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First Looks and Nifty Gadgets - by Christopher B. Wright
OS/2 e-Zine!

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Christopher B. Wright is a technical writer in the Richmond, VA area, and has been using OS/2 Warp since January 95. He is also a member of Team OS/2.

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Summary: A quick look at some new products just appearing for OS/2, as well as nifty little gadgets to make work easier.


In my last article when I featured WarpHelp, an alpha product that is intended to replace the current view.exe help viewer in OS/2, I mistakenly said that the program was being designed by Carl Hauser, Marcus Groeber, and Peter Childs. In fact, none of them are working on this project: WarpHelp is the child of Cristiano Guadagnino, a member of Team OS/2 Italy and someone who has never met Messrs. Hauser, Groeber and Childs.

Carl Hauser, Marcus Groeber and Peter Childs are people who tried to document the otherwise undocumented INF binary format, and Cristiano had included a text file they had written (and made freely available on an old issue of EDM/2) for any programmers interested in the subject.

Also in my last article, I claimed that PMEuro 1.3 by Ulrich Möller didn't convert the currencies of countries who are not members of the new European Community -- I wasn't looking hard enough. In fact PMEuro does support the US Dollar, and has a screen[open in pop-up window](.GIF, 14K) where you can add other currencies as necessary. Alas, it does not automatically update these -- whenever the exchange rates change, you'll have to edit that information yourself.

Gotcha! 1.45


Screen capture applications are not tools that everyone needs, but when you need one you need a good one. Gotcha!, a mailware application by Thorsten Thielen, is at present a very useful one and has the potential to be a very good one if developed further.

Gotcha! has a very simple interface and works very reliably. Using it is as easy as choosing the kind of screen capture you want to take and then clicking on the window (or region) you want to capture.

Unfortunately, it still has a few limitations: it only saves the captures as bitmaps -- not a showstopper, since you can use another application to convert it to whatever file format you prefer, but it would be nice to have the option of saving it in other formats like PNG, GIF, JPEG, TIFF or TGA. Also, you can't define "hotkeys" for the application, meaning you can't simply hit a key combination on your keyboard and activate the program.

Gotcha! 1.45

by Thorsten Thielen
download from Hobbes Archive (110K)
Registration: Mailware

HyperCD (BETA)

What? Another CD Player? Don't we have enough of those already?

It does seem that there is a mini quest out there for software developers to create the "perfect CD Player" application, but this one, while still in beta, has a few nifty gadgets of its own. It goes beyond merely playing your CD through your CD-ROM drive, it also functions as a CD track database, both locally and remotely too. From the readme file:

"Work in progress: Automatic CD-data retrieval for internet-connected machines. When starting HyperCD with the flag '/INET' a SOCKET connection will be attempted to a remote server when an unknown CD is inserted. Also, every CD entered in the system will be automatically forwarded to this server. In order to get this running I need people with a direct-connected OS/2 machine attached to the internet (NOT through a PROXY). The protocol is in place, I have got beta-level server-software ready, and the servers support mirroring. Any volunteers out there?"


So the idea is that eventually, if you don't have the track details for the CD you're playing already programmed, you can log on to the internet and download them from a server instead.

Another interesting feature is a real-time spectrum analyzer[open in pop-up window](.GIF, 4K) that you might have seen before in PM123. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be very responsive yet in this beta version. Perhaps it'll be a bit more lively in future revisions.

HyperCD (BETA)

by Jeroen van den Horn
download from The Hobbes Archive (273K)
Registration: N/A

PageMage v0.36

One of the neatest things about Object Desktop is its ability to create Virtual Desktops. But if you don't use Object Desktop you may be interested in a freeware application that works just as well.


PageMage is an oft-neglected utility that has been sitting on the Hobbes archive site since 1995. It seems to have been abandoned to its fate, but the truth is for an app that lists "not completed" in its readme file it seems to work just fine.

PageMage, first introduced in the May 1996 edition of OS/2 e-Zine!, is a virtual desktop app that is modeled after the virtual desktops found in Unix window managers like fvwm. It sits on your desktop and gives you a "grid" of virtual desktops that you can jump to with the click of a mouse button. The application, which was written in the early Warp 3 days, is very configurable (allowing you to define "sticky" windows that follow you as you click from one virtual window to the next).

While it seems likely that PageMage has been orphaned, it's still a good utility that deserves re-instroduction.

PageMage v0.36

by Carlos Ugarte
download from The Hobbes Archive (59K)
Registration: Freeware

Copyright © 1999 - Falcon Networking ISSN 1203-5696
February 1, 1999