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Messages - Doug Bissett

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Utilities / Re: Problems with DragText
« on: June 07, 2018, 06:36:38 pm »
Is DragText shipped with eCS 2.x too?

No. It is one of the bonus items with ArcaOS. Dragftext is at HOBBES, but I think you are still expected to pay for a license. There is no difference with the ArcaOS version, other than the license.

Utilities / Re: Problems with DragText
« on: June 06, 2018, 06:16:22 pm »
On my new computer with ArcaOS 5.0.2, I have installed the current DragText 3.9 version.

To be clear. Did you install it when you installed ArcaOS 5.0.2, or did you install it after? DragText 3.9 is part of ArcaOS, unless you deselected it at install time. If you did not deselect it at install time, and then installed it after, you probably have a setup problem. Since it works, for a couple of days, then stops, it is likely that IFX is correcting a problem, but doing the second install may have removed something that the ArcaOS version of DragText needs.

Networking / Re: Intel 2915ABG on a T41 with OS/2 (questions)
« on: June 01, 2018, 08:08:13 pm »
Another note - I recently discovered that the Atheros     168C:1014 in my T60 does not work out of the box with ArcaOS. I reinstalled the older Genmac2.0 instead 2.2 which is shipped with AcraOS and now it works.

From what I do know, the GENMAC 2.0, and 2.2 base code is identical. The only difference is the supported devices that are included. Some were left out of 2.2 because of licensing concerns, and a few others were updated. I don't know, for sure, what ArcaOS did, but I suspect that no changes were made. Most of it should be replaced by Multimac, when they get it done. Currently, I think that all wired NICs, that were in GENMAC, have Multimac (or other) support. GENMAC is only needed for WiFi, and that support is very limited. I haven't seen any indication of which WiFi devices will be supported by Multimac, so it is possible that some older ones might still need to use GENMAC.

Some options exist at (use the word "unsupported", no quotes, and lower case, if it asks for a password), along with some explanation of what is done to add unsupported devices. READ the instructions carefully, if you try changing what is there.

Networking / Re: Intel 2915ABG on a T41 with OS/2 (questions)
« on: June 01, 2018, 06:53:48 pm »
WPA2 seems to work fine on my T42, using  Intel 2915ABG (known to GENMAC as an 8086:4220).

It is probably one of the "edge" conditions that GENMAC runs into, sometimes. It may depend, exactly, how everything fits into the memory space that GENMAC uses. It is known, that some windows drivers will overwrite part of the GENMAC configuration area. Depending, exactly, what gets overwritten, something may, or may not, work. The only way to find out, for sure, is to try it.

*Gasp* well that's a relief! I'll just disable physical ethernet in the BIOS so that there's only one NIC connection (The wireless adapter).

Disabling the ethernet may, or may not, help (probably not, if you have the problem). Sometimes, changing some settings for the windows driver will reduce the memory footprint, but that can cause, as well as work around, problems. Personally, I don't care if WPA2 works, or not, so I haven't tried to fix the problem.

If you have the problem, and can't get it to work, one option is to use a device that does WiFi, when connected to the wired NIC. I use a D-LINK DIR-506L, which works pretty well, and it is useful for other things. It is also faster than a 2915ABG, but it is a few years old now, so you may need to find a newer device that does what it does. There are a number of them available, at pretty reasonable cost.

Networking / Re: Intel 2915ABG on a T41 with OS/2 (questions)
« on: May 30, 2018, 08:01:30 pm »
So... my question is...
Should I reinstall ArcaOS if it needs to see network devices during the installation process to set up? And if I do, how exactly does one get GenMAC going?

I'm presuming that the T41 is in fact compatible with the 2915ABG.

I have a Broadcom wired NIC, and an Intel 2915ABG (known to GENMAC as an 8086:4224) in my IBM ThinkPad T43, Installing ArcaOS (I have done both 5.0 and 5.0.2) finds, and properly installs, both drivers (multimac MMBGE for wired, and GENMAC for WiFi). GENMAC will NOT use WPA2 for WiFi, but WPA works fine. The same windows driver, in XP, will use WPA2, so that problem is something in the GENMAC base (and that is not likely to get fixed).

If the WiFi is not recognized at install time, simply install without it, then install GENMAC later. It should find the device, or, if not, it will install the base GENMAC support, so you can try other things. Be aware, that GENMAC is ancient, and very limited in what it can do, so some experimenting may be required to get it working. It is also very important to get the lines in CONFIG.SYS in the correct order. I suggest getting LCSS from HOBES, and use that to sort your CONFIG.SYS. GENMAC will warn about CONFIG.SYS sorters, LCSS does it [properly.

I have the problem using my local NAS or going on intenet.

I have 6 Reatek gigabit NICS. Realtek can't seem to make up their minds about how their gigabit NICs actually work. Every version works different from those that came before. The only driver that seems to work properly, on all of them, is the Arca Noae supplied MMRE driver. Of course, my newest one is now a couple of years old, so they may have created yet another one (or two), that isn't working with MMRE. If you are using the latest MMRE driver, report the problem to Arca Noae, and see if it can be fixed. If you aren't using the latest, I strongly suggest getting it, and see if it helps.

It has been my experience, that manufacturers love Realtek products, because they are cheap. Being cheap, they don't work well, sometimes. With MMRE, the performance, that I see, is actually almost as good as what I see with my Intel gigabit NICs.

CAT5 cable between my OS/2 box and the router...maybe try something as simple as plugging in another CAT5e or CAT6 cable?

CAT5 should be okay, for anything less than 10 feet (3 meters), as long as it doesn't have a broken wire. With broken wires, the cable will often still work, but it will have problems. CAT5, CAT5e and CAT6 really aren't much different, for short runs, but the newer ones are supposed to be built to better quality standards, so the chances of having a bad connection should be far less (but certainly not impossible). Definitely, try different cables.

Probably, the machine which has a non-working VBox installation, has wrong version of libraries, or thelibrares itself are broken/corrupted. You can try updating/reinstalling all the required libs (listed here: Also note that some newer version of libcx causes VBox to crash, if you didn't specified LIBCX_HIGHMEM=2. So, you can try this value too.

It was working fine, about a month ago. It quit after doing an ANPM (RPM/YUM) update. The same updates were done to all of my systems, and I do use LIBCX_HIGHMEM=2. I just haven't had the time to try to figure it out, yet. I think there was another LIBC* update, that I haven't tried yet.

The symptom is that WinXP starts up, runs for a few seconds to about a minute, then a red and black bar appears at the top of the window. Nothing happens for another few seconds, then windows crashes (BSOD), and windows reboots.

I just hope a major update doesn't reverse those settings.

Best to go through them occasionally. Sometimes, they introduce new settings, that override old settings. Don't trust windows to respect your privacy.

Actually I'm curious as to what other members are running as well.

My oldest machine is an IBM ThinkPad A22e, maxed out at 256 meg of memory, and a 30 GB HDD. It still has Win98 on it, but I haven't even bothered to boot it for many years. ArcaOS 5.0.2 works well, as long as I don't try to run any memory hogs. They do work, but it takes about 40 minutes just to get to the default Firefox (38.8.0 I think) home page. The disk is, of course going at full speed, paging.

Next, I have an old P4, that I use as an ArcaOS 5.0.2 based NAS box. I added a SATA adapter, and a 2 GB HDD, and it just sits there, under the basement stairs, and runs.

Two Lenovo ThinkPads. T510 and L530, which work well with ArcaOS 5.0.2.

I have three Asus M3A78-EM machines. Two with tri core processors, and one with a quad core processor. One of the tri core machines is loaned to a friend who runs XP. My brother uses the other tri core (currently ArcaOS 5.0), and I use the quad core as a test machine.

My main machine is an Asus A88XM-A, with A6 processor. It has a lot more software on it, than the others, and it runs well with ArcaOS 5.0.2. The main problem is to manage how much lower shared memory gets used, but that is a problem with all versions of OS/2.

There are three others (two DELL, and one HP), that I use for testing. They all work, but there are problems (mostly because they are cheap junk).

My oldest machine is an original IBM PC (the one with 4 banks of 16 KB chips, for a total of 64 KB on the motherboard). It doesn't run anything but DOS.  :-*

I use a few JAVA programs (JFTP, SmartSVN, and GenealogyJ), which work okay, but they also use huge amounts of lower shared memory.

I also have VBox 5.0.6 installed, with XP as a guest. The one on my main machine has quit working. I am not sure if it is a VBox problem, an XP problem, or something else. So far, VBox 5.0.6, with XP guest, is working well on the T510 and the L530.

I will make one more comment here. I have various versions of windows on most of these machines (as well as in VBox in windows, with multiple guests). I find that I spend more time trying to keep up with windows updates, than i do with all of the OS/2 work that I do. In the last few months, I have had a couple of virtual machines go bad, and I just scrapped them, rather than try to fix them. It must be very lucrative to be a windows consultant.

I see eCS has a list of customers they've sold to.

Only the ones who permitted it (probably less than 10 % of them).

The "Cloud" seems to be the big thing these days.

The "cloud" is quickly becoming a major problem. It makes it easy for those who run the servers to spy on what you are doing. If you think that Facebook is a problem, you aren't paying attention to the "cloud". Personally, I wouldn't put anything out there. You never know what will be done with it.

My wife has a Windows 10 laptop. I find the UI quite clumbersome in many regards. Much prefered the way XP worked over it.

Look in ALL of the settings, and turn off anything that doesn't make sense (about 90% of it), and NEVER sign in to the windows servers (including the "cloud"). Win 10 will work much better (much better than winXP, today, which is pretty much obsolete).

Network driver
With only 20% speed of what the system is able under windows.

To resume:
Under windows, I have 75Mbps
Under ArcaOS, I only have 10Mbps - all is going slow despite all optimization have been set (before optimization, speed was near 5 Mbps)

This seems to depend on what program you use, and what tool you use to measure it. It also depends on what else is running at the same time. I find that the network activity will slow dramatically, if you are also doing a large write to USB. I also see many cases where IPMON says that very little network activity is taking place, but RSunc is doing a multi gigabyte data transfer, at a reasonable speed. I also have an ArcaOS machine, that is used as a NAS. I often see it doing 30 to 40 MBs (according to IPMON, which seems to be unreliable) transfer speeds. when more that one machine is working on SAMBA.

I agree that there is a problem with something, but I don't agree that it is the network driver that is causing the problem. One possibility is that all drivers (or whatever does it) will only return a speed of 100 MBs, in OS/2. If a program actually looks at that, and follows it, the speed will be governed to 100 MBs. From what I see in IPMON (which is obviously unreliable)., the speed is far less than what windows does. If I time a network transfer, at half the speed of windows, it doesn't vary much.

Setup & Installation / Re: Panorama v Snap Video
« on: May 25, 2018, 06:28:11 pm »
Is it possible to try SNAP on modern hardware? Can SNAP handle modern graphic cards in a basic VESA mode?

Yes, and yes, IF the hardware actually supports VESA mode. If it works in Panorama, it does support VESA mode (see below). You will find that SNAP will be slower than Panorama, with the buffer enabled, because SNAP doesn't have a buffer. The only reason to even try SNAP, would be with an older video adapter (15+ years) that is likely to work in accelerated mode. SNAP can also power off screens, but that doesn't always work, and it is a poor excuse to use it. Just turn the screen off with the switch (when possible).

I will qualify the above, a bit. Some video adapters only half support VESA. I have a 10 year old HP, with a NVIDIA video adapter, Panorama, and SNAP, work okay with the basic VESA modes, but not with wide screen resolutions. Performance is better with Panorama, than with SNAP, even when I use the SNAP that Arca Noae has tweaked up (don't expect miracles from that, Panorama has the same tweaks). The problem, in this case, is the NVIDIA adapter, which doesn't follow the rules, and it seems that each one of them requires special handling, which isn't likely to happen. Stay away from NVIDIA hardware.

I will also note that some incomplete information about HDMI, DVI, VGA, and DataPort has been posted above. They all work, as long as the hardware has the required capabilities (which may not include all possible combinations). A lot depends on the exact implementation (including the screen capabilities), and it may need to be set up before booting.

What is the correct and safe way to deinstall Panorama and install Snap and reverse?

First BACK UP what you have, so you can get back (to Panorama, I assume). Then, just install SNAP. It should do what is necessary, although I have seen cases where the System Setup-> Screen object doesn't get properly updated. If it doesn't show the SNAP logo, it missed something, but it still seems to work okay. You can just install Panorama again, to get back, but a restore of your backup is probably better.

There are a number of BROADCOM adapters packaged for GENMAC. See: (use the word "unsupported" no quotes, and lower case, if it asks for a password). If your's isn't listed, tell me exactly what it is, and I will see if we can make something work. You do need the base GENMAC support to use those packages.

Hardware / Re: Lenovo External Monitor
« on: May 18, 2018, 07:21:08 pm »
But in any case I stil have the whitelist issue. It appears the radio/card I have installed doesn't have a Genmac driver, and the cards which do won't work in the laptop.

Have you looked at: (use the word "unsupported", lower case, and no quotes, if it asks for a password)? You need to know the PCI ID, which is easy to find using the PCI.EXE program If no driver already exists, I can build one  for you, but there is no guarantee that it will work. Note that INTEL devices, that are known to work, are in the INTEL download, Others, that are known to work, are in the GENMU download. The TEST download contains drivers that have been packaged, but nobody has reported that they work. Even drivers, that are known to work, may not work in your specific case.

So I don't know that the slider key will actually turn on the radio in OS/2.  I am pretty sure the slider key in the off position makes sure the radio is off, but sliding the switch on may just allow the software to turn the radio on/off.

That is true on my Lenovo T510. The L530 doesn't have a physical switch.

Given the possibility that even if I successfully modify the BIOS to allow the radio to be installed, it still may not work in OS/2 because of the on/off issue. Given the risk and cost (e.g. have to buy an eprom programmer) of modifying the BIOS and the uncertainty of the on/off issue, I will stick with what I have.

Personally, I looked at that option, for about 1 second, and decided that it is not a good thing to try. It is better to have a machine where WiFi won't work, than to have a machine that won't work, at all (the fix is to replace the motherboard, at your expense). Eventually, WiFi support should be available. From what I have heard (a few months ago), the base drivers are done. All that was left to do was to build an interface to XWLAN, to control the connection. Apparently, that isn't as easy as it sounds.

Hardware / Re: Lenovo External Monitor
« on: May 18, 2018, 07:29:54 am »
selecting either Integrated Graphics or NVIDIA Optimus will result in no output on the VGA port.

That probably explains why it won't work. NVIDIA is very unfriendly to OS/2. My L530 only has an Intel video adapter. If there is an option to disable the NVIDIA device, it may work.

Lastly: I tried replacing the WiFi card in the machine with an Intel WiFi Link 5100 because of some posting someone else had about that card possibly working. The laptop will not boot with that card in place; it complains about an unauthorized WiFi card.

My L530 has an Intel Centrino wireless - N 2200 in it (8086:0891). I can get GENMAC to load, and it works exactly like a wired NIC with no cable plugged in (I think it is the same driver that Pete uses with the 5100). I (and others) have not found any way to turn on the radio. It appears that windows has a separate driver to do that, and OS/2 has no equivalent. If that is the case (and I would bet that it is), it doesn't matter what card you put into it, you still won't be able to turn on the radio.

FWIW, if I run Linux (which works), and reboot to OS/2, it leaves the radio indicator on, but the radio still won't work. From what I have been able to learn from the Linux guys, the radio, and the indicator, are separate, and it takes some manipulation with ACPI to get the radio turned on/off.

My solution was to get a D-LINK DIR-506L. which connects to the wired NIC, and communicates using WiFi (this was a few years ago, and I don't know if you can still get that one, but there are others that are similar). One advantage is, that it will still be useful, after they get the new Multimac WiFi driver to work. I do know that they are working on the WiFi drivers, but I have no idea what the time line is.

4) Boot to Win7 and immediately shrink the partition to the smallest it will go and you want it to be. In my case that was 93 GB. Use the "Create and Format Hard Disk Partitions" tool in Win7 under Control Panel, Administrative Tools.

Rule #1, when partitioning a disk for OS/2. Do it ALL with OS/2 (the Disk utility in ArcaOS), or there is a very good probability that it will be done wrong (it is next to a miracle if it comes out right). DFSEE can do it, but DFSEE will also do it wrong, unless it is running under OS/2 (the disk utility is a special version of DFSEE, specifically designed to do such things).

You also need to be absolutely sure, that windows (or any other OS that you install) does NOT touch the partitions, or the MBR (some Linux distros will thoroughly mess it up, unless you use some commands to tell it not to - sorry, I don't know the details).

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