OS/2 Warp! Warpstock

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


Dec 13, 2020 | Aug 24, 2020 | Nov 4, 2019 | previous

Still have a backlog of newsbits, but it's been a while without an update...
The shocking.com email service has been unreliable at times, so I have set up an alternative email address

Latest News

Bitwise has released (12/7/2020) their OS/2 port of Apache OpenOffice 4.1.8. 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.

ArcaOS 5.0.6 has been released (8/31/2020). This refreshed install contains various updates, including initial support for USB3, and the ability to install from a bootable USB stick. The big new feature in 5.0.4 was 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.

VLC media player version 3.0.11 has been ported (7/18/2020) 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 UniAud sound drivers have been refreshed (5/6/2020). 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 1.2.3. Paul Smedley has been making various test builds of newer versions, if you want to help testing them out (just be aware of the potential for crashes during boot).

XWorkplace version 1.0.13 has been released (2/1/2020); recent features include reboot options via boot manager integration, more display options for the Pulse widget, an ACPI-based CPU temperature, and 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. From VOICE News.

Esther Schindler has an Ars Technica article looking back on computer user groups; some may remember the Phoenix OS/2 Society was a big group a while back.

Justin Coleman mocked up some images of how he imagined an updated OS/2 might look: System settings, taskbar menu, apps submenu, shutdown menu, and Windows 10 in a VM.

Warpstock 2020 will be held on-line on Saturday, November 7; registration will not be required for this virtual conference. Attendance will be via YouTube stream, and questions may be posed via YouTube Chat as well as IRC. There will be an early session for North America and Europe, and a late one for North America and Australia/Asia. Warpstock 2019 was held November 8-10, in Orlando, Florida; you can see some picture galleries and YouTube videos from the event. Thanks to Andy Willis and VOICE News for the info.

Warpstock Europe 2020 was held as a vritual event on May 16-17; there are a few YouTube videos available. The 20th Anniversary 2019 event was held in the Netherlands on May 18-19; you can see some of the presentations in this YouTube playlist.

Sigurd Fastenrath created a YouTube video celebrating the 25th Anniversary of IBM OS/2 Warp, showing it running on modern Hardware. He has previously been successful in getting OS/2 running on the 25th Anniversary ThinkPad.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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Latest Files

Testlog version 3.33 has been updated (12/10/2020). This program collects data about your system and the driver under test, and puts it into a log file for diagnostics.

The OS/2 port of FreeRDP version 2.2.0 has been updated (12/9/2020). This is a client for Remote Desktop Protocol, commonly used by Windows. Sponsoring units for this work may be purchased in the Arca Noae store.

FTP server version 2.79 has been released (11/21/2020). 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.

Arca Noae has released (11/20/2020) kernel version 14.202 for ArcaOS. This fixes a problem freeing high memory blocks, and requires that you update the APCI package first.

Domination version 1.2.3 has been released (11/19/2020). This is a Java version of the game Risk.

Major Major version 3.2 has been released (11/19/2020). It is a mailing list manager for OS/2 that lets you create multiple mailing lists on your machine, and is now open source.

GenINI version 2.0 has been released (11/18/2020); 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.

Another OS/2 port of VNC Server and VNC Viewer has been updated (11/12/2020). It provides a VNC server and client for OS/2 Presentation Manager, has UltraVNC compatible chat and file transfer, and WPS integration.

DFSee version 16.7 has been released (11/11/2020). 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.

Agena version 2.22.1 has been released (11/9/2020). This is an interpreted language suited for sophisticated procedural programming, with syntax like simplified Algol 68, with elements taken from Lua and SQL.

The ACPI driver has been updated (11/5/2020) to version 3.23.15 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.

The OS/2 build of DOSBox 0.74 has been updated (11/4/2020). This is a DOS emulator that uses SDL; it emulates XMS, EMS, CGA, EGA, VGA, VESA, SoundBlaster, Gravis Ultra Sound, and more, for excellent compatibility with older games. You can find additional information about the port on the Netlabs Wiki. From OS2World.

Panorama VESA video driver version 1.17 has been released (10/31/2020). 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.

Arachnophilia version 5.5 build 2953 has been released (10/29/2020). This is a web page editor and development tool, which requires Java 1.5 or higher.

USB drivers build 10.236 have been released; 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. Latest version in Hobbes incoming.

kee16 version 12 has been released. This is a static thunking library, to use the 32-bit KEE API from a 16-bit device driver. Latest version in Hobbes incoming.

Lars Erdmann has released PSD (Platform Specific Driver) version 6 for SMP and Warp4 kernels. It handles floating point exceptions via trap 16 instead of IRQ13, which uses the native CPU exception handling. Latest version in Hobbes incoming.

DVD/CD Toys version 1.08.00 has been released (10/21/2020). This is a set of utilities to burn CD and DVD disks, and ISO images.

The eCo Software runtimes have been updated (10/16/2020). These are libraries and PM controls used by programs written by eCo Software. The latest updates are available via FTP.

lSwitcher version 2.92 has been released (10/15/2020). 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.

PHPMyAdmin version 5.0.4 has been released (10/15/2020). This is a set of PHP scripts to administer MySQL over the web.

Zippy version 1.04.00 has been released (10/14/2020). 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.

dos2unix and unix2dos version 7.4.2 have been released (10/12/2020). These command line tools convert plain text files from/to DOS and UNIX formats.

Stendhal version 1.36 has been released (10/10/2020). This is a multi-player online adventure game / MMORPG, which requires Java 1.5 or later.

libkai version 2.0.0 has been released (10/8/2020). The K Audio Interface is a DART and UNIAUD implementation library, and now features software mixing of multiple audio streams. It has been used in KMP, MPlayer, and VLC.

TZSet version 1.0 has been released (10/8/2020). This offers a replacement System Clock, with a timezone page.

NetRexx version 3.09 has been released (10/1/2020). NetRexx allows you to program in REXX, and compile your program into Java bytecodes.

Weasel version 2.74 has been released (9/30/2020). This is a "lightweight" SMTP/POP server that has multi-domain support, and is now open source under the GPL.

Doodle's Screen Saver version 2.4 has been released (9/23/2020). This screen saver integrates into the WPS, replaces the old Lockup Desktop facility, has DPMS support, and can be extended with new screen saver modules. It allows third party applications to disable the screen saver temporarily, for example while watching a movie.

FluidSynth version 2.1.5 has been ported (9/22/2020) to OS/2. This is a software real-time synthesizer based on the Soundfont 2 specifications.

ksoftseq version 1.1.0 has been released (9/19/2020). This is a a software sequencer, which allows playing MIDI files via integration with MMOS2.

kmididec version 0.3.0 has been released (9/18/2020). This is a a library to decode MIDI to PCM using fluidsynth, and a simple MIDI player using that library.

Iron Spring PL/I beta version 0.9.10c has been released (9/15/2020). This is a compiler for the PL/I programming language, although it is currently missing some features.

3D LaunchPad has been updated (9/10/2020). This is a WPS object launcher, with PNG icon support.

4OS2 version 3.09 has been released (6/12/2020). This is a command shell, formerly developed by JPSoft and now open source. There is a mailing list / newsgroup on Gmane.

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