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Topics - Neil Waldhauer

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Internet / Google search problem
« on: January 14, 2020, 12:59:35 am »
I'm hoping to get some help figuring out a problem I have with Google search.

If I search for the term "OS/2 Consulting", the Blonde Guy consulting page comes up as item number one. If I click on it in Firefox (SUa2) for OS/2, nothing happens. If I click on it in Safari for iPhone, the page comes up as expected.

What is going on?

Hardware / PCIe parallel port card
« on: December 16, 2019, 06:23:59 pm »
I've got an IOCrest PCI-Express parallel port card WCH 382 which I wanted to use for a second parallel port.

I think this ought to work with PRINT01.SYS, but so far, I do not have any success. I use /V so I can see the one parallel port, but no second port appears, so I guess the card is not recognized.

I have tried the updated driver on OS/2 World

I have attached a pci output for the computer.

General Discussion / OS/2 Article on Ars Technica
« on: November 29, 2019, 06:07:39 pm »
There is a long article on OS/2 in Ars Technica

It was a cloudy Seattle day in late 1980, and Bill Gates, the young chairman of a tiny company called Microsoft, had an appointment with IBM that would shape the destiny of the industry for decades to come.

He went into a room full of IBM lawyers, all dressed in immaculately tailored suits. Bill’s suit was rumpled and ill-fitting, but it didn’t matter. He wasn’t here to win a fashion competition.

Over the course of the day, a contract was worked out whereby IBM would purchase, for a one-time fee of about $80,000, perpetual rights to Gates’ MS-DOS operating system for its upcoming PC. IBM also licensed Microsoft’s BASIC programming language, all that company's other languages, and several of its fledging applications. The smart move would have been for Gates to insist on a royalty so that his company would make a small amount of money for every PC that IBM sold.

But Gates wasn’t smart. He was smarter.

In exchange for giving up perpetual royalties on MS-DOS, which would be called IBM PC-DOS, Gates insisted on retaining the rights to sell DOS to other companies. The lawyers looked at each other and smiled. Other companies? Who were they going to be? IBM was the only company making the PC. Other personal computers of the day either came with their own built-in operating system or licensed Digital Research’s CP/M, which was the established standard at the time.

Gates wasn’t thinking of the present, though. “The lesson of the computer industry, in mainframes, was that over time people built compatible machines,” Gates explained in an interview for the 1996 PBS documentary Triumph of the Nerds. As the leading manufacturer of mainframes, IBM experienced this phenomenon, but the company was always able to stay ahead of the pack by releasing new machines and relying on the power of its marketing and sales force to relegate the cloners to also-ran status.

The personal computer market, however, ended up working a little differently. PC Cloners were smaller, faster, and hungrier companies than their mainframe counterparts. They didn’t need as much startup capital to start building their own machines, especially after Phoenix and other companies did legal, clean-room, reverse-engineered implementations of the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) that was the only proprietary chip in the IBM PC’s architecture. To make a PC clone, all you needed to do was put a Phoenix BIOS chip into your own motherboard design, design and manufacture a case, buy a power supply, keyboard, and floppy drive, and license an operating system. And Bill Gates was ready and willing to license you that operating system.

[follow the link for the rest of the story]

General Advertisements / ArcaOS 5.0 on ebay
« on: November 22, 2019, 07:14:59 pm »

Blonde Guy is now offering ArcaOS 5.0 on ebay. This is intended to make the English language ArcaOS DVD available outside the USA and Canada.

ArcaOS 5.0 Commercial DVD including 12 months of support.

ArcaOS 5.0 Personal DVD including 6 months of support.

ArcaOS 5.0 (Media only) DVD If you already have an ArcaOS license, you can send me the URL of the .ISO.

Hardware / HP Printer support
« on: October 11, 2019, 03:48:15 pm »
The support in Cups for HP printers has been very good. But it's getting stale. If I look at printers in retail outlets or on-line, I'm no longer seeing support.

I'm looking at two consumer-grade color laser printers. These printers are cheap to buy, but expensive to buy new toner, which is appropriate for a home or business with modest printing needs.

The HP printer driver is called hplip, and we have version 3.17.11-1 at Netlabs, which can be installed by RPM/YUM.

My old M252dw has been replaced by M254dw, and needs 3.18.5 or later. The slightly fancier M454dw needs 3.19.6 or later.

I don't know how difficult it is to port the hplip software, but supporting at least one brand of printer is strategic, and HP is at least commonly sold in USA. They are also good at recycling used toner cartridges.

Applications / Polarbar Mailer
« on: September 30, 2019, 11:28:07 pm »
This was a great mailer, based on Post Road Mailer for OS/2. Long abandoned, it is now under development again.

However, it requires a minimum of Java 11, and on OS/2 we have OpenJDK 6. So I think it's not needed to put up news on OS/2 World about Polarbar Mailer for now.

Programming / NetRexx on OS/2
« on: September 14, 2019, 10:41:23 pm »
We keep on having announcements. The screen shot is from 3.04, the current release is 3.08.

Running 3.08 is unchanged from 3.06. Is there some way to run NetRexx on OS/2 that I overlooked?

java -jar NetRexxF.jar -exec hello
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.UnsupportedClassVersionError: org/eclipse/j
dt/internal/compiler/tool/EclipseCompiler : Unsupported major.minor version 51.0
        at java.lang.ClassLoader.defineClass1(Native Method)
        at java.lang.ClassLoader.defineClass(
        at Method)
        at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(
        at sun.misc.Launcher$AppClassLoader.loadClass(
        at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(
        at org.netrexx.process.NetRexxC.process(
        at org.netrexx.process.NetRexxC.main2(
        at org.netrexx.process.NetRexxC.main2(
        at org.netrexx.process.NetRexxC.main2(
        at org.netrexx.process.NetRexxC.main(

Storage / How to Format a Hard Drive
« on: August 31, 2019, 09:36:14 pm »
I have a computer that is running eComStation, and it became unreliable, with a trap screen after a minute of use.

I replaced the computer, and it's fine, but I was curious what was happening with the unreliable one. I booted from a USB stick and ran chkdsk /f on the drive, and one file was unrepairable. That was enough for me. I don't know why it happened, but I decided to format the drive and restore from backup.

I used FORMAT /L C: /FS:JFS to format the drive. That appears to work, but now I wonder what that does.

According to Jim Wilkerson, years ago, the /L parameter didn't just remove the header records but
formatted the drive removing all data. My understanding it was sector by sector putting ones and zeros
back on the drive as it was originally when it was new. I don't know what happens if there are bad areas on the
drive but I recall it may map around the bad area.

I don't think it works the same in every file system. I think the working code is implemented in the mini-FS driver. The behavior is documented for HPFS, but not for other file systems. What does FORMAT /L do in JFS?

Events / Warpstock 2019 - Presentations Wanted
« on: August 16, 2019, 10:25:56 pm »
I'm starting this thread to help bring both presenters and attendees to Warpstock 2019 in Orlando, FL

Feel free to reply to this and give your own suggestions.

Suggested Topics
These are the topics that have been requested for presentation in 2019. We'd like you help. If you prepare one of these presentations, you can four options for presentation.
  • come to Warpstock in Orlando and present
  • Present remotely using Skype
  • Pre-record a video to be shown at the meeting
  • have one of us make your presentation

Getting started with Qt development
It's easier than ever to set up a development system. This presentation shows how to get started with creating Qt programs. A demo of building one of the Qt sample apps is included.

There are many VPN services available for those who might need to use public WiFi or who have other reasons to want a VPN.  None that I've seen has an OS/2 client, although many work on Linux.  Is there a way to use a VPN service with OS/2 and if so, how could one do so?
I recall David asking me about VPN services which were OS/2 compatible a couple of years ago. He may use one (whether or not it came from my recommendation, I have no idea).
InJoy might be a possibility (IPSec). If they run SSL, then OpenVPN build which is publicly available (Hobbes) - as we know from our own building experience at WS 2008 - uses the half-functional TAP/TUN driver (where only TAP works), and is less than suitable. AFAIK, most of the third-party VPNs use SSL.
Having an OS/2, Windows, or Linux system available at home as a VPN endpoint and using InJoy's VPN would work without having to subscribe to a third party service. Of course, this requires a second system to be available, solid broadband, and perhaps a DDNS provider.
Maybe one of the Bitwise guys might like to touch on this. Yuri maintains the InJoy product for them, and is familiar with how it works across all platforms.
The main drawbacks to IPSec, of course, are the need for a dedicated port for the tunnel, and difficulties with NAT traversal in some situations, vs SSL, which travels over the standard 443 and traverses NATs quite well.

USB Cables and You
I've been through a multi-hour remote troubleshooting session with a client using several USB -> Parallel adapters for his invoice printer (Oki Microline 391) and label printer (Zebra). Today, it dawned on me that we have daisy-chained USB cables and the system board, now aging, may not be putting out the voltage it once did. There are length limits for USB cables described in the spec. Length, quality, type of connector, type of device, whether there is a hub in the middle (and its type), a gender changer, and finally whether the device is FS, HS, etc., all play a role in whether the signal will get from point A to point B. There are some interesting USB multimeters available, too, on the cheap.
We get tickets for ArcaOS where printers do not get signal ("but it worked with eCS! - before I moved the printer across the room..."). Too often, people take cable length and quality for granted, and we are relying more and more on USB-attached devices. The problem will get worse with USB 3, simply due to the higher bandwidths available and greater sensitivity to overall cable quality (noise level and impedance).

We could do a session on ANPM and yum and how to handle the unexpected, including the nuclear option (how to blow away an entire yum/rpm environment, even when libc and friends are already installed under \usr\lib, and reinstall the bootstrap), how to handle broken yum databases, error messages, empty package windows, broken repository URIs, other python fun...).

OS/2 Memory
Sometimes with modern programs, OS/2 runs short of shared memory, or has fragmentation issues. Discuss how this happens and how to avoid it.

Config.sys (This is now a Warpstock 2019 presentation)
Reviewing the order of execution of statements in Config.sys and the proper order of loading drivers. Explain briefly what each driver does. This presentation is intended to acquaint the less technical user with the software controlled by the Config.Sys file.

OS/2 Demos
Video Wizard (Moving from SNAP to Panorama and back again)
making a new printer work when no drivers are currently available

Meeting details
Warpstock 2019 will be held at the Country Inn & Suites, Orlando Airport, located at 5440 Forbes Place, Orlando, Florida 32812.
This year's event will begin Friday, November 8 and continue through Sunday, November 10
Warpstock 2019 home page:
More information on Warpstock available at:

Web applications / Migrating Apache Web Server
« on: July 24, 2019, 03:41:37 pm »
I tried posting in the Google Group "Apache for OS/2", but my post disappeared so I'll try here, too.

I'm helping someone migrate from an old website hosted by OS/2 on an IBM 300 GL machine running Apache 1.3.6. The website is pretty old-school, but it has a Flash splash page.

The target machine is an IBM M-Pro, so not that much newer, but it has a working web server, Apache 2.2.23 installed as a part of the last OS/2 AMP release. It was hosting another simple website.

Looking at it, we thought to just transfer the HTDOCS directory replacing the one on the newer M-Pro with the one from the older 300 GL. This mostly works.

The problems are that web pages seem to fail to load on the first request from a browser, then the second and subsequent attempts seem to work. In addition, I can't seem to get the Flash screen to appear. (OK, on operating systems like OS/2 that do not have Flash, it's just a black page, but instead, requests for the .swf file just seem to try forever.

Those problems seem to be connected with a reconfiguration. How can I find documentation for Apache for OS/2, particularly something related to getting started?

Programming / Compiling PMMail with GCC 4.9.2
« on: June 03, 2019, 07:42:03 pm »
I'd like to compile PMMail using GCC 4.9.2. Currently I have GCC 3.3.5 and a bunch of tools working.

I had hoped to just drop in GCC 4.9.2 in place of GCC 4.9.2, but somehow my GCC 4.9.2 setup is wrong.

It compiles PMMail just fine until it hits a va_start() macro. I have the same trouble compiling the attached vatest.c

In file included from k:/programs/gcc/include/machine/stdarg.h:2:0,
                 from k:/programs/gcc/include/stdarg.h:2,
                 from vatest.c:1:
vatest.c: In function 'int sum(int, ...)':
vatest.c:18:4: error: '__builtin_stdarg_start' was not declared in this scope
    va_start(ap, num_args);

Those don't look like the right include files to me. Something is wrong, but what?

Multimedia / SYBA USB Stereo Sound Adapter: Good or bad?
« on: May 24, 2019, 12:38:39 am »
I'm trying out the SYBA USB Stereo Sound Adapter.

So far, I'm not getting sound. The package advertises that it uses CMedia CM119. I'm attaching the dump from USBDock. The device is 0D8C:0008

I installed ArcaOS with no sound adapter, then installed the USB Audio driver. This has worked in the past for some other adapter I no longer have.

Should this adapter work?

Hardware / AS400 and IBM Access Client Solution (ACS)
« on: February 04, 2019, 03:47:49 pm »
I've got a Affirmative Unicomp 1225T 5250 Model M 122-Key PS2 Buckling Spring Keyboard (See attachment for picture)

I had to hook it to the computer using a Belkin USB adapter. It seems to work. Is there anything I need to do to have the system recognize all 122 keys? I have ArcaOS 5.0.3 running, and the last version of Personal Communications.

I'm trying to support Access to an AS400.
Neil still using that old piece of shit? Is that a very old AS400 customer? Or does he have a later >=V7R1 release? If so i strongly suggest to use IBM i Access Client Solution (ACS in short). It's written in Java and works like a charm. I use it daily, as thats my main development job


This didn't go anywhere for me until now. The customer just upgraded his very old AS400. Now I should be able to use ACS. I have downloaded a copy of Access Client Solution, but I don't see how to start it using OS/2. Do you use a command file or something? I tried starting from command line:

{0}[k:\programs\iaccess] java -jar acsbundle.jar
java.lang.UnsupportedClassVersionError: com/ibm/iaccess/launch/AcsLaunchPad : Un
supported major.minor version 52.0
        at java.lang.ClassLoader.defineClass1(Native Method)
        at java.lang.ClassLoader.defineClass(
        at Method)
        at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(
        at sun.misc.Launcher$AppClassLoader.loadClass(
        at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(
Could not find the main class: Program will

Setup & Installation / Adding and Removing Printer drivers
« on: December 30, 2018, 05:00:45 pm »
This ought to be straightforward. The list of installed printers is listed in any printer driver properties. You select the one you want, and the system deletes it.

But sometimes it doesn't. It may give the message that the printer driver cannot be deleted because it is in use by one or more printers. But examining the other printer objects shows that none are using it.

Manage Printers gives the same behavior and messages, so it's probably not some GUI bug. What is going on?

Storage / Chkdsk log formatter
« on: October 23, 2018, 12:24:17 am »
I used the check disk log formatter, CHKLGJFS.EXE to format the log file for my JFS formatted disk. The version is 1.9.5 by D Azarewicz.

I don't know what it means, so I'm attaching it here. I only included the first few lines. OS/2 World does not permit the whole file to be uploaded. It's too big.

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