Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 19th Jul 2005 03:36 UTC, submitted by her friend Brad
OS/2 and eComStation In the dawn of the end of IBM's OS/2 Stardock's CEO Brad Wardell pays his respects to the venerable operating system by writing a long article about the history of the OS. Stardock was one of the major third party software houses for OS/2 back in the day and so Brad has lived OS/2 from up close.
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OS/2
by PipoDeClown on Tue 19th Jul 2005 04:10 UTC
PipoDeClown
Member since:
2005-07-19

OS/2 was my first love but has been declared dead by IBM for 10 years already.

The fun thing is that all graphic gimmicks you see nowadays like desktop sidebars, animated window effect or so called desklets, they where already available on OS/2. I believe that is because of the object approach of the Presentation Manager/Workplace Shell which is stil state of art.

Another good thing is that when you press Ctrl-Esc a list of all active windows will appear in a treeview, not just the running programs. You can select the windows to be shown or hidden.

Did i forget to mention that the NET command is able to start a remote process on a distant server and that is by design.

There are so much more superior things. I have been spoiled by OS/2 and IBM let me down. I will never forgive that...

Reply Score: 2

OS/2
by Anonymous on Tue 19th Jul 2005 04:48 UTC
Anonymous
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Any chance IBM will opensource OS/2?

Reply Score: 1

v RE: OS/2
by Anonymous on Tue 19th Jul 2005 04:53 UTC in reply to "OS/2"
RE[2]: OS/2
by Anonymous on Tue 19th Jul 2005 11:29 UTC in reply to "RE: OS/2"
Anonymous Member since:
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you are ruining people excitement do you know that?

Reply Score: 0

huh
by Anonymous on Tue 19th Jul 2005 05:07 UTC
Anonymous
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IBM should start again, and build OS/5. No "warp" bs naming, just one up the OS number, for each release.

They could do this easily, using much of their own code.. or even using Linux/BSD or some such free project.

They could use and enhance their original desktop paradigm, they could allow for different shells, they could add in and support development of great drivers, etc, etc.

IBM could quite seriously conquer the desktop, with open source.

They will NOT however, do it using other companies open source. THis is yet another wrong-headed move by IBM.

They fear being a leader, since they usually screw it up. Hire some young people IBM, no suits, and let them re-release your desktop OS. Wouldn't that be sweet....

Reply Score: 0

That takes me back...
by wakeupneo on Tue 19th Jul 2005 05:10 UTC
wakeupneo
Member since:
2005-07-06

..I still remember the surfer ads. There was another one with an office girl showing OS/2 to some co-workers that were hovering over her shoulder and they were gasping words like "liquid" to describe how 'fluid' it was.

And no, I didn't get it either...

Reply Score: 1

Warp?
by Anonymous on Tue 19th Jul 2005 05:31 UTC
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All I could think of when i saw the "warp" across my screen, was how many albums had been wrecked by the sun over the years.

The people they were marketing to wanted a couple things: applications, speed and games.

They had apps, they had NO speed (even 0S/2 2.1 was slow due to memory req's of the day) and there surely was NO game support.

Windows came up with an API and paid people to write to it. Games like Mechwarrior for windows drove my friends to Win95, and uninstalling their OS/2 boxes.

Open source! So what if there are technical and other issues! Just make if fracking happen!!!

You owe your loyal supporters at least that much.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Warp?
by Anonymous on Tue 19th Jul 2005 12:15 UTC in reply to "Warp?"
Anonymous Member since:
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"Open source! So what if there are technical and other issues! Just make if fracking happen!!!

You owe your loyal supporters at least that much."

Most would consider the fact that you have the OS on your drive as plenty. Anyway with Linux being boosted by IBM, releasing OS/2 as opensource wouldn't do them any good. Plus remember that OSNews article about alternative OS's and their success? All that releasing parts of OS/2 as opensource would do is please a minority, and OS/2 would still effectively be dead.*

*Plus it would indermine the eCommstation, which is already in a small market.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Warp?
by Thymox on Tue 19th Jul 2005 12:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Warp?"
Thymox Member since:
2005-07-19

Most would consider the fact that you have the OS on your drive as plenty. Anyway with Linux being boosted by IBM, releasing OS/2 as opensource wouldn't do them any good. Plus remember that OSNews article about alternative OS's and their success? All that releasing parts of OS/2 as opensource would do is please a minority, and OS/2 would still effectively be dead.

I see where you're going with this, but I'm not sure I would agree with you. If IBM were to open-source the parts of OS/2 that they can (providing they choose an appropriate license) then there would be nothing to stop people porting the relevant parts to another OS such as Linux/*BSD. True, effectively the kernel parts of OS/2 would go to waste like this, but as far as I can see no-body has been particularly interested the kernel aspects of the system.

Reply Score: 1

Funny
by kaiwai on Tue 19th Jul 2005 06:05 UTC
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2005-07-06

What I find funny is the IBM fanboys; and their complete ignorance of the fact that they sold their customers out to Microsoft - now they're expectign them to work miracles with Linux; sorry, if there are going to be any revolutions with Linux, it'll either be by a community based distributor, which has no commercial vested interests, or it'll be alternative *NIX such as Solaris x86 - not through the 'community' but via the shear fact that hardware companies can write closed source drivers for Solaris without needing to recompile for every patch release, distro and change that occurs in the kernel.

Reply Score: 2

IBM isn't a monolithic entity.
by rcsteiner on Tue 19th Jul 2005 14:36 UTC in reply to "Funny"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

As Brad mentioned in his article, IBM is really a series of fiefdoms, not a single coherent company. Because of this, parts of the company sometimes directly compete with each other, or will sometimes work towards opposite goals.

Some of the folks at IBM PSP were very good at following through on then OS/2 side, but IBM PCCO (the PC company) basically screwed them over when it came to preloads.

I think IBM's strategy with Linux makes sense. Why not use and support an operating system that is being developed by its own community and which seems to run on almost all platforms?

It takes a lot of development pressure off IBM's own people, and yet IBM still has a common platform across their entire line of hardware products.

Reply Score: 1

Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

Indeed. A previous article on OS/2 a long time ago showed how the PC division preloaded Windows on their PCs because customers demanded it (thanks to a devious campagin by MS) while the OS division was fiercely opposed to this.

Reply Score: 1

Too late
by jeffb on Tue 19th Jul 2005 06:24 UTC
jeffb
Member since:
2005-07-19

I think he is focusing too late. IBM realized they needed to start moving OS/2 in the 1.3.1 days. They cut the price from $300 to $99 with a free upgrade to 2.0. However to buy it for $99 you had to call an 800# that you had to hear about by word of mouth.

On 2.0 they couldn't make up their mind if they wanted it to be succesful or not. They didn't preload it with their own systems! The OS/2 division did a great job but IBM inc was never behind OS/2.

Reply Score: 1

OS/2 Warp 4
by clubgus on Tue 19th Jul 2005 06:45 UTC
clubgus
Member since:
2005-07-19

My Story is I Once installed OS/2 Warp 4 that I got out of a Australian PC Magazine CD, basically I had the worst time installing the OS the desktop environment look like I was using Windows 3.1 and the IBM DOS environment did not support 32bit naming conventions I had ~files. OS/2 Didn't like my CPU, video card and by now the other OS's I got free with the Magazine BeOS 5 PE and Redhat look & worked better and supported most of my hardware.

Reply Score: 1

RE: OS/2 Warp 4
by rcsteiner on Tue 19th Jul 2005 15:10 UTC in reply to "OS/2 Warp 4"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

My Story is I Once installed OS/2 Warp 4 that I got out of a Australian PC Magazine CD, basically I had the worst time installing the OS the desktop environment look like I was using Windows 3.1 and the IBM DOS environment did not support 32bit naming conventions I had ~files.

The OS/2 desktop looks nothing like Windows 3.1, unless you're talking about the WinOS2 desktop (which is an actual licensed copy of Windows 3.1 that was modified by IBM to work in a VDM).

It's quite true that OS/2 VDMs don't support Win95-style VFAT long filenames out of the box, but third party drivers are available to support that particular Microsoft hack under OS/2 if you wish, and you can also obtain support for HPFS long filenames as well if you want DOS programs to be able to see OS/2 native long filenames.

The Windows naming convention isn't "32-bit". Maybe you're confusing the fact that Win9x flavors use FAT32 and VFAT long filenames at the same time?

I'm not surprised that BeOS 5 PE and RH work better on newer hardware -- they're newer OSes. For something comparable in the OS/2 world, eCS is the solution, but unfortunately it isn't free.

Reply Score: 2

Re:OS/2 Warp 4
by A30Guy on Tue 19th Jul 2005 07:06 UTC
A30Guy
Member since:
2005-07-06

Like Clubgus I also got a legitimate free copy of OS/2 Warp from Australian Personal Computer magazine. I also installed it alongside Redhat and BeOS, but I had no real problems with it. Like anything else, I had to search for drivers, but SnapGraphics took care of the video card and I located drivers for my network and sound cards. It's been upgraded to the latest Fix pack, has Firefox and Opera installed and still shares space on my computer. Warp is still relevant and can be used for most standard PC tasks.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Re:OS/2 Warp 4
by clubgus on Wed 20th Jul 2005 00:38 UTC in reply to "Re:OS/2 Warp 4"
clubgus Member since:
2005-07-19

I guess it also depended on what sort of hardware you had at the time, Really I got these 3 OS's of the APC Mag and I had no idea how they worked I was MS Boy all my life:(. My computer was one of those 'el cheapo' computers with trashy components Rendition video Card?, AMD K62 350 CPU the most problematic CPU I ever had, Not allot of room on the HDD 2GB and 64mb RAM so I couldn't experiment with OS/2 warp 4, I wished i had a better experience with this OS, because it didn't support my s/card, my video card or my cheap WinModem I couldn't do anything with it. Now I would love to Warp back and install OS/2 how do we download it, do you thin OS/2 would work on Amd Duron 800 256Ram and 20Gig HDD, Vodoo Banshee Card?

Reply Score: 1

v Re
by Anonymous on Tue 19th Jul 2005 08:03 UTC
Best operating system for PC
by Anonymous on Tue 19th Jul 2005 08:26 UTC
Anonymous
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I had a solid experience in OS2/2 : i managed a client/server project developping client application with Presentation Manager (native GUI) in Borland C++, using DB/2 (clients and server) and REXX for customizing the client desktop. We also added radio communications between special terminal and the server.
All worked like a charm. OS2/2 was fast, robust, real object oriented user interface and easy to maintain. A great operating system.

Reply Score: 0

Great article but
by Anonymous on Tue 19th Jul 2005 09:56 UTC
Anonymous
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This was nice article of OS/2 and i think very much true in most speculation parts. But there is one funny point. In article he mostly talks how IBM pretty much screwed things around and made stupid decisions, but at last part he points out that it was Microsoft and it's anti-competive behavior that partly killed OS/2. Yet even Bill Gates said that "How can we compete with something that seems to have unlimited funds thrown at it?", so was it really a Microsoft anti-compative behavior or was it just IBM that screwed things really badly. According to article it pretty much was IBM own fault, they had a change there and they blew it.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Great article but
by Anonymous on Tue 19th Jul 2005 12:44 UTC in reply to "Great article but"
Anonymous Member since:
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IBM was in a much better position than Microsoft. IBM was a trusted name in the corporate world. I think it's mostly their fault.

Reply Score: 0

v RE: Great article but
by Anonymous on Tue 19th Jul 2005 12:45 UTC in reply to "Great article but"
I wonder
by ronaldst on Tue 19th Jul 2005 09:56 UTC
ronaldst
Member since:
2005-06-29

how much work it would be to recreate the Workplace Shell? IMO it's the most important feature of OS/2 that no one has in other OSes.

Reply Score: 1

Misses some "real world" points.
by deathshadow on Tue 19th Jul 2005 10:19 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

At the start of the article he goes on about Windows 3.1 vs. OS/2, but misses what in my experience was the OS/2's biggest flaw - it was RAM hungry. Yes, Windows 3.1 was RAM hungry too, but you could run it in as little as 2 megs if you had to (on a 286 nonetheless). The BEST hardware you could buy in the PC world when windows 3.1 came out was a 386/33... and most people only had 4 megs of RAM in them. 8 megs was 'wow', 16 was 'what the hell are you gonna use that for?'

OS/2 2.x on 16 megs ran like like... well, it ran like Windows 95 on 4 megs of RAM... Abysmally slow, ALWAYS thrashing to the disk... and it's not like RAM was cheap back then... for the cost of 16 megs at the time you could have bought the CPU, mainboard AND a 40 meg MFM (or a 20 meg ide). It always had a hardware curve that made windows seem lightweight and it was simply "too much, too soon" for the hardware of the era. When 95 hit people were STILL bitching about needing 8 megs to run '95... Try something that wants double that to run like crap 3 YEARS EARLIER... (See also the slow adoption of NT and why Netware 3.x ruled the day)

That they tied it so closely to their hardware blunder didn't help. The PS/2 with Micro Channel, trying to play Apples game of "Our hardware or nothing" (which I still say is holding Apple back) resulted in NOBODY wanting an IBM PS/2... So why would anyone want their OS as well? It was the timeframe the x86 community as a whole turned their backs on IBM, with the only people staying on being rampant fanboys or businessmen who didn't know any better.

Let's face it, how many of us who worked as field techs would go to a new clients site, see a PS/2 model 70 and go "Oh {censored}, not one of these pieces of {censored} again!?!"

Reply Score: 1

RE: Misses some "real world" points.
by ITPro on Tue 19th Jul 2005 15:28 UTC in reply to "Misses some "real world" points."
ITPro Member since:
2005-07-10

OS/2 2.x on 16 megs ran like like... well, it ran like Windows 95 on 4 megs of RAM... Abysmally slow, ALWAYS thrashing to the disk...

It's certainly true that when it came to paging, OS/2 made a lot of trips to the well, but much of the thrashing was caused by the rediculous effort to grow and especially to shrink the paging file. I realize that they were trying to improve utilization of scarce disk space, but all that juggling was a tremendous waste of time, especially with the slow ST-506, ESDI (which is what I had) and nascent IDE disk drives of the time. Whenever OS/2 started shrinking the paging file, useful work ground to a halt. I suspect this was not a problem or was much less of one when using SCSI drives.

The solution was to set the initial size of the paging file high enough that growth would generally not be needed, thus eliminating or at least minimizing shrinkage operations. Of course this required precommitment of disk resources, but I had a 100 MB disk drive (ooh! ah!) and could afford the "expense." With this change, my 386/SX-16, 16MB RAM performed rather well. Later I upgraded to a 386/SX-25 and was rewarded with a gratifying improvement in performance.

Unfortunately, the ability to tweek for improved performance is not as good as having it run well in the first place, since a lot of people never get the word and thus suffer unnecessarily.

Reply Score: 1

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

The BEST hardware you could buy in the PC world when windows 3.1 came out was a 386/33...and most people only had 4 megs of RAM in them. 8 megs was 'wow', 16 was 'what the hell are you gonna use that for?'

Windows 3.1 was released in the spring of 1992 just before OS/2 2.0.

I bought my first 486DX/33 with 8MB in August 1992, and at that point 486DX/50 machines were also available. At that time, 8MB machines were a relatively standard (and common) configuration, and 16MB machines were used by a lot of hobbyists.

OS/2 2.x on 16 megs ran like like... well, it ran like Windows 95 on 4 megs of RAM...

Actually, once the SWAPPATH trick was used, OS/2 2.0's speed was okay even on an 8MB box (load times could be slow, but things were fine once software was loaded).

OS/2 Warp 3 was a little bit faster than 2.0 or 2.1 on low RAM boxes, but it wasn't released until 1994.

That they tied it so closely to their hardware blunder didn't help.

IBM's versions of OS/2 2.0 and later *never* had a tie with their PS/2 hardware line (or any IBM hardware), and I'm not sure that any of the 1.x versions (most of them released as "Microsoft OS/2") did either.

The perception was certainly there, but I don't think it had any basis in fact.

Reply Score: 2

Anonymous Member since:
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>Windows 3.1 was released in the spring of 1992 just before OS/2 2.0.

Not quite.

IIRC, the beta versions of OS/2 2.0 were tested with Windows (WinOS2) 3.1, but because of IBM contractual committments (and a DOJ consent decree from the 60s) OS/2 2.0 had to be released with Windows 3.0 functionallity. Due to the cross licensing arrangement with MS, IBM could not release MS-developed product before MS did.

This fact was not lost on MS, who hammerred IBM on that issue several times.

Reply Score: 0

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Not quite.

Sorry, my dates are accurate. Windows 3.1 was released in April 1992, and OS/2 2.0 was released in June 1992.

One source (of many) is here:

http://oldfiles.org.uk/powerload/timeline.htm

It's very true that OS/2 2.0 was released with a WinOS2 subsystem that only supported Windows 3.0, not 3.1, and that did cause some issues. It was updated in OS/2 2.1 (released May 1993).

Reply Score: 1

Anonymous Member since:
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No!

The RTM (release to manufacturing) date of OS/2 2.0 was 30 March 1992. Check your install media do get that date. That differs from the GA (general availability) date due to the lead time that manufacturing needed to produce the media for distribution. IBMs committment was to have product in the hands of their corporate customers before 01 April 1992. This they did.

Internally, the release was referred to as the "March 31'st" release, inorder to release OS/2 2.0 by the 1st of April.

This date (30 March 1992) was pulled from the actual OS/2 2.0 distribution media (in this case 3.5" floppies), IBM P/N 84F8461.

Reply Score: 0

Cliffdaddy Member since:
2005-07-07

When OS/2 and Windows 3.1 came out, the Windows Gurus pointed at OS/2 and screamed to the world, Look OS/2 takes 4 meg. of ram to install and run (at the same time) 2 or 3 programs. It is a memory hog! They continued this rant for three years. When Windows95 was released, they stopped pointing their fingers. The min. memory requirement for Win95 was 4 meg. Win95 would install with 4 meg but running just a single program brought it to a crawl. 8 meg. was the recommended amount for Win95.

I ran OS/2 with 8 meg. and it was every bit as fast as Windows 95. I had both on the same machine. OS/2 was stable, Windows 95 crashed regularly. I used Win95 for games, I used OS/2 for everything else.

Today Linux requires a min. of 64 meg. to install, with YaST2. eComStation 1.2 will install from CD with min. 48 meg. but 64 meg. is recommended min. How much memory does WinXP need to install and run? OS/2 was/is not memory hungry.

I'm sorry a PS/2 got the better of you. I hope someday you get over it. PS/2s were not bad, just different. They would make the field techs. have to think. Sometimes people don't like to think.

Reply Score: 1

Great and interesting read
by Ronald Vos on Tue 19th Jul 2005 10:23 UTC
Ronald Vos
Member since:
2005-07-06

..but what does PSP stand for? I'm either continually reading over where it's mentioned, or..

Reply Score: 1

RE: Great and interesting read
by simmoV on Tue 19th Jul 2005 13:18 UTC in reply to "Great and interesting read"
simmoV Member since:
2005-07-08

As deathshadow has said, it stood for Personal Software Products. This was the division responsible for the development and marketing of OS/2. It was killed off shortly after when IBM failed to meet the goal of 'releasing' Workplace OS (OS/2 for PPC, a Mach-based rewrite of the kernel). When I mean 'release', they did sell it but there was no marketing whatsoever with it or its supported systems. It wouldn't have made any difference; it really wasn't a finished product and IBM knew it.

Reply Score: 1

@Ronald Vos
by deathshadow on Tue 19th Jul 2005 10:35 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

>>..but what does PSP stand for? I'm either continually reading over where it's mentioned, or..

Depends...
To graphics people it means Paint Shop Pro
To gamers it means Playstation Portable
In tech support it means Preventive Service Planning

Although in this particular case I believe it refers to IBM's "Personal Systems Products" division.

Reply Score: 2

Just some ideas
by JCezar on Tue 19th Jul 2005 10:39 UTC
JCezar
Member since:
2005-07-19

Opensource OS/2 fully is not an option due to AIX (RE: OS/2) and, maybe, some left over code from Microsoft.

I think the best way to go would be to opensource the things that made OS/2 different the WorkPlace Shell the System Object Model, because of it's concepts, usability.

To make easy porting the existing software the some of the WinXXX, DosXXX, PrfXXX, DevXXX and other APIs would have to be ported.

To replace the Operating System parts we could use existing opensource projects and also do some improvements:

Kernel:

Linux and BSD offer a very good base for the operating system.

CIFS/SMB:

Samba the way, it's also mentioned on the IBM migration from OS/2 to Linux Redbooks

V86 VM:

DOSbox has been making a lot of progress in fully emulating a V86 system

Windows 3.X

Windows subsystem was V86 VM with Windows running on it, in the DOSBox web site there's a screenshot of Windows for Workgroups 3.11 running on a VM, so why not use it?

Improvements:

Odin project (previously Win32-OS/2) have been making a lot of progress in running Win32 applications on the OS/2 itself, I don't know how much of the code can be used from it. Wine could also be an option and since it's Linux/BSD native I think it would be better to use it.

Netlabs.org has a lot of good projects for OS/2 that could be ported for this new operating system.

The real thing would be putting everything together under a free opensource WPS.

I have been using computers for over 15 years and no GUI has come close to the WPS in flexibility and fuctionality.

I was a home user of OS/2. I bought software for it and now I have migrated to BSD, but I would love to do cd /usr/ports/wps; make install clean and have a working WPS on my BSD box;

And during the process letís improve/replace the OS2.INI and OS2SYS.INI, I got tired of corrupted INI files.

Reply Score: 3

OS OS/2
by Anonymous on Tue 19th Jul 2005 12:47 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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I don't particularily care much for open sourcing OS/2 either for the same reasons as above. I beleive the better option here is to take what was good and innovative from OS/2 and learn from it, possibly even using the principles in Linux/BSD. You like the OS/2 PM? Do what Windowmaker/Gnustep did - make your own to run native as a window manager/environment.

Reply Score: 0

OS/2 was the begining
by Anonymous on Tue 19th Jul 2005 14:53 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Like many great things sometimes is has to come to pass. OS/2 is great!!! The design and principals used from the OO internal design and the management of the desktop. I had loads of fun with OS/2. When Windows 3.1 came out it was fragile. So I created virtual machines under OS/2 and ran Windows. Guess it was more stable. OS/2 gave the lead in Desktop design and functionality. Pity others struggled to achieve the same. Now with more advance OS's Windows, Amiga, Linux, BeOS (Why could more money not be spent on making this a great OS?) and QNX. OS/2 must be honored as the beginning (the father) of true preemptive-multitasking desktop environment.

Maybe one day we'll see a migration of OS/2 to more current development languages and device support. I think the true problem comes with the huge code-base and to migrate it all to more efficient and current code, coding languages and coding styles; thus supporting current and future hardware.

I am not pleased by the decision of IBM. As Windows 3.1, Windows 9x, Windows Me and soon Windows 2K will also die a dishonorable death.

Reply Score: 0

RE: OS/2 was the begining
by Anonymous on Tue 19th Jul 2005 16:54 UTC in reply to "OS/2 was the begining"
Anonymous Member since:
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I first tried OS/2 2.1 free by calling some 1-800 number. Then I got OS/2 Warp for Xmas.

What do I remember about it?

1. The included proprietary "productivity suite" for Warp really sucked. I did a bunch of documents in it and boy was that a mistake. I don't think I could export to Wordperfect or anything standard back then. I had a bunch of windows software (gotten free from Corel seminars, they used to hand out Wordperfect etc at those) and I had no OS/2 software. I got Windows working from within OS/2 but it was never stable and was a lot slower than using windows directly.

2. A free third party utility called "watchcat" let me attach a joystick to the computer and click two joystick buttons when the computer was frozen so I could kill runaway processes that locked out the keyboard. I still miss that utility.

3. I was always going back into Windows 3.1 to actually get real work done. I had Galactic Civilizations which my then-girlfriend loved but OS/2 swapped badly and Galciv used to crash after an hour or so.

Of course Linux at that time was good enough to run a text editor and download and view porn from BBSs at higher speed and stability than windows but had no useful apps either.

Reply Score: 0

v OS/2
by Anonymous on Tue 19th Jul 2005 15:41 UTC
RE: OS/2
by rcsteiner on Tue 19th Jul 2005 15:57 UTC in reply to "OS/2"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Stop beating this dead horse already.

Reminds me of the comment a software developer allegedly made back in the early 1990's:

"Nobody uses OS/2, so everyone please stop asking us for an OS/2 version!"

I do more every day on my OS/2 box than most Windows XP users do on hardware 20 times as fast.

To you the horse might be dead, but you are one user out of thousands. Some of us like using nonmainstream stuff, that's all. If you don't like it, don't read it.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: OS/2
by Anonymous on Tue 19th Jul 2005 17:20 UTC in reply to "RE: OS/2"
Anonymous Member since:
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Agree.
Stop FUD again.
Is there any OS/2 user asking you to switch? Is there some asking MS to develope Media Player for OS/2? Is there any demand for "advices" how and where to switch?
Yeah. Some of us, os/2 users, are about to send petition to IBM - but it has nothing to do with typical windoze eaters or "former warp-then happy windoze users", nor linuxoids. Thank you all guys for your commitment and care on poor guys with dead OS. I don't need your attention, to do what I need to do.
All that jaz comes from hard to swallow fact, os/2 community was always next to mainstream but never inside or behind it. We survived for so long time and not worry what ms decide to tell us is usefull or not.

Reply Score: 0

OS/2 and ram (reply to deathshadow)
by jeffb on Tue 19th Jul 2005 15:50 UTC
jeffb
Member since:
2005-07-19

Your dates are off:

1987 -- OS/2 1.0
1991 -- OS/2 1.3 (1.3.1 was the last of the 286 based releases)
6/92 -- OS/2 2.0
11/94 -- OS/2 3.0

So the period you are talking about is between 6/92 and say 1995. Now in terms of Intel:
1988 - 386
1989 - 486
1993 - Pentium

So the fact is that when OS/2 2.0 came out the 486 was already a fairly common processor (though the 386 more heavily used). I should further mention that ram was cheap in late 80's early 90's this was before that large fire in Japan. I was a broke college student and I had a 386-40 (amd) with 20 gigs of ram back then. Hard drives were slow as heck so a huge ram cache was a major performance enhancer. That combined with Desqview and Windows 3.1.... so what I'm describing was not an unusual configuration for a power user (though well beyond the average desktop). 0S/2 2.1 and 3.0 was no more memory intensive than 2.0 so I don't think memory was the problem.

Reply Score: 1

Big Al Member since:
2005-06-29

How in the heck did you get a 386 to work with 20 gigs of ram? You'd have to have at minimum 5 gig ram chips - did they even exist?

Reply Score: 1

20 gigs of ram
by jeffb on Tue 19th Jul 2005 17:27 UTC
jeffb
Member since:
2005-07-19

How in the heck did you get a 386 to work with 20 gigs of ram?

Standard motherboards had 8 slots not 4. So I had 4x1+4x4. And 16m chips did exist but they were way expensive (like 10x the cost of 4meg chips) no one used them in any PCs except for things like Lan Servers.

Reply Score: 1

stability
by Anonymous on Tue 19th Jul 2005 17:34 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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I was still a kid when OS/2 2.0 came out, and all that I can remeber is how unstable it was. It never worked right. We purchased all the upgrades and Warp and I could neve get it installed right on my machines.

So the questions is, when did OS/2 become stable??

Reply Score: 0

@jeffb
by deathshadow on Tue 19th Jul 2005 18:14 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

and how were my dates off?

So the fact is that when OS/2 2.0 came out the 486 was already a fairly common processor (though the 386 more heavily used).

That's like saying Xeons have been out for almost three years so it's a common enough processor... It is and it isn't. Having sold units at the time I can (to the best of my memory) say for a good degree of certanty 486's didn't start really going out the door until '93. Just because the chip came out in '89 doesn't mean anyone was making boards to support them... Even IBM wasn't shipping 486 based machines until November 1990... They were selling PS/2's as their entire product line until 1993 when they 'downscaled' to the PS/1's.

I mean hell, look at IBM's 1992 'new product' line... Their 'best' machine, the PS/2 Server 295 (aka IBM 8600) was a 486SX/50 with 8 megs of RAM stock. The big model they were pushing that year, the model 75 came in five flavors, all of them a 386-20 (either SX or DX depending on the model) and was pretty much a repack of the 1989 Model 70...

What was even funnier about that timeframe is they were making better portables than they did desktops (something that held right through Thinkpad history), again showing how the different divisions never really walked in step with each-other. The PS/2 Model 75 was a ratrap 386-20... the PS/2 Model P75 was a wonderful (if expensive) 486DX-33 lunchbox with a 16 shade orange plasma and a 160meg SCSI drive.

Of course in that timeframe IBM Model Numbers got worse than Tandy 1000's. (Pick two letters, that's the new model)

As to the Operating System side of things

6/92 -- OS/2 2.0
01 March 1992 - Windows 3.1

THREE MONTHS, Bravo Foxtrot Delta! I feel it's safe to call them contemporaries to each-other... In fact a head to head comparison is what this whole thing is REALLY about. Being able to run "The same applications" as a cheaper solution was no way to sell a more expensive product, and there was no software just for OS/2 that would wow enough of the target audience to justify buying it.

The two work together, before Windows 3.1 you could either spend a fortune on the hardware to support OS/2 to do what? Have pretty graphics and still run your DOS applications? The only software 90% of the customers who could AFFORD PC's at the time (That other 10% being hobbyists and gamers who like now will float their house to buy bleeding edge) consisted of Wordperfect, 123, Quattro and Harvard Graphics... All of which were single tasking DOS programs that ran just fine on a 386SX-16 with ONE meg of RAM. IT WAS A HARD SELL getting business buyers into the GUI market, something people seem to have forgotten...

And the applications that did it were Word and Excel under Windows 3.x and the introduction of the "Office Suite" concept... What did OS/2 offer for that 'killer app'? The same versions of the same software, but you had to drop more money than you'd spend on an engagement ring to run it half as well?

Reply Score: 1

RE: @jeffb
by rcsteiner on Tue 19th Jul 2005 19:24 UTC in reply to "@jeffb"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

OS/2 2.0 and Windows 3.1 were contemporaries (and head to head competitors) for roughly a year, and then OS/2 2.1 closed the API compatability gap until Microsoft started their rather infamous Win32s-of-the-month club (making the Windows API a constantly changing target).

Being able to run "The same applications" as a cheaper solution was no way to sell a more expensive product, and there was no software just for OS/2 that would wow enough of the target audience to justify buying it.

The "upgrade" prices for OS/2 2.0 for any DOS or Windows user were US$99 and US$49 respectively. That's it. Hardly "an engagement ring" in terms of cost, and no more expensive than the typical price for Windows 3.1 at the time.

To me, admittedly a hobbyist who was heavily into BBSes and online message networks like Fido and RIME, it was well worth fifty bucks if only to be able to run two DOS programs reliably at the same time.

As you well know, the serial drivers for DOS programs under Windows totally sucked -- trying to do a 14.4kbps or faster download was a royal pain. However, Telemate or Telix running in a VDM was as smooth as silk, and I could use a filemanager and SLMR in other VDMs at the same time with no impact at all on the way they ran.

Was it worth $50 at the time to upgrade? Heck yes!!

[i]And the applications that did it were Word and Excel under Windows 3.x and the introduction of the "Office Suite" concept... What did OS/2 offer for that 'killer app'?[i]

Those weren't killer apps for hobbyists, and business users can write stuff like that off. For me, the bit that sold OS/2 was the multitasking. (I'd already been sold on GUIs based on my experience with PC/GEOS and the GeoWorks Ensemble suite somewhat earlier).

In time, both StarOffice and Lotus SmartSuite became available and were good compatitors against MS Office, but I don't remember the timeframe. Tools like DeScribe were also around, but Lennane priced it so high that it wasn't all that popular until he released its Voyager Edition much later.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: @jeffb
by deathshadow on Tue 19th Jul 2005 20:15 UTC in reply to "RE: @jeffb"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

>> The "upgrade" prices for OS/2 2.0 for any DOS or Windows user were US$99 and US$49 respectively. That's it. Hardly "an engagement ring" in terms of cost, and no more expensive than the typical price for Windows 3.1 at the time.

Sure, but look at the hardware gap between the two. I was NOT referring to the cost of the software. I was referring to the cost of RAM, the larger disk footprint, and it generally needed a faster processor to even approach the same speeds... That {censored} costs MONEY... Money few businessmen (who WERE the lions share of sales at the time) would spend.

Oh, and I'm definately with you on that edit thing... a quote button that copied post text with actual quote tags would be handy too... (But I'm WAY spoiled using SMF for... well... 'most every site forums I've set up the past year)

Reply Score: 1

RE: @jeffb
by jeffb on Wed 20th Jul 2005 01:20 UTC in reply to "@jeffb"
jeffb Member since:
2005-07-19

hat's like saying Xeons have been out for almost three years so it's a common enough processor... It is and it isn't. Having sold units at the time I can (to the best of my memory) say for a good degree of certanty 486's didn't start really going out the door until '93. Just because the chip came out in '89 doesn't mean anyone was making boards to support them... Even IBM wasn't shipping 486 based machines until November 1990... They were selling PS/2's as their entire product line until 1993 when they 'downscaled' to the PS/1's.

PS/2 model 70-486 came out in 1990
PS/2 model 90 (486-DX) came out in 1990
PS/2 model 95 (496-DX) came out in 1991

As for PS/1's and 2's I think you are forgetting the Ambra line in 1992/3 as well as their more generic line (I've forgotten the name). Further it wasn't just IBM by 1990 you had clone makers that were pretty active.

As for the dates of the operating systems you seen to be agreeing with my dates. The argument is what were the hardware standards. You need to show that memory was uncommon. Now lets take the 8590 for example http://www.can.ibm.com/helpware/8590.html. This supported 8 sockets with up to 8 megs per socket. Thus a standard reasonable config for this system would likely have been 8x4=32 megs of ram. No quesion this was an expensive computer but you are the one who is focusing on the PS/2 line.

Reply Score: 1

Oops.
by rcsteiner on Tue 19th Jul 2005 19:33 UTC
rcsteiner
Member since:
2005-07-12

Forgot an end-bold tag. I wish post-submission editing was allowed here -- that would allow me to clean up the mess.

Reply Score: 1

IBM WebExplorer
by Anonymous on Tue 19th Jul 2005 20:03 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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I remember surfing the web using IBM WebExplorer, thinking... Man, free pr0n!!!

Too bad a native Netscape port was slow to appear, if at all.

Reply Score: 0

IBM
by Anonymous on Tue 19th Jul 2005 21:16 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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They tried too late to offer it to the masses. While it has/had industrial uses it could have been every bit the OS that XP is and more.
While I hope for open source I know from being retired from IBM that it can not happen. Way too many cross deals that allowed IBM to sell OS/2. But, who knows. Any number of new deals could be written.

Reply Score: 0

Re: IBM
by Anonymous on Wed 20th Jul 2005 04:25 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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I guess the new site won't allow Links users to sign in or otherwise change their name. How obnoxious.

Anyway -- IBM offered OS/2 2.0 to the general public in 1992, and I think one could argue that versions previous to the 32-bit rewrite simply weren't worth trying to market.

It may be that a version that was released sans WPS could have been a bit more successful (beating Windows 3.1 to the market), but I think the 32-bit Windows API was the actual death blow.

-Rich Steiner (posting as anonymous out of apparent necessity)

Reply Score: 0

@ clubgus
by Anonymous on Wed 20th Jul 2005 04:29 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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A full-fledged OS/2 Warp 4.0 installation with VDM, WinOS2, networking, and multimedia support takes roughly 300MB of space on the boot partition and requires roughly 16MB of RAM to function adequately (though more RAM is always better).

It can also be installed in a logical drive in your extended partition (OS/2 doesn't have to boot from a primary), although IBM's Boot Manager needs to be temporarily installed in a primary for that to work (it can be removed later if your current boot manager supports OS/2 properly, i.e. System Commander).

-Rich Steiner

Reply Score: 0

just open source it...
by Anonymous on Wed 20th Jul 2005 16:52 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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IBM should definitely open-source it; if anything else, for academic reasons. There is still stuff to learn from this OS... In terms of market share, the more OSes there are out there, the less market share Windows will get. You could say the same about Linux and *BSD, but people in these bandwagons are used to multiplex between various OSes, so there shouldn't cause any problems. Windows folks are a different story...particularly those that used to use OS/2, and moved on for lack of anything new on this OS. Again, open sourcing it seems like the right choice...

-lulu

Reply Score: 0