel will be able to more easily install updates, it is of the greatest benefit to all users, so I am specifically not asking anyone to contribute time, effort, and talent to enrich our private enterprise.

This last statement cannot be stressed enough. I have been involved in far too many beta programs myself which took time and resources away from either paying work of my own or time with family, only to essentially "do a big favor" for some large commercial outfit, who didn't even have the courtesy to discount a licensing fee for me or send me a T shirt (well, Novell sent me a couple T shirts, so I can't lump them in this category).

Volunteers contributing to FOSS get to reap the rewards of their labors when the  project is completed. Volunteers for someone else's company all too often get what? The privilege of having to buy the same software they would have bought - for the same price - had they not stepped up to lend a hand. This is unfair.

2) The other thing is is missing when we think about "Translation & Localization" is that we are missing a good administrative tool to make it easy to a community to translate the software.

For example, Ubuntu has a launchpad website:
Which it makes it very easy for someone to expend some of his free time translating the phrases of a software.

Interesting. I shall have a look. I hope the tool allows for human translations. Machine translations are hardly worthwhile. (I am often amused when I get too lazy to read through one of my German friends' emails or posts, and give it a quick run through Google Translate - LOL! And I thought that it was bad when I lapsed into Yiddish while speaking or writing German! Ditto for the French machine translations.)

This are only my opinions about it, but I don't think "Translations and Localization" should be set as priority, only as a nice to have. (for the moment). I really prefer if some spark can be ignited to try to clone (as open source) important components of the platform (PM, WPS, SOM).

The problem is that we don't want language to become a barrier to acceptance and continued use. Someone with a Finnish OS/2 Warp 4 and only a cursory understanding of English is not likely to stick with the platform if all newer (read: modern, useful, and often nearly-required) software demands a command of the English language.

(Full disclosure: I maintain a WordPress plugin to generate PDFs from pages and posts, which is a fork of an earlier work, greatly expanded. It utilizes the TCPDF library for its PDF generation. I have had numerous requests to localize it, and I have not yet made that a priority. I should.)

<Shameless plug>

If anyone is interested in helping with translations for Arca Noae's current project, we are currently seeking people to translate to:


(and probably a couple others, but I would personally like to see all Warp 4-supported languages and all eCS-supported languages available). Please contact me directly or use the contact form at Arca Noae if interested, able, and willing to make it easier for fellow speakers of your native language to use our new tool to maintain their systems (and maybe then keep using OS/2 or eCS longer than they otherwise might stick with it)!

</Shameless plug>

Cheers, and Happy New Year!

All good points, Martin. Thanks for the link and the summary.

Let me add one more thing which has come up recently for us at Arca Noae: Help with translations and localization. This ties into documentation, but goes somewhat further.


General Discussion / Re: Still more on new OS/2 developments
« on: November 26, 2014, 10:21:14 pm »

Thanks, Ben...

The earth soon enough, will be completely worldly, (secular), as we are all made into one gigantic hodgepodge

I couldn't agree more.

On a more topical note, I really (really) had nothing to do with the graphics whatsoever. In fact, the artist (these were professionally done) didn't even know me. I got to see all of that work sort of after-the-fact.

Now, if you ever have occasion to visit our Mantis BugTracker, I did have something to do with merging those two images, and while I usually do most of my own graphics work on OS/2, I confess that I used GIMP on openSuSE (mainly because I was just too lazy to get up from where I was sitting in the server room, so I used what was at hand).  ;)

Please also (everyone) check out our FAQ section, which we will be expanding (and likely breaking into multiple pages, as it seems to me that it's already - with the handful of entries it has - getting cumbersome to navigate.


General Discussion / Re: Arca Noae - just got my business!!!
« on: November 25, 2014, 12:11:15 am »
Thanks for the compliment, Doug!

I'm sorry to hear about the webcam issue with the USB driver package. I did note your ticket, and I'm sure that David will follow up in due course. We are working closely with all of the known people involved in the USB stack, and do appreciate Wim's excellent contributions. I can't say whether this was merely a packaging thing or something else, but as I say, I'm sure David will address it.

The site development was a lot of fun. Much of the latest stuff on the net these days uses these (blasted, IMO) icon fonts, which we don't (usually) render on OS/2 (yet). Arca Noae's main site is built on WordPress, of course, and it was no exception. We pushed hard to get rid of all non-backward-compatible UI components, as we realize that our main audience likely consists of people accessing the site from OS/2-based devices (though it's nice to know that the theme seems to be fairly well behaved for mobile devices, too).

Anyway, I finally killed off the last of the icon fonts which were bugging me on the home page, and adjusted the text on the (somewhat obscure) "hero" button (under the graphic of the hand with the wrench, which used to read, "BE THE FIRST TO TRY" followed by an icon font for a ">"). The text is now more apropos, I think (and I'm personally leaving that tease in this post so that folks will become curious enough to have a look). Yes, that is really a button. Click it!

The last one on the home page was down below, in the blog section. Commonly called the "read more" tag by WordPress designers, ours read "Read on >" with the ">" another of those annoying little buggers. I just tweaked it to the more traditional, "Read more" link.

If anyone finds any more non-rendering images (or broken links), please use the contact page to send us a note.

Meanwhile, we at Arca Noae really do appreciate your business and your feedback!


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