Tag Archives: help

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:

Critical fix available for ArcaOS 5.0.3 installations from DVD requiring USB keyboard and/or mouse

We have identified and corrected an issue in our production build system affecting the ArcaOS 5.0.3 ISO resulting in missing USB driver files normally loaded when booting from DVD.

If you normally install from USB flash drive or directly from the ISO you do not require this fix to install.

If, however, you normally install from DVD or from the ISO into a virtual machine which requires USB keyboard and/or mouse emulation, this fix is required in order to load the USB stack for the installation process.

The ending installation is exactly the same, with or without this fix, as no changes to anything installed to the local drive(s) have been made. This is only for the purpose of booting from the installation DVD and navigating through the installer.

Unfortunately, this fix requires a full download of a fresh ISO, as there is no practical way of inserting this small fix in an existing ISO or DVD. As a result, all currently cached ISOs here have been expired. At your convenience, please log into your customer portal, access your ArcaOS order from the Orders & Subscriptions page, and request a fresh ISO.

We apologize for any inconvenience this issue has caused, and thank you very much for your patience. Thanks also to those who reported the issue to us.

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: 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.

Blue Lion, by Arca Noae - Developer Interest

Arca Noae needs your help

In order to make the installation of Blue Lion as smooth and intuitive as possible, we need to update and maintain an extensive database of hardware we are likely to encounter during installation and the drivers associated with the various devices installed in current machines.

Luckily, during the installation of eComStation, a file is created: MACHINE.CFG, stored in <boot drive>\ecs\install\rsp. This file contains all of the relevant data we need to update our current database.

We are asking for community assistance to gather as many MACHINE.CFG files as possible. If you have installed eComStation systems, please attach the MACHINE.CFG file from each one to an email (you may attach multiple files to a single email or send separate ones) addressed to hardware-info at arcanoae dot com. This file should not contain any personally identifiable information, but to be sure, please review before attaching.

Many thanks from the Blue Lion Dev Team for your assistance!

Dramatically improve your virtual machine’s network performance

Current VirtualBox recommendations are to use the virtual Intel network cards for guest machines and to configure for bridged networking. Until now, the only choice for OS/2 was the older, IBM-supplied, Intel E1000 driver. The result? Performance just slightly better than the default AMD PCnet-FAST III virtual adapter.

Now, however, there is a choice. Arca Noae subscribers may use the all-new MultiMac Legacy EM driver (MMLEM). This driver is a breakthrough for virtual machines running under VirtualBox, with performance measured at more than twice the throughput of the older driver.

Some comparisons from netio 1.3 across a 1Gbps unmanaged switch, from an OS/2 VM running the latest 32-bit TCP/IP stack to a 64-bit Linux server running on bare metal1:

E1000:

TCP connection established.
Packet size  1k bytes:  15.04 MByte/s Tx,  9168.71 KByte/s Rx.
Packet size  2k bytes:  19.64 MByte/s Tx,  11.99 MByte/s Rx.
Packet size  4k bytes:  22.38 MByte/s Tx,  13.58 MByte/s Rx.
Packet size  8k bytes:  23.72 MByte/s Tx,  17.62 MByte/s Rx.
Packet size 16k bytes:  24.83 MByte/s Tx,  20.62 MByte/s Rx.
Packet size 32k bytes:  19.52 MByte/s Tx,  17.82 MByte/s Rx.
Done.

MMLEM:

TCP connection established.
Packet size  1k bytes:  13.19 MByte/s Tx,  9183.80 KByte/s Rx.
Packet size  2k bytes:  18.65 MByte/s Tx,  12.20 MByte/s Rx.
Packet size  4k bytes:  27.93 MByte/s Tx,  14.98 MByte/s Rx.
Packet size  8k bytes:  39.91 MByte/s Tx,  19.29 MByte/s Rx.
Packet size 16k bytes:  50.39 MByte/s Tx,  22.74 MByte/s Rx.
Packet size 32k bytes:  28.07 MByte/s Tx,  19.19 MByte/s Rx.
Done.

(Note that the falloff between 16 and 32k appears to be an issue within VirtualBox itself, as the same tests, when run against the host machine, actually report an improvement in throughput for the 32k packet size over the 16k one. A 32-bit Linux guest does not show this falloff.)

As you can see, peak transmit throughput, using 16k byte packets, went from 24.83MByte/s (198.64Mbps) to 50.39MByte/s (403.12Mbps). If you are transferring large files across your network to and from your OS/2 VM, this implies a possible reduction in the amount of time it takes for such transfers by more than one half2.

In addition, while the above tests were run using the Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop (82540EM) virtual network card in the guest, the MMLEM driver also supports the Intel PRO/1000 T Server (82543GC) and Intel PRO/1000 MT Server (82545EM) virtual network card options available in VirtualBox 5.x, either of which may yield even better throughput (the older IBM-supplied driver does not support these server-class cards).

There are other benefits of the Arca Noae Drivers & Software subscription for virtualized users of OS/2, including full shut down and virtual power off of the VM when using Arca Noae’s ACPI PSD. So if you thought there wasn’t much value in subscribing just to run virtual machines, you might want to look again.

  1. Guest machine running eCS 2.1, configured with 2GB RAM, Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop (82540EM) virtual network card, 32-bit TCP/IP stack, default sockets. Host machine running openSUSE LEAP 42.1 x64, 16GB RAM, single Intel 82567LF-2 onboard network adapter, and default adapter settings. NETIO target (host) machine running openSUSE 13.2 x64, 32GB RAM, dual Broadcom NetXtreme II BCM5708 onboard network adapters, in bonded active backup configuration, with default adapter settings for the physical bond slaves. Switch was Cisco SR2024 (unmanaged 10/100/1000).
  2. Many factors contribute to overall network throughput, including protocol, aggregate traffic, CPU activity, etc. These figures are meant as a guideline and not a guaranty of performance.
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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.