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October 2017 happenings

ArcaOS 5.0.2 in the works

We are hard at work finalizing the last bits to be included in ArcaOS 5.0.2. Among the enhancements and features are a few bug fixes, updates to included RPM packages, updated Samba client, and the new ability to install from an ArcaOS bootable USB stick (or local partition). We call this new feature AltBoot, and it is a milestone for OS/2. This should assist those with USB 2.0 capability but no optical drives in getting ArcaOS installed and running.

Arca Noae experimental YUM repository access now restricted

In an effort to better ensure the integrity of packages provided by Arca Noae in our release and subscription channels, we have now restricted access to the arcanoae-exp repository to developers and the test team only.

Rest assured, any software which you may have installed from the experimental repository will continue to function just as it did before. However, we strongly urge that if you have installed the arcanoae-exp RPM to configure the experimental repository in Arca Noae Package Manager (ANPM) or YUM, you uninstall that package. It will be withdrawn from the Netlabs stable repository shortly.

Firefox 45.9 RPM coming soon to an Arca Noae YUM repository near you

Firefox 45.9 GA should be arriving soon for installation via ANPM as part of the subscription content for ArcaOS licensees with active support and maintenance and Drivers & Software subscribers. This new packaging should ease the burden of upgrades by managing dependencies and better ensuring a successful installation. More details will be provided in an upcoming post. (Of course Firefox is free for all to download as zip from Netlabs. There is no requirement to maintain a subscription with Arca Noae in order to get the latest Firefox for OS/2.)

If you are still running OS/2 and/or eComStation systems and haven’t yet purchased a software subscription, this is a great reason to do so now. It may also be a good time to consider moving up to ArcaOS.

ArcaOS 5.0: Full support for existing OS/2 applications

Still running a critical application on OS/2? Still have some old, musty Pentium III workstations humming along, and hoping that a power supply doesn’t fail or that the noisy 20GB IDE disk doesn’t develop a bad spot because the workstation can’t recognize anything bigger? Afraid to power it off for fear it won’t start again?

Perhaps it’s time to look at new – yes brand new – hardware for that application. Let’s face it, that app has been around this long because it works. It’s worked all these years just fine. The fact that the hardware is showing its age and the application continues to be useful (critical, in many cases) is a testament to the quality of the software. Why do away with a perfectly good application, just because the moving parts are wearing out?

ArcaOS 5.0 runs all of those great OS/2 applications just like OS/2. Why? Because at its core, ArcaOS 5.0 is OS/2. No emulation. No compatibility mode. Pure OS/2 Warp 4.52 – with updates, fixes, and modifications to be compatible with the latest multi-core and multi-processor hardware available. Replace that old Pentium III with an i5 or i7 or AMD multi-core system, 16 or 32GB of memory, and a 240GB SSD, or move an existing Pentium 4 with 1GB of memory, and a 250GB SATA 3 hard drive from something else. ArcaOS 5.0 has lean hardware requirements, but can take advantage of some of the latest technologies.

Why replace an entire PBX system because the OS/2 workstation which has been storing voicemail all these years is in need of replacement? (We’d call that an often forgotten, yet critical, application.) Move that software onto a new system running ArcaOS 5.0. Need help? Let our team of engineers have a look. We don’t just develop and license software, we design, implement, and manage it, as well.

Current release timetable for ArcaOS 5.0 (Blue Lion)

As announced at Warpstock 2016, ArcaOS 5.0 (codenamed Blue Lion) is currently scheduled for general availability March 31, 2017.

The movement into 2017 was necessary to ensure a finished product with the slate of planned features, including:

  • New XWorkplace (just released) with ArcaOS exclusive branding and features (e.g., the new Arca Noae Removable Device widget);
  • New desktop productivity apps, including DVD Tools, Archive Tool, Dynamic Icons, ArcaBar, Lucide Document Viewer, and much more;
  • New network filesystem connectivity;
  • New operating system kernel, with fixes and enhancements to better manage today’s larger applications, including Firefox, Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, and Apache OpenOffice;
  • New kernel loader to address shortcomings in IBM’s last version, and to provide some useful new features, such as use of installed system memory above 4GB as a RAM disk;
  • New installer, completely built from the ground up for ArcaOS;
  • New installation options, better suited to today’s systems, both bare metal and virtual;
  • Integration of latest RPM-provided content;
  • Integration of latest Arca Noae device drivers;
  • Updated SNAP accelerated video driver;
  • Much, much more…

The above list is not final, nor are all components assured to be in the release of ArcaOS 5.0, but they have been in the plan and in the works for some time.

We know that everyone is anxious for this release, and we share your enthusiasm! All we ask is that you bear with us a little while longer while we get things fully assembled and tested to better assure a smooth installation and operating experience.

Many happy returns of the season from the team at Arca Noae, and best wishes for a truly bright 2017!

Blue Lion, by Arca Noae

Blue Lion in the news

It’s happened again… We’ve been slashdotted…

It all started when James Sanders wrote this piece in Tech Republic, which among other bits of Blue Lion news, correctly reported the official product name of Blue Lion as ArcaOS 5.0.

As was to be expected, this news took on a life of its own, and pretty soon, we were slashdotted.

Try a quick web search for “ArcaOS 5.0” and you’ll see what we mean…

Some of the comments which follow these articles can be quite humorous. Many people have fond memories of OS/2 (2.0? 3?), but have never had an opportunity to run it on modern hardware or even on a gigabit LAN, nor have they had the experience of running modern software on the platform, such as Firefox 38.8.0 ESR or Apache OpenOffice 4.1.2. (Both of these current applications have been ported and made possible on the OS/2 platform by our good friends and strategic partners, bww bitwise works, GmbH. You may find more great stuff from bitwise in our store.) For those of you who do take the time to post and respond in these venues, our heartfelt thanks for updating some of the users who seem a little out of step.

Of course, there are some great comments by well-respected people in the tech arena, like Brian Proffit and Brian J Dooley (thanks, guys).

Whatever your preferred language, enjoy the read, and be sure to add your own comments, including your more recent experience with OS/2 and the difference modern drivers and software make.

Who’s speaking at Warpstock Europe?

There will be plenty of information on hand at this year’s Warpstock Europe event. Here’s a sampling of what to expect from Arca Noae:

Saturday, David Azarewicz will be presenting on device driver progress and plans for the future (Blue Lion will be a milestone, but not the end of the road, by any means).

Also on Saturday, Lewis Rosenthal will be discussing what to expect in the Blue Lion package. While all of the details have not been set, we have a pretty good idea of what will be included.

Later in the afternoon, Steven Levine will pick up on Arca Noae SNAP. Learn what is coming next for this accelerated video driver.

We will return on Sunday with an update on YUM and RPM and how these technologies play an important role in Blue Lion by Lewis Rosenthal, as well as future plans for the well-received Arca Noae Package Manager.

Arca Noae’s last presentation on Sunday will be from Alex Taylor via Skype, discussing printing and fonts.

Between Arca Noae staff and the other presenters, there should be something for everyone. Arca Noae is the exclusive source for Warpstock Europe tickets. If you haven’t yet purchased your tickets, please visit our store today.

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.

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.

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.