Linked by Michael Hill on Sun 25th Jul 2010 10:36 UTC
OS/2 and eComStation "As a long-time fan of GeoWorks Ensemble (now Breadbox Ensemble), a DOS based graphical user interface and office suite popular in the 80s, I've run it under a variety of operating systems and emulators over the years. You see, Ensemble requires an underlying operating system to provide a DOS compatible file system, not unlike early versions of Windows that required DOS. [...] With the release of eComStation 2.0 I thought I'd revisit the challenge of getting Breadbox Ensemble running under OS/2 again [...] but to add a further twist, since I didn't want to do this on a dedicated machine, I chose to see if I could get things running under VirtualBox."
Order by: Score:
Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Sun 25th Jul 2010 10:42 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Forward note: OSnews is, and always has been a volunteer effort. Due to a clash of circumstances, none of the staff have been around to process the news. This does not mean that OSnews is dying, it means that the volunteers are otherwise engaged, and any sense of briskness for the last 12 years has been a matter of good circumstance. ;) I’m going on holiday http://camendesign.com/blog/tour_de_england shortly, Thom is away on an internship and David is largely occupied with his livelihood.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Kroc
by WereCatf on Sun 25th Jul 2010 11:36 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Maybe you should write about this on the front page instead of comments section? Writing it in the comments of a random news item might mean people missing it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Morgan on Sun 25th Jul 2010 11:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'll second that; I happen to be interested in virtualization of old DOS GUI interfaces, so naturally I read the comments of this article. ;) But not everyone here will read these comments.

Edited 2010-07-25 11:48 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Kroc
by truckweb on Sun 25th Jul 2010 12:22 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
truckweb Member since:
2005-07-06

Because you see, for a moment there, that's exactly what I was thinking, OSnews must be slowly dying with no new article for a while.

So this kind of information should really be put on the front page. Also, it would be nice to know when life is going to be injected back in the site.

Thanks.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Quake on Sun 25th Jul 2010 18:47 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Quake Member since:
2005-10-14

You should post that in the front page, because I really thought OSnews was dying.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by braddock on Sun 25th Jul 2010 18:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
braddock Member since:
2005-07-08

Perhaps someone should write an article about how to submit a story or news item.

I go to the Contacts, and follow it to a "too old" style guide, which points to an intimidating small print 12 page "new" style guide, none of which tells me definitively what e-mail address to use to coordinate a submission, or if I should use the news submission form to submit unsolicited full length articles.

How do submissions really work in practice?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Kroc
by mjhi11 on Mon 26th Jul 2010 01:48 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
mjhi11 Member since:
2009-08-15

Thanks Kroc for processing my article...it means a lot recognizing that the OSNews.com team is extraordinarily busy.

I'm just a "hack" but I love OS's and have been a long time reader of OSnews.com.

Your last look at GEOS was awesome and the Yahoo! Group GEOS-Talk (http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/geos-talk/messages) has tried valiantly to keep the GEOS legacy alive and were inspired by your write up a few years ago.

Again, thanks.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Mon 26th Jul 2010 12:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

No way we couldn’t publish this. It’s exactly what we’re looking for. I don’t know about you, but I am bored to death of the “news”. I don’t want to hear about the latest Linux distro where they’ve slapped a skin on Ubuntu and claim they’ve revolutionised the desktop. I’m bored of iPhone drama, I’m bored of Android too.

What I like more than anything is people talking about in detail their own projects to scratch a technical itch just for the heck of it.

I know the 8-bit GEOS well, but never used PC/GEOS in its day and only brushed over it in my article. What you’ve written really adds some more background to PC/GEOS and that’s far more interesting than Ubutnu+1 Myopic Meerkat.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Kroc
by mjhi11 on Mon 26th Jul 2010 23:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
mjhi11 Member since:
2009-08-15

Actually I could take it a few steps even further than you...I YEARN for real OPINION! Not the the rehashed "news" that we get from the press, from other websites, the TV, radio, etc.

I want to hear real people, giving real reviews, relating real experiences and DEBATING pros and cons, recognizing strong arguments and challenging weak arguments.

As it relates to technology, I want to read about real people, using real software, using real hardware, trying to get a job or a task done.

While my post is less than "mainstream" I believe that there are so many lessons that can be learned, whether it's trying some of these strategies to get a different operating system up and running (invaluable as I never would have succeeded without others challenges getting other OSs running), trying something "different" to see if there is an operating system that is a better match for your goals and objectives, or just a recognition that by studying the past, we are better prepared for the future!

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Tue 27th Jul 2010 10:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Kroc"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Completely agree. In the long term I want OSnews to build up its editor team and greatly clarify the submission process so that we can move the “news” to pg.2 and fill page 1 with original content like that you describe.

Reply Score: 1

RavinRay Member since:
2005-11-26

Kroc, then you might be interested in the revival of VIC-20 programming and how it has resulted in modern remakes of classics like Frogger (with Frogger 07), and a software sprite API for an 8+KB expanded VIC. (Not true sprites like the 64's, but still an accomplishment. Not to mentioned the demo scene as illustrated on YouTube. I can ask the programmers who are members at the Denial VIC-20 forum to contribute an article or two here.

Reply Score: 1

90'es, not 80'es
by dylansmrjones on Sun 25th Jul 2010 13:10 UTC
dylansmrjones
Member since:
2005-10-02

The author is mistaken when he states he received a free version of OS/2 Warp back in the 1980'es. It was surely the 90'es since the first Warp-named OS/2 (OS/2 Warp 3) wasn't released until 1994.

Reply Score: 3

RE: 90'es, not 80'es
by mjhi11 on Mon 26th Jul 2010 01:25 UTC in reply to "90'es, not 80'es"
mjhi11 Member since:
2009-08-15

Actually you are absolutely right dylansmrjones (http://www.osnews.com/user/uid:3260/), it would have been the 90s.

While I did attend COMDEX while in college from 1985-1990, it was during my teaching career from 1990 to 1995 when I receive the copy of OS/2 Warp during visits to COMDEX during one summer.

With family in technology and the companies they worked for showing at COMDEX, I'd bunk in their rooms and attend COMDEX on a guest pass.

On the other hand, I ended up spending days "working the booth" so I didn't feel too guilty mooching. Thanks' for the correction and maybe the good folks at OSNews.com can correct.

I'm totally blown away that the article made the front page (thanks to the readership) and I'm humbled as well.

David, Thom, Kroc and the OSNews.com crew are excellent technology authors and I have all the respect in the world for those folks, even if Thom and I have battled in the forums upon occasion! That's truly what it's all about for OS fanatics.

Edited 2010-07-26 01:26 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Comment by frood
by frood on Sun 25th Jul 2010 13:57 UTC
frood
Member since:
2005-07-06

Classic OSnews. Love it.

Reply Score: 6

Surely must be dying...
by SuperDaveOsbourne on Sun 25th Jul 2010 17:27 UTC
SuperDaveOsbourne
Member since:
2007-06-24

... when someone denies it with words of tripe rather than more articles of substance. I just iterate the facts, not the gibberish denying the obvious.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Surely must be dying...
by frood on Sun 25th Jul 2010 18:15 UTC in reply to "Surely must be dying..."
frood Member since:
2005-07-06

Feel free to write an article. It might encourage others to do so.

Reply Score: 2

GEOS
by vivainio on Sun 25th Jul 2010 18:24 UTC
vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

Tech archeologists might find it interesting that first versions of Nokia Communicator were running GEOS on 486 CPUS; back when a phone with QWERTY was still a status symbol (1996).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_9000_Communicator

Reply Score: 2

RE: GEOS
by Kroc on Sun 25th Jul 2010 18:58 UTC in reply to "GEOS"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

The PlayStation was released in late 1995, the Nokia Communicator in late 1996, both at 33 MHz. That’s quite astounding. This thing was ridiculously ahead of its time. Arguably the very first “smart phone”—that is, a phone that equaled the power and capabilities of an older generation desktop computer.

Oh, wanted to add. I love that everything that’s becoming popular just now had already been done to death in the 90’s with 1/10th the technology. Internet on your TV and smartphones with full OSes.

Interface people, interface. It makes _all_ the difference.

Edited 2010-07-25 19:05 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: GEOS
by sachindaluja on Sun 25th Jul 2010 22:26 UTC in reply to "RE: GEOS"
sachindaluja Member since:
2007-02-15

Interface people, interface. It makes _all_ the difference.


On the contrary, those devices - with only a fraction of computing power compared to today's technology - were simply too underpowered to produce acceptably usable interfaces. Today's devices seem to piggy-back on technologically superior hardware to be able to finally deliver such interfaces.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: GEOS
by johjeff on Mon 26th Jul 2010 00:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: GEOS"
johjeff Member since:
2007-11-06

Did you ever use GEOS? Either on a Commodore 64/128, or the PC version? The mobile version? GEOS was extremely fast and feature rich considering the hardware it ran on.

It was mostly coded in a superset of assembler. The biggest problem was probably the lack of reasonably affordable touch screens, other than that, it was a fantastic OS on any device it ran on. Well, technically, it wasn't really an OS since it required DOS for it's bootstrap, but it was more of an operating system than Windows was at the time.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: GEOS
by SuperDaveOsbourne on Mon 26th Jul 2010 04:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: GEOS"
SuperDaveOsbourne Member since:
2007-06-24

Wasn't GEOS available for the Apple // line as well?

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: GEOS
by Kroc on Mon 26th Jul 2010 12:29 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: GEOS"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

The 8-bit version, yes. The 8 and 16 bit GEOSes bear no relation to each other. PC/GEOS (the 16-bit one) was an all new system that was more like Windows 95 on speed when Microsoft were still on Windows 3.1.

Reply Score: 1

RE: GEOS
by mjhi11 on Mon 26th Jul 2010 02:18 UTC in reply to "GEOS"
mjhi11 Member since:
2009-08-15

Excellent point, you are right GEOS drove a variety of Nokia "smartphones" (before that term entered the computing lexicon), the 9210, 9290, the 9300 and 9500, an early "home/international" computer called the GlobalPC, and a few "netbooks" (again before the term "netbook" entered the computing lexicon) created by Brother called the GeoBook. In addition GEOS powered a few Hewlett-Packard "palmtops" (an early predecessor to "netbooks and PDAs" perhaps?) called the OmniGo, the Casio Zoomer, and actually a "PC" version of GEOS released by IBM called the PS/1 as well as a suite for schools called SchoolView from IBM. In addition, GEOS powered the early AOL DOS based disks for many years before a Windows based version of AOL was released and finally Berkley SoftWorks (the predecessor to GeoWorks Corporation) got their start with a version of GEOS for the Apple II, were in negotiations with Apple about being the core operating system for a new line of computers from Apple (guess) and breathed new life into the Commodore 64 computer extending the life of that platform for several years.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: GEOS
by RavinRay on Mon 26th Jul 2010 13:52 UTC in reply to "RE: GEOS"
RavinRay Member since:
2005-11-26

Excellent point, you are right GEOS drove a variety of Nokia "smartphones" (before that term entered the computing lexicon), the 9210, 9290, the 9300 and 9500,

Mike, those four models already switched to Symbian, and there's a snippet at Nokia's Conversations blog about the decision to switch.
In addition GEOS powered a few Hewlett-Packard "palmtops" (an early predecessor to "netbooks and PDAs" perhaps?) called the OmniGo, the Casio Zoomer, and actually a "PC" version of GEOS released by IBM called the PS/1 as well as a suite for schools called SchoolView from IBM.

Now what would be neat is if Breadbox Ensemble under eComStation was able to use the Presentation Manager UI and WorkPlace Shell.

Oh, and GEOS also ran on dedicated word processors from Brother and Canon, as well as a very early pen tablet from Sharp (the PT-9000, which had only a handful or so units actually released, a collector's item if you can find one).

Here's an aside. IBM ported the Presentation Manager GUI to DOS as well. It was outsourced to Paper Software (I found one of the programmers on Facebook) and was previewed for inclusion with PC DOS 7 in BYTE magazine and elsewhere, only to be left out of the shipping product. IBM also had the Micro PM embedded OS/UI which was the basis for the GUI of the Japan-only PC110 palmtop PC and DOS-based WebBoy DOS graphical browser.

Edited 2010-07-26 14:04 UTC

Reply Score: 1

New Deal Lives!
by benali72 on Fri 30th Jul 2010 04:05 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

Practical hacker fun a its best. Thanks for an excellent article.

I remember when the product was called New Deal. Written in assembler it brings new life to REALLY old computers (P-I, 486, 386) and makes them useful for practical tasks. The GUI is acceptable to modern users, which is amazing considering the hardware it will run on.

This product could have real impact on reuse of old hardware if it were free. Unfortunately the current owners charge more for the product than the computers on which it runs are worth. So an excellent product languishes in obscurity when it could instead render many really old computers useful again. Those who enjoy the challenge of bringing old computers back to life will use free products like FreeDOS, small Linuxes, or BSD instead. What a pity.

Reply Score: 1