From the Editor
Written by Larry Salomon Jr.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, etc. to each of you out there in net-land. This issue marks the beginning of a new year, and with a new year comes new directions. From the magazine's perspective, many new directions will be explored, beginning with this issue - what I have written, including what you are reading now, I have written using a word processor. It has been decided that one of the directives for 1995 is to make it easier for potential authors to disseminate the information that they have learned and wish to share. Since writing in .IPF is quite daunting, this has often dissuaded people from submitting an article, and this hurts the OS/2 community. Additionally, it never was easy to spell-check an .IPF file. <grin> Since many word processors now support the rich-text format (or RTF), this will now become the requested file format for new submissions. Please see the new Article Submission Guidelines, which has been rewritten and uploaded to hobbes.nmsu.edu, for more information.
Another directive for the magazine is to change the file format of the magazine. It only makes sense that, in order to increase the size of our audience, the quickest way is to change the format to that which can be read with viewers that are available on multiple platforms. Since there are many "arm-chair" programmers who do not develop OS/2 applications as part of their daily routine, it would be nice if they could read the magazine on the machine they use the most, whether that may be running DOS, Windows, or UNIX. We will keep you posted on this issue as we receive more information.
You'd Be Surprised...
at how many people thought the Title Page had nothing but legal drivel on it. This came to light when I complained that only one person had voted for the Reader's Choice Awards during the first three weeks following the release of last issue; many people responded with "when was this mentioned?" To prevent this from happening in the future, we have moved the legal portions of the magazine to the end of this page so that more people will read this section of the magazine. After all, we wouldn't want you to miss all of the humor. <grin>
And Speaking of Voting...
I am pleasantly surprised at the response my complaint generated. Since that time, I have received many more than the fourteen I received last year. It still isn't a flood, but I'll take what I can get. Still, you have until January 15 to send in your three votes for the best articles of the year 1994. See last issue's Title Page for a complete list of the articles eligible for this award.
It's really funny what some of the votes were for. I'm not trying to pick on anyone, but receiving votes for software and books that weren't even mentioned in the magazine, much less part of the magazine (for which your votes should be) gave me quite a chuckle. I will be including those in the results so that you, too, can have a grin or two.
Welcoming Another Network
We would like to officially announce the arrival of EDM/2 on America On-line (AOL). Our network distributor for AOL approached us with the desire to do this for us and we are glad to have Jason B. Tiller (PeerGynt@aol.com) on the EDM/2 team! Also, a Scooby Snack goes to David Pedigo who pointed out that, on the site generalhq.pc.cc.cmu.edu, the directory name should be /pub/NewsLetters/EDM2 and not /pub/newsletters/edm2 as was stated in previous issues.
One reader, Tarjei T. Jensen, wrote in regarding the Coding for Dollars - Copy Protection and Prevention article that appeared in last issue. He suggested that, for simultaneous access of an application, another scheme called NetBIOS Name Defense can be used for tracking the number of licenses. While his explanation was detailed, I am a bungling idiot when it comes to anything dealing with communications. I invite Tarjei to write a "followup" article to mine explaining this and the other methods that he mentioned in his letter.
Michael Shillingford also wrote in and brought up a very good point that, if you're bored with the gray on black coloring of your command prompt, you can use ANSI escape sequences in your prompt string to liven things up. Unfortunately, these must go in a .CMD file, which you can execute during the opening of the command window using the /K parameter of CMD.EXE. The escape sequence is $e[nm, where n is a color from the following list:
Finally, using the number 0 indicates that foreground colors are to be from the low-intensity set, while using the number 1 specifies the high-intensity set.
If you don't want to set the prompt command twice, you may separate the numbers by a semicolon; the entire command ends with a lower-case m, e.g. prompt $e[37;40m[$p] sets the prompt to white on black with the directory name in brackets.
Is IBM Opening Up?
It would seem so. After a discussion on comp.os.os2.programmer.misc about the undocumented APIs used in OS/2, I received from a friend who received from a friend (etc. ad nauseum) the function prologues for the Session Manager APIs. It really doesn't help much more than any of the Programmer Reference guides that have been in the toolkits over the years, but it is better than what is readily available to most of the public.
Speaking of the Programmer's Toolkit, I received my copy of the DevCon 5, Special Edition CD-ROM during the last week of December, which I used to install the Warp toolkit. Noted changes are the inclusion of the bi-directional interface and the MMPM/2 toolkit in the "base" toolkit. Also, while perusing through the folder, I was quite pleased to find the on-line documentation completely redone. Granted, I was only browsing things and wasn't actually trying to use them, but it seems that they are actually usable now for more than just a reference guide. Additionally, IBM has included new on-line documents such as Multimedia Application Programming Guide, Multimedia Subsystem Programming Guide, OS/2 Bi-directional Language Support Development Guide, and Workplace Shell Programming Guide. Many, many thanks to IBM for this much-needed improvement of the toolkit.