Category Archives: Community

Community related news

Warpstock 2019, November 8-10, Orlando, Florida

Join Us at Warpstock 2019 in Orlando

Warpstock 2019 will be held November 8-10 at the Country Inn & Suites, Orlando Airport. Arca Noae staff and developers will be there with the latest ArcaOS news and how-to sessions, as well as a host of other OS/2 experts ready and willing to share their knowledge and expertise.

Register in the next 24 hours (before June 1) and receive a $30 Early Bird discount on a full conference registration or $20 on a daily conference registration! Spouses/family members/guests/office mates attending sessions also receive great discounts, and non-attending guests are FREE. Students with valid student ID are welcome to attend sessions at no charge, with full benefits! (This is a great opportunity for Computer Science majors and aspiring young developers and engineers to gain some exposure to a platform which is still in use in the manufacturing, finance, and insurance sectors around the globe today.)

Arca Noae Package Manager version 1.0.4 has been released

Arca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of an updated Arca Noae Package Manager for ArcaOS, OS/2, and eComStation. (1.0.4)

While this is technically a minor update, it includes an array of substantial enhancements:

  • Implemented editing of secure repositories.
  • Implemented passing of long (>900 char) parameter lists by pipe instead of going through CMD (for package export).
  • Install from file now goes through yum engine, thereby enabling dependencies and update/downgrade/reinstall.
  • Ensured that special characters in encrypt/decrypt commands are not intercepted by CMD.
  • Make sure reinstall, update, and downgrade also enable DLL conflict checking.
  • Even more improved message formatting.
  • Expanded help guide.
  • Updated included libraries.
  • Various bug fixes and other minor improvements.

Arca Noae Package Manager is available in English with Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, and Swedish language packs.

This open source utility is available to everyone, free of charge, regardless whether you have an Arca Noae software subscription or an ArcaOS license.

Please review the wiki for important first-time installation and upgrade notes and other tips.

Warpstock Europe 2019 is this weekend!

This weekend, May 18-19, Stichting VOICE International (the Dutch OS/2 VOICE foundation) will present Warpstock Europe 2019 at the Ibis Hotel in Utrecht, Netherlands. For program and travel details, visit http://www.warpstock.eu.

Ticket sales will close Wednesday afternoon, Dutch local time, so visit http://www.warpstock.eu now to purchase your ticket for this exciting event.

Unable to attend? Live audio and video streams will be made available. To ask questions remotely during the conference, use IRC. For details concerning both streams and IRC participation, see http://www.warpstock.eu/2019/58-videostream2019.

Members of the Arca Noae team will be presenting on the latest application, device driver, and ArcsOS development. Alex Taylor, Arca Noae’s Chief UI Architect, will be there live to present and to answer your questions. In addition, the developers at bww bitwiseworks will be on hand to discuss their latest projects for the OS/2 platform, including Qt5 progress.

Remember that the audio and video streams will be in real time, so be sure to account for any local time difference from Central European Summer Time (CEST), which is GMT +0200.

Videos will be available from the Warpstock Europe YouTube channel after the conference. See http://www.warpstock.eu/2019/58-videostream2019 for the link.

If you want to support the activities of VOICE, please consider making a donation:

http://www.os2voice.org/membership.html

Warpstock 2018, Calgary

Arca Noae at Warpstock 2018 in Calgary…and an ArcaOS Sale

This year’s Warpstock event is scheduled for September 14-16 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.There will be several sessions devoted to getting the most out of ArcaOS and OS/2, in general.

To celebrate this year’s event, Arca Noae will be running a sale on ArcaOS personal and commercial licenses for the duration of Warpstock, Friday through Sunday. This is a great time to get in on this fresh and exciting OS/2 release or to pick up additional licenses for more stations. ArcaOS 5.0.3 was recently released, and the first beta for 5.0.4 is already in testing. Version 5.1 is scheduled for release in 2019, with a host of new features planned, including NLVs for several popular languages.

More information about Warpstock, its history, past speakers and presentations, and this year’s event may be found on the Warpstock site.

If you can’t join us in Calgary, be sure to watch the live feed on the WarpEvents page on YouTube.

Once there, locate the WarpStock 2018 Live Stream URL.

Users with OS/2 can watch the stream in two ways:

  1. Firefox with Flash pointing to the WarpEvents site; or
  2. Grab the YouTube URL and play it in VLC (preferred; get the latest VLC, ported by KO Myung-Hun, from Hobbes).

To ask questions during the live event, use the #netlabs channel on IRC.

There will be up to date information on OS/2 World and the following social networks:

Arca Noae Package Manager version 1.0.3 has been released

Arca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of an updated Arca Noae Package Manager for ArcaOS, OS/2, and eComStation. (1.0.3)

This is a minor update, featuring various fixes and enhancements:

  • Ability to select specific platform for package installation/replacement.
  • Better filtering of duplicate packages in lists.
  • Improved message formatting.
  • Improved and expanded help guide, with more “how-to” references.
  • Updated included libraries.
  • Various bug fixes and other minor improvements.

Arca Noae Package Manager is available in English with Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, and Swedish language packs. Some have added help file translations in this version.

This open source utility is available to everyone, free of charge, regardless whether you have an Arca Noae software subscription or an ArcaOS license.

Please review the wiki for important first-time installation and upgrade notes and other tips.

Support FreeRDP for OS/2!

If you have a need to access a remote Windows desktop, the best option is using a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) client. Using RDP, the local system’s drives may be mapped (redirected) into the remote system to access local files, and even audio from the remote system may be redirected to the local system.

Currently, the RDP client of choice on OS/2 is RDesktop, ported by Andrey Vasilkin. However, RDesktop is showing its age, and a newer, more active project, FreeRDP, has become very well known.

Andrey proposes porting FreeRDP to OS/2, which poses its own set of challenges, so in order to do that, he needs support from the OS/2 user base. This project will take several months, but when he is done, all users of OS/2 warp, eCS, and ArcaOS will have a free, modern, remote access tool.

Sponsoring units for this work may be purchased in the Arca Noae store, in $15, $25, $50, and $100 increments, and of course, it is possible to purchase multiple units at one time.

As with all of the sponsoring collected through Arca Noae 100% of your donation (subject to currency conversion) goes to the project or to the developer. Arca Noae absorbs any related transfer fees.

Arca Noae Package Manager version 1.0.2 has been released

Arca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of an updated Arca Noae Package Manager for ArcaOS, OS/2, and eComStation. (1.0.2)

This is a minor release, but with lots of new functionality, including:

  • Prioritization of installed/updated packages, and prompted rebooting (should eliminate various problems when updating all packages).
  • Export & import of package lists, designed to make it easier to keep different systems in sync or when a complete refresh is required.
  • Fixed problems filtering out spurious checksum messages.
  • Improved error message formatting overall.
  • Program now gracefully handles bad or offline repositories.
  • Secure repositories can now be disabled/enabled in Repository Manager.
  • Cancelling credential entry for a secure repository now automatically
    disables it.
  • Some changes to menu names and arrangement.
  • Improved and expanded help guide.
  • Various bug fixes and other minor improvements.

Arca Noae Package Manager is available in English with Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, and Swedish language packs. Some have added help file translations in this version.

This open source utility is available to everyone, free of charge, regardless whether you have an Arca Noae software subscription or an ArcaOS license.

Please review the wiki for important first-time installation and upgrade notes and other tips.

Policy statement concerning Spectre and Meltdown exploits

Spectre and Meltdown are terms used to describe two potential exploits in a class of security attacks commonly termed “timing attacks” because they access data which may be sensitive in nature (passwords and other information) from areas of memory which may only be available at specific times (either moved elsewhere or removed entirely at other times). They belong to the more general class termed “side-channel attacks,” because they exploit the hardware itself, rather than breaking encryption or utilizing a software flaw. For more technical information regarding these exploits, please refer to the links section, below.

Arca Noae engineers are monitoring the situation, and while there is still much contradictory information crossing the internet at this time, we believe we have been able to assess at least some of the risk and provide some guidance to users of the OS/2 platform (OS/2 Warp, eComStation, and ArcaOS). As further reliable information becomes available, this post will be updated to reflect any change in Arca Noae’s position and any actions we may plan to take.

General information

In order to gain access to any information in privileged memory using one of these exploits, a user-level application must be launched on the specific machine to be compromised. This means that presently, an OS/2 executable must be used as the attack vector. As of this writing, we are not aware of any such code which executes on the OS/2 platform.

Browser-based attacks (running JavaScript) appear to require greater precision in a high-resolution timer than is currently available on OS/2, making such exploits more difficult than on other platforms, if not altogether impossible. It should also be noted that any such JavaScript-based attack would have to also be specifically designed to handle access to memory regions as managed by OS/2 (in other words, a malicious JavaScript program must be written for OS/2 and specifically to run in the OS/2 browser version in which it is running; a JavaScript program written for Windows or Linux will not work on OS/2). Realistically, the chance of this level of coding detail is extremely small.

Risks – virtual installations vs bare metal

By far, virtualized environments (running OS/2 as a guest under some other more vulnerable platform) are at the greatest risk, because the host system may rightly have access to the guest’s memory and virtualized processor. A host running a vulnerable operating system with an exploitable CPU which remains unpatched is the greatest concern. Arca Noae believes bare metal installations of OS/2-based operating systems are at much less risk.

Arca Noae’s current strategy

To date, we have not identified a need for a kernel patch to mitigate the risk of any hypothetical Spectre or Meltdown attack against OS/2-based systems. We continue to monitor the available information and will adjust our strategy as conditions require.

Arca Noae’s current recommendations

For virtualized and bare metal installations, Arca Noae recommends only running software obtained from trusted sources. Per stand practice, reasonable security precautions should be taken when accessing the internet, particularly when visiting unfamiliar or untrusted sites, and browser cache should be cleared regularly. The use of a NAT firewall is also encouraged (either a separate one, as built into a broadband router or at a minimum, a software firewall running on the local OS/2 system, such as InJoy Firewall).

Because a malicious application designed to utilize one of these exploits would have to be downloaded or copied to the target OS/2 system and then executed locally, normal malware protections remain the best first line of defense.

For virtualized installations, Arca Noae recommends applying to the host system whatever patches are made available and recommended by the developer of the host operating system.

Updates

2019-02-14: Security researchers apparently conclude in this whitepaper that Spectre cannot be entirely mitigated at the software level.

Links

Official information

Spectre CVEs:

CVE-2017-5753

CVE-2017-5715

Meltdown CVE:

CVE-2017-5754

Mozilla Security Blog

CERT: CPU hardware vulnerable to side-channel attacks

Intel: Facts about side-channel analysis and Intel products

AMD: An update on AMD processor security

Warpstock 2017, Toronto, Ontario

Want to learn more about using ArcaOS? Come to Warpstock 2017 in Toronto!

Warpstock as an event has been around since 1997. Since its inception, the goal of Warpstock has been to educate and expose users to OS/2, its available software, and how to get the most out of the environment. In addition, Warpstock has always been a great venue for meeting developers and engineers involved with OS/2 and its derivative operating systems, including eComStation and ArcaOS.

This year’s Warpstock event is scheduled for September 8-10 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Several key members of the ArcaOS development team will be on hand to present, answer questions, and take suggestions to improve the operating system as we continue to move toward the 5.1 release, planned for later next year.

More information about Warpstock, its history, past speakers and presentations, and this year’s event may be found on Warpstock’s site: http://www.warpstock.org.

Come join us in Toronto!

ArcaOS 5.0 DVD

ArcaOS 5.0: Blue Lion is coming

The final beta for ArcaOS 5.0 is due for release to beta testers within hours. We’ve spent considerable time nailing down the last of what we consider to have been critical issues (likely installation pitfalls) to ensure that our users are able to get the operating system installed and get on with using and enjoying the new version as soon as possible. While our intent was to provide more details along the way, our focus has remained on the software, and as we are all engineers here, in one form or another, we’ve all been engaged in developing and testing.

Meanwhile, some announcements:

Pricing for ArcaOS 5.0 will be in two tiers, set apart by the level and length of support and maintenance bundled with each. The personal license will retail for $129, with an introductory price of $99 for the first 90 days following release. This includes six months of support and maintenance updates and fixes. The commercial license is priced at $229, and includes one year of support and maintenance. Subscription services will be available for each version and it will be possible to bundle extended support and maintenance subscriptions at the time of ArcaOS license purchase.

Volume discounts will be available, as well, with different discount levels for personal and commercial licenses.