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The Need For Speed- by Jon Cochran


Is it just me, or does MMOS/2 still feel like a tacked on afterthought? Case in point: changing a display driver is a relatively simple operation (reset to VGA, install the new driver); adding a new network card is also relatively easy; changing a sound card is roughly as pleasant as sticking your head up against a belt-sander.

The problem with installing any kind of multimedia device in OS/2 is that the MMOS/2 system keeps a very detailed record of what multimedia adapters are in your system, and when you add a new one it doesn't delete the old record. So, while a normal MMPM2.INI may have a line that looks like:

CDaudio=IBMCD010_1
if you change your CD-ROM drive, you may get a line that looks like the following:
CDaudio=IBMCD010_1,IBMCD020_1
What's the problem? Careful mucking and tugging of the mmpm2.ini file will reveal the following:
[IBMCD010_1]
 VERSIONNUMBER=1
 PRODUCTINFO=DEFAULT
 MCDDRIVER=CDAUDIO
 VSDDRIVER=GENCDVSD
 PDDNAME=CD-ROM
 MCDTABLE=MDM
 RESOURCENAME=D:
 DEVICEFLAG=1
 DEVICETYPE=3
 SHARETYPE=2
 RESOURCEUNITS=1
 RESOURCECLASSES=1,1
 PARMSTRING=Drive=D,Model=DEFAULT DEFAULT1
 CONNECTORS=1,6,HEADPHONE,1
 ALIASNAME=Compact Disc
[defaultnames]
 CDaudio=IBMCD010_1
[IBMCD020_1]
 VERSIONNUMBER=1
 PRODUCTINFO=SONY
 MCDDRIVER=CDAUDIO
 VSDDRIVER=GENCDVSD
 PDDNAME=CD-ROM
 MCDTABLE=MDM
 RESOURCENAME=D:
 DEVICEFLAG=1
 DEVICETYPE=3
 SHARETYPE=2
 RESOURCEUNITS=1
 RESOURCECLASSES=1,1
 PARMSTRING=Drive=D,Model=SONY    CD-ROM CDU55E
 CONNECTORS=2,6,HEADPHONE,1,2,,0
 ALIASNAME=CDaudio02
As you may be able to guess by this point, when the new CD-ROM was added to this particular system (it was the Sony CDU55E being added), the MMPM/2 installation program just added the new CD-ROM to its .INI file, neglected to remove the old one, and doubled up on the CDAUDIO value. Is this bad? Probably. It can, and will, cause headaches when you add sound adapters (as it has for me).

So what's an OS/2 user to do? Well, the absolute easiest way to add a new sound card is to simply install it, boot OS/2, back up your MMPM2.INI file, delete the MMPM2.INI file (making sure you still have a backup) and running Selective Install. This method usually works very well, and you don't have to go through the headaches of uninstalling multimedia support (which doesn't work very well at all).

If you're adding a CD-ROM, you could add the new drive through Selective Install (or whatever installation program you're required to run) and manually edit the MMPM2.INI file, removing all the old references. Which is what I did (and everything still works).

Go now, and let the brave among you plumb the depths of your MMPM2.INI file. If you've done a lot of configuring and re-configuring, you may be a bit shocked. Or scared.


Jon Cochran is a full time student at Rider University majoring in History/Secondary Education. He hopes (or at least his parents do) to graduate soon.

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