Tag Archives: components

Arca Noae progress report: USB, ArcaOS updater, multimedia

Here are some of the recent happenings around the Arca Noae labs and design studios:

We’ve recently made significant progress toward localizing various parts, particularly for German and Spanish, and will soon have a new test build of the CWMM classes in Spanish (a completely new translation for this component).


We continue to improve the update process for the next ArcaOS release, as we find edge cases where the current updater doesn’t quite finish due to unexpected conditions in the target system. (As a reminder, please check the ArcaOS Updating wiki page before beginning an update to the latest release. There you’ll find hints and tips to help avoid – or resolve – some known problems.)


When IBM left off USB driver development, OS/2 had a working, 16-bit USB 1.x and 2.0 driver stack. Fast forward to 2019, and this is no longer adequate for the needs of today’s hardware.

The Arca Noae USB stack is now fully 32-bit, and USB 3 support development continues to make good progress. Implementing USB 3 support has been tedious because the OS/2 USB architecture didn’t accommodate the peculiarities of USB 3 well.

Adding USB 3 support was not as simple as just writing a new xHCI driver. Significant changes were required throughout the entire USB stack, including changes to USBD and the OHCI, UHCI, and EHCI drivers. The xHCI driver as it exists today in beta testing works quite well. There are just a couple of things that still need to be done before we will be able to release it for general availability. One thing is to implement support for Isochronous transfers (audio and video devices). The second thing is to improve the error recovery speed. Error recovery speed was not an issue with USB 2 because USB 2 devices rarely, if ever, had errors. Super Speed (USB 3) devices operating at the new USB 3 speeds have higher error rates so the error recovery speed is important. We are actively working to resolve these last two issues.

Once the xHCI (USB 3) driver is released, the Arca Noae USB stack will make it possible to install and run ArcaOS on systems which lack USB 2.0 (EHCI) controllers. (Even though many modern systems advertise the availability of USB 2.0 ports, these ports are indeed wired to xHCI controllers. Without an xHCI driver, this will result in loss of keyboard and mouse control shortly after boot and the inability to mount the installation ISO from USB-attached media.)


Don’t have ArcaOS yet? Now is a great time to pick up a license or two and replace that aging Warp 4 or eComStation installation and get to know what’s new and improved. ArcaOS supports more modern hardware than any other OS/2 distribution available today, making hardware upgrades much easier than ever before.

Arca Noae progress report: Bits and Pieces

We continue to explore new ways to make the ArcaOS desktop experience more user-friendly and useful. To that end, we’d like to share some upcoming enhancements which should be available in the near future.

An update to the Arca Noae Removable Media Monitor widget for the XCenter is currently in testing which handles JFS, HPFS, and FAT32 media changes better, avoiding a trap which could otherwise occur when removing one device and inserting another without a proper eject operation.

We also have a component in testing now which transparently switches audio output from the built-in audio device to a USB audio device and back again when the USB device is attached or removed.

If you have a Brother laser printer, and have not been able to print to it, even via CUPS, we have some possibly good news for you: The brlaser CUPS driver package (RPM) has recently been updated to version 6.0.0, and our port should be moving from our experimental repository to the subscription repository very soon.

Don’t have ArcaOS yet? Now is a great time to pick up a license or two and replace that aging Warp 4 or eComStation installation. Better yet, why not upgrade to newer hardware entirely, and install ArcaOS fresh? ArcaOS supports more modern hardware than any other OS/2 distribution available today.

USB driver package version 12.03 released

USBArca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of release 12.03 of our USB stack.

This release has some minor but important fixes that primarily affect Isochronous devices and hubs. This update is recommended for everyone. As usual, this release is update only. It will only update an existing installation. It will not install USB support and will not install new drivers. More information about the USB drivers can be found in the wiki.

If you have problems with any of the drivers in this release, please read the Troubleshooting Guide in the wiki first. If your problem cannot be resolved with the Troubleshooting Guide, then the problem should be reported in the ticketing system.

If you have ArcaOS, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of the Support & Maintenance subscription for your ArcaOS product. Please log into your account and see your ArcaOS order details page to access your software.

If you have an Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of your Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription. Please log into your account in order to access your software.

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.

Panorama Video Driver Package version 1.15 released

Arca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of our Panorama Video Driver Package for OS/2 and eComStation version 1.15.

This is a maintenance release containing some minor changes affecting driver startup. This release contains all the changes that were included in v1.14 but fixes the regressions that were reported. If you previously installed v1.14 you should probably install this update. This update is recommended for everyone, but it is not critical, so it can be installed at your convenience. It should not change the way existing installations operate.

More information about the Panorama Package may be found in the Panorama wiki.

If you have ArcaOS, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of the Support & Maintenance subscription for your ArcaOS product. Please log into your account and see your ArcaOS order details page to access your software.

If you have an Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of your Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription. Please log into your account in order to access your software.

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.

ACPI Driver Package version 3.23.12 released

An ACPI packageArca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of our ACPI Driver Package for ArcaOS, OS/2, and eComStation version 3.23.12.

This release includes a few improvements and enhancements to make the PSD run a little more efficiently and also handle some newer hardware better. Please see the ACPI Driver ReadMe for details about this update.

This is a non-critical maintenance update that only contains improvements. This update does not contain any bug fixes, but it is more efficient and uses less memory than previous versions.  This update is recommended for everyone.

If you have ArcaOS, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of the Support & Maintenance subscription for your ArcaOS product. Please log into your account and see your ArcaOS order details page to access your software.

If you have an Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of your Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription. Please log into your account in order to access your software.

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.

Panorama Video Driver Package version 1.14 withdrawn

Due to some serious regressions that were not discovered during QA testing, I have withdrawn Panorama version 1.14. It has been removed from the subscription download area. The previous version v1.13 is now the latest version available. Originally I had thought that I would be able to get v1.15 out quickly, but the issues are difficult to address and may take some time to resolve. All of the regressions involve a failure to startup properly on certain systems. If you have already installed v1.14 and it is working OK for you, it is safe to keep using it. You do not need to revert back to v1.13.

Once these regressions are addressed, a new version 1.15 will be released. Watch for that announcement. During this transition time, the on-line wiki and on-line readme file will still reflect version 1.14 even though only v1.13 is available.

More information about the Panorama Package may be found in the Panorama wiki.

If you have an Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription, the Panorama package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of your Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription. Please log into your account in order to access your software.

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

Panorama Video Driver Package version 1.14 released

Arca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of our Panorama Video Driver Package for OS/2 and eComStation version 1.14.

This is a maintenance release containing some minor changes. The release changes the way that MTRRs are set for Write Combining. A larger aperture is used which may make allocation easier on some systems. National Language Support is also updated and an updated gradd.sys driver is included. This update is not critical and should not change the way existing installations operate.

More information about the Panorama Package may be found in the Panorama wiki.

If you have ArcaOS, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of the Support & Maintenance subscription for your ArcaOS product. Please log into your account and see your ArcaOS order details page to access your software.

If you have an Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of your Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription. Please log into your account in order to access your software.

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.

USB driver package version 12.01 released

USBArca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of release 12.01 of our USB stack.

This is the first official release of the 32 bit USB stack. This is a major update with significant changes. Note that this update changes the order of the USB base drivers in your CONFIG.SYS. This update will bring the USB stack in your system up-to-date with the recently released version of ArcaOS. If you have ArcaOS version 5.0.4 then you already have this update.

More information about the USB drivers can be found in the wiki.

If you have problems with any of the drivers in this release, please read the Troubleshooting Guide in the wiki first. If your problem cannot be resolved with the Troubleshooting Guide, then the problem should be reported in the ticketing system.

If you have ArcaOS, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of the Support & Maintenance subscription for your ArcaOS product. Please log into your account and see your ArcaOS order details page to access your software.

If you have an Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of your Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription. Please log into your account in order to access your software.

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.

Panorama Video Driver Package version 1.13 released

Arca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of our Panorama Video Driver Package for OS/2 and eComStation version 1.13.

This is a maintenance release containing a minor change to enhance EDID detection for custom resolutions. This update is not critical but will bring Panorama in your system up-to-date with the recently released version of ArcaOS. If you have ArcaOS version 5.0.4 then you already have this update.

More information about the Panorama Package may be found in the Panorama wiki.

If you have ArcaOS, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of the Support & Maintenance subscription for your ArcaOS product. Please log into your account and see your ArcaOS order details page to access your software.

If you have an Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of your Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription. Please log into your account in order to access your software.

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.

MultiMac

New AMouse driver package (3.01.03) released

Arca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of a new release of our AMouse driver package.

This is a maintenance release containing minor cosmetic changes only. This update is not critical but will bring AMouse in your system up-to-date with the recently released version of ArcaOS. If you have ArcaOS version 5.0.4 then you already have this update.

More information about the AMouse driver may be found in the wiki.

If you have ArcaOS, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of the Support & Maintenance subscription for your ArcaOS product. Please log into your account and see your ArcaOS order details page to access your software.

If you have an Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription, this driver package is available for download from the Arca Noae website as part of your Arca Noae OS/2 & eCS Drivers and Software Subscription. Please log into your account in order to access your software.

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.