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The views expressed in articles on this site are those of their authors.

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Copyright 1998-2021, Southern California OS/2 User Group. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

SCOUG, Warp Expo West, and Warpfest are trademarks of the Southern California OS/2 User Group. OS/2, Workplace Shell, and IBM are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners.

The Southern California OS/2 User Group
P.O. Box 26904
Santa Ana, CA 92799-6904, USA

SCOUG OS/2 For You - January 1998


Dear Mr. Know-It-All

Mr. Know-It-All always has the answers to even the really tough questions.

Q. Dear Mr. Know-It-All,

Will Windows 95 programs ever be able to run on OS/2? There are programs that I'd really like to be able to use without having to boot out of OS/2 to use them, then boot back when I'm done.

A. An incredible product was demonstrated at the recent Warpstock convention, and it took me quite by surprise in how it handles the Windows 95 incompatibility with OS/2.

First of all, the product (working title: "The Win32-OS/2 Project") is still being developed. The demonstration worked perfectly, however, and a Windows 95 program ran cleanly on OS/2 for everyone in the auditorium to see.

The product is simple, theoretically. It reads the Windows 95 program (EXE or DLL) and makes a new copy; the new copy contains OS/2 calls instead of Windows 95 calls. Where there isn't any exact OS/2 duplicate for a Windows 95 call, a call to a DLL is substituted which will do exactly what Windows 95 does. So, your Windows 95 program isn't what you end up running; you run, instead, the new OS/2-compatible copy. The product is very fast and, of course, once converted the program need not be converted again.

There are still some Windows 95 calls that this handful of volunteer developers are writing DLL code for. Their release date is some time in 1998. The price? Free. For a not-quite-up-to-date status report (these guys are busy writing code, not updating web pages), see http://www.io.com/~timur/win32os2.html.

Q. Dear Mr. Know-It-All,

I'm a Database Administrator for an international personal goods distributor. I've increased our drive capacity several times, and we're running out of space again. Should I continue to keep adding drives as needed, or put in a lot of disk space now that could meet our needs for the next few years?

A. I recommend you add drive space only as needed.

If you add a lot of surplus drive capacity now for future expansion, you'll be paying for drive space that you aren't using. This hurts you financially in four ways: That money isn't doing anything for you while the drive just sits there, you're paying current prices for drives that will almost certainly be cheaper in the future, the drive space will be closer to its MTBF ("mean time before failure") failure point than a new drive would be when you start to use the space, and you'll be stuck with "old" drive technology when you finally get around to using that extra capacity instead of being able to use whatever the state-of-the-art is at that time.

Drives are getting incredibly large, and the price will keep dropping. One contract programmer I know who specializes in writing drivers tells me that one large disk drive manufacturer is currently developing drivers for 18 GB IDE drives. You didn't say how much space you needed, and IDE is slower than SCSI and therefore not necessarily the best choice for a database, but it's cheap. Depending on how your database is organized and what your transaction per second requirements are, you may want to wait for one of these monster IDE drives.

Q. Dear Mr. Know-It-All,

Recently you mentioned where to get rugged cases for laptop computers. Where can I get shipping cases for entire computer systems, for when we need to take equipment with us?

A. The rock and roll people have been transporting delicate equipment for years on trucks, buses and planes, and under worse conditions than you're likely to see. Their case manufacturers know how to build a good case. See http://www.musicyellowpages.com/caseracg.htm.

Curious or in doubt, ask Mr. Know-It-All. He gets email at MrKIA@SCOUG.COM.

Mr. Know-It-All lives in Southern California.


The Southern California OS/2 User Group
P.O. Box 26904
Santa Ana, CA 92799-6904, USA

Copyright 1998 the Southern California OS/2 User Group. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

SCOUG is a trademark of the Southern California OS/2 User Group.
OS/2, Workplace Shell, and IBM are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation.
All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners.