[Improve OS/2's performance with Priority Master II (click here).] [Products and Resources for VisualAge (click here).]
Utilities and Gadgets- by Chris Wenham
OS/2 e-Zine!

Chris Wenham is the Editor-In-Chief of OS/2 e-Zine! -- a promotion from Senior Editor which means he now takes all the blame.

Blast Back! Send a private message directly to Chris Wenham with your thoughts:

Contact OS/2 e-Zine!

Go to a Printer Friendly version of this page

Summary: Rounding up our look at Java applications for the desktop, we look at some of the smaller utilities and gadgets such as an IRC client and even a ZIP file manager.

iavaZIP 2.03

A pleasant surprise to find in the Java utilities bag is iavaZIP, a program that easily manages .ZIP archive files with features on par to WinZip and WarpZip. It installs quickly with the help of InstallShield for Java, has a clean yet visually rich user interface (.GIF, 30K) and even a set of built-in viewers for checking ReadMe files and images.

With iavaZIP it's easy to browse for the zip file you want, then navigate through a tree of available directories to pick where you want to extract to. iavaZIP will also present details of the files found within an archive and flip back and forth through available views.

IRC Client for Java

From IBM's AlphaWorks web site comes a fairly decent Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client (.GIF, 19K) for Java, one that not only supports joining multiple chat rooms, but also has a few interesting features not found in regular clients.

One of these is an optional scrolling ticker that runs along the top of the window. While it starts with a default message from IBM, channel hosts (operators) can post an advertisement or message to the channel that gets added to this ticker. Another feature is the ability to request the last 10 lines of conversation from another user, as long as he's also using IRC Client for Java -- usefull for if you just joined a channel and want to get up to speed with the conversation.

IRC Client for Java might take a few moments of getting used to if you're accustomed to traditional clients, but otherwise it can hold its own rather well. It has features for handling the responsibilities and powers of a channel operater (or "host"), plus contains rudimentary flood protection.

The "Buddy Lists": Java ICQ and AOL Instant Messenger for Java

The two most popular "buddy list" programs on the Internet, now both owned by the same company, are ICQ and AOL Instant Messenger (or AIM for short). Both will help you keep track of how many friends and colleagues are online, plus let you chat with them in realtime.

Java ICQ (.GIF, 6K) is the most feature rich of the two, but both Java versions lag way behind their Windows counterparts. Java ICQ allows for sending files to another person and entering into chat "rooms" where more than two people can be talking at once. The service also comes with such frills as a Web "Pager" with which someone without ICQ can send you a message through the web.

AIM (.GIF, 11K) has the nicer looking user interface, and uses "screen names" instead of numbers as ICQ does, but carries a perpetually rotating set of advertising graphics at the top of the window.

Both are only really useful if you plan to run them all the time, and for that it might be wise to avoid them unless you have plenty of RAM available, as neither seem to be that light on resources - strange since the programs are so simple.


MaxBase is unusual in that it's the first major application we've come across that was written in NetRexx - a dialect of Rexx that's translated into Java. Perhaps it's for this reason that its interface (.GIF, 11K) is rather simplistic and menu driven. Yet MaxBase lets you create database tables, fill them with data, then either generate reports with it's MERGe report generator (.GIF, 35K), or share it on a network.

MaxBase also includes a number of JavaBeans which would make it attractive to a developer seeking to add database power to his or her Jawa application. While MaxBase deserves a longer review of its features, we didn't have time to complete it for this issue. Look for more coverage of MaxBase in a future issue of OS/2 e-Zine!

* * *

iavaZIP 2.03

by SFS Software
download from The SFS homepage (430K)
Registration: $49

IRC Client for Java 1.38

by IBM AlphaWorks
download from AlphaWorks (328K)
Registration: Free

Java ICQ v0.981a Preview

by Mirabilis
download from Mirabilis (605K)
Registration: Free

AOL Instant Messenger for Java

by America Online
download from AIM sign-up page (917K)
Registration: Free


by Max Marsiglietti
download from BMT Micro (1.6M)
Registration: $29
Copyright © 1998 - Falcon Networking ISSN 1203-5696
October 16, 1998