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Answers from e-Zine!


Welcome back to the place for 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!


- An Object Desktop tip:

We all have it. The Bookmark folder that contains our WebExplorer URLs, nicely organized by category. Here is a way to supercharge that folder and enhance your surfing.

  1. Create a Control Center and call it Bookmark Center
  2. Add your Bookmarks folder to the Bookmark Control Center
  3. Remove all sections except the Bookmarks object
I've placed my Bookmark Control Center in the upper right corner and have set the activation point for the same corner.

Virtual Desktop users may want to define this Control Center as a locked window, so it is available for all your WebEx sessions.

Press the Bookmark object, grab the desired URL object with mouse button two and drop on WebEx.

- Mike Beedlow

- Should I buy a Canon BJC 210 printer to use under OS/2 Warp? Has anyone had any experience with this printer?

From what I have gathered reading Usenet you want to stay away from Canon printers if you are running OS/2. They don't support it. Of course, there's omni.drv but you still depend on IBM here and the quality of the drivers is varying to be polite... I'd suggest either an HP or a Lexmark. Check this month's "Byte". I'd recommend Lexmark. They are originally an IBM subsidiary and their OS/2 support is probably the best to be had driver-wise.

- Bernhard Rohrer

- I have apparently lost the ability in Warp to read the OSO001.MSG file in its original location. The PATH and DPATH include the directory for the file but only when I copy it to the root directory of my boot drive is OS/2 able to find it. This means that when I ask for something and pipe it through MORE it doesn't work unless the MSG file is in the root directory. It also seems to mean that when a program crashes and I ask to view the information about the failure it doesn't display it. It merely replays the notice of failure and the only option I have is to end the program. What's wrong?

OS/2 uses the DPATH environment variable to locate this file, which should normally be located in x:\OS2\SYSTEM. Since the directory is already included in the DPATH statement, the only thing I can think of is that there is a file in a directory that is listed before x:\OS2\SYSTEM (but after x:\) that is causing a problem. Try moving the x:\OS2\SYSTEM entry in your DPATH line to just in front of the x:\ entry.

Since modifications to CONFIG.SYS require a reboot before they take affect, a quick way to see if this will work is to open a command prompt and set the DPATH statement from there, then use MORE to see if it worked.

  1. open an OS/2 command prompt and switch to the root directory
  2. type SET DPATH=E:\OS2;E:\OS2\SYSTEM;E:\OS2\INSTALL;E:\;E:\OS2\BITMAP;E:\OS2\MDOS;etc... (make the appropriate modifications for your system)
  3. type TYPE x:\CONFIG.SYS | MORE If it worked, make the same changes to the DPATH line in your CONFIG.SYS and reboot.
- Jim Little

- Whenever I open folders on my desktop there is a big delay and a lot of disk accessing. Also, whenever a system sound is played the same thing happens (the disk churns for a while before the sound is played). This never happens on my system when I'm using Windows 3.x. Is this because I only have 8 meg? What can I do?

The simple answer is, yes. OS/2 will probably never run on your system like Windows 3.x does in only 8 meg. This is good and bad though.

The bad part is obvious: disk thrashing, slow performance, etc.

The good part is that this means your OS is actually doing something. You're getting the benefits of all the technology that has gone into OS/2 over the years. This means your objects are actually objects (and OS/2 keeps track of where they are, etc.), folders can contain files, objects, other folders, shadows, etc., and various other things.

There are two things you can do to alleviate the problems you're having. The first is relatively cheap but requires some work and isn't a perfect solution. You can eliminate some of the features from your OS/2 setup such as multimedia support (including system sounds) and turn off "extras" such as animated windows. In your cutting, you may also want to get rid of Windows support (or even DOS support) and Internet support (if you don't need it) or at least DOS Internet support. This can be accomplished by a combination of selective uninstall and pruning your config.sys file.

Then you might even consider using an alternate shell instead of booting the Workplace Shell. You can save as much as 2 meg of RAM by using something like FileBar as your default shell (instructions on how to do this are included in the docs of FileBar).

Second, is the more expensive but infinitely preferable option. Buy more RAM. Memory prices are cheap these days -- one correspondent recently told me he had just picked up 16 meg for US$109. At those prices, you're crazy not to take the plunge if your system can handle the extra simms.

- Trevor Smith

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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