I am having pretty bad problems with my new Matrox Millenium card and Warp 4. At first, installing the included drivers was no trouble, but then the system became pretty unstable. 4 general crashes in a day. No trouble, reboot and restore files. Then things became worse. StarWriter and the other StarOffice 3.1 apps (except the StarOffice manager) produced system hangs. Then, I installed the Trials of Battle demo. No trouble on running it, but when I entered the arena, nothing was seen, only the battle sounds. To make things even worse, I noticed that the GalCiv Demo 2.5 also produced a system hang when creating the galaxy.
What can be going on? Is there a better driver than the one included with the card, or must I install FixPack1, any ideas?
Jabel D. Morales
One of our other readers has written us to tell us that Matrox has released new drivers for the Millenium and Mystique dated late April of this year. We have not had a look yet, but check their web page.
Oh Mr. Ominor, perhaps you haven't heard, but Windows Mag has pulled Orifice97 off its list of recommended products. Too much lost data, it seems. Microsoft is losing its focus on the desktop, its bread & butter. This is doom for them.
Since you don't have a comment-field on your survey, I would just like to add that I am responsible for the OS/2 data section on Denmark's largest (or nearly so) Computer Mag - Alt Om Data. Data ranges between 100-250 MB per month - with an HTML-index to go with it. This has increased said magazine's income somewhat... I believe OS/2 users might have increased also and for sure, current users appreciate the gesture.
While I'm positive that OS/2 is the best OS for power users, I don't feel that OS/2 does some things that need to be done for non-power users.
The main reason is, in MY STRONG opinion, OS/2 should automatically create icons for DOS and Windows (3.1 for now) without user intervention. I *KNOW* IBM can do this if they want to. When my friends see me install Quake and then have to do something to get an Icon for it in the games folder, well, they just don't understand why. AND I AGREE and have from OS/2 2.0 beta. After all, isn't there a DOS/Win 3.1 application database already sitting there for application memory configurations? Forget about the Migration program. Aren't computers supposed to do the mundane stuff and let us get on to the more interesting things that computers aren't capable of yet, like writing a letter, playing Quake, or creating business forcasts?
Item 2: And speaking of application memory settings. Who in the world came up the goofball idea that, for instance, WordPerfect 6.1 for Windows needs 64mbs of RAM even when I only had 16mbs of physical RAM in my computer? (I have more now.) When programs DOS and Windows are installed, the database, along with the CPU chip, should do some math and figure out what the best memory settings are for the particular computer that it is being installed (set up) on. IBM can't write a program to figure that out?
OS/2 *IS* the best OS ... for power users. I certainly couldn't take my parents' Mac away from them and give them OS/2 and have them figure things out like they have done on the Mac. I know, I've watched them and they think it's weird what I have to do to DOS and Win programs, and they are in their 70s.
Lastly, I would L O V E!!!!!!!!!! to only use OS/2 software. The bad news is that most software companies that write Windows software really couldn't care less about OS/2 because they don't see it as a platform that will consistantly make users crawl back for another update because the OS vendor has to (on purpose) keep fixing things. Mostly all they care about is "show me the money."
And they don't feel that OS/2 apps will do that. And quite frankly they are right, because IBM doesn't force you to lose all your old programs and buy new ones. Which is great for users, bad for developers.
I'd like to elaborate on this month's survey question. It is getting much harder to promote OS/2. I work at a computer store as a technician and OS/2 fanatic. Most people think that the best OS is the one that has the most applications available for it. And the press and Windoze weenies have been saying that there aren't any appications for OS/2 and people believe it. And IBM hasn't really been doing much to turn that tide. I'm hoping that IBM will realize that the individual end user market is where you win the coporate accounts.
The other OS/2 user in our building has just left, and although I am now the only person who can keep my machine running with rebooting every hour or so I was feeling left out. I do technical support via email, based on a system which uses Netscape Mail, eeek! I've been using Netscape for OS/2 since the Beta's incorporated Mail, and as you can imagine have a huge 20mb sent file. The other day I need to find a reply I had sent sometime ago, so I dragged the 20mb file into the enhanced editor on my Warp 4 system waited a bit, and then did a search and found the message I had sent. My neighbour looked over my shoulder in amazement, saying things like "It's gonna crash!", but no. Anyway thanks for yet another great mouth bending issue, keep it up.
Recently, I sent a message to IBM regarding their direction with OS/2 and with advertising. The following is the response I received to that inquiry. I have not seen anything spelled out like this about IBM's direction with OS/2. If it is news, please investigate to confirm, and feel free to publish this information in an upcoming issue of OS/2 e-Zine!.
Dear Mr. Gamble,
Lou Gerstner has asked me to respond to your recent e-mail. We appreciate you taking the time to express your views and concerns.
We made the decision last year to focus on the enterprise customers for OS/2. We left the OS/2 vs. Windows "debate" behind and moved forward to reposition OS/2 into the network computing world. One of the criticisms of OS/2 has been the lack of applications. Rather than ask our customer and ISV partners to continue dependency on Windows API's, we incorporated Java. We believe this environment will yield many new applications, will offer developers additional opportunity, and provide customers more freedom in selecting applications.
We are committed to making functional enhancements to OS/2 that we believe are essential in network computing environments, and just as importantly, making these enhancements easily and readily available to our customers. We will offer enhanced support for Java and Java programming tools (including technology that merges OpenDoc and Java), and increased functionality for Intranet/Internet environments.
IBM remains firmly dedicated to the future of OS/2 and the millions of customers around the world who have made it their platform of choice. This commitment is evidenced by the number of major enhancements we have made to OS/2 on both client and server. We have fervent company-wide support for our initiatives, beginning in Lou Gerstner's office, because IBM is aggressively moving into network computing. The OS/2 platform fits into this overall direction and will help bring our customers into the next phase of computing.
We continue to advertise the OS/2 family of products in network computing related technical magazines. You will not find IBM 'brand specific' advertising for OS/2 in general business magazines, but you will find advertising of the IBM company.
OS/2 advertising is moving from the traditional magazine publication to a forum more widely available, the Internet. Using the internet we can provide technical information, as well as information on total solutions, which incorporate many other IBM products working with OS/2. IBM was recently recognized by PC Computing as having one of the "Best 1,001 Websites". Within this group IBM's software site was chosen one of the 10 best software company Websites. The IBM Software Website is at http://www.software.ibm.com.
You can also find an extensive amount of information about OS/2 on the OS/2 WARP Home Page located at: http://www.software.ibm.com/os/warp/html3/index.htm.
If you are interested in reading the latest news about OS/2 you can access the IBM Software and Network Computing News Site at : http://www.software.ibm.com/news/.
In addition to the above mentioned sites, I have listed several other OS/2 related web site locations below.
To submit customer requirements: http://www.austin.ibm.com/pspinfo/pspform.html.
To locate IBM options hardware compatibility: http://service.software.ibm.com/os2ddpak/html/ibmopt.htm.
To locate IBM systems hardware compatibility: http://service.software.ibm.com/os2ddpak/html/ibmsys.htm.
To view the IBM home page: http://www.ibm.com .
To see the listing of PC Computing's 1,001 Best Web Sites: http://www.zdnet.com/pccomp/webmap/welcome.html.
If you are interested in staying informed about what's new and important in IBM's software and internet business you can subscribe to the IBM Software News Alert. Twice a month you will receive e-mail summarizing the top IBM software and network computing Web stories, along with the URL for each item. With a browser you can go to the Web version to see the current issue, with hot links to each story. To subscribe go to: http://www.software.ibm.com/mailing-lists/swnews.html and follow the instructions.
Thank you for your valued support of OS/2 and IBM.
Robert B. Gamble
As I sit here at my office, reading the latest issue of OS/2 e-Zine!, I think about OS/2 software and the meager sales reported by Stardock for Avarice and Trials of Battle. And then I remember that IBM's primary focus is on large corporations and not home users. This leads me to my third thought. Do any of these corporations order their software from Indelible Blue? No offense to the nice folks there. They have been most helpful to the individual user of OS/2. However, the people with the licenses get the majority of the individual applications, one way or another (directly or through a reseller) through distributors such as Ingram Micro and Merisel and Tech Data. This is where OS/2 applications are always going to be behind.
If Stardock had Object Desktop Pro and Trials of Battle listed alongside Norton Desktop for Windows and Quake in the Ingram Micro catalog, I think sales would be a whole lot better. Knowing that a person could go into virtually _any_ computer or software store and order these titles would definitely improve sales.
This is how I got my copy of SimCity 2000 for OS/2. I went to the Babbage's at the local mall and requested the OS/2 version. The sales representative looked at me with a blank stare and said "I don't think there is one." My response was "Look it up." He typed into the terminal that has the on-line Ingram catalog, and BING! "We'll have that for you in two days."
Even if it requires all of the commercial ISVs to collaborate and publish under a common publisher or something, getting listed in Ingram and the others is the key.
J. Christopher Dick
Unfortunately, many OS/2 vendors already realize this. Stardock and others, I'm sure, has put a great deal of effort into having Ingram Micro carry their products. I suspect it is Ingram who is hesitant, not the OS/2 developers. Perhaps users should write to Ingram to tell them what kind of software we would prefer to buy.
I don't know if anyone else has had any trouble, but a few days ago I spent an hour and a half downloading the Warp 4 FixPak 1 (the UK version) from IBM's Web site, eleven files including the two kicker disks! Then spent another twenty minutes making the disks.
After installing by booting off the kicker disks I thought everything looked OK so I switched off my machine and went to bed.
When I awoke next morning things were definitely NOT OK. After the desktop loaded the hard disk was still thrashing away. This went on for about twenty minutes and two message boxes popped up with a SYS0147 Unable to run program due to lack of resourses or memory. What program? I looked in my startup folder but there was only the AUTORUN program for the CD. Thought it was a freak so I rebooted, same again. rebooted, same again. Looked in my config.sys file for anything that shouldn't be there. Nothing that wasn't there before the upgrade. Removed PROGRAMS from the AUTOSTART line. rebooted, same again! Couldn't figure it out and was losing hair FAST!
So I Fell back on the only true method of cleaning my system. Backed up all that I hadn't already backed up. Got out my Warp install disks, reformatted the partition and reinstalled Warp. No problems! Then I thought I'd do the FixPak BEFORE putting all my programs and data files back on. When I tried to COMMIT the upgrade I kept getting a "Nothing to commit" error. By then I was ready to be commited. I'd had enough so I backed out (at least that worked) and tried again. Still couldn't commit. Backed out again, threw the FixPak into the back of the closet and reinstalled all my stuff.
Then the old adage sprang to mind; If it ain't broke don't FixPak it!
I just thought I'd let readers know that a day or two after the review of MSE was posted in the last issue, Mark Kimes sent me an updated version of the program which added the 'jump to mouse' feature I was whining about (grin) in my review. His new version of the program is no doubt out now and includes a few other fixes as well.
Is that service, or what?
I'm sure that many OS/2 e-Zine! readers like myself got an interesting surprise recently when they got a Net-Minder update for Martin Warnett's Netscape/2 page, only to find that the update was Mr. Warnett's sudden total abandonment of OS/2 and the web page. This smells.
Martin Warnett was, until now, one of the most dedicated advocates we've ever had, and I can't bring myself to believe he just "decided" to abandon the OS/2 project all of a sudden. Frankly, his last message read to me like "resignation" announcements that say, "He's leaving to pursue other opportunities" without saying what they are -- there never are any. He didn't jump, he was pushed, and I look forward to hearing what those who are more in the know have to say about this sorry event.
I've just finished reading the article "Why we don't write windows software". Very well written from an OS/2 point of view. This sort of article is what is needed in the main PC press. Any chance of forwarding it to them? Or somebody like Jerry Pournelle at BYTE who has a lot of say in the industry and has supported OS/2 in the past?
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