No, it’s not perfect. However, my current testing indicates you will find a lot less trouble getting it to install. I had one small work-around issue which seems common on Dell laptops. Upon booting, you will get an error code:
OS/2 !! SYS01720 OS/2 !! SYS02027
At that point, pop the CD tray and hit CTRL-ALT-DEL and give it a moment to get rolling again, indicated by either the eComStation logo at first, or the white block with “eCS” later in the process. Either way, as soon as you see that, push the CD back in and things proceed as they should. Here are my raw notes; make of them what you will.
Dell Inspiron 4100 Laptop
1Ghz P3, 512MB RAM, Radeon M6/32MB VRAM, 20GB harddrive, CDR/DVD
1. Got a common boot error with codes “OS/2 !! SYS01720 OS/2 !! SYS02027″. Solution was to eject CD, hit CTRL-ALT-DEL and get boot logo, then reinsert CD. Continues fine, but must be repeated each time.
2. Installer needed to change some error in the LVM reporting, and reboot. See #1
3. Next reboot ran media check, a little over 5 minutes.
4. Graphical boot screen; accepted defaults.
5. License screen, agreed.
6. Chose “Easy installation”
7. Could not import key file from USB disk, perhaps because it was not in the first directory. Carefully typed, and had to check a bit for errors before it allowed progress.
8. Chose to wipe disk. A little challenging to follow the instructions on the partition manager. This needs simplifying, but I managed it.
9. Chose to use the HPFS file system, since I have at least one DOS program I hope to run. Formatting took hours because of error checking; the installer would not let me de-select the checking option. Still, no harm done, just a delay (5 hours).
10. During installation options, I chose PCMCIA, but the list of notebooks was limited to IBM Thinkpads. Since I needed that function either way, I let accepted it.
11. Installer chose Panorama driver (VESA generic) which is probably good enough for now.
12. I left ACPI unchecked because I know there is a wizard to help get it right, if that’s possible.
13. Once files were installed (~10 min) we had reboot, same issue as with #1. Pulled CD and tried again, let it get going then reinserted CD. The marker is the white block with “eCS” when it catches correctly.
14. Watched some automated installation tasks, creating objects, etc. Phase 2, ~10 min again. Again, see #1.
15. Nice splash this time on boot. Got sound with the screen, but wrong resolution. Initial setup tasks did offer close to to the right size (1400×1050 vs 1440×1050) but none of the LCD options were close. Decided to opt for the SNAP drivers. Required reboot.
16. Got the SNAP splash, screen flickered once or twice, then came up full display as should be. The SNAP driver is still somewhat limited, but at least it knew how to get a proper display. I read it won’t work with suspend modes.
17. Did the online registration.
18. Took me awhile to find out how to change the background to plain color. Default graphic too dang bright.
The one major disappointment to me is font rendering. This is frankly a major issue with me, petty or not. I conclude that I would not be that interested in using for very long. First, it doesn’t offer anything I can’t get with Linux, except a smaller installed footprint. Some of it’s best software comes from the Linux/Unix community. That means you can keep up with your Unix friends, but only if you really want and need eComStation-OS/2.
I can see how, as a business manager, if I had a high investment in DOS or early Windows applications essential for operations, I could rest in knowing I could put this on the workstations at the office and the employees could learn to use it, but would have a hard time messing it up. Upon installation, just back up your desktop (that’s a feature) and restore it when some idiot removes or adds too many icons. The point is, the usual collection of random junk files won’t impair the system’s performance. You can keep using serviceable older hardware and not worry about the typical Windows 6-month reinstall routine. eComStation doesn’t eat it’s drivers.
This is good business software, but I have no real use for it.
Krumm steadied himself and continued digging in one of his bags. He pulled out a pocket-sized electronic device. It had a sliding back which revealed a tiny keyboard. He poked at it a few times, then closed and put it in his pocket.
“Any calls for me?” Jordan their future supply manager, was feeling himself again.
Krumm was watching out the back of the truck. “It could be used that way, but I’d have to find a local provider and replace the SIM card. I use it more like a palm-top computer. In this case, recording our GPS coordinates. I suspect the JAG was pretty serious about that isolation business. This is a large and haphazardly laid out city. If this base is part of our support system, we’ll need to find our way back somehow.”
Ripley asked, “So you reckon we still have one more long ride?”
Krumm only half-smiled. “I’m willing to bet we have plenty of time to share our speculations about the shape of our mission here before we even see the place.”
He would have won the bet, as their slender collection of facts had been thoroughly hashed out by the time they rounded yet one more corner on a narrow and quiet street, pulling up in front of a gate where one of the local militiamen stood guard. The fence was obviously here before the Americans came. While quite different in design from military standards, it still appeared suitable for the purpose, still sturdy. The guard recognized the HTS as they palavered in English briefly. Then the guard unlocked the chain holding the gate closed and swung it inward in two uneven panels.
The truck faced a semi-paved driveway which ran between the building on the left and the blank concrete face of an another building to the right, which ran out to the street and anchored one part of the gate. The fence to the left protected a few tiny parking spaces in front of what had obviously been a warehouse. The near end was a block of offices running up six stories, judging by the window placement. It was all concrete about twice the length of their old military truck, then began a low dock covered with ancient corrugated steel sheets. As the drive ran back, it dropped slowly. The far end was about the length of a football field.
The HTS drove straight back between the two buildings, hugging the right side. When he ran out of room against yet another building, he turned sharply to the right, almost hitting the corner of the two buildings, then turning back toward the dock jerkily slipped into a slot inset on that far end of the dock. He bumped the wooden beams set in the concrete, but only hard enough to be annoying to his passengers.
Jordan was nearest the tailgate, and reached out to test the roll-door. It was unlocked, but heavy, and a couple others joined him in lifting it. They dropped the tailgate, which offered a comfortable sloping ramp down to the dock. The inside was quite dark. By the time they were all standing on the concrete floor, they heard the sound of the HTS walking toward them from the direction of the office block. Still some ways off, he yelled, “Unload here!” By the time he came huffing and puffing to meet them, they were almost done.
After taking a moment to catch his breath, he launched into a rather hurried speech, apparently still irritated. It ended with, “Make yourselves at home, because you’ll bunk here.”
They had already noticed a batch of military cots against the wall in the fading light of day coming through the open cargo door above the truck. These were new and complete, at least.
“I can’t add anything to what you have already been told. Have a look around and figure out what you are supposed to do, because there’s a lot of it to do. Got all your stuff?”
They signaled they had.
“Good.” He turned and started to walk briskly away, then stopped, and came back somewhat slowly, reaching inside his jacket. “I almost forgot.” He produced a batch of envelopes and handed them to Ripley. “One for each of you. It’s your casual pay in dollars. The locals rarely turn them down. It should be enough to hold you until your regular pay starts.”
Without another word, he hustled back off into the darkness. They were still not sure what to say or do when the truck started and lurched away from the dock.
Taking out his pocket device, Krumm checked the GPS reading. He chuckled, shaking his head. “Welcome to our new home, boys.”