OS/2 Warp! Warpstock

Bringing you OS/2 Warp News and Rumors since August 1997


May 6, 2018 | Mar 25, 2018 | Mar 4, 2018 | previous

May 6th: Haven't updated in a while, so just pushing out an incomplete update so I don't get too far behind...
The shocking.com email service has been unreliable at times, so I have set up an alternative email address

Latest News

VLC media player version 3.0.1 has been ported (3/24/2018) to OS/2. This is a highly portable multimedia player and multimedia framework capable of reading most audio and video formats (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, DivX, MPEG-1, MP3, OGG, AAC) as well as DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.

The currently available RDP client (remote desktop protocol, for remotely controlling Windows desktops) on OS/2 is RDesktop, ported by Andrey Vasilkin. However, RDesktop is being superseded by a more active project called FreeRDP. Andrey proposes porting FreeRDP to OS/2, but needs support from the OS/2 user base; sponsoring units for this work may be purchased in the Arca Noae store.

Arca Noae released (2/12/2018) their ArcaOS Bootable USB Stick Image Package. This package follows onto the included USB stick creation utility shipped with ArcaOS 5.0.2, allowing you to create a bootable USB ArcaOS 5.0.2 installation stick without a running OS/2 system. It includes native binaries to restore the stick image from Windows, Mac, and Linux, as well as OS/2.

Lewis Rosenthal reports that Warptock 2018 will be held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 14-16. If you register before May 1st, you'll get a $30 early bird discount, while students can attend for free. For last year's event in Toronto, you can view a picture gallery, the presentation materials, and YouTube videos of the presentations.

Ryan C. Gordon, of icculus.org fame, spent a bit of time hacking on "'2ine,' pronounced 'twine,' which emulates OS/2 binaries in the same way that Wine emulates Windows binaries." He managed to get quite a bit of command line OS/2 apps running on Linux (including compilers), as well as some bare bones Presentation Manager windowing support (just enough to draw a rectangle on the screen). It's unlikely that he will spend any more on it, but the source code is available for anyone else to play around with.

There is a nice 45 minute YouTube video celebrating 30 years of OS/2. It goes over some history, as well as how it can be used today.

VOICE has been organizing IRC chats (VOICE SpeakUp) with developers and organizations supporting the OS/2 community. The first two events were with Arca Noae: Saturday, February 17th, and Sunday, February 25th. The third was with Bitwiseworks, the company that works on ports like OpenOffice and Fiefox, on March 3rd. For these events, you can use an IRC client, or the webchat channel #os2voice. From VOICE News.

ArcaOS 5.0.2 has been released (2/10/2018). This refreshed install contains various updates, including an updated Samba client, and the new ability to install from an ArcaOS bootable USB stick. Note that the ArcaOS installer does not support upgrading a previous install, so if you are already successfully running 5.0.x, it is recommended that you simply apply any updates that get released separately, rather than do a fresh install. You may also like to read my earlier mini review.

Lars Erdmann and Wim Brul continue to improve the USB drivers; the latest features are support for 24-bit audio, and sample frequencies greater than 64KHz, on USB audio devices (speakers and headphones) that support such features in hardware. Hopefully, someone can take that work and extend it to UniAud as well. In other USB news, Arca Noae has begun converting some of the USB code to 32-bit, in anticipation of USB3 support, and Lars has expressed concern that the driver interfaces will become incompatible with third-party USB driver work, such as the work that he and Wim continue to invest.

The VOICE Foundation has outlined a list of plans for 2018. They include: a TeamViewer kind of solution (packaging up an existing port of VNC?); Warpstock Europe 2018 in Berlin; a tool to install LAN Server components on ArcaOS; the browser funding campaign (which really starts as a Qt5 funding campaign, I think); and a free RPM software library for OS/2 applications. They also commit to financial transparency for all donations. From VOICE News.

Last September, Adrian Gschwend wrote a retrospective article for the 20th anniversary of netlabs.org. He also did a remote presentation for Warpstock 2017 in Canada. He would like to replace the aging netlabs.org server, and is looking to raise $3000 in sponsorships.

The UniAud sound drivers have been refreshed (1/17/2018), with some fixes for Realtek mixers, and MSI support. This is based on the GPL ALSA Project from Linux and provides drivers for various sound chipsets, including HDA, AC97, and PCI cards. Note that the cause of repeating system sounds has been found to be a bug in IBM's SND.DLL, and there is a workaround available. For what it's worth, this project has stagnated for quite a while now; ALSA 1.0.24 is from early 2011, while the current upstream version is 1.1.5.

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FAT32.IFS version 0.10 r348 has been released (5/5/2018). The latest work on this filesystem driver has focused on improving the format and chkdsk functions, VFAT support for FAT16, and early exFAT and FAT+ support. You can find the latest version via FTP.

Paul Smedley has released (5/5/2018) an OS/2 build of GCC 8.1. Also available (1/26/2018) is GCC 7.3, which was the first to contain features to help combat the Spectre CPU flaw. This compiler is required to build numerous open source projects.

Testlog version 3.12 has been released (5/4/2018). This program collects data about your system and the driver under test, and puts it into a log file for diagnostics.

Logical Config.Sys Sort version 0.6.2 has been released (5/1/2018). This sorts the CONFIG.SYS file into logical sections.

WPA Supplicant version 2.7 has been ported (4/29/2018) to OS/2. This is a backend component for controlling the wireless networking connection. Included is wpa_gui, a QT frontend as an alternative to XWLan. An older version of this program is included with XWLan, and there are a few other versions ported by Paul Smedley.

PHPMyAdmin version has been released (4/19/2018). This is a set of PHP scripts to administer MySQL over the web.

Jmol version 14.29.13 has been released (4/18/2018). This is a Java molecular viewer for three dimensional chemical structures; it requires Java 1.4 or higher.

The Arca Noae MultiMac project has released (4/14/2018) version 1.1.3 of updated NDIS drivers for subscribers: Intel Pro/1000 Legacy mmlem and Pro/1000 e1000b and mmigb, Realtek mmre, Atheros mmalc and mmale, SysKonnect mmsk, Attansic L2 mmae and L1 mmage, Broadcom BCM4401 mmbfe and BCM57xx/BCM590x mmbge, and Marvell Yukon II mmmsk. Also available (9/3/2015) are Nvidia nveth version 0.1.15, Intel e1000e version 0.2.8, and Realtek r8169 version 1.0.2. The latter two are considered deprecated, as they have been superseded by e1000b and mmre. Older source code (based on the Linux kernel) is available from the MultiMac Trac site.

VX-REXX Extras library version 1.3.2 has been released (4/14/2018). This is an object and API library designed to extend the functionality of Watcom VX-REXX, which provides a Warp 4 style notebook control, a tooltip control, a color selection dialog, and a few useful functions. Thanks to Alex Taylor for the info.

IMERJ version 2.0 has been released (4/14/2018). This is a a "poor man's" Japanese input method editor, which allows you to enter Japanese by typing romanized text in the edit window. It is intended primarily for use on non-Japanese systems where a proper IME is not available. Thanks to Alex Taylor for the info.

David Azarewicz has updated (4/12/2018) Drv16/Drv32, a "development kit to make developing new device drivers very easy." These contains header files and a library that contains all of the system related things necessary to build a device driver on OS/2; Drv32 also has the thunking modules necessary. The latest MultiMac drivers are based on this kit. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.

Extended Character Map version 1.6 has been released (4/6/2018). This is a character map program that supports characters from both single- and multi-byte encodings. In addition to the current system codepage, it supports Unicode text and several East Asian DBCS codepages. Thanks to Alex Taylor for the info.

ddrescue version 1.23 has been ported (4/4/2018) to OS/2. This is a data recovery tool, which tries to work around read errors.

Agena version 2.11.5 has been released (4/2/2018). This is an interpreted language suited for sophisticated procedural programming, with syntax like simplified Algol 68, with elements taken from Lua and SQL.

libdvdcss version 1.4.2 has been ported (4/1/2018) to OS/2. This libray does DVD decryption without region checking.

ISOFS version 1.1.0 has been released (3/31/2018). This allows you to mount a CD/DVD image (*.iso) as a virtual drive, avoiding the need to burn any media.

LSZipWizard version 1.02 has been released (3/27/2018). This is a GUI interface to view/extract or create/update ZIP files, with WPS integration.

USB drivers build 10.222 have been released (3/25/2018); included are the base USB host controller drivers, USB HID drivers (keyboard and mouse), USB printing driver, USB serial driver, USB audio driver, USB ethernet driver, and USB MSD driver. The latest work is focused on much improved USB audio support, as well as USBMSD supporting non-partitioned USB sticks (usually formatted as FAT32 for Windows); unlike the last official IBM version, it does not (yet) support multi-LUN devices such as card readers with multiple slots. These USB drivers also feature support for isochronous devices, such as webcams, and improved hardware compatibility, including proper PCI PM (power management) support. This allows USB ports to be used when warm booting from Windows, which can sometimes leave them in a powered down state.

FluidSynth version 1.1.10 has been ported (3/25/2018) to OS/2. This is a software real-time synthesizer based on the Soundfont 2 specifications.

libvpx version 1.7.0 has been ported (3/25/2018) to OS/2. This is Google's WebM library, an open source, royalty free media file format designed for the web.

Links version 2.15 has been released (3/24/2018). Links is a small and fast WWW browser that supports graphics, Javascript, font smoothing, tables and allows for considerable customization of the cache, character set, and more.

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