Maroon&Blue

The TAMU OS/2 Users Group Newsletter

29 April 1995.             Vol. 1 No. 6


IBM and Adobe Form Alliance

On March 28, IBM and Adobe Systems Incorporated announced an alliance to develop printing and publishing systems based on IBM's Advanced Function Presentation (AFP) architecture and Adobe PostScript and Acrobat technologies. The agreement will benefit users by allowing them to automate their printing environments while continuing to utilize electronic publishing document creation tools. Adobe will also make available its Acrobat products for IBM's OS/2 Warp operating system on Intel and PowerPC platforms. In turn, IBM will pre-load Adobe Acrobat Reader, which allows users to view, navigate and print documents created with Acrobat software, onto IBM commercial desktop PC's this fall. As a result of the alliance between the two companies, customers will now have a compatible and integrated viewing, printing and archiving solution which combines IBM AFP, Adobe PostScript and Adobe Acrobat technologies.

From comp.os.os2.announce (April 13, 1995)


OS/2 Shareware BBS Exceeds 10,000 Files

The OS/2 Shareware BBS, located in Fairfax, VA, recently exceeded 10,000 files in its growing library of public domain software. The popular bulletin board system came online in 1990 with 300 files and a single phone line. Today the BBS has 18 lines plus a connection to the Internet and handles 1000-1200 calls a day. The system transfers 10 gigabytes of data and 50,000 files per month.

OS/2 Shareware BBS is a member of IBM's Independent Vendor League (IVL). The IVL supports individuals and companies who develop and market books, newsletters, magazines, training videos, courseware and consulting services for OS/2 and other IBM personal software products. Operated by sysop Pete Norloff, OS/2 Shareware BBS provides a variety of shareware, freeware and demoware, including applications, utility programs, device drivers, programming tools, fonts and multimedia files.

For more information, contact Norloff at PNorloff@BBS.OS2BBS.Com. You can also reach him by phone (703) 385-0201 or fax (703) 385-6908. The BBS itself can be accessed (up to 28.8K BPS, N,8,1) at (703) 385-4325 or via the Internet at: http://www.os2bbs.com.

From comp.os.os2.announce (March 19, 1995)


Meeting Notes

by George R. Welch

We began the meeting with a discussion on increasing attendance. One person present said he saw the announcement in The Battalion, so at least that is being useful. Thanks Frank! For the next meeting, Chris Robison will distribute flyers around the campus. We also discussed the parking problems faced by non-students who would like to attend. Neal will see if anything can be done to accommodate them.

All present agreed to change the regular meeting time from 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

George Welch demonstrated the new WWW page for the group. The URL is: http://os2www.tamu.edu/os2/. Currently os2www is an alias pointing at leona.tamu.edu, George's computer. We had the chance to move the site to the Agricultural Engineering computer, but no one saw any reason to do so. (Leona has plenty of disk space and is not overloaded now.) Thus, os2www will continue to point at leona for the time being. E-mail submissions and suggestions for the group's web site should be sent to: os2web@os2www.tamu.edu.

Dwight Miller and George Welch each reviewed the product Sytos Premium and distributed write-ups of their reviews. These should soon be available on the WWW.

Dwight checked out Teach Yourself REXX in 21 Days, while Inside OS/2 went unclaimed.

There were several demonstrations and software reviews at the meeting. Frank Swiderski reviewed his recently acquired copy of Corel Draw for OS/2. He found many problems with it, including the program's inability to import many file types Everyone felt disappointed, but Frank said it was so bad he had returned the software. Frank also gave a favorable review to Performance Plus, a system tuning and utility kit.

WPCls, a shareware application that installs a replacement class for folder objects, was also reviewed. WPCls installs a new item ``size'' into the folder object's pop-up menu. When one highlights objects within a folder and chooses ``size'', a dialog box reports how much disk space is being consumed by the highlighted objects. In addition, the application adds new tabs to the folder object's settings notebook. These tabs allow passwoid protection of individual folders, as well as other options such as ``no-drag'' and ``no-copy''. It was well received and several members made copies.

Neal demonstrated WarpLogo, a cute little collection of boot-up logos which gives the user a choice of several pictures, including one in which the Warp logo is shown blasting off from a planet.

The feature presentation was a head-to-head demo of BackMaster and Sytos Premium back-up software. George used his computer with a Colorado Jumbo 250 streamer to do the demo. In summary, Sytos has better drivers, and outperforms BackMaster by between 5 and 10 percent, but that Sytos has a really poor interface, and is much less nice to use.

See the table for details.

We spent a good amount of time making fun of how silly Microsoft's WWW page is http://www.microsoft.com. The meeting then degenerated into various discussions and broke up.


This month's meeting was held April 4, 1995 in HRBB 115 at 7:00 p.m. There were 8 people in attendance. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. in the H.R. Bright Building (room number subject to change). New members are always welcome.

Book Review

Inside OS/2 WARP Version 3
By Mark Minasi, Bill Camarda, Bruce Hallberg, et al.
New Riders Publishing $39.99
ISBN 1-56205-378-7

by Frank Swiderski

Inside OS/2 Warp is an extremely complete and competently written supplement for more advanced computer users making the switch to OS/2 Warp. Inside OS/2 Warp is especially easy to read, but it is not written for idiots. It contains useful tips for those currently meeting the minimal requirements for performance, along with fairly technical explanations of both the advantages and disadvantages of switching to OS/2. The explanation of the installation process is head and shoulders better than the explanation in the users' guide provided with the installation disks. It thoroughly covers all steps from preparing your system installation to the addition of peripheral drivers, while guiding you through the tutorial.

Inside OS/2 Warp treats at some length the advantages and disadvantages of using either FAT or HPFS as your disk management system, providing interesting historical and thorough technical information on both.

The greatest strengths of Inside OS/2 Warp are its chapters ``Organizing and Customizing the Workplace Shell'' (Chapter 5), ``File Systems'' (Chapter 6), ``Optimizing OS/2'' (Chapter 15), ``Connectivity with TCP/IP'' (Chapter 18), ``Performance and Tuning'' (Chapter 20) and ``Reconfiguration'' (Chapter 21). These chapters, especially, give thorough explanations of the concepts behind OS/2, demonstrating how to set up an optimally operating system.

Weighing in at over 1100 pages, Inside OS/2 Warp is not for the faint of heart. The size of this tome is offset by an easy to use index, thorough table of contents, and snapshots at the beginning of each chapter, which allow you to easily and quickly access the information you need. Inside OS/2 Warp's biggest weakness is in its softcover binding, which strains at the weight of the information in the book.

Inside OS/2 Warp comes with a CD- ROM, which is nowhere near as useful as the book or as the Hobbes Archive CD-ROM.

Overall, Inside OS/2 Warp is a very useful reference to the experienced computer users making the switch to OS/2 Warp.


Maroon&Blue is published monthly by the TAMU OS/2 Users Group. Send software reviews, jokes, tips/tricks, book reviews, and other material to M.J. Mach, Editor at os2@cs.tamu.edu. Deadline for next month's newsletter is May 8. 1995. Submissions may be edited for clarity and length. Authors retain all rights to their materials.

Disclaimer. Maroon&Blue is an independent publication and not an official document of IBM, Texas A&M University, the Board of Regents, or Bill Gates®. OS/2 is a registered trademark of IBM.


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