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Subject: OS/2 New User Introduction

This article was archived around: 30 Jan 1998 22:00:01 -0600

All FAQs in Directory: os2-faq/new-user
All FAQs posted in: comp.os.os2.misc, comp.os.os2.apps, comp.os.os2.setup, comp.os.os2.beta
Source: Usenet Version


Archive-name: os2-faq/new-user/part1 Version: 970724 Posting-Frequency: weekly
Contents : [1] Introduction [2] Where Can I get OS/2 [3] OS/2 Frequently Asked Quesions List [4] OS/2 Newsgroups [5] OS/2 Web Sites [6] Free Realtime Support and conversation about OS/2 [7] Where to report problems with OS/2 [8] Where to make suggestions for improving this document. OS/2 New User Introduction ========================== [Revised: July 24, 1997] Welcome to the world of OS/2! IBM OS/2 Warp 4.0 is an inexpensive, full-featured, operating system for PC's using the Intel 486 and compatible (or better) CPU's. In addition to running native OS/2 applications ( both 16 and 32 bit), OS/2 4.0 can run 16 bit DOS and Windows 3.1 applications. It is a very powerful operating system, supporting long filenames ( using the High Performance File System ), the built-in REXX scripting language, Adobe Type Manager and TrueType fonts, a 32-bit flat memory model, preemptive multitasking, excelllent networking and Internet support, multithreading, advanced multimedia including software motion video, and robust communications, for example), yet its Workplace Shell user interface makes it remarkably easy to use (and amazingly flexible). Other features include support for emerging technologies such as Java, OpenGL, ObjectREXX, NetREXX, and OpenDoc. Warp 4.0 also contains the IBM Voice Type Navigation and Dictation system, allowing the user to control and interact with the computer using a microphone, and voice commands. The Bonus Pack that comes with Warp 4.0 includes several useful applications, such as a spreadsheet, word processor, database, and personal information manager. The network support built in provides access to the Internet ( via modem or Network card), as well as support for IBM Lan Server, Novell Netware, and Windows NT based networks. It also includes Peer-Peer Networking with other PC's running Warp Connect, or Windows for Workgroups/Windows 95. Unlike older versions of OS/2 Warp, Warp 4.0 comes in only one flavor -- it always includes Win-OS2 for supporting Windows 3.1 and Win32s 1.25 applications, as well as both modem and Ethernet/Token Ring card support. In addition, Warp 4.0 comes with 3 additional CD ROM's, namely the Sampler Pack, the Device Drivers Pack, and Lotus Notes Mail. The sampler pack CD contains a large number of native OS/2 applications for a user to try before buying. These applications are mainly commercial software packages. The Device Driver CD contains drivers for a vast array of hardware devices ; updates to these drivers can be found at http://service.boulder.ibm.com/os2ddpak/ or at http://www.europe.ibm.com/psmemea/progserv/device ( in Europe). This brief document is intended to help you get started using the Internet's OS/2 newsgroups and to help you obtain more information on OS/2. Read it carefully to get started with this exciting operating system. It will be posted regularly to the OS/2 newsgroups which new users are most likely to visit. Where Can I Get OS/2? --------------------- In the United States, IBM OS/2 Warp 4.0 is available from almost any software dealer, including Egghead, Software Etc., CompUSA, Softmart, Babbage's, and many others. (Indelible Blue, and other vendors listed in the OS/2 FAQ List -- see below -- will handle both U.S. and international mail orders for the U.S. English version.) It is also available directly from IBM through the OS/2 Hotline at (800) 426-2255 ( USA) or (800) 465-7999 ( Canada). In addition, a list of online dealers for OS/2 Warp 4 around the world can be found at http://www.austin.ibm.com/pspinfo/os2order.html. Academic editions of OS/2 Warp 4.0 can be ordered from Indelible Blue ; these contain all the features of Warp 4.0. Warp 4.0 can be installed as an upgrade over any existing version of OS/2 ( except OS/2 Warp Server and OS/2 2.11 SMP). It is also available in a full version for machines with no operating system installed, or those running DOS or Windows. The U.S Street price for Warp 4.0 is around $ 120 for the upgrade version, and $ 200 for the full version. OS/2 Warp 4.0 is available on CD-ROM only, and requires a 1.44 MB diskette drive to start the installation. Warp 4.0 contains support for the vast majority of CD-ROM drives. In addition to these three packages, OS/2 2.11 is available in a symmetric multi-processing version that can exploit computers that have more than 1 CPU [ upto 16]. OS/2 Warp Server 4.0 is a Network Operating System based on OS/2 Warp ; the Advanced version of this also supports SMP machines. Please see the OS/2 Frequently Asked Questions List for further information on OS/2 pricing, availability, and hardware requirements. OS/2 Frequently Asked Questions List ------------------------------------ The OS/2 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) List is a compendium of useful OS/2 information. It should be your first stop whenever you have an OS/2 question. Before you post a question to any OS/2 newsgroup, please check the FAQ List to see if it is already answered. The first few sections of the OS/2 FAQ List are particularly helpful to those who have never seen or used OS/2 before. The FAQ is avilable online at http://www.mit.edu:8001/activities/os2/user.html. It can also be obtained via ftp, via the procedure described below. The exact procedure may be different on your system, but you should try the following command: ftp ftp-os2.cdrom.com (Press ENTER or RETURN after each command.) When asked for a username, type: anonymous and when asked for a password, enter your Internet email address. Then, type the commands: binary get /pub/os2/newsltr/warpfaq3.zip To end your ftp session, type: quit and you will be disconnected. The FAQ List package will then be placed in your home directory on your home system. You can then download the file to your DOS or OS/2 machine. This file is "zipped," as many OS/2 program files are. You need an UnZip utility to decode the file (and extract the files contained in the package). Versions of UnZip are available for many systems, including DOS, Unix, and OS/2. The OS/2 version of UnZip is the file /pub/os2/archiver/unz520x2.exe on that same ftp site. The ftp-os2.cdrom.com site is one of the Internet's largest repositories for OS/2 software and information. For more information on ftp-os2.cdrom.com, consult the ASCII (text) file /pub/os2/0readme at that site. For a directory of OS/2 files available at ftp-os2.cdrom.com, retrieve the ASCII file /pub/os2/00index.txt. Another major OS/2 ftp site is hobbes.nmsu.edu, especially for fiding the latest versions of shareware software and device drivers. There are ftp sites world wide that may be easier for users in Europe and Australia to access, namely ftp.leo.org [ Germany], src.doc.ic.ac.uk [ Britain], and luga.latrobe.edu.au [ Australia]. These also "mirror" or keep copies of the files from ftp-os2.cdrom.com. If you need more help in either retrieving a file using ftp or in UnZipping the file, ask your system administrator. If you cannot use ftp, you may retrieve the FAQ List by mail from an ftp mail server. Ask your system administrator (or consult the newsgroup news.answers) for advice. The OS/2 FAQ List is also available from several online services, including CompuServe, and many bulletin board systems (BBSes). The OS/2 Shareware BBS (+1-703-385-4325) and Greater Chicago Online (+1-708-895-4042) always carry the latest version. The newsgroup news.answers contains several help files, posted periodically, which can assist you in using ftp, mail, Gopher, and LISTSERV systems. You may wish to consult these information files before asking your system administrator for assistance. OS/2 Newsgroups --------------- After reading the OS/2 FAQ List you may have some unanswered questions. If so, you may post a message to one of the Usenet OS/2 newsgroups (You can use NewsReader/2, part of OS/2 Warp's Internet Connection, to read and post messages in Usenet newsgroups). Note that crossposting (posting the same message to more than one newsgroup) is generally frowned upon because it defeats the purpose of having different newsgroups in the first place -- please try to post to just one newsgroup. These OS/2 newsgroups are available: comp.os.os2.setup.misc Discussion of installing and configuring OS/2, and for discussion of hardware/drivers (e.g. SMP boards, BIOS compatibility, mice, etc) not covered by other OS/2 newsgroups. comp.os.os2.setup.storage Discussion of storage (drives, tape, CD-ROM) hardware/drivers under OS/2. comp.os.os2.setup.video Discussion of base video hardware/drivers under OS/2. comp.os.os2.multimedia Discussion of multimedia-specific (sound cards, TV video, etc) hardware/drivers under OS/2, and running DOS, Windows, and OS/2 multimedia apps/utilities (AVI players, CD-ROM players, etc) under OS/2. comp.os.os2.comm Discussion of communications (modem, fax) hardware/drivers, and running DOS, Windows, and OS/2 comm apps/utiliities under OS/2. comp.os.os2.mail-news Discussion of running DOS, Windows, and OS/2 mail and news apps/ utilities under OS/2. comp.os.os2.networking.www Discussion of running DOS, Windows, and OS/2 World Wide Web (WWW) apps/utilities under OS/2. comp.os.os2.networking.tcp-ip Discussion of hardware/drivers/software dealing with TCP/IP networks/networking under OS/2 (e.g. configuring SLIP or PPP, running ftp, etc.). comp.os.os2.networking.misc Discussion of hardware/drivers/software dealing with other networking. comp.os.os2.utilities Discussion of DOS, Windows, and OS/2 general-purpose utilities (e.g. shells, backup, compression, screen savers, INI editors, system resource monitors, etc) under OS/2. comp.os.os2.apps Discussion of running DOS, Windows, and OS/2 general-purpose apps (e.g. spreadsheets, word-processors, databases, financial, etc) under OS/2. comp.os.os2.games Discussion of running DOS, Windows, and OS/2 games under OS/2. Also welcome here is discussion of game-related hardware/drivers (e.g. joysticks, steering wheels, etc) under OS/2. comp.os.os2.programmer.porting Discussion about portable libraries (e.g. OWL), porting tools (e.g. SMART), and techniques related to porting software to OS/2. comp.os.os2.programmer.oop Discussion of system-level Object Oriented Programming (e.g. SOM, DSOM, OpenDoc), including tools and techniques. comp.os.os2.programmer.tools Discussion of running DOS, Windows, and OS/2 general-purpose programming tools (e.g. compilers, assemblers, source code revision librarians, linkers, etc). comp.os.os2.programmer.misc Discussion of any other OS/2 programming issues. comp.os.os2.bugs Discussion of possible bugs (incorrect behaviour) in OS/2 (not drivers, apps, utilities, or beta versions of OS/2), and discussion of Corrective Service Disks, Service Paks, and Fix Paks. comp.os.os2.beta Discussion of beta releases of OS/2 (versions of OS/2 that are released for testing purposes by IBM and that you cannot buy in stores). Also for discussion of desired features ("wishlists") you would like to see in future beta versions. comp.os.os2.advocacy Debating issues regarding OS/2 versus non-OS/2 operating systems and environments, where anti-OS/2 advocates attack OS/2 on various levels (e.g. OS/2 sales, marketing, features, support, installation, etc), and pro-OS/2 advocates defend OS/2 on those issues. comp.os.os2.misc For general OS/2 discussion. Post here *only* if *no* other newsgroup category fits. comp.os.os2.marketplace Posting of OS/2-related commercial product/service ads, Wanted and For Sale ads, employment offerings and resumes, and recommendations of excellent deals (e.g. "<company name> is selling <OS/2 product> for <price>!!!"). Please prefix your subject line with the appropriate tag: Use Biz: for commercial ads. Use Wanted: for wanted ads. Use FS: for for-sale ads. Use Trade: for trading ads. Use Offered: for employment offerings. Please also use abbreviations for country and state/province (if applicable), and city or county name. Use Resume: for employment resumes. Use Misc: for anything else. (e.g. ``FS: OS/2 2.1 3.5" '', ``Offered: USA-CA-San Diego Device driver programmer needed'', ``Misc: I saw OS/2 Warp at half price!!!'', ``Biz: FooBlueTwo's mail-order catalog'') comp.org.team-os2 Discussion about Team OS/2, a group of volunteers who demonstrate OS/2 to potential users, and in other ways promote OS/2. Team OS/2 is not part of IBM, nor is it sponsored by IBM. comp.os.os2.moderated : A moderated group for OS/2 related discussions, this typically will have smaller traffic, and a huge signal-to- noise ratio. http://www.xs4all.nl/~ericv/comp.os.os2.moderated.html has more details ; please read it before posting to the group. The following newsgroups contain information about OS/2. These are not discussion groups. comp.os.os2.announce (moderated) Carries announcements about OS/2 (e.g. new or updated software press releases, user group schedules, WWW and ftp site info, etc). At the beginning of every month, information about this newsgroup is posted in the form of a "Welcome" message -- please read it. This newsgroup is moderated -- you cannot ask a question here. OS/2-related announcements should be submitted to the address comp-os-os2-announce@uunet.uu.net ; the moderOBator of the group can be reached at address lfirantello@bix.com. Please recommend the name of an OS/2 newsgroup where you would like to have followup discussion. For questions on a particular announcement that you read, contact the submitter -- do not contact the moderator. Unfortunately, when posting (as opposed to emailing) a response to a moderated newsgroup many news software send that response to the moderOBator via email. Please email your response to the submitter -- please check the header for a "To:" line and make sure it has the submitter's email address. You may also be interested in the following newsgroups which cover OS/2 topics with great frequency: comp.lang.rexx A general newsgroup covering the REXX programming language. Every copy of OS/2 includes a built-in REXX interpreter. OS/2 Web Sites -------------- There are many World-Wide-Web sites that contain information related to OS/2. Note that they are not all IBM related, and may contain outdated, or wrong information. Nevertheless they are a useful source of information related to OS/2. A few of them are listed below : IBM sites : http://www.austin.ibm.com/pspinfo ( Main Link to IBM's OS/2 information) http://ps.boulder.ibm.com/fixnews.html ( Information on Fixes/Updates to OS/2) http://service.boulder.ibm.com/os2ddpak/index.htm ( Device Drivers ) http://www.pc.ibm.com/ ( IBM Hardware, and OS/2 ) Non-IBM Sites : http://www.teamos2.org ( information, and links to most Internet OS/2 sites ) Trouble installing OS/2 ? : http://www.teamos2.org/pharmacy/WarpPharmacy.html http://www.ami.com.au/os2/ Free Real Time Technical Support and OS/2 Discussion ---------------------------------------------------- If your host has an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client installed, it is possible to get free help with installing, or any other problems by joining the OS/2 channel. Although the people in the channel are not IBM technical support personnel , they can be very helpful. To see if you have an IRC client, try typing: irc at the command line, and see if it works. To join the OS/2 channel, type: /join #os/2 Aside from Technical Support, IRC is also a good place to get information, rumours, and tips about OS/2. There are several IRC clients available for OS/2 at ftp sites such as hobbes.nmsu.edu. Reporting Problems to IBM ------------------------- If you have an OS/2 problem you may contact IBM directly. Consult the OS/2 FAQ List for details on OS/2 technical support (through CompuServe, to CompuServe from the Internet, or by telephone). Reporting Problems/Suggestions for this Document ------------------------------------------------ If you notice any problems with or have any suggestions for this document, please e-mail me at: phaniraj@plains.nodak.edu. I try to keep up with any discussions about this document that are posted to any of the newsgroups, but occasionally I miss a few. E-Mailing me will assure that I receive your comment. Also, please do not hesitate to give me suggestions. Most changes to this document are made because someone has suggested it! Again, welcome to OS/2! -- V. Phaniraj, Electrical Engg. phaniraj@plains.NoDak.edu North Dakota State University (701) 231-1024 (Office) Fargo, North Dakota, 58105 (701) 231-8677 (FAX) To YOU I'm an atheist; to GOD, I'm the loyal opposition -- Woody Allen