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Answers from e-Zine!

Welcome back to a place to get answers to all your OS/2 questions! Each month we bring you tips, tricks, questions and answers from our readers and contributors relating to common (and some not so common) OS/2 problems and questions. If you've got a question or tip you would like to share with us, send it in!

- Is there any way to select a bitmap that is not in the \OS2\BITMAP directory for use as the background of a folder without going through the cumbersome "Find Objects" dialog?

Fortunately we can make use of Drag and Drop here: Open the settings notebook for the folder you wish to modify and click the "Background" page. Now just open the folder which contains your bitmaps and drag your favorite bitmap to the "Preview" section of the notebook page. Your folder background will change to the bitmap you've just chosen!

- Reinout van Schouwen

- I have a notebook computer running OS/2 Warp Connect. My problem is that when I hook up to the Internet, "Dial Other Internet Provider" does not set my modem to 115,200 when it initializes. It gives me an error stating that it can not run at 115,200, then when I connect, my provider's server connects at 57,600 at the most. I already set the notebook settings for my modem to 115,200 and I still keep getting the same result. I even tried different initialization strings from the manufacturer of my modem.

I read something about OS/2 not being able to make connections at more than 57,600 baud. Is this true? And if not is there a way to connect at 115,200?

This is a pretty simple one, but actually a very valid question.

The default communications drivers shipped with OS/2 Warp, do not support communicating with the serial device at more than 57,600 bps. If you must connect at 115,200, there is an alternate communications driver for OS/2 available, called SIO, written by Ray Gwinn. It is a shareware product, and should be registered if used beyond an initial testing period. These drivers work quite well, and support all speeds up to 115,200.

A more pressing question is whether you actually need speeds greater than 57,600 (or even 38,400). That number indicates the speed the computer "talks" to your serial device (usually your modem), and not the speed the modem transfers data to and from your Internet provider. Though modems have "compression" protocols, these often don't improve much on the compression and other optimization done by the computer on data prior to sending it to the serial device, such as VJ (Van Jacobsen) header compression. So you may see very little difference between the "default" COM.SYS drivers connected to your provider at 57,600, and the SIO.SYS drivers connected at 115,200. Of course, individual results may vary.

- Ethan Hall-Beyer

- I love to use the custom popup menu feature in the WPS. I've got items for hotkeys from 0-9. The trouble is when I change an item it goes to the bottom of the menu. So if I modify "2 Edit CONFIG.SYS" it ends up at the bottom of the list (ie. 0, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 2) which looks messy. How do I move menu items around? Drag & Drop does not seem to work here.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to change the order of items you've added to an object's menu. So I've created a special folder in my "OS/2 System" folder named "Menus". I create a program object for each menu item and put it in this folder. To add the menu items, I just drag and drop the appropriate program objects into the "Actions on menu: Primary pop-up menu" box in the Menu tab of the settings notebook.

This method has two advantages: First, I can change what a Program object does, and the related menu item will automatically change as well. Second, if I want to change the order of the menu items, I just delete all the items from the menu tab, and then quickly drag and drop the appropriate program objects back in the order I want. You can also give Program objects names like "~1. Command Prompt" and the "~1" will turn into a underlined hotkey when you drag it onto the menu.

- Jim Little

- Before I installed FixPak 17, I would sometimes boot to DOS from drive A:. After I installed the FixPak, I lost this capability. My machine begins to load PC DOS 6.3, but then it locks up. Has anyone else experienced this problem?

Since I don't have FP17 installed here, I can't verify it for sure, but I suspect something like the following: when you created "use DOS from Drive A:", you might have had to copy certain OS/2 files onto A: so that it worked properly (such as FSACCESS.FLT, proper EMM drivers from \OS2\MDOS, etc.). With FP17 installed, there might be an incompatibility between those old pre-FixPak files you copied over to your A: drive, and the regular OS/2 "DOS From Drive A:" system files that may have been updated by the FixPak.

The best solution would be to try a different DOS boot disk, and verify that any files you copy over to that disk from \OS2\MDOS are copied from a system that has had FixPak 17 installed.

- Ethan Hall-Beyer

That's it for this month. If you have a tip or question that you don't see covered here, don't forget to send it in!

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