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Topics - warpcafe

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Rexx / RFI: Make a screenshot (a "capture") from REXX
« on: 2011.07.04, 11:40:27 »

can someone point me to a DLL (-function) or even commandline tool which enables me to make a screenshot of the desktop from code? Even if there is something which can do screenshots of "any window" (via specifying the windows HWND), that would be fine.
I just need a way to do this from REXX. (Oh, yes: For OS/2 and eComStation I mean. :-P )


Hi all,

I have a strange behaviour here:
I am using eCS 2.0 GA with Firefox, GenMac and XWLAN things "out of the box".
There is a public hotspot available and XWLAN perfectly identifies and connects to it.

Now, what usually should happen is that whenever I try to access any URL in Firefox without being "logged-in" to the provider's pay-as-you-go thing, the WiFi router redirects me to a page where I have to enter my UID and PW. Once done, I can access any URL on the internet.

What actually happens is:
- I enter a URL
- I see from the Firefox status line that I am redirected to the "login" page of the WiFi router
- I wait forever in "connecting to <login-site>

Needless to say that -sigh- it works without any issues when using the evil OS from Redmond or Ubuntu.
There must be something "different" in the way how eCS is setting up routes (?) or DNS or whatever.
"Ping router" from xwlan works BTW.

I am not perfectly sure if the issue is related to eCS networking, XWLAN or perhaps Firefox.
I SUPPOSE it can be related to resolving names and/or overriding/including IP addresses from the "hosts" file.
But again - no clue here.

Anyone around who can give me some clue... or who perhaps has experienced/solved the same kind of issue?

Thanks in advance, kind regards,

Setup & Installation / Dual-boot eCS and Ubuntu how-to?
« on: 2011.03.30, 10:29:45 »

I'm trying to get eCS 2.0GA and Ubuntu 10.01 installed on a Thinkpad T32 in a dual-boot fashion.
While I am experienced in dual-boot setups for the last decades when it comes to Microsoft, I am new to the same regarding Linux.

My expectation was that it could not be harder than getting a Redmond-OS to run in dual-boot.
Man, have I got news for you... ;)

If I install Ubuntu first, eCS seems unable to find/create a startable partition as long as I don't "kill" the Ubuntu partitions.
If I install eCS first, installing Ubuntu will turn the eCS partition unusable and not accessible to get reactivated by LVM.

It looks like the Linuxcrap kills vital information on other partitions... seems to be parted/gparted/grub whatever they call it.

Has someone got Ubuntu (10.01) and eCS 2.0 (GA/RC, whatever) running in dual-boot, both natively? (VBox doesn't count)
if so - what is the recipe to follow? I won't mind using DFSee if that helps fixing the problem.

My Ubuntu install is running from a bootable USB thumb drive (live install) so I could be able to use tools contained in a running Ubuntu if that helps... also, the target is to use AirBoot, not the IBM Bootmanager.

TIA, Cheers,

Rexx / Vx-REXX install error (free space on disk)
« on: 2010.11.29, 11:14:31 »
Hi all,

I guess this is a well-known issue and obviously most people have a solution for it - otherwise I would have found Q&A for it... Also not that I somehow was successful when I installed Vx-Rexx a year ago ...but I simply can't remember what I did ;)

When installing Vx-Rexx, the installer checks the amount of available disk space.
With hard drives or free space above a certain limit (I guess more than 2 GB), the routine fails to determine the amount correctly and thus issues a "not enough free space" error. With contemporary HDDs of way beyond hundreds of Gigabytes this will most likely happen almost everywhere :)

What is the "best" solution to this? I think what I did back then was to create a SUBST'ed drive that I installed to and then corrected the drive letter in config.sys and INI (if any).
But now I wonder... is there perhaps a patched installer or something similar to overcome the problem?

Ideas on how to solve the issue "best", most "elegantly" or "simple", anyone?


Hey, wow!

I just did a test drive some minutes ago and... it works damn well here! No hangs or lockups so far.

Watched a YouTube video with sound and played a Flash-based game ( -> sudoku). All went well. Only issue so far: If Thunderbird is running when I launch the "flashed" Firefox, I get a "npspr4.dll not found" message box. When I close down TB it works. Perhaps related to "libpathstrict" settings with run! ... that's an issue with my install anyway, so perhaps not related to Flash itself... need to check.
Other than that: Definitely an improvement and worth trying out. Good job, folks!


Setup & Installation / eCS 2.0 GA - first details
« on: 2010.05.06, 15:17:50 »
Hi all,

I wasn't sure in which forum to put this, so please bear with me if this is the wrong one.
I have submitted the German version of this 2 days ago to and have decided to -sigh- ;) make the effort and do a translation of it here:

On Tuesday, Roderick Klein from Mensys called me for a chat over the phone and passed some first facts to me about the GA version of eCS 2.0. In short:

The GA version will ship with Thunderbird2 (.??) and Firefox 3.5.7 that will come with preconfigured run! scripts for them to ease coexsistence.

Special attention was paid to make 2.0 install flawlessly over existing installations, especially with regards to version information of ACPI drivers. In contrast to common criticism, that one would rather do clean installs of 2.0 than upgrade some "crappy old RC", they did not focus on clean new installs but rather take care of clean migrations.

With Uniaud (-16), the new developer in charge actually managed to fix all known open bugs filed until to date... within the last two weeks.  And "fixing bugs" actually means to resolve the issues before closing the tickets (in contrast to what the previous developer apparently did). As a consequence, Mensys decided to block access to the code repository for -cough- some of the previous maintainers -cough- to mitigate the risk of having them bringing their crappy code back in.

Multiple stages of verification were introduced with the ACPI driver packaging in order to ensure that not only the package release numbers increase with new version, but rather the included files aren't backlevel artifacts from wrong packaging. The latter -as I can confirm out of personal painful experience- seemed to be happening frequently over in "saintpetersborough" with folks testing their installations rather from a file replacement point of view and forgetting about the endusers way of installing things.Well, anyway, they seem to be very skilled marketing guys but the end user is rather seen as someone having a need for colorful launchpads. Sorry for being OT, back to topic:

JFS, in its shipping flavor, will come with a truinkload of fixes. Also, a lot of improvements occurred in the area of LVM and its usage for partioning during the installation phase.

Currently, CD2 is being packaged. By the way - it will also include a Clam-based antivirus client. I have to admit that I don't see the reason behind this, but that just my 2 cents... perhaps someone around here will rather appreciate this decision.
CD1 (the installation CD) is currently being finalized from a contents point of view. Anyone following the eCS-cvs-tweets at twitter will certainly confirm that quite some things are going on here, so that I can hardly judge whether or not the final installation CD will perhaps be crafted at the Mensys booth at Warpstock Europe 2010 ;)
Or perhaps, like with WSE2008 in Düsseldorf, it will be Team Trier burning eCS CDs again? That would at least perfectly fit into the picture since Team Trier is organizing this year's Warpstock Europe edition ;)

Okay, that's it for the moment guys (an gals). Hope you'll enjoy fighting pro and con the above stuff. I do not know if they will prepare a demo-CD soon or whether they plan to have USB-bootability in mind. I'll check back with Roderick next time I'll find him equally talkative to last Tuesday :)

(Roderick, if you see this and something is not accurate -or simply wrong- feel free to chip in for clarification... other than that, thanks for sharing some news with us!)


Internet / How (again) to run Firefox, TB at same time
« on: 2010.04.20, 12:02:12 »

after years (decades!) of running Mozilla suite (SeaMonkey) I finally decided that it was time to say bye-bye and use Firefox and Thunderbird instead. My grown ignorance against separate applications now pays back in the form of having to face well-known (and -AFAIK- already solved) issues. I need help here - just 2 short questions:

What was it again that I need to do in order to make Firefox and SeaMonkey run at the same time (I don't know if they are built on the same DLL-Level... BTW)

In case Firefox doesn't import my saved passwords and stuff... is there a way of doing this "programmatically"? I wouldn't even mind playing around "manually" with profile data from SeaMonkey, so if that is the way to go - don't be afraid to tell me ;)


Article Discussions / Dr. Message - Instant Messaging Tool
« on: 2010.03.31, 18:09:14 »
Some more information for the interested people:

Marty's homepage says:
My current project is "Dr. Message for OS/2".  I have scrapped my problematic AIM/ICQ protocol implementation and have ported libpurple from Pidgin.  This library implements many instant messaging protocols, such as AIM, ICQ, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, and others.  I am creating an OS/2-native interface around this library so that we can have the latest protocols available with a real OS/2 look and feel.  Check the News page for project milestones to get an idea when a release might be imminent.  I will try to update my screenshots as I make progress also.

This sounds like something worth supporting!!
Note that the news page provides a neat list of milestone information as well. Okay, Marty, it seems like you convinced me to finally use IM stuff on my eCS machine. :)

Cheers all,

Hardware / Color Laserprinter - which one?
« on: 2010.02.07, 18:03:28 »

2 weeks aog, I had to give my trusty Brother Laserprinter to a customer who was in the need of having a replacement printer immediately. Now it seems I can't get the printer back because the customer is way too satisfied with what was intended to be a short-term workaround and "forces" me to sell it (price is OK for me, so no problem here...).

In short - I will have to get myself a new printer.
Afetr I sold a couple of color laserprinters during last year and the overall response was quite positive regarding quality and reliability I figured that I could check if that would be an option for me. Since I know that support is somehow limited for our operating system of choice, I wanted to know whether someone already HAS experience with color laserprinters on eCS.

Before I present the possible candidates to you, let me mention the fact that I have a network print server box which is able to attach USB and parallel models. This means that I can use USB attached printers via LPR without having to worry a lot. Only the printer driver causes me issue, not the actual connectivity.
That said, here's my preliminary selection:
- Brother (my favorite laser printer brand) model HL-3040CN
- Samsung CLP 310
- Epson C1100N
- HP CP1515

With brother, they didn't mention the printer lanuage anywhere. I will have to check on this again...
Samsung is using a proprietary language that -I think- is even not well supported with CUPS.
Epson states their model is using "ESC/Page S". I know the Epson ESC is supported, but can't tell for this particular flavor. HP is the company I would really like to not buy something from, yet if it is the only possible way to go... sigh. They say it supports "HP PostScript Level 3 Emulation"... whatever that means, it doesn't sound to me like simple, standard "PostScript". :)

Which one is known to work "natively"? Which one works "best" when having CUPS installed?
Any suggestion what works, what not, or other models that come to mind?

Cheers, TIA,

Rexx / NLS, using ".msg" files in rexx?
« on: 2009.10.19, 16:55:22 »
Hi all,

let me start like this: I hate to reinvent the wheel.
For a new rexx program I'm working on, I was aiming to have multiple language support.

What I actually wanted to do is put all string resources which are required by the program into a MSG file and simply have according different msg files for each supported language. The program then simply (well, more or less...) determines the language and selects the according file. Like in
- myapp_de.msg
- myapp_en.msg

Whatever. Even fully qualified "lang" settings a la en_us vs. en_gb or de_de / de_at could be possible, this is not the problem... the problem is:
How can I access such files from rexx?

Now, various gui-Rexx solutions like DrDialog or Vx-REXX have the ability to load "resources" from a DLL. However they only support icons or bitmaps. I am almost sure that DLLs can also include string resources, however even if this is the case, I am unable to find a way to access them by REXX.
So I went for the .msg files. Same here: I can't find an existing solution to access them by rexx.

(Note: Yeah, I know I could invent my own flavor of that... I already did that and it worked out nice. But I wanted to save my program from including unneeded bloated stuff by useless reinvention of wheels... and also I am not sure if "my" blend of msg file is able to cope with DBCS... didn't check that... Also it's a question of concentration to the necessary stuff: There's already enough to code to get the actual "work" done, so I would appreciate to save myself from doing that msg-by-hand-stuff at least.)

Anyone can help me out with that please?

Thanks for any hints,

Hi all,

if you are sponsoring or have suggested a bounty in the past, or if you are a developer who is working (or has worked) on a bounty, you are invited to share your thoughts on a couple of questions here.

Q1) Unclaimed bounties
We have a couple of bounties that literally started "years ago" where money is stocked but nothing happened so far.
The general question is: Should this money stay there forever? Shall there be a "timeout" for a bounty (e.g. 24 months)?
Meaning: If during that time, nobody started working on a software and can provide at least a prototype, then the bounty is closed in an "unclaimed" status. ..which leads us to question 2:

Q2) Unclaimed money
If we close bounties and there is already money available... what are the options?
- return the exact amount of money sponsored to the respective people?
- let each of the original sponsors decide on different project(s) that should receive a bounty "top-up" ?
- put the money in a "jackpot" pool that will be equally distributed across the remaiming bounties?

Q3) Claimed bounties
What happens if someone claims a bounty... but none of the original sponsors is available (any longer) to agree and approve the payment? Who takes the decision whether or not to pay?

Q4) Deadlines for work-in-progress
In the case where someone comes up and says "don't cancel that bounty, I am working on it", what is the time he should be allowed to continue working on it? Endless? In other words: Until *when* would he/she have to deliver *what* in order to keep the bounty alive?

The reason for these questions is that when it comes to money, people can get very uncomfortable and upset.
Nobody has money to burn. If people get money which they don't deserve (in other peoples opinion) the whole system becomes counter-productive. Unfortunately, the bounty rules make no statement on what happens in the cases mentioned above.

Also, as you might all be aware, there is a project that made significant process and could use some money to make the last mile.
At the same time, we have bounties with money lying around - as said for quite some time already - where nothing happens.

To get an impression, go to and have a look at the paragraph "Bounty System - Open". Note however that not all of them are inactive, some just need a decision... ;) while others are effectively "dead".

My personal interest here is to see if my "TrueCrypt port" bounty can be cancelled.
(see )
I suggested this bounty and I also sponsored some bucks here. Apparently nobody ever started working on this, therefore I would like to see that money (at least my part) being given to the Qt-porting bounty.

Let me know what you think.

Hey out there,

is it just me ...or does it get increasingly insane to understand WHAT to download, upgrade and install and WHAT to use and HOW to report in that (frankly) "ACPI mess" ?

I wanted to do as requested:
Download the latest ACPI from betazone and see if it works - then send feedback.
In order to do so, I checked what there is currently available for download in matters of ACPI...

Here's the summary of announcements from this week (and we're only Thursday, one more day to go...) and it's only the announcements on
  • Sep-06: "ACPI Setup 1.6"
  • Sep-07: "ACPI 3.17 + ACPI tools"
  • Sep-08: "ACPI Logs Collector 3.17"
  • Sep-08: "APM.ADD 1.31"
  • Sep-08: "ACPI Fast Upgrade 3.17"
  • Sep-08: "ACPI.PSD 3.17"

Okay, perhaps I should not complain. It is certainly good to see the progress.
But seriously: WHO on earth is willing to take THESE efforts simply to understand what to do??
I wonder if that way of distribution will make people wanting to give a try to check a new ACPI?

Why can't there be _ONE_ package? Call it "ACPI x.x" and done.
Now, honestly, there MUST be a better way of dealing with that!

Please, you ACPI folks:
Make an effort to understand that we are USERS.
(Not driver installers or coders, not hardware specialists, perhaps not even developers dammit.)
If I understand correctly, you leave it up to us to
  • see what package we need to download
  • see what versions are contained
  • see which pack fits to another
  • what PSD and ADD means
  • read thru readmes to understand what/how/where-from to install a log collector
  • go visit a couple of URLs to read or submit something
  • perhaps have to request yet-another-userid to be allowed to report bugs

Let me make it clear: This will not work.
The simple reason is: Basically all the points mentioned above is YOUR damn job, not ours.
You have to give us whet we need. We run the test. A one-click (or single command, enter) action should be all it takes to get the logs put together. Done.

I am willing to bet that if you deliver only 1 file (zip, wpi) with a smart installer kinda thing, MORE people will spend their time downloading it. And if there is something 1-click in it that creates a log (zip) on the desktop, more people will give you this as feedback.
How to do this? I dunno. This is your job too.


Article Discussions / Raising Funds for the QT4 Port
« on: 2009.09.04, 18:18:24 »
Hi there,

well, let's get back to the discussion that we already started some time ago about "why not convert dead bounties in favor of some other bounty?". With "dead" I mean bounties that weren't claimed for quite some time (years!) like my port-of-TrueCrypt bounty.

Of course -like someone else mentioned already- we would have to make sure not to upset someone who perhaps is working on a bounty related piece of code and also ask other sponsors of the bounty to be swapped whether they would agree (not for their share of the money but agree that e.g. another contributor/sponsor is allowed to withdraw his/her share).

So - what can we do? Poll for bounty swaps yes/no? Collect possible bounties? What? :-P

It's not actually the "wasting money" that disturbs me here when I see the unclaimed bounties... it's more a pity to see money that noone "wants" on one hand while there's interesting stuff that needs funds but cannot find it on the other hand.


(just fixed Subject typo) -Rob

Rexx / RFC: A pretty-print processor?
« on: 2009.09.02, 12:47:19 »
Dear all,

some time ago I started a poll about what people are missing when it comes to REXX on OS/2|eCS.
One of the more frequently opted things was the lack for doing "pretty" prints from REXX, so to say graphics printing and stuff.

Now I have played a little with the printer object available in VisualAge Basic.
(I must admit that my knowledge of programming languages for use in OS/2|eCS is limited to REXX and COBOL, while my "sweet spot" actually is Visual Basic on Windoze... that's why I considered VABasic...)

Well, it seems like my assumptions on VABasic's capabilities were met so far - it basically supports everything needed... but before I start the real work, I wanted to see whether people are interested at all. Here's what I intend to do:
  • a piece of software that takes a plain-text file as input
  • this file contains both formatting and contents
  • it processes these files and sends it to a printer
  • freeware of course
  • open-source perhaps (if someone else than me on this planet actually still uses VABasic for OS/2...)

To give you an example what would be feasible:
  • define page sizes and orientation
  • use and combine any available font on the system
  • free formatting (set cursor to x/y)
  • auto alignment (left/right/center) for a text string output
  • basic graphics function (draw lines, circles, rectangles...)
  • use bitmaps in print

A better example - the whole stuff in that text file would function as talking to a printer:
" this document is A4 sized, in portrait mode "
" margins are 2cm top, 1.5cm bottom, 2cm left, 1cm right "
" use Arioso 12pt bold; at x=4.2cm and y=2.1cm print 'Hello ' "
" now use Helvetica, 48pt, underlined and print 'World!' "
" now go to x=5cm, y=10cm; use TimesNewRoman 10pt "
" right-align and print 'This' + newline + 'is a' + newline + 'right-justified' + newline + 'text.' "
" at x=12cm,y=20cm print 'c:\mystuff\sample.bmp' with width=1cm, height=1cm"
" done "

Of course there will be a way of specifiying whether you want to use centi-/millimeters or inches as unit in your current doument. However, I still have to investigate if twips, inches, points and centimeters... are processed "correctly"... ;)

Basically, this is more than enough to create documents like invoices and stuff...
As "advanced" features (perhaps at a later stage if enough interest is there) I could imagine things like forms and reports processing (using line templates, automatic loops, etc.).

As I said, it will not be a "DLL" usable from REXX but basically something batch-like. On the other hand, this would allow it to be used with almost anything since it only processes a pseudo page description. If someone with more experience than me tells me that it's possible to create DLLs with VABasic that can be loaded and used by REXX, I am more than willing to give it a try if he/she shows me hwo to do it.

Now for the drawbacks:
According to the readme, Visual Age for Basic has one serious limitation in its OS/2 version: There can be only 1 executable (created with VABasic) ran at given a time. This means that any other VABasic program will not run when there is already (or still) 1 VABasic program in memory.

(Holy moly, don't ask me why this is the case and how comes IBM released such a thing...)
Needless to say that VABasic seems to be unsupported abandonware. No fixes available AFAIK.

Another drawback is that "the crap" (sorry, ehh, Visual Age for Basic) will require a lot of runtime DLLs to work. But I don't consider this to be a huge problem, do you?

I know there is Peter Kanis' print library still available (on Hobbes), but it seems to be abandonware (and shareware BTW) and IIRC "only" available for VX-REXX. If you ask yourself why I simply don't use OpenWatcom or WDSibyl or VAC++... the answer is: I don't know Pascal, Fortran, C or anything else you might consider more suitable. And yes - I could perhaps do it in NetREXX... but that would give us something running in JAVA. I doubt this could be used as a DLL for REXX... not to mention that Java isn't wuite my sweet spot either. ;)

So, what do you think? Is that something "we" could make use of?
Let me know what you think. Feel free to bother with questions.

Alternate solutions:
All my attempts to find someone who could do this in any flavor of "C" were unsuccessful so far. That's why I decided to give it a try with VABasic. If YOU happen to be an OS/2 developer and you know how to create REXX-usable DLLs and how to interact with a printer object (component), I can give you more detailed specs on how the stuff is intended to function and would gladly help you in testing, documenting and whatever else I feel able to do. Write me if you're interested. Don't expect any kind of payment though - and be aware that it's something intended to be open-source (or freeware at least).


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