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Messages - Shai

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1
I'm using a NVIDIA GeForce 6200 card. It's not fully supported by SNAP although it seems to have a similar chipset as a fully supported one (6600? I forgot...) that's why it's working almost flawlessly. The only issue I noticed is that after every display resolution change to a dual head mode (for instance, right after a (re)boot, a fullscreen OS/2 or DOS session or some game) I have to use gactrl.exe to reactivate the second screen. Put it as an object into my XCenter bar, but still kind of annoying...

2
Applications / Virtual OSC Controller
« on: 2009.01.04, 06:25:26 »
Hi,
currently, I'm working on a small project which might be handy not only for OS/2 users: a Virtual OSC Controller.
OSC (Open Sound Control) is (mainly) a network protocol which is used by multimedia/audio hardware and software to communicate, e.g. to control certain aspects of a software/hardware. More specifically, it may be used by an OSC-enabled hardware controller (box with buttons, sliders, knobs etc. or a keyboard) to send information to - let's say - a software synthesizer. In that respect it's much like MIDI (expect that MIDI is old, originally not a network-protocol and has certain restrictions). So as I am very poor (my capitalist is exploiting me) I came up with the idea of turning a cheap old touchpad notebook / tabletop PC into an OSC controller by writing a software that displays an interface featuring sliders, buttons and other controls. For some strange reason this kind of free software project doesn't exist yet. There are commercial solutions of course: Lemur (http://www.cycling74.com/products/lemur), a complete solution including the tabletop computer, is the most popular one it seems. Well if it wouldn't cost $3000...
Nevertheless I just spent my vacation writing/beginning such a program, on OS/2 of course using Open Watcom C and SDL. As I was only using POSIX-stuff, porting it to GCC should be trivial. I will write an autotools build system soon. This means it should compile for all major (and minor) systems using both compilers. System requirements should be VERY low. I will try to use it on an old 486 Toshiba tabletop PC (going to install eCS).
The interface displayed is specified in a plain and simple XML file (schema will be provided). An interface will consist of several named "tabs" -  the user can switch between them at run time. A tab will contain controls. You can choose between different types of sliders, buttons and switches. All of them can be labelled and you can choose their colour. Sliders have upper and lower bounds, an optional 'step' (settable values are multiples of the 'step') and can have colour gradients. Their position is specified relative to the display resolution, so an 'interface' can be used on (almost) any resolution. You can assign an OSC-style address (/x.../y.../z...) and an OSC data type to any control. If you change the value of a control, an OSC message is sent to a specified OSC server using the control's address and with a single value (control's value converted to the specified OSC data type).
Things, I'm thinking about: it could be an OSC server too and accept messages to change a control's value. That'd be useful if you use (just like me) audio programming languages like pure data or CSound and you want to interact both directly (controller) and automatically (path/script) with some aspect of your composition.
Regarding the license, I'm not sure yet. The OS/2 binaries will be free in any case. However, maybe I won't publish the source and instead sell non-OS/2 binaries (one at a time, latest version) for a small fee. That way I may encourage people to give OS/2 a try (even if it's only on their old machines). But it will depend on the demand. Or maybe a shareware license with a higher fee. What do you think?

Attached are two screenshots: one with different control types and one which includes pitch/volume sliders - I used it with a pure data patch on my other machine to remote control a simple sinusoidal oscillator. Ugly, I know... Note: buttons for the 'tabs' are not displayed yet.

3
General Discussion / Re: Nice Windoze background
« on: 2008.11.13, 22:13:21 »
http://www.os2world.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=1206&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=ca901b8c114ddd101325875fd35278da

An old OS\2 desktop from early 90s, yet more advanced with is OO technology, then any thing windoze has to offer in 2008. Just hide your windoze icons.
it that the original resolution ;) ?

4
Hi,

just tested ACPI Version 3.11 from software subscription. No problems occurred until now. So there seems to be no need to downgrade to ACPI 3.05 since eCS RC 6 or GA will be availiable.

This Netbook works that well, I am really satisfied with it.  :D ;) :D ;D

Sigurd
that's cool. You're running in APIC mode I suppose? Do Win-OS/2 and VDMs work now?

5
Wifi is still what annoys me most. WPA2 encrypted connections are very unstable - but I need more tests. Recently I discovered that GENMAC provokes a trap (Black Screen Of Death) when I attempt to connect to one of my university's hotspots - it's unencrypted and I don't have problems with unencrypted connections otherwise. You connect to a hotspot (and are part of a public unsecure network which is not directly connected to the internet) and then establish an IPSec tunnel to a special gateway which makes you part of the real network (Cisco VPN, should be supported by Injoy Firewall and partly by the eCS internal firewall). As I said it already crashes when I attempt to connect to the hotspot. Seems that I need some very boring lectures to try different versions of the Windows driver and different Genmac options...

6
Internet / Re: MySpace.com updated Flash version check
« on: 2008.10.01, 11:31:40 »
Shai,

If memory serves, MySpace and/or Facebook updated their Flash 9 requirements again. It was:

9.x.x.x

and now is:

9.y.y.y

(where the subversions are higher than the version number reported by your patched Flash player).

Hope that helps. Sorry I dont remember the exact version number it requested. As of right now, I dont have Flash installed on this machine... if I decide to reinstall it, I'll check it out and let you know what the newest subversion requirement is.

Thanks,
Robert
That appeared to be part of the problem. I used the latest version numbers when I patched my binary, so it reported "9,0,115,0". However currently the latest version is "9,0,124,0" - I adapted my binary to report that version. Now there's no download-flash-9-blabla message anymore but no Flash object either (again FlashBlock disabled for myspace.com).
After quickly browsing the code delivered to my browser, I guess I've found the Flash movie which should be loaded.
For instance: http://lads.myspace.com/videos/c.swf?isus=false&artid=1780228&profid=91238892&el=&mute=false&amix=false&ap=1&t=1&songid=0&pguid=1e3db391d9ed4f0995790cb47bf7bf23&albid=0&aftime=300&cc=de-DE&on=0&skinid=17&sindex=0&shuffle=false&ovasin=false&mt=audio&plid=28297&pertid=04a34700c8f484ad44b9dcf5ed3fb3db&hash=&sseed=0&pmix=false&ayt=15&skin=http://lads.myspace.com/videos/artistInternational.xml&adp=1&afsongs=5&ptype=4&uid=-1&nopops=false
It displays nothing, neither with InnoTek Flash nor with Gnash... Could still be that some URL QUERY-part attributes are still missing which are appended by the constructor invoked in the javaScript (where I found that link) or that this isn't the right Flash animation at all.
I will conduct some tests with Gnash under Linux soon (confirming the animation's address and trying the latest Gnash trunk version). If updating to a recent Gnash version helps it should be easy to compile it for OS/2 since I've got a working build environment (based on Paul Smedleys environment) and I'm doing a lot with SDL recently. Alternatively I could ask Paul Smedley to update his build. So let's see...

cheers,
Robin

7
Internet / Re: MySpace.com updated Flash version check
« on: 2008.09.30, 18:34:59 »
You can't be SURE that it IS Adobe checking version, nor that anything at all is "checked". May be simply trying to get you to allow software to be installed. If you're using OS/2, you may be blissfully unaware of how common are attempts to exploit the gaping holes that Windows leaves open. Every time I see someone allowing all web "features", I'm amazed that they can stand the non-stop bombardment of flashing ads, redirection, and exploits.
No, I'm pretty sure I used this or a similar page before patching my Flash binaries and it reflected the changes. It was some time ago so this might not be the same page I used back then. It was by Adobe however and the link I included is to an Adobe page (kb.adobe.com redirects to adobe.com, it's a subdomain...), too. However there might be some other version information in the binary - which I couldn't find - used by the browser when asked about a certain plugin (via some javaScript). I disabled FlashBlock to make sure that the problem isn't that they are trying to load an invisible Flash animation to determine the version.

8
Internet / MySpace.com updated Flash version check
« on: 2008.09.30, 14:25:24 »
Hi,
anyone noticed that MySpace.com recently changed/updated its internal (Flash) Music player widget or at least the code which checks your Flash version? At least the page now demands Adobe Flash 9. Actually, I wonder how some pages even manage to find out I haven't got Flash 9 since I manually patched my InnoTek Flash 7 to report as Flash 9 (both the actual version number and the version string). The "Version test for Adobe Flash" (http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=tn_15507) confirms that.
Anyone had success with Gnash? Can't try it as there is no embedded flash object MediaPlayerConnectivity could recognize.

That's one of the two things for which I required Flash in the past (the other one is YouTube) and I'm not willing to accept that restriction, so under certain circumstances I might - possibly - agree to invest some work to solve that problem but I'm not promising anything...

cheers,
Robin

9
ok here it is: http://www.os2world.com/wiki/index.php/Medion_Akoya_Mini_%28HowTo%29
(the outlline of the article at least)
I created redirections for "Medion Akoya Mini E1210" and "MSI Wind U100" and added links to the Hardware and How-To sections.

10
some updates:
There's a workaround for the SDL issue: The colours are correct if you somehow get your program to run in 1024x600 (ie. your current desktop resolution?). There's a DOSBox option for that purpose (fullscreenresolution) and you can configure the resolution in OpenTTD, too.
I also tried to attach a monitor which works fine if you know how to do it. You have to boot with the monitor attached and you can only activate the monitor (using the apropriate Fn-key) before PM starts up, otherwise it'll do nothing. So you have to switch to a desktop resolution supported by your monitor (and the netbook's display, otherwise you can't choose it) before rebooting and activate the monitor shortly thereafter. Once the WPS is ready you should be able to choose much higher resolutions which are supported by both the graphics chip and the monitor. Don't forget to switch back to a mode supported by the netbook's display before booting without the monitor. Sounds complicated but it's probably not much easier if you could active the monitor while PM's running as the monitor will only work with the correct resolution and you have to reboot for each change :(. Nevertheless that means you can use it for reports/presentations.

Regarding the Howto: I just noticed that OS/2 World has a wiki. Why not do it there? Maybe I should simply create a new page. Where should I create the link: "Hardware" or "How To"?

cheers,
Robin

11
Hi,

I thought that removing the "Designed for Windows XP" sticker already was a kind of "Hooray, success!!". Btw. I reattached it to my old dot matrix printer.
Yes, most of the stuff works - it's already very useful.

We've got:

eCS Installation - tricky but should work reliably if you know how to do it.
USB & Hyperthreading - SMP kernel, ACPI in APIC mode + /CD switch; seems that some things only work with the new recompiled USB stack - which introduces new problems (system frequently freezes for a short time!?) though. Also, battery widgets work fine.
Automatic speed throttling - thanks to Sungsoo Khim
Sound - thanks to Uniaud, worked out of the box!
Video - Panorama VESA and latest Widescreen Activator (thanks to ecomstation.ru and Robert Lalla)
LAN - now supported "officially" by the RTL8169 driver (thanks to Yanagihara Nobuyuki and achain)
WLAN - works partly with patched Genmac driver (thanks to Willibald Meyer and me for the patch). You cannot search for hotspots and I've got disconnection problems in some networks (I have to investigate that...), works flawless in other networks however!

What we haven't got / what's not so nice:

Suspending/Resuming - provokes crash in Uniaud; without Uniaud, resuming doesn't work.
Webcam - not supported by WarpVision(?). I can live without it :)
WinOS/2 & VDMs - side effect of ACPI in APIC mode. Don't know if there's any workaround. Haven't tried using a FreeDOS kernel or something yet. I read that this issue is resolved in newer ACPI releases (I've got 3.05, 3.09 is the latest).
SDL - all SDL (official package and Panorama SDL12.DLL) programs have a messed colour palette. Not so bad that most programs are unusable / games unplayable but still very annoying. Maybe I should write to the SDL and Panorama people. I haven't got the latest Panorama driver, so I'd like to hear what Sigurd says first.
Firefox - Browsing is damned slow. I know that Freetype slows it down but I've got a similar setup on my desktop machine with SeaMonkey and it's not that bad. The CPU is roughly the same speed and I've got the same problems when my Medion Akoya is connected via LAN (so it's probably no Wifi problem). I thought the new Gecko engine in Firefox 3 is faster? Also it simply crashes very often. Watching Youtube via "unofficial" Flash 7 is very slow, too. Haven't tried SeaMonkey yet.
Scrolling - mouse driver (AMouse) doesn't allow sliding on the right side of the trackpad to scroll - this is a very useful feature supported e.g. by most Linux distributions. I'm using an older tool called Hot Scroll to achieve a similar effect on OS/2. I configured it to scroll in a similar manner when I hold down the "Windows" key. Works nice with the WPS and some programs but has no effect on others (e.g. Firefox). Is there an alternative? The Nice WPS enhancer hasn't got the feature I need and the AMouse MB3-drag feature doesn't even work when I've got a 3-button mouse attached(?).

btw. Video performance is better than I thought. I guessed it's impossible to play a Divx video fullscreen because such things are very processor-intensive with the VESA driver but some days ago I tried to watch a movie on a Samba resource (server is my eCS desktop :) ) using WarpVision and it worked surprisingly good. Fullscreen and fluently - without any special options. The CPU load was only about 20% so I could even activate some filters.

Yes, I could write a Howto. But I'm not very reliable and it might take some years. So, let's wait for Sigurd - he's written such Howtos for the Asus EEE PC in the past and maybe he'd actually *like* to do it.
I think it would be good if this would be in some kind of OS/2-eComStation wiki or a MSI Wind wik besides uploading it to Hobbes, so other people can contribute easily. That would also allow Sigurd and me to write it together (assuming he want's to do it). Anyone got such a wiki we could use?

cheers,
Robin

12
yet another update: I wrote that after switching to SMP kernel and ACPI in SMP and APIC mode (my config.sys entry is "PSD=ACPI.PSD /SMP /APIC /CD"), USB suddenly worked fine. That's right I hadn't had any problems with it so far, even with the EHCI controller driver activated at startup. However - as I've already said - VDMs (DOS & Win 3.1) don't work anymore. The ACPI readme says that this could happen in APIC mode. So I tried to switch back to PIC (without /CD switch as this is APIC-specific) and I immediately got the trap 0008 at startup again. Switched back to "/APIC /CD" and it works again. So it seems we can't have working USB, APIC and VDMs at the same time. That wouldn't matter for most people - to have working sound in DOS games most people probably use DOSBox anyway - but I'm a bit of a DOS nostalgic and I even occasionally use Win3.1 sessions.
So does anyone know whether there is some kind of fix or workaround for that problem?

cheers,
Robin

13
ok Wifi finally works :)

I'm writing this connected to my hotspot.

for some strange reason the driver didn't work in UNSUPPORTED mode. It wasn't recognized by XWLAN and it probably wouldn't have worked without it anyway (scan.exe didn't display anything!?). I suspect that the reason is that there's an initialization flag that's only enabled if the device is officially supported. At least that happened after patching genm32w.os2 to think our RT2860 is officially supported. According to the Genmac debug logs that didn't seem to change much (expect for the new flag I couldn't enable in UNSUPPORTED mode) but suddenly XWLAN recognized the driver.
Looking for public hotspots doesn't work - don't ask me why. However you can create a profile if you know the SSID and connect to that manually configured WLAN. Once connected it seems to work fine - it's stable so far.
btw. I didn't need the Wifi device firmware - so the impression I had after browsing (and trying to patch) the Windows driver was right: Providing the firmware is optional.

I attached a ZIP file to this post containing the Windows driver (used the one from my driver CD), the NIF file needed by Genmac as well as a genm32w.os2 patch ("patch genmac.patch /A").
The necessary steps are:
Install Genmac 2.2 without any drivers, copy the WRAPPER_1814_0781 directory to \ecs\system\genmac\driver, copy W1814x0781.NIF to \ecs\system\genmac\nif and \ibmcom\macs and copy genmac.patch to \ecs\system\genmac\driver, make a backup of genm32w.os2 and apply the patch with "patch genmac.patch /A" on the commandline. Finally copy the patched genm32w.os2 to \ibmcom\macs. You should be able to add a driver called "GenMac Wrapper Ralink RT2860 series Wireless LAN Card" using MPTS configuration or by editing your PROTOCOL.INI. On startup it will say it loads the driver for Asus WLAN RT2400 but display the proper device id. (You could hexedit that, too... easily... just be sure that the new nullterminated string is shorter or as long as the old one so you don't overwrite some other static variables or code)

Alright, I'd say it's time to remove the "Designed for Windows XP" sticker ;-)

cheers,
Robin

14
Yes, I see it. "6781"/"3681" is nothing else as 8167h/8136h in little endian.

I also tried the same thing with the RTL8139 driver - however I was even too stupid to find the location of a supported device Id...

I'm still trying to find a way to get the Windows driver of RT8160 to work with Genmac. I think it can be patched, too because there's got to be something preventing it from using the included firmware (or using it at all). Should be possible to find the location ie. the MOV opcode referencing "rt2860.bin" in the disassembled code and look for the responsible code from there going backwards (and replace it e.g. with NOPs). I hope it's all in one function or otherwise I need a stack backtrace or references to that function to find the original one. However I have to find out how addresses are calculated in that kind of Win32 binary first (or find a tool which does that for me). I guess it's not as easy as in DOS .COM files (where I practised my assembly skills last time) - if I recall it correctly, there was just 100h=256 added to the actual position of the data in the COM file because the program's code/data was copied to the position 100h in it's 64kb segment or something like that... Didn't they introduce separate data and code segments in one binary later (EXE) ... crap
Sadly it's not possible to get it to work in "UNSUPPORTED" mode so it can take some time until it is officially supported by Genmac.

cheers,
Robin

15
Yes, it works - on my machine at least but I don't see any reason that it shouldn't work on other Medion Akoyas. In fact, I'm writing this post on my Medion Akoya in eCS.
 
So thanks a lot, achain! Where did you get that from or how did you get the idea this might work?
Maybe we could inform the author, so if he's still interested, he can add out-of-the-box support for this chipset in an upcoming version of his driver.
This is indeed good news.

btw. I'm currently running eCS with the SMP kernel and ACPI in APIC mode. So far USB seems to work without any problems but you know it seemed to work before... Two CPUs (hyper-threading?) are detected and displayed and the CPU throttling program finally works - though it doesn't seem to add much to the batteries' life span. VDMs don't work anymore - I'll continue to play around with ACPI to see what effect it has on the USB issue.
Previously - when it didn't work - the reason was that attaching USB devices immediately crashed the system with trap 008. So when you loaded all USB drivers but without the EHCI controller driver (there's an internal USB device attached to that controller - besides the Webcam which only appears in the resource manager if you switch it on via keyboard) it booted fine (dozens of times) and just crashed if you attached an USB device. If you enabled the EHCI controller driver it alreaded crashed before starting PMSHELL, probably because of the already attached device.
btw2. I had to set the "Accept IRQ level > 15" option to "YES" to get the RTL8169 driver to work properly because i'm running in APIC mode.

cheers,
Robin

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