Linked by Howard Fosdick on Tue 12th Feb 2013 13:51 UTC
OS/2 and eComStation Remember OS/2? Promoted as the successor to DOS in the late 1980's and early 1990's, the product wound up losing out to Windows and then slowly fading away. This article recounts what happened and summarizes OS/2 today.
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Commodore
by sebastien-b on Tue 12th Feb 2013 14:56 UTC
sebastien-b
Member since:
2013-02-12

I vaguely remember some common works between Commodore and IBM to create Presentation Manager...
Know something about such a link with the Amiga Workbench ?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Commodore
by icumming on Tue 12th Feb 2013 18:46 UTC in reply to "Commodore"
icumming Member since:
2013-02-12

Yes. IBM was in talks with Commidore to port OS/2 to a new as unnamed project, in case bDos didnt work. It did, and the Amiga came with a b based Amiga dos. IBM lost interest, and asked Commidore to pay for the port. Commidore also lost interest, as Amiga Dos was a very good OS. ( better than OS/2 and *much* better documentation. ). Later on the AmigaDos replacement project used a good optimizer on a commercial compiler to replace all the b based commands with a c replacement. Much fun was had. The c stuff proved to be faster. The point is you were right, but didn't know the backround.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Commodore
by moondevil on Tue 12th Feb 2013 20:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Commodore"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

What?!

The Amiga as a machine was a great piece of hardware, but the operating system was a joke if you are comparing it to OS/2.

Sure it was multitasking, but without any sort of memory protection.

Lets not forget how painful it was to do Intuition programming, which lead to the creation of MUI.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Commodore
by sebastien-b on Wed 13th Feb 2013 10:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Commodore"
sebastien-b Member since:
2013-02-12

I didn't want to make a comparison between the 2 OS. I just heard about common works.

Sure, Amiga OS lacks memory protection but, considering this, it was a fast and nice to use OS.

And I don't remember it was painful to develop on/for it !

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Commodore
by Carewolf on Wed 13th Feb 2013 01:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Commodore"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

Amiga also had its own version of Rexx Arexx I think. It was pretty neat. It's tutorial tought me my first lessons in async multiprogramming.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Commodore
by milatchi on Wed 13th Feb 2013 03:13 UTC in reply to "Commodore"
milatchi Member since:
2005-08-29

Not to digress, but your comment reminded me of the vague Apple and Apollo deal of the late 80s: Apollo porting System 6 GUI (QuickDraw & Finder) to Apollo's Domain/OS -- OS may have still been called AEGIS at the time. In exchange, Apple could sell Apple-branded Apollo workstations running Domain/OS.
References:
http://lowendmac.com/orchard/06/answers.htm
http://lowendmac.com/orchard/06/john-sculley-years-apple.html

Domain/OS was not based on Unix, despite the articles. I'd say it was closer to PRIMOS (also derived from Multics).

I apologize, the above is totally off subject but your comment sparked my interest, and this is an OS site and we are all OS nerds. :-)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Commodore
by kovacm on Sun 17th Feb 2013 21:33 UTC in reply to "Commodore"
kovacm Member since:
2010-12-16

It is hard to find info about this: all sites points to this text:

http://www.os2bbs.com/os2news/OS2Warp.html

but this looks like only source of this information... pretty strange.

BTW good text about OS/2 @ http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/27/the_os_wars_os2_25years_old...
FOR FUN: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnLmtuA42N8

Edited 2013-02-17 21:53 UTC

Reply Score: 2

ARexx
by Tim Locke on Tue 12th Feb 2013 15:37 UTC
Tim Locke
Member since:
2006-03-23

A link between Commodore and IBM probably explains the ARexx (Amiga Rexx) scripting language included with Amiga OS.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ARexx
by sebastien-b on Tue 12th Feb 2013 15:39 UTC in reply to "ARexx"
sebastien-b Member since:
2013-02-12

Yes, too.

Reply Score: 1

RE: ARexx
by tylerdurden on Tue 12th Feb 2013 17:08 UTC in reply to "ARexx"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

there is no direct link. Rexx was well documented and specified language, someone read said documentation and specifications and implemented a version for Amiga. RTFM used to be a very common happening back then...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: ARexx
by icumming on Tue 12th Feb 2013 18:51 UTC in reply to "RE: ARexx"
icumming Member since:
2013-02-12

Rexx made it to DOS 2000. ( DOS 7+ Rexx ). A powerfull scripting language.

The design for OS/2 was multi-tasking, and it shone at this, but the main use turned out to be mainframe connectivity, and it shone at that. BUT microsoft's preditaory practices, and the lag of OS/2 drivers essentially killed it.

I remember running Windows 95 and Windows 98, under warp, as well as a webserver/file server, and not noticing that other users were on, until they hit the disk...It was good, but Windows 2000 turned out to be rather mature, and skinny by todays standards.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: ARexx
by einr on Thu 14th Feb 2013 14:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ARexx"
einr Member since:
2012-02-15

Actually REXX was first included with IBM PC DOS 7.0. I know this because my first computer was an IBM that came with DOS 7.0 ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ARexx
by milatchi on Wed 13th Feb 2013 03:24 UTC in reply to "RE: ARexx"
milatchi Member since:
2005-08-29

Just poking around the mainframe at work I have seen REXX supported on z/OS, but I think JCL is ubiquitously preferred.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by neticspace
by neticspace on Tue 12th Feb 2013 16:12 UTC
neticspace
Member since:
2009-06-09

What about OSFree?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by neticspace
by sithlord2 on Tue 12th Feb 2013 17:55 UTC in reply to "Comment by neticspace"
sithlord2 Member since:
2009-04-02

Never made it past the bootloader stage...

Reply Score: 4

Loved OS/2
by Bit_Rapist on Tue 12th Feb 2013 18:19 UTC
Bit_Rapist
Member since:
2005-11-13

OS/2 was awesome.

I was heavily into the BBS scene back in the early 90s and OS/2 was perfect for running multiple DOS based BBS Software packages.

Loved the OS and it is a shame it never took off.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Loved OS/2
by rcsteiner on Tue 12th Feb 2013 23:11 UTC in reply to "Loved OS/2"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

It actually did take off for a while, and it won a lot of awards, but when IBM pulled the plug on what little support it was giving the OS it became harder and harder to stick with it.

I used it as my primary OS between mid-1992 and 2006 or so, but once the magic smoke leaked out of my primary PPro box I moved to various Linux flavors. I really miss the WPS and my old 4OS2+FileJet command line setup, but Midnight Commander and bash can also make me happy. :-) And I have to admit that the FOSS ecosystem has far surpassed my expectations. Linux distros have come a looong way since the mid-90's.

Edited 2013-02-12 23:13 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Loved OS/2
by sforstall1983 on Thu 14th Feb 2013 17:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Loved OS/2"
sforstall1983 Member since:
2012-09-28

I used OS/2 and later eComStation from 1995 until 2012, then I switched to a Linux distro, OS4 http://www.os4online.com which I absolutely love. Tried Linux Mint, tried vanilla Ubuntu but with OS4 it was love at first boot. With OS/2 and eComStation a niche OS, I think that OS4, OpenSUSE and Red Hat Linux are pretty much poised as the ultimate OS/2 replacement

Reply Score: 1

Nice article
by henderson101 on Tue 12th Feb 2013 21:11 UTC
henderson101
Member since:
2006-05-30

... but it's really rehashing a lot of previous articles on OS News. I think most would know "OS/2 became eComStation" and that IBM has repeatedly refused to opensource the code.

Reply Score: 4

Still the best for me
by frajo on Tue 12th Feb 2013 22:16 UTC
frajo
Member since:
2007-06-29

Nice to see an article about eCS once in a while.
Twenty years now I'm running OS/2 rsp. eCS as my main system with no regret.
Never needed any antivirus software although I'm nearly 24*7 online. I'm always quite fond of malware news. ;)
Yes, nothing compares to the WPS.
No, I'm not unlucky. It's feeling nice - high above the crowds.
I got screenshots for the curious: koryphi.net/ecs .

Reply Score: 2

RE: Still the best for me
by Jondice on Wed 13th Feb 2013 03:57 UTC in reply to "Still the best for me"
Jondice Member since:
2006-09-20

How would you say it compares to doxbox for running dos games?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Still the best for me
by frajo on Wed 13th Feb 2013 13:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Still the best for me"
frajo Member since:
2007-06-29

How would you say it compares to doxbox for running dos games?

First, I have to confess that I'm not a gamer and never have been.

If you are talking of DOSBox the emulator I don't have any experience with it. For my development work I always used the OS/2 rsp. eCS built-in DOS which is faster and more versatile than every other DOS including the varieties of MS, Novell, and Caldera.

But there were kids in the nineties who asked me to install lots of DOS games on the family OS/2 PC. That machine had one single ISA sound card and I remember they could play several DOS games concurrently and have all the different sounds playing concurrently without interfering with eachother. It was quite bad for my ears.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Still the best for me
by Jondice on Wed 13th Feb 2013 16:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Still the best for me"
Jondice Member since:
2006-09-20

Haha, interesting - I'm not much of a gamer these days myself, but I wouldn't mind trying it out.

When I was a kid, I actually knew about OS/2, which I guess basically showed my destiny to remain a geek. I think I even asked to get a copy of Warp, but it never happened. Maybe I'll build an eComStation box one of these days after I relocate.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Still the best for me
by moondevil on Wed 13th Feb 2013 16:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Still the best for me"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

How would you say it compares to doxbox for running dos games?


Not sure if the games that do dirty hardware tricks would run.

Reply Score: 2

It's not even a hobby OS
by truckweb on Tue 12th Feb 2013 23:43 UTC
truckweb
Member since:
2005-07-06

With the price of eCS, I would not say it fit in the hobby OS.... I know about all the licences and stuff, still, cost too much just to toy around with it.

And who would want to live in a 16/32bit world now? OS/2 is still filled with 16bits stuff, native code (lol @ Win 3.1 !!!).

If I wanted to live in the past, I'd prefer doing it with Windows NT 4.0 instead of OS/2. It was fine when the battle was between DOS and Windows 3.x / 95.

Reply Score: 5

RE: It's not even a hobby OS
by frajo on Wed 13th Feb 2013 12:54 UTC in reply to "It's not even a hobby OS"
frajo Member since:
2007-06-29

With the price of eCS, I would not say it fit in the hobby OS.... I know about all the licences and stuff, still, cost too much just to toy around with it.

You obviously don't know about this one:
In the second week of April Mensys will release:
* The new updated eComStation demo CD based on eComStation 2.2
* eComStation 2.2 German and English will then be out of beta and released as a final product.
...
Roderick Klein
Mensys B.V.


And who would want to live in a 16/32bit world now? OS/2 is still filled with 16bits stuff, native code (lol @ Win 3.1 !!!).
If I wanted to live in the past, I'd prefer doing it with Windows NT 4.0 instead of OS/2.

That's your PoV and it's ok for you.
But why should other people share your tendency to be trendy? Do you buy a new car every year because you "don't want to live in the past"?

My tendency is to keep good things as long as they are good for me. I really hope my tendency doesn't upset anybody here.

It was fine when the battle was between DOS and Windows 3.x / 95.
For you. For me it's still fine.
Your arguments are yours, not mine. Your life is yours, not mine. Is this a problem for you?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: It's not even a hobby OS
by truckweb on Thu 14th Feb 2013 10:26 UTC in reply to "RE: It's not even a hobby OS"
truckweb Member since:
2005-07-06

You're going to tell me that a Live DEMO CD is the same thing as a fully working/installable free Linux distro? Or whatever other alternative OS you want to use that tend to be free?

In the end, you're getting a free DEMO, that's it. If you want to use it, you have to buy it and cost is still going to be a big issue.

And I'm not trendy, I've said that I would prefer to use Win NT 4.0 (1996) that is more modern (fully 32bit) than OS/2. At least you can run much more Windows apps on NT.

To each their own.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: It's not even a hobby OS
by frajo on Thu 14th Feb 2013 18:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It's not even a hobby OS"
frajo Member since:
2007-06-29

You're going to tell me that a Live DEMO CD is the same thing as a fully working/installable free Linux distro?

I'm sorry about misunderstanding your "cost too much just to toy around with it". Didn't know your "toy around" was meant to imply "fully working/installable".

The meaning of the word "hobby" is another linguistic topic we seem to disagree. I don't associate "hobby" with "free".

Maybe it's better for the OS/2 community if not everybody can just toy around with the OS. Sometimes value has its price.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: It's not even a hobby OS
by vocivus on Thu 14th Feb 2013 19:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: It's not even a hobby OS"
vocivus Member since:
2010-03-13

He's got a point. Toying around doesn't mean spending 15 minutes playing and that's it.

To truly take a measure of an os you've got to install it, hack it, change things install things, try different adapters and hardware, build some code on it etc. With live demos, you can't really do any of that. The lack of change persistence is a non-starter.

The $149 price tag on the Home & Student edition is a lot to ask for an eCS license that covers software that is only marginally different from Warp 4.

I don't think it needs to be free, but I think $50 is a more reasonable price for eCS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: It's not even a hobby OS
by truckweb on Thu 14th Feb 2013 22:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: It's not even a hobby OS"
truckweb Member since:
2005-07-06

Thank you, that's what I'm trying to say.

If you don't like the term "toy around" then maybe "take it for a test drive" would be better. And you can't do that with a Live DEMO CD.

I takes more than 15mins for me to select my favorite distro, I like to edit files, move things around, change the decors.

$149 to be in a "select group" of eCS users? Well, I'm in way better group that don't charge that much.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: It's not even a hobby OS
by frajo on Sat 16th Feb 2013 01:30 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: It's not even a hobby OS"
frajo Member since:
2007-06-29

$149 to be in a "select group" of eCS users? Well, I'm in way better group that don't charge that much.

That's ok.

I'm afraid, however, our semantics are different.
When you say eCS is too expensive for you, I can only accept your stance. Likewise you have to accept my stance of "the price is ok for me".

But when you say "I'm in a way better group" I see two logical flaws. First, how do you know which group is better if you can't toy around with eCS? Second, your "way better" group and the eCS users group are not disjoint sets. Many eCS users employ Linux, too. The Linux group doesn't offer any advantage over the Linux⊕eCS group.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: It's not even a hobby OS
by zima on Tue 19th Feb 2013 23:08 UTC in reply to "RE: It's not even a hobby OS"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

But why should other people share your tendency to be trendy? Do you buy a new car every year because you "don't want to live in the past"?
[...]
Your arguments are yours, not mine. Your life is yours, not mine. Is this a problem for you?

You seem quite defensive ...not so sure about your choice?

And it's not about trendy, it's about what's practical.

Reply Score: 2

Everyone already knows what happened to OS/2
by cmost on Wed 13th Feb 2013 00:50 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

Anybody who's even a passing technophile / geek / computer aficionado already knows that OS/2 morphed into eComstation. (e_e) Next.

Reply Score: 2

The Present
by martini on Wed 13th Feb 2013 17:00 UTC
martini
Member since:
2006-01-23

Hi Howard.

I will like to add the open source software that we currently have running on OS/2-eComStation.

We have OpenOffice 3.2.0, Firefox 10, Thunderbird, OpenJDK 1.6, CUPS, Qt 4 libraries, a lot of open source Qt4 apps ported, GCC compiler, etc.

We may lack many apps and drivers, but we still have the foundation to keep using OS/2 today.

With eComStation 2.2 coming out on April (according to Mensys) and a new Live demo CD, I hope we can get more people in the community.

Regards
Martin

Reply Score: 3

RE: The Present
by frajo on Thu 14th Feb 2013 18:55 UTC in reply to "The Present"
frajo Member since:
2007-06-29

We have OpenOffice 3.2.0, Firefox 10, Thunderbird, OpenJDK 1.6, CUPS, Qt 4 libraries, a lot of open source Qt4 apps ported, GCC compiler, etc.

And rpm, the complete AMP suite, Watcom C and Fortran compilers, DFSee (the partition magician), and PMView (the fastest image viewer/editor on earth). ;)

Reply Score: 2

Gang of Nine happened
by zima on Wed 13th Feb 2013 21:58 UTC
zima
Member since:
2005-07-06

Ultimately, the underlying goal of OS/2 was to return to IBM the control over the PC market - so of course users and other vendors rebelled, Gang of Nine style, and chose the relatively friendlier option of MS Windows.

Reply Score: 2