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Messages - Doug Bissett

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1
No matter what anyone says, the use of OS/2/ArcaOS is going to end-up on the ability to actually install it on modern hardware and that includes AMD processors because of the people in industry having been bitten by the Intel meltdown and spectre CPU bugs.

FWIW, I have been using AMD processors for a number of years, with no problems. The Intel problems are irrelevant, since there doesn't seem to be any way to deliver the payload to cause problems (that could be wrong, but I, personally, agree with that assessment)

I understand your concern about AMD Ryzen processors (which I don't have), however, from what I have heard, Arca Noae has probably got that one solved. I am not sure when it will be available. USB 3 seems to be well on the way. As announced recently, they are making progress with UEFI machines, that do not have the CSS module. Language support is getting closer. Other things are in the works. The bottom line is, that Arca Noae is working, very hard, on the problems. If you insist that they should waste time in these forums, rather than work on the problems, it will take longer.

2
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I never understood the "No Time" Reason, as it may take only a few minutes a day or even once a week to monitor what is happening there).

No, it takes much more time than that. It also takes a LOT of time to try to explain to those who don't want to know, why it all takes so long, and fend off the swords (not to mention debunk the FUD, which helps nobody). They just don't need the hassles, and they can spend their time in more productive ways (including sleeping). Those of us who are on the test team do keep them informed, when there is something worth passing on. In fact, they seem to be ahead of most of the discussion here. That is one of the reasons why they do brief news reports.

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Has lowest priority for ArcaNoae as the money is to be earned in the industrial sector.

Not entirely true, but the sales contract does demand that they support the contract terms. We all need whatever the industrial sector needs, so there is a lot of overlap. They pay for the service, so they expect to get the service. Any user can buy the "full service" version of ArcaOS, but everybody seems to want it all for free. It ain't going to happen (IBM still wants their pound of flesh, and somebody needs to support those who are doing the work). Personally, I think that Arca Noae has struck a pretty good balance, and they are managing the whole project very well. Certainly it could be better, but it could also be a whole lot worse.

3
I am confident that USB 3 will appear, (to quote Lewis) "soonish". ("Soonish" being a technical term for "someday"  ;D)

The biggest problem is that the guy who is doing it, also has a dozen (perhaps more) other "important" projects under development, and they still haven't found a way to work 24 hours a day, while remaining productive (or even sane) over the long term.

It is coming, but it all takes time to get it right.

4
Programming / Re: Can an application be started and run in monoprocessor?
« on: February 28, 2019, 03:54:20 am »
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The app I was specifically wondering about is VirtualPC v 5.1. It is unstable on a multiprocessor system - or perhaps just on a newer system. Do you think marking the exe for no multiple cpu would make it run?

I have been using Virtual Box 5.0.6, for a while now. It runs okay, but uses HUGE amounts of lower shared memory space. I have taken steps to use as much upper shared memory space, for other apps, as possible, and that has helped, but I still need to be very careful what I run along with VirtualBox. I wouldn't be surprised if Virtual PC is even worse, and that is what causes the instability. Using only a single CPU probably isn't going to change that, since it is a memory allocation problem (if that is, indeed, the problem).

First, try adding /MAXCPU=1  to the ACPI.PSD line, in CONFIG.SYS, and see if it does, or does not, make it better. If it does, then it may be worth changing VIRTUAL PC (and all of the parts) to use only one CPU. If not, it is more likely to be a memory allocation problem, which requires other methods.

An option is to switch to VirtualBox. You should be able to use the virtual disk (or a copy of it, to be safe). At least VirtualBox is still under development, and it isn't owned by Microsoft.

5
Setup & Installation / Re: Installing ArcaOS on a GPT formatted disk
« on: February 27, 2019, 08:58:30 pm »
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The choice of video driver does not matter as it is not loaded until during boot.

This is absolutely true. At the time that Air Boot does it's thing, no operating system is active. It is all done by BIOS.

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I have no idea how airboot is coded but if it is not displaying onscreen then I would guess the system is not presenting the video signal in a way that airboot can interpret.

Air Boot does not interpret what the video signal does. The monitor does that. Somehow, it seems that the BIOS is presenting a video signal that the monitor doesn't understand. Since every monitor, every BIOS, and every video adapter is expected to work in text mode, at 25 lines, with 80 characters per line, video, it should not do what it is doing. Air Boot has nothing to do with that either. All it does is put data in the video buffer, in the expected way. If the monitor doesn't display that, there is some device that isn't doing the job properly.

To analyze it, first try a different monitor (different brand, size, etc.) to see if the problem lies there.

See if you can determine what the monitor is actually "seeing". The on screen display should tell you that.

I suggested, above, trying TAB when Air Boot should display. That will take you back to the last BIOS screen. Does that display properly? It should have some Air Boot information, and a summary of the disks. If that doesn't display, see what the monitor is "seeing".

Is BIOS set to display a fancy picture, or does it list the steps that it takes in text? Try setting it to display the BIOS progress, in text, and not a fancy picture. That should also display in 25 lines, at 80 characters per line.

My initial guess is that the BIOS is leaving the video system in some sort of graphics video mode, after displaying a fancy picture. If that is the case, perhaps Air Boot needs to reset the video system, before trying to use it. I don't know how that could be done with minimal code (they have already dropped some unimportant features of Air Boot, to free up enough space to make important things work), but it won't even be attempted, if there is no problem report. It will help, if you answer the questions.

6
Programming / Re: Can an application be started and run in monoprocessor?
« on: February 27, 2019, 07:03:47 pm »
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I marked it with this program apparently fine, but the final result is not executed in monoprocessor.
The program that I wanted to run in mono processor is the Freemem.exe

Setting to run in one processor doesn't stop programs from running in multiple processors. What it does, is make sure that the program only runs in one processor at any one time (not always the same processor).

What is FREEMEM.EXE, and why would you want to use it? There are probably better options, like using the Sentinel memory watcher, in XCenter.

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You could try turning it off with SETPROC.exe 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 OFF

What is SETPROC.EXE? There is no such thing in ArcaOS. If it is the old utility to turn off processors, it won't work with ACPI. Well, it will turn the processors off, but when ACPI decides they should be turned back on, they are (usually immediately). You would need to use the /MAXCPU=1 setting on the PSD line in CONFIG.SYS., but that means it always only uses one CPU. Good for problem determination, but not for general use.

What, exactly, are you trying to do? It seems that you want to use tools that don't exist, or are not SMP safe. If that is the case, they are probably way too old to be of any use, and you should find newer tools.

7
Setup & Installation / Re: Installing ArcaOS on a GPT formatted disk
« on: February 26, 2019, 06:47:13 pm »
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I have two computers with Ryzen 3 2200G with built in Radeon Vega Graphics that dual boot ArcaOS and Win 7.  To actually boot ArcaOS I have to use a stop watch because I have never managed to get Air Boot to appear on any of my Samsung 24" 1920 x1200 monitors.  All the monitors show is a moving warning that the video is not in the preferred range - hitting enter at set times will bring up the Arca screen.  Win 7 also requires hitting the up arrow at the correct time bit the boot continues without doing anything else.

Have you reported the problem to the Arca Noae Mantis bug tracker? Be sure to read about how to submit a problem report, with the proper supporting documentation.

AFAIK, Air Boot uses BIOS screen support (at 640x480 pixels, I think), so if you can read the BIOS progress information, you should be able to see what Air Boot puts on the screen. You might try using TAB to go back to the previous screen, when the Air Boot menu should be displayed. It might tell you something.

8
Setup & Installation / Re: Installing ArcaOS on a GPT formatted disk
« on: February 26, 2019, 05:44:25 pm »
I have started with win 10 on a GPT disk, in my Lenovo ThinkPad L530, and ended up with a usable win 10, with ArcaOS 5.0.3 installed (any version of ArcaOS should be okay, once you get the disk converted, but later versions are better).

First, READ every word in all of the PDFs, and TXT files, in the root of the ArcaOS ISO. You may need to burn a DVD to be able to do that, although you may be able to mount the ISO in some operating systems.

You must be sure that the system has BIOS support for what they call CSM, and it must be enabled. In the L530, it is in the BIOS settings under STARTUP. I have it set for BOTH, with Legacy first. After doing that, it should still work with a GPT disk installed. Apparently, not all new systems have CSM support. If not, stop here, and wait for the support to be done for ArcaOS (not even started, yet, AFAIK).

You need a full backup, that has been proven to actually restore properly (I will talk windows, but every other OS must do the same). The only backup program, that I know of, that actually works with windows, is Acronis. If you have a Seagate, Maxtor, or Samsung, disk in the machine, or attached by a USB adapter, you can use the free (limited) version called Seagate Discwizard (google it). I haven't checked lately, but Western Digital also had a free version of Acronis, that only works when a WD disk is present. This backup must work on the file system level, you cannot use the DFSEE disk image feature, because it will put the data back exactly as it was backed up, and that isn't what you want. I am not sure what Acronis does at restore time, but it fixes windows so that it will boot. NOTE: that you may need the smaller windows boot partition, if you use something like security software. For a simple windows install, you only need the (windows) C: drive. Do NOT restore the boot records.

Next, boot the ArcaOS installer from a USB stick, or from a burned DVD. Depending on the system, this may be difficult. Each one that I have, does it in a different way. The L530 gives you about 1/2 second to press enter to interrupt the boot sequence. Once you get there, one of the options is to press F12 to get the boot device list. Select the ArcaOS USB stick (you can press F12, to get to the boot list, without going to the first menu).  Note, that the boot device list may have two entries for the stick (or DVD), one prefaced by UEFI, and one not, You need to use the one that is not. Once you get the ArcaOS installer booted, use the System Management-> Disk-> Disk Utility program to wipe the disk (effectively removing everything that is on the disk). Ignore any errors, and select the Disk-> Wipe disk information-> All... option. REBOOT to the ArcaOS installer (again, don't use the UEFI one, if it exists). Run the Disk utility again, and follow the instructions to add LVM information, REBOOT, and use System Management-> Disk-> Manage Volumes (Graphical) to build ALL of the desired partitions (including whatever you need for other operating systems). AND add the Air Boot boot manager (the old Boot Manager can be used, IF, and only IF, Air Boot has some sort of problem that can't be resolved).

Do not, ever, let any other partitioning tool do anything, or it will likely cause problems. The Disk Utility program is a special version of DFSEE, that is specifically designed to do partitioning correctly. DFSEE itself, can do it correctly, but only when it is running under OS/2.

Now, you can restore windows, and it should work (assuming you have a good backup to restore).

Install ArcaOS, and it should work.

Hopefully, I didn't leave something out. Ask questions if something doesn't seem to be right.

9
Programming / Re: Can an application be started and run in monoprocessor?
« on: February 20, 2019, 06:40:43 pm »
You don't need the toolkit, if you use C:\OS2\EXECMODE.EXE. Just run the program in  command line window, and it will tell you how to use it.

10
Applications / Re: BackAgain/2000 Unreliable
« on: February 15, 2019, 06:53:21 pm »
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I will be removing BA/2K from all of my systems this weekend and will continue looking for a viable tape backup solution.

I abandoned BA/2K about 15 years ago. I also would never even consider using tape as a back up media. It is just way to unreliable.

Today, I use ZIP to ZIP up each drive to a USB stick (or USB HDD), or two. You do need the ZIP that is supplied by RPM/YUM (use Arca Noae package Manager to manage the RPM stuff, it is available, for free at https://www.arcanoae.com/resources/downloadables/arca-noae-package-manager/ - be sure to READ all of it), so that it can handle files (in and out) that are larger than 2 GB. To back up my drives (even the drive that I am booted from), I use the commands:
Code: [Select]
if exist CDRIVE.ZIP DEL CDRIVE.ZIP
zip.exe -9yrS CDRIVE.ZIP C:\* -x@exclude.list 2>&1 | tee.exe CZIP.LOG
in a batch file. The file exclude.list contains file names, that do not need to be backed up (SWAPPER.DAT, for instance, is recreated at each boot, so it doesn't need to be backed up). I will leave it up to you to decide what else doesn't need to be backed up.

To restore a ZIP file, I use the Arca Noae Archive tool, where you can select the files that you want, or the whole thing. To do the whole thing, select the target drive, format it, and unzip everything to the root, making sure to select the full paths option. The AN Archive tool is not available to those who do not have ArcaOS, but you can buy ZIPPY which is the program that the AN Archive tool is based on. It, and a more official PM BACKUP, is available at: https://www.arcanoae.com/product-category/file-disk-utilities/.

11
Setup & Installation / Re: Recovering XDF Disks from Flux Images?
« on: February 10, 2019, 06:19:27 am »
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The copy of OS/2 I have is on 3.5" diskettes only.

That's too bad. The chance of that many diskettes surviving without errors is actually pretty slim, but not impossible.

One suggestion, is to find an old computer that has a diskette drive, that still works (don't test it with those diskettes, in case the drive is damaged). If it works okay, see if you can install Warp to it, then you can decide how to proceed from there. If there are bad diskettes, you may need to find a copy of the bad one(s) somewhere. As I recall, each diskette has a part number. Search for that, and you might get lucky. You may also be able to find a CD image, which would make life easier.

12
Setup & Installation / Re: Recovering XDF Disks from Flux Images?
« on: February 09, 2019, 06:40:27 pm »
I suggest trying a disk size of about 256 MB, the default 1 GB is probably bigger than Warp 3 can use. Don't forget, that you need to use FDISK to create partitions, before it can install to it. Just drop to a command line at the first menu option page. When it wants Ctrl-Alt-Del, remember to attach DISK0.DSK, then use the Input-> Keyboard thing for VBox to do it.

13
Setup & Installation / Re: Recovering XDF Disks from Flux Images?
« on: February 09, 2019, 06:17:49 pm »
The diskette images are already on the CD, in a format that VirtualBox can use. Look in \DiskImages\OS2\35 and copy DISK0.DSK and DSK1-CD.DSK to your host hard drive. Select to create a new OS/2 Warp 3 virtual machine Attach DISK0.DSK to the Virtual diskette drive, and boot. Immediately, it will tell you to insert DISK1. Detach DISK0.DSK, and attach DISK1-CD.DSK then press enter. It will want the CD to be attached to the Optical drive. Then, just follow the directions to install Warp 3.

Some experimenting may be required.

14
Games / Re: ArcaOS - Retro Gaming Machine
« on: February 02, 2019, 06:00:26 pm »
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2. If solution 1 does not work, try changing the name of the VSVGA.SYS driver in
CONFIG.SYS to “VVGA.SYS” instead.

While I have used this (years ago), with no apparent problems, be aware that VVGA.SYS is not SMP safe, so you may see odd problems because of that.

15
Games / Re: ArcaOS - Retro Gaming Machine
« on: February 01, 2019, 09:48:04 pm »
DOS WinOS2 won't even run on my newer machines (especially laptops, like my Lenovo T510, or L530), so the first thing to do, is see if it will run. Try both full screen, and windowed. Sometimes full screen will work, when windowed won't.

If it won't run, you can try DOSBOX (it is at HOBBES), which has worked pretty well, when I tried it (including sound). Of course, DOSBOX is available for other operating systems too. It has the advantage that it can run the latest Win 3.11, which OS/2 never could. You do need to install Win 3.11 in the supplied DOS environment. If you search the web, there is (perhaps 'was'), at least one, ready built win 3.11 package available for it.

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