Tag Archives: help

About requests for support

Whenever you encounter a problem with Arca Noae software which you cannot resolve on your own, you should consider opening a trouble ticket. If you have a current ArcaOS Support & Maintenance subscription or a current OS/2 & eCS Drivers & Software subscription, we’re here to help in any way we can. You paid for professional support with your software license and/or subscription, and you are entitled to it. To provide that level of service, however, we need a little help from you.

Before opening your ticket, please consider whether the issue is really in Arca Noae software or perhaps in a third-party component bundled with ArcaOS. Third-party software is not produced or directly supported by Arca Noae. Look at the program’s documentation. Where does it say support requests should be directed? If it is third-party software, you should probably start there. On the other hand, if it is a third-party component but your problem seems to have stemmed from the manner in which it was installed during an ArcaOS installation or update, that would be a problem for us to at least review first, because it may involve our installation software (which is our component).

Please don’t take offense if we refer you to the program’s developer or distributor for support. Those entities are probably closer to the source code than we are, and thus in a better position to assist you with your problem. We’re not passing the buck, just trying to direct you to the best place for the help you need.

If your issue is with an Arca Noae component, please review that component’s wiki pages for information on supported configurations as well as debugging instructions. The more you do ahead of time, the more you will know and the more information you will have available when we request it in your ticket. Be sure you’re using the right driver for your hardware. Be sure your system is in a supported configuration.

As a general rule when opening tickets, you should familiarize yourself with our Reporting Problems – Best Practices and Ticket Guidelines wiki pages. While these pages don’t change often, they document the framework within which we process tickets, give you an overview of what to expect from us, and likewise, what we expect from you (see mention above of “a little help from you”).

When a technician or engineer has been assigned to your ticket, consider that person your concierge to a solution for the duration of your problem. He or she is there to help. If that technician or engineer requests logging information, that’s not a suggestion. He or she requests that information in order to resolve the problem.

Always bear in mind that not all problems are reproducible by the technician or engineer, or your problem could be a configuration or usage issue. Often the only objective information the technician or engineer has to work with is contained in the log file(s) requested. If the log file(s) contain what you consider to be sensitive information (usernames, IP addresses, etc.), simply ask the ticket assignee to set your ticket to private status. When private, only you, Arca Noae staff, and developers have access to the information. You also have the option of sanitizing your log info to your satisfaction, as long as such anonymizing does not obscure the underlying data (your ticket assignee can provide more guidance, here; just ask).

If you fail to provide requested information or log files, your ticket assignee may very well resolve the ticket as “reporter unresponsive.” You may reopen the ticket within 30 days of resolution if you provide the requested information.

When you attach files to a ticket, please also post a comment. File attachments do not trigger email notifications, and do not change ticket status from Feedback, so without a comment added, the technician or engineer will have no idea that you have provided the requested information, and this may delay the ticket resolution process.

Please do not provide extra, not-requested attachments, such as configuration files and screenshots. If your ticket assignee has need of this information, he or she will ask for it.

Our goal is to resolve your issue as quickly as possible. Some issues may require more time than others. Some issues require group input, and thus, there may be some delays in responding to your ticket. Please be patient.

Above all, our goal is to provide quality software and attentive, professional support. All we ask in return is that you follow the procedures we have put in place so that we may work as efficiently as possible, and you may get back to the business of enjoying your Arca Noae products.

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.)

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:

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.