Information Technology

OS4 and Dual Monitors

Recently I paid my $20 and had an OS/4 thumb drive mailed to me.  I had an earlier version of OS/4 running on a pair of machines which spend their lives running BOINC and I kind of liked the old interface it had.  It also seemed a little faster than Mint 13 so I wanted to try it on my netbook and actual workstation.

This post was originally going to be telling you how to install LibreOffice and then use the settings editor to remove all of the AbiWord entries.  It was originally going to tell you how to remove that God-awful chromium browser which is slooooooooooooooooooow and install Firefox.  It was originally going to go through the painful process of exporting email and contacts from that wretched Thunderbird to import them into Evolution because Evolution actually works in this version of OS/4 and it does not work in Mint 14 or 15 KDE.

You have probably guessed that this post is not going to cover any of that now.

OS/4 uses XFCE.  Sadly, XFCE has a fatal bug.  One which has existed for many releases now.  I suspect the developer(s) only has(have) a single monitor.  XFCE does not work in dual monitor mode.  It does not respect the primary monitor setting even though it provides a GUI to adjust that setting.  You either mirror or you live with the leftmost monitor _always_ being primary.

The vast majority of developers, and probably computer users, are right handed.  We put our primary monitor directly in front of us and our secondary on the left.  Granted I have worked with some 3 monitor developers who have left-center-right monitors, but, those developers _always_ use the center monitor as primary.  Yes there are a few developers who have left-upper-lower and they use the upper-lower pair as one really tall monitor, but, they can’t use OS/4 either.

After wasting a lot of download bandwidth I’ve had to re-install Mint 13 KDE.  This is the last version of Mint where Evolution worked.  Yes, I could have went back to the old OS/4 version, but, I wanted something the latest LibreOffice would run on.

One other note.  I didn’t research it much, but, I was unable to transfer .txt files from my Mint 15 desktop to the latest OS/4.  It didn’t matter which text editor I used, the .txt file was unreadable on the netbook.  I did not take the time to test UltraEdit on the netbook since it auto adjusts to various encodings.  I suspect OS/4 or Mint 15 changed default encoding from UTF-8 to something else.