Category Archives: General

2016 logo

Arca Noae at Warpstock Europe 2016

Arca Noae principals David Azarewicz and Lewis Rosenthal will be on hand at this year’s Warpstock Europe event to discuss some of the great offerings from Arca Noae, including latest driver development and the upcoming Blue Lion release.

Expect more details in the coming days, and be sure to visit the event page for general information and the Arca Noae store to register and purchase your tickets.

Effect of Colorado’s Sales & Use Tax on purchases from Arca Noae

If you are a resident of Colorado, or your business is located in Colorado, a recent Tenth Circuit decision Portable Document Format concerning the requirement for out-of-state retailers to notify you of your responsibility to report and remit use tax to the State may have caught your eye. The Court has held that this requirement is constitutional and remanded further proceedings to a lower court. (See more, here.)

While it is not Arca Noae’s position to provide any kind of tax advice, we can provide links to various Colorado Department of Revenue documents to help clarify the nature of transactions between Arca Noae and you.

FYI Sales 89 Portable Document Format defines standardized computer software as:

  • Computer software, including prewritten upgrades that is not designated or developed to the specifications of a specific purchaser.
  • Computer software designed and developed to the specifications of a specific purchaser but then sold to another purchaser.
  • Software that is modified or enhanced even if such modification or enhancement is designed and developed to the specification of a purchaser.

This would generally describe software offerings provided by Arca Noae as available from our online store. Further, the above FYI states:

SALES TAX ON COMPUTER SOFTWARE ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 2012
Computer software will be subject to sales or use tax if it meets all of the following criteria:

  • The software is pre-packaged for repeated sale or license;
  • The use of the software is governed by a tear-open non-negotiable license agreement;
  • The software is delivered to the customer in a tangible medium. Software is not delivered to the customer in a tangible medium if it is provided through an application service provider, delivered by electronic software delivery, or transferred by load and leave software delivery.

Mandatory maintenance agreements. Charges for maintenance agreements that the retailer requires buyers to purchase as part of their purchase of taxable computer software are subject to sales tax, regardless of whether the charge for the maintenance agreement is separately stated on the customer’s invoice or maintenance contract.

Optional maintenance agreements. Charges for maintenance agreements that the buyer has the option to purchase as part of a purchase of taxable computer software are not subject to tax if the maintenance charges are separately stated on the customer’s invoice. […]

Currently, all Arca Noae software and subscription content licensing sold through our online store is delivered by electronic software delivery, only, and not on tangible media. As of this writing, Arca Noae does not ship physical goods anywhere in the world.

Further concerns should be directed toward either the Colorado Department of Revenue or your tax professional.

Globally locked

EU-US Privacy Shield – Status Report

If you are a resident of the European Union and a customer of ours, chances are you have been watching (or at least are aware of) the situation regarding data transfer policy between the EU and the US.

On October 6, 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “CJEU”) invalidated the European Commission’s Decision on the EU-US Safe Harbor arrangement, determining that the Commission’s finding that Safe Harbor was adequate was, in fact, inadequate. More on this decision may be found here.

On February 2, the US and the EU reached an agreement in principle to construct a framework to replace Safe Harbor and to reconcile differences between the laws of both governments. That framework has been named the EU-US Privacy Shield. In response to the agreement, the US Department of Commerce released a fact sheet, which we are making available as a pdf, here.

As the new framework promises to have farther reaching implications for how personally identifiable data is handled by third parties, we have contacted both of our current payment processors (Stripe and PayPal) for their comments. While we are still awaiting comment from PayPal, Stripe has responded that they, too, are monitoring the situation, but have not yet made any changes to their policies or procedures, pending more concrete guidance.

We want you to know that we take the privacy concerns of our customers very seriously, and we will continue to monitor this and any other legislation which may have an impact on doing business with us, whether you are located within the US or anywhere in the world. We believe that our current privacy policy remains in accord with the spirit of the new EU-US Privacy Shield as we anticipate it, but we will keep you apprised of the situation and will make adjustments as necessary.

More information and commentary on the EU-US Privacy Shield may be found on these sites:

Digital Media, Technology & Privacy Alert >> Agreement on EU-U.S. Privacy Shield to Replace Safe Harbor Faces Hurdles, Kibel, Gary A, Partner (Digital Media, Technology & Privacy), Davis & Gilbert, LLP, February 4, 2016.

Article 29 Working Party Reacts to the U.S.-EU Privacy Shield Agreement, Tielemans, Jetty and Steinhardt, Ezra (Data Privacy and Cybersecurity group), Covington & Burling LLP, February 2, 2016.

DFSee version 13

Checked your disk lately?

Mysterious boot problems can be caused by a variety of things from failing hardware to software misconfiguration. Besides regular file backups, saving your disk partitioning can be a big help during recovery (or reconstruction onto a new drive). Fixing an odd problem, such as the once-in-a-lifetime file with an impossible character in the name which just won’t delete, is also possible with a good disk tool. Moving to a new disk to gain more space? You’ll need something to carve that room into something useful and transfer your data.

Luckily, we have just the thing: DFSee, the Swiss Army knife of disk utilities. DFSee runs on a variety of platforms, so if you need to boot from “something else” to fix your OS/2 system, you may. (Likewise, you may boot from OS/2 or eCS to fix your other OS.)

DFSee, now at version 13, now has full support for GPT partitioning schemes, compatible with current systems on the market today. It has an amazing array of features, including:

  • View, analyze, edit and fix partition tables
  • Support for GPT partitioning schemes (as mentioned above), including move, copy, and resize
  • Browse, analyze and fix various filesystems
  • Undelete files
  • Replacement for FDISK and LVM (Logical Volume Manager) tools
  • Clone, backup and restore partitions or filesystems
  • Split large images in smaller pieces suitable for burning to CD or DVD
  • Hex editor
  • Scriptable recovery

and, of course, that world-famous support from the developer, Jan van Wijk and Fsys Software.

Bootable media DFSee is installable to a local partition or may be run from a bootable CD or USB stick, which makes it especially handy for real rescue operations.

If you’ve never licensed a copy of DFSee, now is the time to do so. If you have an older version (even a very old version), an upgrade is only a few clicks away, and if you have a license for version 12, we have an even better deal on an upgrade.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Review the full feature list at DFSee.com, and stop into our store to license your copy today.

Still running mature software? Arca Noae can help

There was some news made recently when Orly Airport in Paris, France suffered some apparent downtime of its Windows 3.1-based DECOR system which provides Runway Visual Range (RVR) information to pilots. Tech news media was abuzz with ridicule for any enterprise still running what it termed as such “antiquated” systems (referring to both DECOR and Windows 3.1, and in several instances, referring to Windows XP and “UNIX” as similarly antiquated (see here, here, and here for examples).

Unfortunately, what many of these news outlets don’t understand is that after all of the years in service, it simply may not make economic sense to replace a working system simply because there’s a new OS or application version available (likely with new and unknown flaws and potential pitfalls). Perhaps a newer version of a critical application did away with what is to that customer a must-have feature, or perhaps the application has been orphaned altogether, and nothing else currently available seems to be able to do as efficient a job as what is already in place.

Arca Noae understands the value of these systems. OS/2 still provides “a better DOS than DOS and a better [16-bit] Windows than Windows” due to its preemptive multitasking capabilities and crash protection, so multiple Windows 3.1 and/or DOS sessions may be started and run independently of one another, where a critical application is less likely to be brought down simply because some other application crashed in a different session.

If you have a need to run mature applications on OS/2, Windows 3.1, or DOS, Arca Noae can help extend the life of your investment in those platforms and those applications. Our OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software package subscription – available now – can assist in running OS/2 or eComStation on newer hardware. Our upcoming OS/2 release, codenamed Blue Lion, is being designed to provide an installable solution to deploy new systems with an updated OS/2, fully capable of handling those mature DOS and Windows 3.1 applications, as well as native OS/2 applications and ported Linux applications on modern hardware or in a virtualized environment.

Perhaps you need expertise in handling such a transition or in maintaining your mature infrastructure. Arca Noae’s experienced engineers and consultants can provide those services, as well, practically anywhere in the world. Need us? Contact us.

Blue Lion, by Arca Noae

Blue Lion is Go!

Arca Noae has become an IBM business partner and has an agreement in place that enables us to produce our own OS/2 distribution. We have given this project the code name “Blue Lion” (which probably won’t be the final release name!).

This will be an independent, full OS/2 implementation for the modern environment, with updated drivers and other software, and all the software that you can run on OS/2 and eComStation will also run on Blue Lion. It will be available in multiple languages.

The focus will be on running a full OS/2 implementation on bare metal, not just in virtual machines, and towards that goal we plan to do a considerable amount of testing on popular, industry-standard hardware.

Development of Blue Lion has started, and as it progresses we will keep you informed of its status and our pricing strategy.

We will not take pre-orders until it’s ready as a saleable product – there is a lot of work to do to get this done, and we currently have a target of the 3rd quarter of 2016.

We at Arca Noae are very excited about this project and what it means for the future of OS/2, and we hope you will be too!

If you you have any questions, please contact us.

AFS & Kerberos Best Practices Workshop 2015

Per Arca Noae’s commitment to Kerberos 5 on OS/2, Lewis Rosenthal from Arca Noae will be attending the 2015 AFS & Kerberos Best Practices Workshop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, beginning Monday, August 17.

For those not familiar with Kerberos, there is a new Netlabs project devoted to this stable authentication platform, and the wiki page there contains several links to useful information.

The UEFI Forum

Arca Noae joins the UEFI Forum as an Adopting Member

For immediate release:

Leesburg, Virginia, USA

Arca Noae, LLC, a Delaware-based Limited Liability Company, is pleased to announce their membership in the UEFI Forum.

The UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) specification defines a new model for the interface between personal-computer operating systems and platform firmware. The interface consists of data tables that contain platform-related information, plus boot and runtime service calls that are available to the operating system and its loader. Together, these provide a standard environment for booting an operating system and running pre-boot applications. Essentially, this layer provides a replacement for the traditional BIOS, and is the future of small computing architecture.

The UEFI Forum is a clearinghouse for all current, related documents pertaining to UEFI, the UEFI specification, and its adoption by manufacturers and software developers.

In addition, the UEFI Forum performs a similar function for ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface). Arca Noae develops and maintains the current ACPI implementation for the OS/2 and eComStation platform.

Arca Noae is committed to running OS/2 on current hardware. UEFI, like ACPI, is a continuation of the trend to move more functions from the BIOS to the operating system. Arca Noae is looking into how this new technology can be supported under OS/2 in the future.

End of press release.