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Oct 15, 2017 | Sept 17, 2017 | Aug 13, 2017 | previous

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The bitwiseworks Firefox fork has released (10/5/2017) a new build, based on Gecko 45.9.0esr. Note that 45esr has been obsoleted by 52esr, with 45esr no longer getting security updates since April. This build has several bugfixes, and is no longer considered a beta release; native printing support other than Postscript was dropped, although printing to PDF is possible. There are several additional external dependencies required now; see the README file for more details. Note that Bitwise has abandoned the ZIP packaging for an RPM package (which is not publicly available), and instead offers an archive based on the RPM package. If you prefer the classic packaging, you can find a suitable version on Hobbes. The next release should be based on 52.4.0esr, which has already been imported into the master branch. However, 52esr will be the end of the road, as newer versions require the Rust compiler, which is unlikely to be ported to OS/2. Potential future alternatives include Otter (which requires newer versions of Qt) and Pale Moon (a Mozilla fork). Note that the SeaMonkey project is also undecided on how it will proceed beyond 52esr (on all platforms), as Mozilla long ago stopped caring about anything other than Firefox. You can donate to bitwise projects by buying sponsor units via their online shop.

Arca Noae has posted info on upcoming updates. ArcaOS 5.0.2 will have an updated Samba client, and the new ability to install from an ArcaOS bootable USB stick (or local partition). Firefox 45.9 will be available as an RPM from an Arca Noae YUM repository (for subscribers).

The OS/2 Guest Additions for VirtualBox were updated (9/15/2017) as part of the recent VirtualBox 5 update (for other platforms). If you are running OS/2 on a Virtualbox VM, use "Devices - Insert Guest Additions CD Image...", then check the OS/2 CD drive inside the /OS2 directory. From OS2World.

Warpstock Europe 2018 will be held in Berlin, on May 26-27. Registration should be available soon. From VOICE News.

Warptock 2017 was held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Friday, September 8 through Sunday, September 10. You can view a picture gallery, the presentation materials, and YouTube videos of the presentations. From OS2World.

Dave Yeo has released (8/26/2017) an updated OS/2 build of SeaMonkey 2.42.9, based on the Bitwise fork of Firefox. There are additional external dependencies required now; see my Warpzilla Tips page for more information, as well as mozsupport and mozmedia packages. Note that the SeaMonkey project skipped from version 2.40 to 2.46 on other platforms, and Dave has back-ported some fixes. The refreshed build has fixes for full screen, and plugin support; reports suggest that disabling Chatzilla will prevent some heavy CPU usage.

The experimental OS/4 kernel now has support for AVX instructions, as found in newer CPUs. This means potentially better performance in software that supports it, such as ffmpeg, firefox, and others.

Adrian Gschwend wrote a retrospective article for the 20th anniversary of netlabs.org. From VOICE News.

There is now an option to convert your Acra Noae driver subscription to an ArcaOS subscription. Arca Noae has made several updates available, which can be downloaded from the order page on their site (the same page that provides the ISO download).

I have updated my ArcaOS article a few times; part 3 includes a couple fun hacks for SNAP Graphics. Arca Noae is looking into adding accelerated hardware support for newer Intel graphics chipsets. They are still working on having a bootable USB installation, which may make it into a 5.0.x point release. It's likely there will be both 5.0.2 and 5.0.3 prior to the 5.1 release, which is planned to have additional NLS language support included. They are also exploring the feasibility of a VDD for UniAud, to provide sound support in DOS and WinOS2 sessions.

A new release of Odin32 may be out soon; there's been some work recently on getting version 0.9.0 prepared. Odin32 can be used to run and/or build Win32 applications for OS/2, and is based on WINE and IBM's Open32.

VOICE has released their 2016 financial report. They are currently accepting applications for those wanting to become a VOICE board member, with the President and two board positions up for re-election. Roderick Klein is running for re-election as President, Bjorn Rietdijk is running for re-election as Board member, and Stuart Updike has stepped down. Applications should be sent via email before August 12th to the Vice President, Neil Waldhauer, describing why you want to join the VOICE board. The current board members will then vote. From VOICE News.

ArcaOS 5.0.1 has been released (7/9/2017). This refreshed install contains various updates, including some NIC auto-detection issues that I reported. Note that the ArcaOS installer does not support upgrading a previous install, and most of the changes are related to installation, so if you are already successfully running 5.0, 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 mini review. From OS2.jp.

The UniAud sound drivers have been refreshed (6/25/2017). 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 From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.

VLC media player version 2.2.6 has been ported (6/5/2017) 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.

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FAT32.IFS version 0.10 r325 has been released (10/14/2017). 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.

FluidSynth version 1.1.8 has been ported (10/14/2017) to OS/2. This is a software real-time synthesizer based on the Soundfont 2 specifications.

FTP server version 2.71 has been released (10/13/2017). Compared to the standard ftpd in OS/2, this one has better security controls, together with extra features such as symbolic links. The source code is also available under the GPL license.

PM123 1.41 has been released (10/11/2017). This is an open source MP3, OGG, WAV, and CD Audio player. Some of the new features include gapless playback, nested playlists, and a PulseAudio client.

DFSee version 14.9 has been released (10/10/2017). DFSee is an FDISK, display, analysis and recovery tool for disks and filesystems, including HPFS, NTFS, FAT, JFS, EXT2, EXT3, ReiserFS, and EXFAT. It includes the ability to resize partitions, cloning and imaging, undelete files, and more. It now allows browsing the contents of compressed images and VirtualBox disk images, and has full support for the GPT partitioning style. There is also a support forum available.

Iron Spring PL/I beta version 0.9.10 has been released (10/9/2017). This is a compiler for the PL/I programming language, although it is currently missing some features. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.

The Arca Noae USB drivers have been updated (10/8/2017) to build 11.17, for subscribers. The package includes the base USB host controller drivers, as well as the USB HID, serial, printing, and audio drivers. Note that this packaging of the USB drivers does not have the latest features in the publicly available ones.

Jmol version 14.20.8 has been released (10/7/2017). This is a Java molecular viewer for three dimensional chemical structures; it requires Java 1.4 or higher.

LSZipWizard version 0.99 has been released (10/7/2017). This is a GUI interface to view/extract or create/update ZIP files, with WPS integration.

BS_Info version 2.0 (10/5/2017) shows information about your system and can start various configuration programs.

libarchive version 3.3.2 has been ported (10/4/2017) to OS/2. This archive and compression library supports a variety of formats, with automatic format detection, including tar, pax, cpio, zip, xar, lha, ar, cab, mtree, rar, ISO images, gzip, bzip2, lzip, xz, lzma, and compress.

Agena version 2.11 RC2 has been released (10/3/2017). This is an interpreted language suited for sophisticated procedural programming, with syntax like simplified Algol 68, with elements taken from Lua and SQL.

TZSet version 0.8 has been released (10/1/2017). This puts a valid timezone value into the record returned by the API call DosGetDateTime, and adjusts that value when summer time starts or ends. From VOICE News.

USB drivers build 10.219 have been released (9/30/2017); 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.

Paul Smedley has released (9/24/2017) an OS/2 build of Wireshark version 2.2.9. It won't capture packets (that requires the pcap library to be ported), but can analyze logs captured on another system, or those from iptrace. It requires the heimdal DLLs and Qt4 for the GUI. Newer versions of Wireshark will require a newer version of Qt to be ported.

QXmlEdit version 0.9.8 has been ported (9/22/2017) to OS/2. This is a tree-based XML editor, which uses the Qt4 libraries.

Stendhal version 1.26 has been released (9/19/2017). This is a multi-player online adventure game / MMORPG, which requires Java 1.5 or later.

The OS/2 Fontconfig and FreeType runtime DLLs have been updated (9/17/2017) to be based on FreeType version 2.8.1. These libraries that enhance font display are used by older builds of Mozilla, Lucide, and other programs.

TxWindows version 5 has been released (9/16/2017). This is the text-mode windowing library used to build DFSee. You can view various presentation materials online. From VOICE News.

ClamAV GUI version 3.5.1 has been released (8/9/2017). This is a GUI front-end for configuring and running the ClamAV anti-virus program, which bundles an XPI for integration with Thunderbird.

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