FDTN-002.FD: FrontDoor & RA Technical Update Note

From OS2World.com Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Filename....: FDTN-002.FD: FrontDoor & RA Technical Update Note #002 Dated.......: 22-February-1994

ATTENTION: Please print this out before going any further!

Subject.....: Using the OS/2 version 2.1 GA Release

             with FrontDoor v2.02 and above.
             and RemoteAccess v2.00 or above.

Copyright...: 1992-1993, the author.

Author......: john a.h. barton - 2:257/168@fidonet

Contributors: Joakim Hernberg - 2:270/34

             rene carlsen - 2:230/910
             mark howard - 1:260/1
             Bob Beilstein - 1:260/369
             Ruud De.Bruin - 2:281/603
             andrew milner - 2:270/18
             joaquim homrighausen - 2:270/17 
             Tomas Bremin - 2:270/7
             Henk Heidema - 2:270/17.304
             Barry Blackford - 3:774/605           


The purpose of this document is to provide one method of implementation with regards to the use of OS/2 version 2.1 GA with FrontDoor v2.02 or above. The intent is to provide a sample configuration with the options and settings with regards to achieving the best settings for communications and operating OS/2.

Several caveats:

1) The settings and techniques used in this document do not represent

  the ONLY way to do this, and perhaps do not even represent the optimal
  configuration, and the information in this document is subject to change,
  based upon updated information, error corrections, increased or updated
  modem capability, or FD and OS/2 updates.

2) The settings used are based upon OS/2 2.1 GA Release, and some options

  may not be available on your systems yet. Where possible, I have noted
  which settings may differ, however it is placed upon the reader to
  examine and report the viability of the suggested techniques with regards
  to the particular options in use.

3) For optimal modem settings for V32bis modems refer to FDTN-001.Z05

4) The contributors to this file make no warranties, neither expressed

  nor implied. The aim behind the procedures described below is to
  encourage experimentation within a wide range of PC configurations.
  In no way can any of the creators of this file be held liable for any
  losses in time, matter, service, expected profit, or patience!
  It is *only* guaranteed to take up disk space :-)

Programs and fixes needed to get the system up and running:

 1) OS/2 2.1 GA release
  • There are two APARS available to reduce the 100% processor time used when

running FD in a DOSBOX, however the APARS are not 100% error free and the CSD update is promised to fix all problems including the 100% CPU useage.

 2) SIO version 1.02 (or later)
  • Later versions of SIO also have VX00.SYS as fossil. Some activate VX00.SYS

in the DOS SETTINGS/DOS_DEVICE by entering there drive:\path\VX00.SYS or simply loading via the config.sys

 3) VFD Virtual Fossil driver 0.54B or later (by Joakim Hernberg)
  • denotes changed settings from previous FDTN

The important settings below are _dependant_ of the presence of the above files and fixes on your system.

There is absolutely no need to use any other FOSSIL driver as VFD handles the FOSSIL calls. The <drive> parameter should be substituted by the drive letter that the files are on and <directory> with your actual filepath to the file. The example is for using COM2 only at present.

config.sys amendments and additions:

You will need to enlarge the enviroment that is set by default, suggested setting as used here is:


MAXWAIT=2 (or 1 for 386-25 or faster processors)

If I understand correctly, this line controls the maximum time (1 to 255 secs) that a process can be put on hold before OS/2 ups it's priority. This ensures that no process can hog the system.

priority=dynamic autofail=yes (needed for unattended mode, and command below :-) pauseonerror=no (This stops the popup box halting the BBS on error) threads=256 (This is increased from 96 BUT if lots of utilities or other

     (programs used may be increased to 4095 costs 10K per 1000 Threads)

MEMMAN setting in config.sys.

 I am recommending that if the system has more than 6 Meg of Ram used as:


 if less than 6 Meg of Ram be used as:



This setting determines if the foreground should be given a higher priority to access the disk than the background tasks. I have no idea what effect this setting will have on a bbs running in the background, especially if the bbs has been given Foreground server priority. I think this setting should be tested in different real life situations, before we say anything either way. With Option NO file xfers and BBS down/Uploading improved by some 50 cps and no crc errors detected EXCEPT with SEAlink on mail.file xfers.

Using VFD as the Fossil in the config.sys:

  • device=<drive>\<directory>\sio.sys (COM2:38400,2F8,IRQ3,,F)
(The above line is an example of COM 2 using a 16550 locked at 38400)

device=<drive>\<directory>\vsio.sys device=<drive>\<directory>\VFD.sys

  • nb MODE command not needed as SIO handles this fine.

runfd.bat (mailer/bbs batch file options): @Echo Off set fd=h:\fd

  • <drive>:\<directory>\VFDU l2,ls

fd: if errorlevel 299 goto unpack exit

rene has suggested using in your mailer.bat (or whatever it is called) settings SET DELDIR= I am not using this setting here due to the ominous warnings from IBM and cannot guarantee its function, apart from this setup ALL the options shown are EXACTLY as are setup and working here with excellent results (sofar :-) If you use the SET DELDIR= you must use FDOPT=NOFCB or /NOFCB in FD versions greater than 2.10 however this does slow the processing down somewhat.

OS/2 settings => SESSION OPTIONS: (All others are DEFAULT)

                Example below is using COM Port 2 Only!
Session Options                     VFD
 COM_FOSSIL                         ON
 IDLE_SENSITIVITY                   75
 IDLE_SECONDS                       0
 DOS_FILES                          60
 HW_ROM_TO_RAM                      OFF
 HW_TIMER                           OFF
 SIO_Allow_Access_COM1              OFF
 SIO_Allow_Access_COM2              ON
 SIO_Allow_Access_COM3              OFF
 SIO_Allow_Access_COM4              OFF
 SIO_Virtualize_16550A              ON (this setting EMULATES 16550 in s/ware
                                    however if it slows the program down too
                                    much set to OFF)
 SIO_Virtualize_COM_Ports           ON
  • SIO_Virtual_RTS_is_HS ON

I am reliably informed that the list of options for SIO (v1.26C) has grown. Leave everything on default. Only set COM1, COM2, COM3 and COM4 to on for the actual port you are using for that particular DOS_SESSION. Also set HW_ROM_TO_RAM on ON and the same wih DOS_HIGH. The rest of the settings are default except for reducing EMS and XMS memory to 1024KB.

How to setup the Icon in PM to actually get FrontDoor working in OS/2


At the OS/2 PM screen following this step by step guide will enable you to have FrontDoor run as a seperate icon, references to LH means Left Hand or button number 1. RH means Right Hand or either button 2 or button 3 on a 3 button mouse (Please note this is after amending config.sys etc detailed above and rebooting system to fire up OS/2):

1) Open OS/2 System Icon by LH double clicking with the pointer over the icon.
2) Pointer on Command Prompts and LH Double Click 
3) With Pointer on Full Screen DOS press
   a) Press LEFT CTRL key on keyboard and hold
   b) Press RH Button on mouse and hold
   c) Move Icon outside the box to the PM area of choice
   d) Release RH button on mouse
   e) Release LEFT CTRL key on keyboard.
 4) Move pointer to newly created icon and Press RH button
 5) Move pointer to right facing arrow on option option 
 6) Press LH button on mouse
 7) Pointer to Settings option
 8) Press LH button on mouse
 9) In path and filename put where exactly your batch file is
    ie c:\fd\fd.bat
10) Pointer to Session Options
11) Press LH button on mouse
12) Pointer on DOS WINDOW 
13) Press LH button on mouse
14) Pointer on Close window on exit
15) Press LH button on mouse
16) Pointer on DOS SETTINGS
17) Press LH button on mouse   
18) Pointer on Default box
19) Press LH button on mouse.
20) Go through all the options above and amend them as shown
21) When completed - Pointer on Save
22) Press LH Button on mouse
23) Pointer on General
24) Press LH button on mouse
25) Via the keyboard amend the title to whatever you desrire it to be
    ie FrontDoor Mailer
26) Pointer to small box on TOP LEFT HAND of settings box
27) Double press LH button quickly on mouse.
28) The session will have ended and your amended icon is ready.
29) Pointer to the new FrontDoor Icon 
30) Double press LH button quickly on mouse.
31) ENJOY! :-)

Trademarks..: FrontDoor is a trademark of Advanced Engineering sarl.

             RemoteAccess is a trademark of Continental Software.
             OS/2 is a trademark of International Business Machines
             IBM is a trademark of International Business Machines
             VFD is a trademark of Joakim Hernberg
             All other trademarks and registered trademarks are
             proprietary to their respective owners.

EOF.........: FDTN-002.FD 22nd February, 1994