Kali for OS/2?- by John D. Reinhold

I could beat you at DOOM, If we weren't 3000 miles apart.

How many times have we all sat around and complained about not having native OS/2 apps? Anywhere you look, you can find Windows users saying, "If OS/2 is so good, where are the apps?" Inevitably, some rabid OS/2 fanatic will jump in: "There are over two thousand native OS/2 apps." Well, yes, that is true, but what kind of apps are they? How many shareware OS/2 versions of the DOS "More" command do we need? How many OS/2 programs does it take to set the system clock, to the atomic clock time via the Internet? And just how many "CD Audio" players does one really need? What about REAL apps? What ever happened to OS/2 spreadsheets, OS/2 word processors, OS/2 budget programs, Databases, Programming languages, Graphics suites? Well my friends. They are upon us. There are new OS/2 commercial apps appearing every day, and more looming on the horizon. Shareware apps are getting better and better too.

This is all fine and dandy for the working bee in all of us, but what about that side of us that is less home office, less productivity oriented, less multitasking? What could that be? You guessed it. GAMES! How many good OS/2 games are there? Don't break out the calculators just yet, because the number can be counted on one hand. So, until new games are released for OS/2 (which happens more and more), we have to rely on DOS compatibility.

Well, I have found a new way to spice up old games. Do you get tired of the same old computer AI? You can't afford a game server like DWANGO, or PlayNation? No friends with modems? Well, quick, point your Web Explorer to http://www.axxis.com/kali and get some info about the program called KALI. KALI allows you to play any IPX network game, over the internet. You simply run KALI with a designated KALI server, and anyone who is on that server is now part of your IPX network! You can use KALI with a PPP or SLIP connection over a modem, an ISDN line, or even a direct connection. Any TCP/IP connection to the internet will work. Even SLIrP and TIA will work, but run rather slowly. I personally PPP through an internet provider, over my 14.4k modem, and play Descent.

Play is only limited to your connection speed. At 14.4, 3 player Descent is OK, but 4 player gets real choppy. 28.8 is smooth with 3, good with 4, and 5 player is possible, but rough. The lucky one's who have an ISDN or T1 line will have no trouble with 8 player Descent. I use a DX4/100, with 12 meg of RAM, Pro Audio Studio sound card, Trident 8900c ISA video card with 1 meg DRAM, DTC 2278 VLB EIDE hard disk controller, and a ZOOM 14.4 fax/modem. I run OS/2 Warp with fixpack 10 installed.

But what about other games? Well, any game that uses IPX will work with KALI! Virtual Pool, DOOM 1 and 2, Heretic, Command and Conquer, Terminal Velocity... just to name a few. And more come out every day. The best part is the cost. There are no connection fees or long distance charges (other than your internet connection). KALI itself is shareware, and the shareware version is not crippled in gameplay, but only allows 15 minutes of connection. But that is no matter, registration is only $20! For unlimited Network play! That is not even as much as 1 month at some game networks!

KALI also installs easily following the instructions included in the zip file. KALI requires an unzip utility, and a little knowledge of DOS batch files, the internet, and your network connection. Most of the information you will need is readily available in the documentation, and if it is not the docs tell you how to find the information elsewhere.

As of this writing, Jay was awaiting the arrival of his TCP/IP development kit from IBM. As soon as he receives this, he plans to start on KALI/2. The overwhelming number of requests he received for an OS/2 version convinced him it was worth the effort! KALI/2, as I understand it, will be a DOS program that utilizes the OS/2 Virtual TCP/IP support. This will allow the user to connect with the OS/2 SLIP/PPP (or network) software, and run KALI at any time, without having to reconnect under DOS.

If you are interested in KALI, check out the web site and leave feedback. Be sure to tell Jay that you appreciate the support he has shown for OS/2. With the size of the potential OS/2 gaming market, I believe that OS/2 can be more profitable than Win95. Win95 has lots of competition (supposedly), while OS/2 is relatively sparse when it comes to games. Jay Cotton's support is right up there at the top of the scale. He is responsive, supportive, and open to suggestions.

Good products AND good customer service are hard to get sometimes, so Jay deserves our applause for KALI. This policy applies to ALL software publishers. If you see a product for DOS/Win3.x/Win95 that you like and want for OS/2, tell everyone (IRC and usenet news work good for that, and E-mail is great!) and tell the company. Nothing is more powerful than word of mouth. After all, 10 million OS/2 users can't be wrong!

Until next time, Keep playing, and buying, games for OS/2.

John D. Reinhold is a computer programmer for the USAF, stationed at Gunter AFB, Montgomery AL. He is close to completing a Computer Science degree from Eastern New Mexico University, in Portales NM.

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