OS/2 Warp! Warpstock

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Nov 4, 2019 | Aug 4, 2019 | Jun 30, 2019 | previous

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Latest News

Bitwise has released (10/23/2019) Qt 5.13.1 for OS/2 beta 1 (although the netlabs-rel repository is currently still offering the earlier 5.11 beta); the README lists some of the current limitations. Once complete, they are looking at porting a couple Qt-based browsers: Falkon (formerly Qupzilla), and Otter. Roderick Klein posted an update on the VOICE browser fundraising campaign, indicating that funding is still required. You can see the original Qt5 roadmap, which projected a full year of work on porting Qt itself, and then another 6 months on porting QtWebEngine components. If you want to help with funding, you can contribute to Bitwise directly, via Patreon, or to the VOICE campaign. From VOICE News.

VLC media player version 3.0.8 has been ported (8/24/2019) 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.

XWorkplace version 1.0.13 beta 1 has been released (8/4/2019); new features include reboot options via boot manager integration, more display options for the Pulse widget, and an ACPI-based CPU temperature widget. Also available (7/31/2018) is XWorkplace version 1.0.12; a recent new feature is Xview, an improved version of the split folder view. It includes all the features of XFolder 0.85, virtual desktops using xPager (formerly PageMage), a replacement for WarpCenter (XCenter) with lots of widgets, a trash can, most of the NPSWPS and WarpEnhancer features, object hotkeys, lots of new settings pages, and more. XWorkplace is an open source project at netlabs.org.

On the ArcaOS bug tracker, there is a "vio" driver that allows DOS and WinOS2 sessions to work on some hardware where it otherwise fails, such as the ThinkPad X250. It also causes hangs on some hardware, so take care in testing.

Arca Noae has posted a couple progress reports on what they have been working on. An updated Removable Media Monitor widget for XCenter is coming, which will handle media changes better. Handling transparent switching of audio output when a USB audio device is plugged in or unplugged is in testing. Better Brother laser printer support is coming for CUPS. USB3 support is getting closer.

Arca Noae continues to work towards supporting UEFI, for booting on systems without legacy BIOS support; Intel has previously announced that legacy support would be removed from their platforms in 2020. In this video a proof of concept is demonstrated that allows ArcaOS to boot from UEFI-only systems. TechRepublic took note, and wrote an article about the coming support. From VOICE News and OS2World.

Lars Erdmann has announced that he is seeking a new maintainer for the OS/2 USB stack.

This TechRadar article mentions ArcaOS and OS/2 in their list of the best alternative operating systems. From OS2World.

ColourManager/2 and MouseSmart have been released as open source software by the author. ColourManager/2 allows you to adjust the color scheme used on your desktop, and MouseSmart is a program that helps improve the way the mouse cursor moves within OS/2. From OS2World.

ArcaOS 5.0.4 has been released (7/27/2019). This refreshed install contains various updates, including the ability to install from a bootable USB stick. The big new feature in 5.0.4 is the ability to upgrade from a previous 5.0.x install, making it easy to apply all the latest updates. You may also like to read my earlier mini review.

Bryan Lunduke posted a YouTube video entitled: IBM OS/2 Warp 4 - Best OS... ever? From OS2World.

Warpstock 2019 will be held November 8-10, in Orlando, Florida; registration is available, and some info on sessions has been posted. Book your hotel stay via telephone: 1-800-456-4000 before September 30th with the booking code "WARPSTOCK" to get the conference rate (King or Two Double: $104/night), as the hotel does not provide a method to receive the Warpstock rate via web. The OS/2 Museum West will be on display, and will be accepting donations of significant OS/2 Memorabilia. Due to declining attendance over the last few years, the continuation of Warpstock as an annual conference may be based on this year's attendance. Thanks to Andy Willis for the info.

Dave Yeo has released "SUa2" builds of Firefox 45.9.0 (6/3/2019), Thunderbird 45.8.0 (6/1/2019), and SeaMonkey 2.42.9 (6/2/2019). These "Security Update" builds have security fixes ported from tenfourfox, a Firefox fork for PowerPC Macs that was forked from 45ESR; there are around 100 security issues patched. Note that there are additional external dependencies required; 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. Reports on earlier builds suggested that disabling Chatzilla may prevent some heavy CPU usage.

The 20th Anniversary Warpstock Europe 2019 was held in the Netherlands on May 18-19; you can see some of the presentations in this YouTube playlist.

Tedium has a nice article on the history of OS/2 usage in the New York subway.

Arca Noae has split their roadmaps into General, ArcaOS, Drivers, Software, and Advocacy & Events. ArcaOS 5.0.4 is in beta, which will include Samba 4.9, and the ability to update from earlier 5.0.x releases. They posted a progress report, indicating updates to Panorama are coming, and ACPI and AHCI had recent updates. They are testing USB 3 support, as well as investigating booting on UEFI systems. A new LVM GUI is in the works.

Bitwise has forked kLIBC into LIBC Next. A fork became necessary because the kLIBC project is not actively maintained. LIBC Next is fully backward compatible with the kLIBC library and may be used as a drop-in replacement. From VOICE News.

The OS/2 Guest Additions for VirtualBox were updated as part of the VirtualBox 6.0.6 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.

OS2World recently celebrated its 19th year online. It continues to be a great resource for the community.

Bitwise has released (12/4/2018) their OS/2 port of Apache OpenOffice 4.1.6. Bitwise took over OpenOffice development from Mensys, but the primary developer on the project remains the same; they allow you to purchase "development units" in their online shop, as a means of donating to the ongoing development, and being offered the download link. Bug reports can be filed in the OpenOffice Bugzilla, and presumably the OS/2 source code continues to be available in the Subversion repository. There were plans for future updates to the WPS integration package, but the previous version from Mensys should continue to function; it extends the WPS data file class to recognize OpenOffice.org document files, has integrated support for WPS-Wizard hint and folder info area, and provides Rexx hooks for reading document properties. From VOICE News.

The UniAud sound drivers have been refreshed (11/26/2018). 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 1.1.7.

There was a Presentation Manager Programming Workshop held on Saturday, November 3, 2018 in the Netherlands, by the hcc eCS User Group. The documentation used is available online on the EDM/2 Wiki. From VOICE News.

Warpstock 2018 was held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 14-16. You can see the schedule, it was streamed live on YouTube, and the presentation materials are also online. Arca Noae announced that the first beta for 5.0.4, which will finally include an update option, is already in testing. Version 5.1 is scheduled for release in 2019, with a host of new features planned, including NLVs for several popular languages.

The presentation files from Warpstock Europe 2018 are available online; of particular interest are Lewis Rosenthal on the ArcaOS Roadmap where some details about 5.0.3 and 5.1 are shared, and Silvan Scherrer on Bitwise projects.

VOICE News posts are now posted to Twitter, in addition to the mailing list and newsgroup feed. In other VOICE news, they are testing a remote support tool, which is essentially VNC over SSH.

The bitwiseworks Firefox fork has released (5/20/2018) a "GA2" build, still based on Gecko 45.9.0esr. Note that 45esr was long ago obsoleted by 52esr, which in turn was obsoleted by 60esr, with 45esr not getting security updates since April 2017. This build has more bugfixes, but the "GA" releases have generally been worse than the earlier "beta" releases. Also, 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. It is unclear if there will be any releases based on 52esr, but that will be the end of the road, as newer versions require the Rust compiler, which is unlikely to be ported to OS/2. 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.

Sigurd has been successful in getting OS/2 running on the 25th Anniversary ThinkPad.

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.

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.

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.

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.

EDM/2 (Electronic Developer Magazine/2) has had another batch of updates to the wiki; as a wiki, it is possible for everyone to add or edit articles. From VOICE News.

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.

There is now an option to convert your Arca 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.

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3D LaunchPad has been updated (11/4/2019). This is a WPS object launcher, with PNG icon support.

Agena version 2.16.8 has been released (11/3/2019). This is an interpreted language suited for sophisticated procedural programming, with syntax like simplified Algol 68, with elements taken from Lua and SQL.

Jmol version 14.29.55 has been released (10/30/2019). This is a Java molecular viewer for three dimensional chemical structures; it requires Java 1.4 or higher.

FluidSynth version 2.0.8 has been ported (10/28/2019) to OS/2. This is a software real-time synthesizer based on the Soundfont 2 specifications.

FTP server version 2.78 has been released (10/28/2019). 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.

MailRedirect version 0.10.6 has been released (10/26/2019). This Mozilla extension allows you to bounce / redirect email messages from Thunderbird and Seamonkey.

Paul Smedley has released (10/26/2019) an OS/2 port of MySQL 5.6.46. Also available (1/13/2018) is version 5.5.58. The MySQL database server is the world's most widely used open source database. The OS/2 port features named pipes, data replication, >2GB databases, and more. There is a mailing list for discussion.

DFSee version 16.5 has been released (10/25/2019). DFSee is an FDISK, display, analysis and recovery tool for disks and filesystems, including HPFS, NTFS, FAT, JFS, EXT2, EXT3, ReiserFS, EXFAT, ISO9660, and APFS. 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.

LSZipWizard version 1.08 has been released (10/24/2019). This is a GUI interface to view/extract or create/update ZIP files, with WPS integration.

Gotcha! version 2.0.0-1 has been released (10/23/2019). This is a screen capture utility for OS/2 which allows you to easily capture windows, window interiors, parts of the screen, or the whole desktop. Thanks to Gregg Young for the info.

lSwitcher version 2.91 has been released (10/23/2019). lSwitcher is an enhanced PM and fullscreen Alt-Tab task switcher, and feature-rich task bar. There are both stand-alone and XCenter widget versions. Thanks to Gregg Young for the info.

An OS/2 port of FreeRDP has been updated (10/23/2019). This is a client for Remote Desktop Protocol, commonly used by Windows. This is a test version, which requires a CPU with AVX support and the OS/4 kernel. In the OS2World forum thread, you can see a screenshot of the WPS class for configuring all the settings.

USB drivers build 10.232 have been released (10/21/2019); 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 (including USB audio 2.0), 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.

An OS/2 port of OpenVPN version 2.4.7 has been released (10/13/2019); also available are 2.3.18 and 2.2.2. This is a full-featured SSL VPN solution which can accomodate a wide range of configurations, including remote access, site-to-site VPNs, WiFi security, and enterprise-scale remote access solutions with load balancing, failover, and fine-grained access-controls.

Vim, a vi clone with many extensions, is now (10/12/2019) available in version 7.4 for OS/2. Vim has syntax highlighting (>150 file types), extensive on-line help, regular expressions for search and replace commands, macro recording, and a programming language, to name a few features.

A number of multimedia libraries have been ported (10/9/2019) to OS/2, including: FAAC version, a Freeware Advanced Audio Coder, and faad2 version 2.8.8, an open source MPEG-4 and MPEG-2 AAC decoder.

WebServe version 2.0 has been released (10/6/2019). This web server now supports server side includes for *.shtml files.

Paul Smedley has released (10/3/2019) an OS/2 port of uacme 1.0.19. This is a client for Let's Encrypt, which allows you to set up automatically renewing, and free of charge, SSL certificates.

Major Major version 2.8 has been released (10/1/2019). It is a mailing list manager for OS/2 that lets you create multiple mailing lists on your machine, and is now open source. From VOICE News.

GenINI version 1.8 has been released (10/1/2019); this is a pair of programs to back up OS/2 INI files in human-readable form, and to restore an INI file from the human-readable form. GenINI is freeware and open source. From VOICE News.

rdesktop has been ported (9/30/2019) to OS/2. This is a free RDP client which you can use to connect to a Windows machine. The latest version requires a CPU with AVX support and the OS/4 kernel.

Sigma version 3.02 has been released (9/28/2019). This is a PM program that reads and creates MD5 and SHA256 checksum files, compatible with the GNU MD5SUM program. It provides a clear visual indication of checksum status (error's etc.) as well as error sorting and comprehensive logging facilities. It is useful for verifying that CD ISO images are valid prior to burning them to disc.

Testlog version 3.27 has been updated (9/27/2019). This program collects data about your system and the driver under test, and puts it into a log file for diagnostics.

Stendhal version 1.31 has been released (9/26/2019). This is a multi-player online adventure game / MMORPG, which requires Java 1.5 or later.

PHPMyAdmin version 4.9.1 has been released (9/21/2019). This is a set of PHP scripts to administer MySQL over the web.

An automated installer for the Microsoft ClearType Font Collection has been updated (9/19/2019) to version 1.1.1. It will download the fonts Calibri, Cambria, Candara, Consolas, Constantia, and Corbel from Microsoft, and install them on your OS/2 system.

Potrace version 1.16 has been ported (9/16/2019) to OS/2. Also available is another port of version 1.10. This tool will generate vector graphic files from bitmap images; several output formats are supported, including SVG and PostScript.

The Arca Noae USB drivers have been updated (9/15/2019) to build 12.03, 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 a 32-bit build of the USB drivers, but does not have the latest features in the publicly available ones. Eventually, it will include support for USB 3.0, but that is not functional yet.

Workplace Sans version 1.04 has been released (9/12/2019). This is a Unicode TrueType outline font that is designed to resemble the OS/2 bitmap font WarpSans. Thanks to Alex Taylor for the info.

DVD/CD Toys version 1.07.02 has been released (9/11/2019). This is a set of utilities to burn CD and DVD disks, and ISO images. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.

Zippy version 1.03.04 has been released (9/11/2019). This is an archive manager, which allows extracting files from various formats, including zip, rar, 7z, tar, bzip2, arj, and more. It allows you to create zip, 7z, tar.gz, and a few others. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.

Weasel version 2.6 has been released (9/6/2019). This is a "lightweight" SMTP/POP server that has multi-domain support, and is now open source under the GPL.

NetRexx version 3.08 has been released (9/6/2019). NetRexx allows you to program in REXX, and compile your program into Java bytecodes. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.

The eCo Software runtimes have been updated (9/4/2019). These are libraries and PM controls used by programs written by eCo Software. The latest updates are available via FTP. From OS2World.

INIServe version 2.9 has been released. INIServe is a tool for remote configuration of OS/2 applications. Application developers are explicitly permitted to distribute INIServe as part of their own applications.

Links version 2.20 has been released (8/28/2019). 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. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.

Panorama VESA video driver version 1.15 has been released (8/24/2019). This is a generic VESA driver, which supports all VESA 2.0 compatible video adapters. The latest versions have a PAT fallback when using MTRRs fails, and support for custom / widescreen resolutions. Users with widescreen panels may find this useful if there isn't an accelerated driver available.

The ACPI driver has been updated (8/23/2019) to version 3.23.12 for Arca Noae subscribers. Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) is a replacement for APM, PnP, and related hardware features. It features support for multiprocessor systems (SMP, Dual Core, and HyperThreading), there is an APM driver, and an ACPI Setup tool that replaces the Power object. There is an ACPI Tools web page as well, which includes a battery monitoring widget for XCenter.

No Gravity version 2.00 has been ported (8/23/2019) to OS/2. This is an arcade type game with great playability, where it is easy to plunge into space battles against spacefighters, space stations and more!

BIND version 9.11.10 has been ported (8/22/2019) to OS/2. BIND is the Berkeley Internet Name Daemon, an implementation of DNS protocols.

An unofficial Virtual Box Additions for OS/2 version 5.0.51 build 214 has been released (8/17/2019). It includes a video driver, mouse driver, clipboard sharing between host and guest, and shared folder support.

BS_Info version 2.2 (8/13/2019) shows information about your system and can start various configuration programs.

Some multimedia libraries have been ported (8/11/2019) to OS/2: libmatroska version 1.5.2 is for parsing Matroska audio and video containers; and libebml version 1.3.9 parses EBML files. These are used by the VLC media player.

AVxCAT (formerly FFMPEGCA) version has been released (8/8/2019). This is a GUI front-end for ffmpeg and other tools, which allows converting audio and video between formats. From eCSoft/2 via OS2World.

git version 2.22.0 has been ported (8/6/2019) to OS/2. git is distributed version control software, used in software development and popularized by GitHub.

An OS/2 build of Perl version 5.16.0 has been released (8/6/2019). Perl is a cross platform scripting language.

ClamAV GUI version has been released (8/4/2019). 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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