Suntan Special version 0.68

Suntan Special Web edition

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where does Suntan Special look for its applications?

Suntan Special finds its application on the path specified by the SourceDir setting. If there are several instances of the application on the path, the first instance found on the path is used.


BonusDir - eliminated for version 0.64.

SourceDir - This is a semi-colon delimited list of directories that Suntan Special uses to find its applications and also to find the extra files used by Extra applications.

ExtraDir - eliminated for version 0.51

SetupDir - This is for internet update. Due to a bug, internet update isn't working in version 0.50. This is fixed for the next version. The setupDir setting specifies the directory to store apps downloaded using internet update. You can leave this blank for now.

Q: What is the search order?

A:Only the semicolon delimited list of directories sourceDir are searched.

Q: What are the implications of using Suntan and eCSMT? From the website, it looks like Suntan is configured to install the same fixes as eCSMT.

A: I've been careful to make the fixes installed by Suntan compatible with eCSMT. That way, you can run Suntan (which installs the fixes about five times faster than eCSMT), then as time goes on, you can use eCSMT to keep your system up-to-date.

Suntan even installs a fairly recent eCSMT. I guess I'll have to change that for eCS 1.0 and 1.1 for the next version of Suntan Special, as eCSMT won't be supporting old versions of eCS.

Q: How current are the versions on the CD? For instance, the web site says Thunderbird 1.0.6, but I would probably like to use 1.5rc1

A: I built Suntan Special version 0.50 on October 17, 2005. Any applications that came out after that date are not on the CD. But you can add later versions yourself. The most recent Suntan Special release is Suntan Special Web 0.68, built on 24 Dec 2019.

Suntan Special looks down a path for applications to install, and if it finds a directory that you created before the CD in the path, it will use your version rather than the one on the CD.

Starting with Suntan Special version 0.60, you can download updates from the Blonde Guy server using the refresh button on the Application Page. The new applications will become available to install.

Q: What if I have a couple of DOS programs I want to add? Can Suntan alter the DOS properties?

A: Regarding adding your own DOS programs -- yes, you can. Look at any of my programs as templates. The API is documented, and I'll try to answer any questiions you have along the way. I use few DOS programs, but the program object can run them, and all I do anyway is make program objects and set their setup strings. As far as I know, all the DOS settings are in the program object setup string. So, if you have it working on one computer, just open the properties, and look in Icon / Details and copy the setup string. Put that setup string in the Suntan Special REXX file, and it ought to create the right Program Object.

Q: What if only one or two things have changed, like say I updated the versions of Firefox and Tbird on the network drive. I go to each machine and run Suntan... would I have to tell Suntan to install only those apps or will it check all the installed apps and be smart enough to only install the updated ones?

A:Edit a sequence listing all of the applications you want to install on each workstation. Go to each workstation and run that sequence.

Q: Thunderbird and Firefox have addidtional concerns in that you would want to put them in fresh directories, would Suntan delete the old ones and point the program objects to the new exe's? I just thought of something else, what if you want to use the run! utility with Firefox?

A: The browsers are handled carefully. If previous version of the browser is found, then it's installation directory is renamed. Plugins are migrated from the previous browser to the new one. Plugin support for java and flash is installed (ipluginw.dll). A program object is created with a nice icon. If run! is installed then a [browser]!.exe is created. If the mozillaHome setting is non-blank, then a SET MOZILLA_HOME= statement is added to or updated in config.sys. If the mozillaPluginDir is non-blank, then a SET MOZ_PLUGIN_PATH= statement is added to or updated in config.sys.

Q: So if all the apps are in the network drive, you don't need the CD?

A: That is correct.

Q: I assume that Suntan does not try to install dhcp server? Under what circumstances would you fill in the dhcp fields?

A: Suntan Special installs/configures the DHCP server only in the server version. The application for DHCP server configuration is dhcpsd.

Q: What is the setupDir setting for?

A: This is for your software repository. Suntan Special can download and install a number of applications. The applications are stored under the setup directory. If SaveWebApps is set to 0, the app is deleted after installation completes. Otherwise, these apps do not have to be downloaded again to reinstall.

Q: Re Lotus, I can get C59A01E.EXE from the eCS web site, but my 1.7 is on eCS CD #3 in many files, am I supposed to zip it to Does 1.7.3 include 1.7.1 that comes with my eCS CD?

A: I need to fix the LotusW4_17 application. It should work both ways.

Q: What printer do I use, "omni" or "ecs_omni".

A: I included the last freely distributable printer driver as "omni". If you download the latest from the eCS website, then use the "ecs_omni" installer with that. There is no difference other than that. If you add printer drivers, then they should be in a subdirectory under PrinterDriver. Suntan Special looks for valid drivers and cdi.cmd files and lists them as available for installation.

Q: In the cdi.cmd for Mozilla you deal with the MOZILLA_HOME stuff. But what if someone wants to install only Firefox?

A: Starting with version 0.51, Suntan Special can install one or all of Mozilla, Firefox, PmW-Fx, SeaMonkey and/or Thunderbird.

Q: In the Firefox cdi.cmd, it looks like you look for existing plugins and copy them to installDir\Plugins. I prefer to keep the plugins away from the application files so they can never be accidentally erased when updating the browser. So I may play with the cdi.cmd file to achieve that end.

A: the Mozilla, Firefox and SeaMonkey applications will take care to migrate all your plugins properly.

Q: I don't like the fact that the automated mozilla install puts entries in user.ini, installing from a zip would be my preference.

A: Suntan Special uses those entries to migrate your plugins. Mozilla, Firefox and SeaMonkey use the ini file entries. Suntan Special installs ConfigApps to edit some of them. Firefox installs from the zip file.

Q: Then the Acrobat install would be a whole lot simpler too. BTW, would it not make more sense to install Acrobat AFTER the browsers since they are setting mozilla_home?

A: The browser applications now install to the MOZ_PLUG directory if you specify it.

This is how plugins are migrated. You may choose to install any or all of Netscape 4.61, Mozilla, Firefox and SeaMonkey. For each of the Mozilla family of browsers, the installer looks for an old plugin directory and a new plugin directory.

The old plugin directory is MOZ_PLUGIN_PATH, if specified, otherwise it is the current browser, if already installed, otherwise, it's Mozilla, if that is installed, otherwise it's Netscape, if that is installed, otherwise there is no plugin migration.

If the browser installation is an upgrade, and MOZ_PLUGIN_PATH was not already in use at install time, then the old browser files are backed up, and the old plugin directory is from the backup files.

The new plugin directory, is MOZ_PLUGIN_PATH, if specified, otherwise it is the new browser plugin directory. All plugins are copied, except Feature Install, the IBM Java 1.1 plugin and the null plugin.

Q: The help shown when setting extraDir (with the Suntan settings editor) says that this setting is where "user-created are stored. Each directory is delimited by a semicolon. Enter one or more extra directories." while elsewhere in the .inf file it says: "Creating your own Application"

To create your own application, you will make a subdirectory with the name of your application, and a REXX program which is called cdi.cmd. This subdirectory must be located in a directory listed by the sourceDir setting."

Which is a bit contradictory. The last paragraph above leads one to believe that their own creations should be in sourceDir while the first paragraph says that extraDir is used. In fact it doesn't matter.

A: The documentation was confusing, and I hope I have improved it for version 0.51. I have combined the function of extraDir and sourceDir, and therefore eliminated extraDir. Now you simply list the directories you want to use in sourceDir.

If Suntan Special needs and extra part, like the lotusw4 zip file, then it's going to look for it using the same algorithm.

In your case, where you're making your own source directories on the server, I think it makes sense to add the lotusw4 zip file to the original application, in the Setup\LotusW4_17 directory. Notice that there is a SUITE.RSP file and a CDI.CMD file in that same directory. Now you know that CDI.CMD is the rexx script. SUITE.RSP is the response file for installing LotusW4. I took the existing one out of the installation package and changed it to install every item, as if you had manually checked all the boxes.

Q: When using the sequence editor for user created sequence, the message says something like "app not found" for user created app, but will display the correct message for Suntan apps ,i.e. reboot, archive, etc. (All my apps are in \setup) This is disconcerting, a better message might be "Suntan thinks this is a user created application"

A: When you make your own applications, try to keep the header of the library more or less the same as the ones I've supplied. In particular, look at the lines containing the words Description and Copyright.

Suntan Special scans for these keywords in the header, and the displays the content between them as the description of the application. I guess that fact should have been in the help somewhere.

Q: It might be helpful when discussing settings.txt to specifically say that users should add their own lines manually for other keys or files.

A: I've added a section on adding settings. You can, as you point out, just add the setting to settings.txt. To fully add a setting, you should also add it to QuerySettings.cmd. This is a bit more complex, but you have the existing settings to use as a template.

Q: From the eCS1.2 disks, these are some of the things it installs/configures:

A: For version 0.51, I'm supplying new directions. The short answer is that you are always better off using Suntan Special to install the apps, because that gives you better control of what and where they are installed.

Q: The documentation (in case I've missed it) might need a page that tells Suntan users what parts of an eCS installation they should skip when using the default ecs12.seq. You might end up wasting time installing something twice (warpin, lotus, java) or something you don't want at all (flash5, escapeGL, acrobat4, mozilla). Maybe add a mention that Suntan will install the same application faster, which I think you told me.

A: I need to write eCS 1.1, 1.2 and 1.2 MR instructions.

Q: eCS 1.2 installs mmio for flac & ogg, but not mp3. ecs12.seq should have the mp3 script added.

A: Multimedia in eCS 1.2 has been changed from earlier versions. I'm hoping to include this feature in the future.

Q: eCS 1.2 configures the TCP/IP settings, can you explain why they are called again in ecs12.seq?

A: I need additional configuration beyond what the eCS 1.2 installer provides.

Q: Can any fonts be added to the webfonts dir?

A: You can add any TrueType fonts that have an extension of TTF. If the font name is OK on OS/2, then Suntan Special will add it. Basically, if the add fonts dialog works, so should Suntan Special.

Last Modified: 24 Dec 2019
Graphics by Colorful Language
Copyright 2019 by Blonde Guy