Lewis' Blog Tales from the trenches of information technology


The importance of Common User Access design guidelines in 2018

Apparently, a poorly designed user interface was at least partially to blame for last weekend's terrifying missile notification mishap in Hawaii. I've had my share of dealings with less than adequate user interfaces, including the tax preparation software we are currently using, which takes me much more time to do my work than our previous software (though a fraction of the cost). Unfortunately, lousy user interface design seems to be the norm with most Windows software (and a goodly amount of Linux software, as well).


Configuring the IOGEAR GWU627 wireless ethernet bridge device under ArcaOS (and OS/2)

While Arca Noae continues to work toward adding support for WLAN adapters in its MultiMac driver set, many modern wireless adapters remain unsupported by OS/2 (ArcaOS, specifically). The best way to work around this limitation involves no computer disassembly, very little technical expertise, a few minutes of time for the initial setup, and a device which is generally available for under $50.


JFS chkdsk options on OS/2

As most of us OS/2 users know by now, IBM never fully finished fleshing out the original port of JFS to OS/2 from AIX. This is especially true for the documentation of the (few) utilities related to JFS (see my other post concerning the JFS service log).


How to determine the installed version of eComStation

The installed eComStation version can be tough to decipher. It's not like Windows, where either the desktop is a dead giveaway or right-clicking My Computer and selecting Properties will instantly reveal what is under the hood. It is actually possible to make plain old OS/2 Warp 4 look just like the most current eComStation release.

So, how can one tell?


Archiving JFS service logs on OS/2

Quick refresher:

IBM ported JFS from AIX to OS/2 for release with Warp Server for e-Business in 1999 1, and it ultimately made its way into the Warp 4 client a few months later. Anecdotal evidence (read: my own personal conversations with people who know) says that the port was pretty rough around the edges, and much of the utilities were left in barely-usable condition (many people to this day shy away from defragfs on OS/2). The hope (or so I'm told) was that a third party 2 would develop a better set of tools at some point down the road.

  1. Wikipedia: JFS (file system)
  2. ISV, in IBM-speak, or Independent Software Vendor

Enabling Extended Attribute support in a Thecus N2200-EVO

In a related post to my notes on enabling extended attribute support for the Synology DiskStation DS212j, I've managed to accomplish the same task somewhat more elegantly in the Thecus offering. As compared to the Synology 2-bay unit, the Thecus is about the same size and price and offers similar functionality, with the added benefit of hot-swappable drive bays (though the "hot-swappable" part remains something to be proven to me; let's jet say that they are front-accessible, without screws to remove to extricate the drive caddies from the chassis). Getting EA support was considerably easier than with the Synology, as well.


OS/2 NetWare Requester FAQ

The following is based on an oloder NetWare TID, which may or may not still be available. It is provided here as a service to the OS/2 and NetWare communities at large. My version was previously hosted in the Rosenthal & Rosenthal knowledgebase, but as that is currently down for a rebuild, and as I have an upcoming eComStation-to-NetWare consultation, I thought I might put this up here.


A brief note on the passing of Ed Iacobucci

I didn't catch the news earlier this week of Ed Iacobucci's passing. Ed was an amazng force at IBM in the very, very early days of OS/2, and left in 1989 to start Citrix (which began life as an application to provide terminal services on OS/2 servers).

Good people like Ed don't come along every day. He will surely be missed.


A sincere apology to users of my YUM repo mirror

You see, it all started in January, when I decided to do a good deed (I should have known better). I set up a YUM repository mirror for Netlabs.org, as OS/2 now uses RPM and YUM for (some) package management (I have a post in draft on that whole issue). It turns out, however, that for reasons which I shall explain, the xml (and related) files in my mirror weren't getting updated, so while I was doing a great job of adding content, I wasn't updating the repo information, so subscribers had no idea.

So, for all of you out there who have come to rely over the past couple of months on my US mirror of the Netlabs YUM repository, I most humbly apologize for the inconvenience. It's fixed now, though.


Enabling Extended Attribute support in a Synology DiskStation DS212j

As small NAS devices go, the Synology DiskStation offerings are quite good. On the bang-for-the-buck scale, they rank well near the top, offering a diskless, 2-drive-capacity enclosure for right around $200 street price. I won't go into a litany of features here, and truth be told, Rosenthal & Rosenthal is not a Synology business partner, so I have no great axe to grind insofar as additional sales of these units is concerned. Detailed information on the hardware and software may be found on the net in various places. The focus of this post, however, is on getting support for EAs (extended attributes) on this device.