OS/2 eZine - http://www.os2ezine.com
March 16, 2002
Dan Eicher is 35 and graduated from Purdue with a BS in Computer Tech. He started working with computers in 1980 with a Tandy Model-1. He bought a Texas Instruments 99/4a in '81 and has been using it ever since. He has been using OS/2 since 2.1 and is currently using eComStation. His day job is as a system engineer, where he works with Windows NT and Windows 2000 plus the full line of Microsoft server products (obviously he doesn't set the platform standards!) =)

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Odds and Ends

This month I will be rambling about odds and ends that you may find useful. Closer to home, I was caught up in a RIF (Reduction In Force) at work. The good thing is, there are a lot of unemployed people to hang out with; the bad thing is, there are a lot of unemployed people to hang out with! =)

First, an addition to what Doug said in January about KVMs: I am currently running a two port Belkin KVM. One machine is an HP Kayak running OS/2 and the other is a Proliant 800 Dual Pentium 200 running NT 4. I have found two tricks to be helpful: When you power on each machine, switch the active channel to the other box. This way, instead of your keyboard and mouse responding to the operating systems query as to what type of hardware is connected, the switch box will respond for them. The second trick is to make sure that whatever two (or more) OSes you are using agree on the type of mouse connected to the system. There are basically three mice protocols in existence: Mouse Systems (not used very much anymore), Logitech and Microsoft. Many mice will act as either a Logitech or Microsoft.

Let me recommend two products that I have up and working.

The first is a Labtec optical mouse. This little gem is a wonder. Since it uses light to track the mouse position, it never gets dirty or skips, and you can't beat the price, less than 20 dollars. You'll find it here. Sun Microsystems first introduced optical mice about ten years ago, of course back then it cost about 300+ dollars. Then Microsoft came out with an optical mouse for less than 100. Now you can get yours for less than 20! Let the good times roll! =)

The second product is for those of you that have broadband (cable, DSL) access to the internet and would like to make sure your systems stay secure from hackers and be able to easily share this access among multiple machines. Protection from hacking is really important if you have cable, because everyone in a neighborhood shares the same subnet. The solution I highly recommend for this challenge is SMC's Barricade firewall.

Here is the description from their website: "Barricade, the best-of-class broadband router is the ideal all-in-one networking solution for home and small business users. This platform-independent, multi-functional broadband router combines a 4-port, 10/100 Mbps dual-speed switch for blazing network throughput, a built-in print server for sharing valuable resources, an RS232 COM port for fail-over, dial-up or modem connections, and our battle-tested NAT firewall for bullet-proof security against hackers and other unauthorized users. Barricade fully supports VPN tunneling via L2TP, PPTP, and IPSec pass-through allowing remote users secure access to their corporate infrastructure." You'll find more about it here.

Linksys and D-Link also have broadband router offerings, but I do not feel they are nearly as fully-featured, flexible or of as high a quality as the SMC barricade. One word of warning: If your network has been set up for a while and working, you may have done several upgrades to your OS/2 system and not had to change anything. That's one of the strengths of OS/2. Now, one thing that has been happening under the hood of OS/2 is that IBM has gotten away from running stand alone executables of system programs. Instead, for many system configuration tasks, you MUST have a working version of Java 1.1.8 installed on your system OR you will not be able to run programs like tcpcfg2 or lvmgui.

How can you tell if Java 1.1.8 is installed and working? Drop to an OS/2 command prompt and type java -version. If this doesn't return 1.1.8 you have work to do. Most changes that you might need to make to your tcp/ip configurations should be doable from tcpcfg2. A good double check of how things are configured at the moment is to type ifconfig lanX, where X is your network interface.

Other good things -- The Warpstock Europe 2001 Handouts CD!

Held at Hasselt, Belgium, November 2-4, 2001. This CD contains a lot of really good technical information on how OS/2 works under the hood. Below is a list of the sessions (Not all sessions had handouts and they are not all in the same format, some are more extensive, then others - etc.)

  • Convenience Pak 2 - Get the 2001 updates, Oliver Mark
  • OS/2 Device Driver Update, Oliver Stein
  • ODIN - update and tips & tricks, Achim Hasenmller
  • The Psion to OS/2 Connection - Living apart together, Hans Hockx
  • Some tips for graphic work, Gerrit Schoenmaker and Onno Tabak
  • Dial up the world with Internet Assistant for OS/2 and eComStation, Christian Langanke
  • Handle your email in any browser with WebMail/2, Dimitris Michelinakis
  • Opera for OS/2 and eComStation, Adrian Gschwend
  • Creating an Internet gateway with SafeFire PPP/Links, Vit Timchishin
  • LAN Server Management Tools, Alain Rykaert
  • WorkSpace On-Demand (WSOD) V3, Oliver Mark and Oliver Stein
  • Co-StandbyServer for e-business - High availability clustering on OS/2, Achim Hasenmller
  • Rapid and Consistent Enterprise System Administration: Starfire Titan, Benjamin Claypool and Richard Spurlock
  • WarpIN -- The new generic OS/2 installer, Ulrich M”ller
  • XWorkplace -- Extending the Workplace Shell, Ulrich M”ller
  • Using USB Devices from PM/console Applications, Markus Montkowski
  • Developing USB device drivers, Markus Montkowski
  • Creating OS/2 help files the easy way, Christian Langanke
  • Developing scripts for WiseMachine, Kim Cheung
  • C to Rexx Interface for every programmer, Kim Cheung
  • Software Distribution by CID and bootable CDs, Alain Rykaert and Rainer Feuerstein
  • Using DFSee in multiple operating systems installations and various disk- and filesystem recovery techniques, Jan van Wijk
  • An introduction to the Powerful Object Rexx and its Object-oriented model, Rony Flatscher
  • WiseManager and Remote Booting, Kim Cheung
  • Golden Code Trace Suite, Greg Shah and Eric Faulhaber
  • USB, what's that and how does it work, Markus Montkowski
  • Programming Python on OS/2, Stefan Schwarzer
  • Java Bean Scripting with Rexx, Rony Flatscher
  • Virtual PC: running multiple OS's at once, Achim Hasenmller

I purchased this from Mensys for approximately 15 US dollars, including shipping. The easiest way to find the ordering link is to search their website with the keyword "warpstock".

c'ya next month.

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