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

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Copyright 2019, 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 - March 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,

When can I get a copy of the Win32-OS/2 software, so I can run Windows 95 programs on my OS/2 machine?

A.  If you haven’t been paying attention recently, this free software converts Windows 95 programs (the EXE and DLL files) so that they run on OS/2.  See the newly updated Win32-OS/2 Project web page at http://www.os2ss.com/win32-os2/ or http://www.io.com/~timur/win32os2.html.

Please do not e-mail them; they’re busy writing code.  Just read the web page, download the free beta when it’s ready (it should be online around the time you read this), convert your Windows 95 and NT programs, and see if there are any conversion bugs for the particular programs you tried it on.

Remember, this is just a first beta.  Be patient.

 

Q.  Dear Mr. Know-It-All,

Should I upgrade my OS/2 system to the SoundBlaster 64, or is there something better?

A.  In my opinion, Crystal Semiconductor (http://www.crystal.com) makes the best sound chips at this time.  One of their newest chips, the 4237B, is on the Crystal Computer (no affiliation) Crystalizer TidalWave128 sound card (http://www.crystalcomputer.com) and on the NewCom NewClear 3D Wavetable sound card (http://www.newcominc.com).  Try it.  One source for the card is J3 Computer Technologies (http://www.os2store.com).  A word of caution on NewCom:  I rate their product support “poor”.

Crystal Semiconductor supplies the OS/2 driver for any board with a 4237B, and you should get the driver directly from them since that’s where the most recent version will be (when I checked, Crystal Computer still had a driver link to the older version and NewCom didn’t have a link at all).  Go to ftp://ftp.cirrus.com/pub/drivers/audio/ and get the cwos2201.zip driver package (also read relnotes.txt in that same directory).

If you’re really into this, the Crystal Semiconductor 4237B and 4238B (the other option) are almost identical; the 4237B supports “SRS 3D” sound (http://www.srslabs.com) and the 4238B supports “QSOUND 3D” sound (http://www.qsound.ca).  See the two chips’ data sheets if you’re curious (go to the Crystal Semiconductor site and select “Other Crystal and CrystalClear Products”, then look at the block diagrams).

Incidentally, the latest recording studio technology is 20 bit audio at a 96 KHz sampling rate.  It used to be 16 bit audio at a 48 KHz sampling rate; consumer audio was and still is 16 bit audio at a 44.1 KHz sampling rate.  The conversion ratio was 160 to 147, or 25·5 to 3·72 , and converting a professionally recorded studio performance to the consumer rate resulted in some fidelity loss due to the sampling rate conversion.  The higher rate will improve this, even at the slower consumer playback rate, due to less conversion error.  The 20 bit audio will have less of an improvement, since the lowest bit of the target (consumer) recording is already “dithered” to improve the sound quality (the “dithered” bits have an average of half a bit, which is closer to the analog average of bits 17 through 20 which are truncated during the conversion).  For a neat 20-bit all-digital-audio recording studio control board, see http://www.mackie.com/Products/D8B.html.  For a professional 20-bit audio recorder, see http://www.alesis.com/alesis/ADAT/adatxt20.html.

 

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.