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Mar 25, 2018 | Mar 4, 2018 | Feb 11, 2018 | previous

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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 However, RDesktop is being superseded by a more active project called FreeRDP.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.

Dave Yeo has released (12/19/2017) 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 may prevent some heavy CPU usage.

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DFSee version 15.0 has been released (3/22/2018). 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.

A build of VirtualBox version 5.0.51 has been released (3/22/2018). Also available (10/11/2016) is another build of version 5.0.6. This is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product, available as open source under the GPL.

Wireless LAN Monitor / XWLAN version 3.14 beta 3 has been released (3/17/2018). It is available as a XCenter widget as well as a standalone program, and features connection monitoring, multiple connection profiles, generation of WEP keys, and more.

PM Printer Manager version 0.70 has been released (3/14/2018). This is a graphical printer management tool for creating standard OS/2 printers (local and LAN), creating CUPS-based printers, upgrading or downgrading IBM 'PrinterPak' driver packages, and creating new PostScript printer drivers by importing PPD files. Also available is cupswiz version 1.15, which is specifically for creating CUPS-based printers.

iQPuzzle version 1.1.0 has been ported (3/14/2018) to OS/2. This Qt4 app is a pentomino puzzle game.

Jmol version 14.29.10 has been released (3/14/2018). This is a Java molecular viewer for three dimensional chemical structures; it requires Java 1.4 or higher.

WPA Supplicant version 2.7 has been ported (3/13/2018) to OS/2. This is a backend component for controlling the wireless networking connection. An older version of this program is included with XWLan, as well as a few other versions ported by Paul Smedley. From VOICE News.

Another OS/2 port of VNC Server and VNC Viewer has been updated (3/12/2018). It provides a VNC server and client for OS/2 Presentation Manager, has UltraVNC compatible chat and file transfer, and WPS integration.

Testlog version 3.11 has been refreshed (3/12/2018). This program collects data about your system and the driver under test, and puts it into a log file for diagnostics.

FAT32.IFS version 0.10 r338 has been released (3/8/2018). 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.

Gregg Young has released (3/6/2018) a beta 3 build of the OpenWatcom 2.0 C/C++ compiler. This has OS/2 related fixes for wipfc, wdump, wrc and wlink. Meanwhile, official OpenWatcom builds are still (6/5/2010) on version 1.9.

rdesktop has been ported (3/5/2018) to OS/2. This is a free RDP client which you can use to connect to a Windows machine.

PHPMyAdmin version 4.7.9 has been released (3/5/2018). This is a set of PHP scripts to administer MySQL over the web.

A LAN Server installation tool has been released (2/26/2018). This allows installing the LAN Server components (from WSeB) on top of ArcaOS.

Quick 'n' Easy Finances version 1.12 has been updated (2/25/2018). It is a personal finance program which requires DB2 or PostGRE. There is also a Yahoo Group discussion list.

The ACPI driver has been updated (2/20/2018) to version 3.23.08 for Arca Noae subscribers, and no longer has a requirement for eCS. 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.

Panorama VESA video driver version 1.10 has been released (2/16/2018). 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.

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