Author Topic: DOS VDM and Win-OS2 Fans ?  (Read 2904 times)

Martin Iturbide

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DOS VDM and Win-OS2 Fans ?
« on: March 04, 2020, 04:05:49 pm »
Hi

I don't use DOS VDM (Wikipedia calls it OS/2 MVDM) and Win-OS2 everyday but I understand that there are people that use this everyday for their favorite apps.  I would like to get more information about it and possible document something on the OS2World wiki.

Please fell free to try to answer some of this questions:
- How do you "tune up" your DOS VDM and Win-OS2 sessions  ?
- Are there any "must have" tools that you like to have on the DOS VDM and Win-OS2 sessions? Tools that you always like to install there when you get an plain OS/2-ArcaOS install? .
- Are there any documentation about DOS VDM and Win-OS2 around that you like that may be good to link or even update?

Any related feedback is welcome.

Regards
« Last Edit: March 04, 2020, 04:12:58 pm by Martin Iturbide »
Martin Iturbide
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Joop

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Re: DOS VDM and Win-OS2 Fans ?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2020, 07:08:39 pm »
I do use both, but not on a daily basis. What do you mean with "tune up", with our different natives I might interpret this wrong. I have programs and they have an program icon in a menu or on the desktop. 
In DOS I use PC-Outline, in Win-OS2 I have many programs. I use 3-Base very regular. But also several programs for the Psion 3 series. I have some graphical programs with no substitute in OS/2 or in Java (or in Windows).
Must have is a big word.
As documentation I never found a good manual how to tweak both to the optimum for a program. There are lots of hints, some what it does, but never what it does together. The best manual for it is in the OS/2-2.1 manual.

Martin Iturbide

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Re: DOS VDM and Win-OS2 Fans ?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2020, 10:01:49 pm »
Hi Joop

"Tune up" may be understand to me like any configuration tricks, maybe someone always like to increase or change some value on the session settings. Something like that.

Quote
As documentation I never found a good manual how to tweak both to the optimum for a program. There are lots of hints, some what it does, but never what it does together. The best manual for it is in the OS/2-2.1 manual.

Which OS/2 2.1 manual do you talk about? Is it an INF included there? Can you tell me the file name?

Regards
Martin Iturbide
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Joop

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Re: DOS VDM and Win-OS2 Fans ?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2020, 06:34:21 pm »
Hi Martin,
"Tune up" may be understand to me like any configuration tricks, maybe someone always like to increase or change some value on the session settings. Something like that.
For each program with an own icon in a menu (or desktop, but I don't have that) i have its own settings.
Quote
As documentation I never found a good manual how to tweak both to the optimum for a program. There are lots of hints, some what it does, but never what it does together. The best manual for it is in the OS/2-2.1 manual.
Which OS/2 2.1 manual do you talk about? Is it an INF included there? Can you tell me the file name?
The one in print, it was included in those days in the box. I don't know if there is one as an INF. The printed one has part number 19H5985, its in Dutch and from October 1994, its translated from User's Guide to OS/2 with part number 83G8300, version 3. The OS/2 2.1 printed manual is from June 1993 and has part number 63G4585 Dutch and is a translation from IBM OS/2 2.1 Using the Operating System with part number 61G0703. Both manuals contain some hints in the back for if programs don't want to start or to run properly.

Martin Iturbide

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Re: DOS VDM and Win-OS2 Fans ?
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2020, 01:48:33 pm »
Hi

For example on the Win-OS 2 environment I think maybe Quicktime is something you require, since  Many old Win16 games uses it for the videos. 
But I'm having problems with the old Quicktime.  I had been using DTA, sounds works on Win-OS2, but Quicktime 2.1.2 installs, but the demo video does not runs.

I used to remember that it worked, but maybe I'm not using the right version. Any ideas?

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Martin Iturbide
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Martin Vieregg

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Re: DOS VDM and Win-OS2 Fans ?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2020, 10:02:39 am »
I use CorelDraw 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0 - these are the Win16 versions - on WinOS2. These versions are much more handy than the overloaded and (still) buggy current versions. I create charts. Most data I use for the charts are on a JFS partition, so I prefer doing this job on my main ArcaOS installation. I know that there's a 2.5 version on OS/2, but this version is not useable because on 3.0 the real important functionality has been added. In 2.5, I can only edit the drawing in outline mode.

For big drawings (I am a traffic planer for railways and, less, roads) I have to use Windows, and even on Windows, I even bring Windows to its knees. Smaller drawings are also possible and useful to draw with Win16.

Then there's an excellent Win16 program where I can manipulate/edit fonts, especially OS/2 system fonts, but I forgot the name and cannot find it on my harddisk anymore. (Hope someone knows the name here.)

I know that I won't ever edit such big plans on OS/2. If I draw these plans, it is a closed separate job from my default work, so it is not a big problem for me. But the performance of Lucide/qpfview on big PDF plans is nervy (in most cases, they have a very big bitmap on the bottom layer). Sometimes I have to start Windows to simply view such plans in a reasonable time. If I can open these big plans with Acrobat4 on OS/2, the performance is OK, but most PDF files need newer versions. I can view my own very big plans with Acrobat4 on OS/2 without problems, even 200 x 60 cm with two bitmap layers which is the biggest format I use.

But since ArcaOS, seamless Windows does not work. A DOS window works if I start a DOS fullscreen and press Alt-Pos1. But Windows Seamless does not work at all. This is a big problem for me, because (1) I have to press Ctrl-ESC to get the necessary data for my charts (2) the performance of Win16-fullscreen driver on Panorama is catastrophic. Dotted lines are drawn with a speed of 3 cm per second (!). It can happen that I have to end the session, because I cannot wait anymore. CorelDraw marks selected objects with a dotted rectangle... So sometimes I in fact cannot move objects which is a basic functionality. But sometimes it works. So I copy my whole project folder to FAT32 and continue working on Windows only for generating my charts.

The new KAM1 bugfix has no effect on my system. I use Panorama on an AM4 board with a Ryzen APU which works fine besides this point. This bugfix would be extremely helpful for me.

Roderick Klein

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Re: DOS VDM and Win-OS2 Fans ?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2020, 10:42:57 am »
Having worked on eCS, the fact seamless WIN/OS2 sessions do not work has been the case since eCS. The cause is VSVGA.SYS. It does not matter if you install SNAP, Panorama or GRADD they all use the same VSVGA.SYS driver. Its pretty complex driver VSVGA.SYS that relies on the VESA BIOS/VGA hardware. It just seems not all support in around that VSVGA.SYS is looking for.

Roderick

Joop

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Re: DOS VDM and Win-OS2 Fans ?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2020, 04:27:04 pm »
I don't have ArcaOS yet, because its still not in Dutch. But as the problem was already in eCS, which I have, I use both DOS and Windows seamless. But I start them as frame version, not full screen version. As there is no word about size, I make the frame version full screen. This will be remembered, so problem away. No problems with start.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2020, 11:36:20 pm by Joop »

Travis Thoms

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Re: DOS VDM and Win-OS2 Fans ?
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2020, 09:36:48 pm »
The only reason I use OS/2 at this point is being able to multitask DOS and Win16 programs, and under virtualbox, the VDMs run poorly.  I have a PIII that I might pull out of storage and see if I can get working; my wife may protest.....

Martin Vieregg

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Re: DOS VDM and Win-OS2 Fans ?
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2020, 12:25:52 am »
Quote
Having worked on eCS, the fact seamless WIN/OS2 sessions do not work has been the case since eCS. The cause is VSVGA.SYS. It does not matter if you install SNAP, Panorama or GRADD they all use the same VSVGA.SYS driver. Its pretty complex driver VSVGA.SYS that relies on the VESA BIOS/VGA hardware. It just seems not all support in around that VSVGA.SYS is looking for.

But it did work on my former computer with a ATI X300 graphics card (SNAP). So the problems relates to modern graphics hardware ?

Olafur Gunnlaugsson

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Re: DOS VDM and Win-OS2 Fans ?
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2020, 08:02:12 am »
Having worked on eCS, the fact seamless WIN/OS2 sessions do not work has been the case since eCS. The cause is VSVGA.SYS. It does not matter if you install SNAP, Panorama or GRADD they all use the same VSVGA.SYS driver. Its pretty complex driver VSVGA.SYS that relies on the VESA BIOS/VGA hardware. It just seems not all support in around that VSVGA.SYS is looking for.

Roderick

Has nothing to do with eCS per se, it is simply a hardware issue, screen sizes have changed and the VSVGA driver has not been updated or re-written to comply with newer screen geometries. I can run DOS/Win sessions just fine here with eCS 2.1 but I have to choose a vintage screen geometry and have a screen that supports it, some NEC LCD's have excellent support for odd/vintage geometries, but they tend to be expensive.

VSVGA does support some high resolutions above UXGA (1600x1200), such as 3k for instance and possibly QSXGA (5:4) if I remember it correctly, but that is using geometries that are normally not supported on modern hardware. (IBM had a 3K screen for sale in the 90's, used for medical research etc., it had Win, AIX and OS/2 drivers.)

Martin Iturbide

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Re: DOS VDM and Win-OS2 Fans ?
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2020, 06:03:26 pm »
Hi

I'm wondering if the "VSVGA.SYS" source code is available on the IBM DDK. Does somebody knows?

Regards
Martin Iturbide
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Roderick Klein

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Re: DOS VDM and Win-OS2 Fans ?
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2020, 09:40:40 pm »
Yes it is in the ddk... Welcome to the house of horrors...


When working at Mensys I asked severeal people to see if they could pick this up, but its not an easy job to fixup the code.
Any brave souls are more then welcome to dive into this...

Roderick

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Re: DOS VDM and Win-OS2 Fans ?
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2020, 11:06:26 pm »
I think seamless all depends on the hardware and resolution that you have.  I have one machine it works fine on and another that seamless does not work (both running SNAP).  I admit that it never occurred to me that one might be a different resolution then the other, I'll have to check that.

For me the Windows apps that I find myself using most include Wordperfect 6.1 for Windows (with the WPS add-on extensions) and Pagemaker 5.

For must-have, the 2 things I generally always install in WinOS/2 are Win32s version 1.25a (the latest one to work with OS/2) and the Video for Windows runtime update.  While I admit that not a lot uses the Win32s stuff, I do find that there are a lot of video files that won't play without the VFW runtime.

For DOS, I think my most creative use is at an FM radio transmitter site to generate RDS data.  At one site I have an old RDS-ISA card used to generate RDS data.  Its "remote" capability consisted of communications over a serial port with DOS software to make it work.  When it is run on a straight bare bones DOS machine it is also very picky about CPU speeds, the hardware it runs on, and system timing.  I wanted to give it the capability of having its dynamic text updated over a network connection.  So with the help of OS/2 (Warp 3 Connect to be precise), Ray Gwinn's SIO driver, and some REXX scripting I was able to make a system that grabbed my needed data via REXX and then bounce it through to the DOS serial port as RDS radiotext data.  It works like a charm.  It also ran fine on the first machine (an old P3 with an ISA port and Warp 3) that I tried it on, despite the fact that the manufacturer of that card told me I'd probably have trouble making it work on anything faster then a 486 (when I was given the card it came from a 386).  It has been rock-solid stable for about 8 years now.

Martin Vieregg

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Re: DOS VDM and Win-OS2 Fans ?
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2020, 02:05:58 pm »
Quote
screen sizes have changed and the VSVGA driver has not been updated or re-written to comply with newer screen geometries

My last computer had got an ATI 300 graphics card and I used SNAP. OS was eCS 1.2. Screen resolution was 1920x1200. Windows Seamless worked fine.

My current computer is ArcaOS 5.0.2. I use Panorama. The graphics "card" is a Ryzen APU from the year 2018. The screen resulution is still 1920x1200. And seamless Windows does not work anymore. So I don't think that the resolution is the reason of the malfunction. I assume it is the hardware. I could install the old X300 graphics card (I have got a second ArcaOS 5.0.2 installation) and could report here.