[OS/2 Warp]

Adventures In Warp Installation

...or What Experts (Don't) Know

This is, hopefully, going to be a chronicle describing a successful installation of OS/2 Warp. We'll start from scratch on as generic a system as we can put together. We being George Cardin, an old school OS/2 user, and yours truly. Before I begin, ALWAYS Read The Fine Manual. (you may substitute your favorite "darn-it-all" for Fine) : ) This is a mistake common to both the Newbie and the so-called pro. A lot of grief would have been avoided by two "experts" if we (I) had taken our (my) own advice. There, I've said it! No longer burdened by perfection, I can continue with this glorious tale.

It began with a phone call from Mr Cardin one morning. He was finally ready to get "Warped" after years of OS/2 experience! As a prominent member of our OS/2 SIG he felt a showing of our wares was in order as the Redmon ranting and raving has died down. (Win '9x for the Newbies) It would be nice, he stated, to show the Group an OS that DID the things that were just claimed by the others. Although I don't think that we will be able to compete at GPF generation. : )

Off to George's house I went with my trusty OS/2 Warp do-all kit in hand. I was confident that, no matter what rag-tag piece of computing he was able to assemble, Warp would be up to the task. Foolish, aren't I? (remember RTFM) George had waiting for me a 486SX33 with 8M RAM, a 300M HDD, a CGA video card, and two monitors. So there!

No problem, I thought. He was running M$ DOS 5.0 and Windows 3.1 so we should be able to add Warp. To prove it we ran Just Add Warp, a program that has an upgrade advisor that will check your system to be certain that your system is Warp-ready. Had I "RTFM'd" I would have known that the minimum system requirement for Warp is a: 386SX, 4M RAM, 60M HD space, and VGA video. (note: this is for a text only mode without DOS support) The key factor that I overlooked was the VGA requirement. We began the install, got everything partitioned, and watched in awe as the system choked as it tried to load it's default VGA drivers. After an hour of head-scratching and fussing about we noticed our VGA oversight. Sheepishly, we then admitted defeat. (to our haste and arrogance)

After obtaining a generic VGA video card, (a Cirrus Logic) we once again entered the fray. This time the install went without a hitch and,except for the loading of the second monitor, pretty much automatically. We looked at the introductory tutorial, the ugly (IMHO) default color scheme, and then proceeded to open a multitude of mixed sessions (OS/2 command prompts and OS/2 windowed applications) to test the performance on this generic system. As usual, OS/2 showed its amazing use of limited resources. To add icing to the cake, we thought, let's add a few DOS and Windows sessions to try to bring this system to it's knees. (or show off for the DOS and Windows crowd) ...And tah-dah! What? Out of memory? Cannot start a DOS session? What gives? Let's close everything else down and just run Windows, we think. ...No good.

Egg on our faces! What could be the problem? OS/2 doesn't just run out of memory like that! Where did we go wrong? Lets review, the only time that we did anything different was when we added the second monitor to the system (in addtiton to the default VGA drivers). Could that be it? How can we solve a potentially embarrassing and definitely ego bruising state of affairs? ...RTFM? ...Yes!

For techies: The system went through its configuration and checked for the attached hardware. When it recognized the Cirrus Logic card it added the proper drivers, we then proceeded to add monochrome drivers for the second monitor and (unknowingly) a second set of VGA (default) drivers. Since these are loaded at setup they are loaded in low memory. This is no problem for OS/2 (which uses both upper and lower), and a BIG problem for DOS. Therefore when the DOS session command requested resources to initialize there was not enough low memory left to load it.

For Newbies: We added too many drivers at startup and had to use the uninstall features in the recovery menus. Once we did that the story got boring and all too predictable. The system now multi-tasks like a champ! It would be improved by a faster processor, more RAM, more disk space, a better video card, etc. But, that wasn't the point after all, was it? The point is that, as stated before, a generic system with 8M RAM will work quite well with OS/2 Warp. Upgrading doesn't have to mean a totally new (expensive) system; not that there is anything wrong with a new system. Warp allows you the best of both worlds.

With the coming of the new year, there are quite a few wonderful things on the horizon and in use, that will help enhance the computing experience. Things like HOT JAVA, VRML, and KALI on the Internet; things like Iomega Zip and Jazz, Syquest 135EZ, and $250 1G HDD's in hardware storage; Windows'9x (Nashville), Linux, Copeland (Mac OS), Partition Magic, Object Desktop, and of course the next version of OS/2 Warp (code named MERLIN). 1996 will be a good year for Computer users (if the last Qtuarter of 1995 is any kind of indicator).

ACCUG will continue to help advance our productivity as we have fun and learn more together. The OS/2 SIG will continue to help, in any way that we can, answer the questions of anyone concerning getting the most out of your computer. We look forward to making a few OS/2 presentations during the coming year. See you then. And remember, RTFM!


My opinions are MINE, no Computer related company pays me. I use what I like, so beware, Your Mileage May Vary.


Karl A Granberry for Nouveau Graphic Designs, Inc © 1998

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