Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 4th Dec 2001 17:47 UTC
OS/2 and eComStation IBM's OS/2 has a great history as a workstation operating system, it was a major alternative OS in the '90s. At its peak time in the mid-'90s OS/2 had about 2 million users but the Windows NT and Windows 95 releases broke its further development. This year Serenity Systems has released a new client version of OS/2. This article will introduce you to what OS/2 is all about. You will learn its history, its user interface, and its power under the hood. The article is also accompanied by a number of screenshots.
Order by: Score:
Open it up!!!!!
by Jeremy on Tue 4th Dec 2001 18:18 UTC

that is the only way to save it from demise. I think that if OS/2 were open sourced that not only would it provide a much needed technology boost for other GPL OSs, it will also make it a better OS. the kernel is top notch, it needs drivers, but those can be ported from Linux, at least they can take the specs that the Linux drivers use. Opening up will allow folks to keep the good, throw out the bad and replace with better stuff (like a real working installer) heck...I bet that a lot of Open Source OS projects would love to have the base OS/2 as a starting point.

Re: Open it up!!!!!
by Eugenia on Tue 4th Dec 2001 18:20 UTC
Timelines and user count wrong.
by Kirby on Tue 4th Dec 2001 20:07 UTC

The article is good on the whole but is wrong on a few points. OS/2's GUI was released with version 1.1 (Dec 1987) and for that verion and 1.2 looked very much like Windows 2.x. OS/2 1.3 shared common GUI design with Windows 3.x. With the release of OS/2 2.0 in April, 1992 the TRUE object oriented Workplace shell came in to existance and it is from this GUI that all later OS/2 shipped* GUIs are based. (* This discussion could evolve with if one counted XFree86/2.)
Though the early GUIs shared a similiar appearance, I doubt that much of code base was common. Since DOS lacked many of the features OS/2 had at its core, the Windows code needed to perform a lot more work.

Numbers kicked around in my OS/2 user group at the time were around 13 million installed based for Warp 3...perhaps the 2 million value was the number servers installed since this was OS/2s primary market in the beginning.

Regards.

Re: Timelines and user count wrong.
by Eugenia on Tue 4th Dec 2001 20:14 UTC

>OS/2's GUI was released with version 1.1

Darn it! Yes, you are 100% right. In fact, this is what was written in my original text for the article. But one of my two proofreaders (I am Greek ;) changed some of my text. Going to spank some people now. ;)

As an avid OS/2 user, supporter, & consultant since 1992 or so, and a very satisfied eComStation 1.0 customer, I can understand why the desktop appears to be "aged" and less than "modern". However, the Workplace Shell (WPS) has become a framework, if you will, for some very sophisticated UI feature enhancers, such as Xworkplace and Dialog Enhancer (the former ships as an add-on with eCS; the latter is bundled with the eCS install).

Between these two, the look and feel of the WPS is quite modern and often (well, perhaps because I've used it for so long?) more intuitive than Gnome or (especially) Explorer.

Icon size and font smoothing are two separate issues. The first can be addressed by the video driver. Under SciTech Display Doctor, the proper CONFIG.SYS entry is SET SDDICONS=small. Font sizes can also be "adjusted" by SciTech with SET SDDFONTSIZE=small and/or SET SDDFONTDPI=96. TrueType font rendering is greatly improved by the use of FreeType.

Again, the above is admittedly not apparent to the new user, especially during the install. It is my understanding that Serenity is working very hard to improve the installer, which has always been OS/2's Achilles' Heel. (Try an OS/2 2.x install sometime, or a Warp Connect install!)

Finally, a minor correction: The second CD ships with Warp 4.5, not Warp 4. eCS is based on the latest (2001) code from IBM, used in the "Convenience Packages" now offered by IBM as continuing support for OS/2. Warp 4 code dates back to 1996, so it should be noted that this is indeed NOT the code base for eCS.

All in all, a very good article which has (for a change, considering the usual slant of the computer media) presented a fair commentary on the strengths and weaknesses of a truly great (IMO) OS. Thanks for the good read.

Lewis

At its height, OS/2 Warp 3 was topping the Ziff-Davis sales charts with over 1 million retail sales/month! My own guess (based on cloudy memories) would be in the 12-15 million range in 1995-1996.

Not a bad article overall. I've been using eComStation for the past week or so, and it's been quite comfortable for an old OS/2 user like myself. :-)

Heh, heh
by PapaSmurf on Tue 4th Dec 2001 23:21 UTC

OS/2 were open sourced (it won't be) Linux would lose half its userbase within months. Looks, pretty nifty. I may buy a copy, between BeOS and OS/2 I may be able to survive indef with my Microsoft and Linux free PC.

Re: Heh, heh
by bedevtalk on Wed 5th Dec 2001 00:05 UTC

> ...Linux would lose half its userbase within months

Haha, and here I thought Smurfs didn't exist!

GUI not old!
by Roderick Klein on Wed 5th Dec 2001 00:10 UTC

In my opion there is mistake! The workplace shell has been updgraded by IBM ever since version 1.0 and in version 3.0 of OS/2 and 4.0 new features where also added (not just new icons....)

And yes its something people should not underestimate the nice binary os2krnl.... (the kernel of eCS/ OS/2)
Its a very good kernel even!

Interesting.......
by Kevin Craik on Wed 5th Dec 2001 01:31 UTC

Interesting.....in a sober kind of way. I'm not a business or a ATM. I want excitement so I'll stick with BeOS. Is OpenStep still available these days?

by stew on Wed 5th Dec 2001 01:55 UTC

> it needs drivers, but those can be ported from Linux, at least they can take the specs that the Linux drivers use.

Once again, the same goes here as for BeOS: You don't need the source of the OS to write drivers or applications.

multiple associations
by Josiah Carlson on Wed 5th Dec 2001 04:13 UTC

In response to 'unlike Windows, OS/2 supports multiple associations for any data files'...

Windows does too. It's a little more difficult to set yourself, but it can be done. Start right-clicking, and you can find yourself with a bunch of options.

For example, when I right-click at the machine I am on, over an html file, there is the option for 'open with', that has a sub menu that lists:
K-meleon
Internet Explorer
Opera
Notepad
EditPad
Excel
Word
----------
Choose program...
I don't know...isn't this what you were talking about? - Josiah

by chris on Wed 5th Dec 2001 04:28 UTC

in response to "multiple associations"

the Open with menu your talking about is in 2k and XP only i think, but not in the 9x series, were as OS/2 as had the support for along time. atleast i think thats what the person was pointing out.

Josiah:
by Matthew on Wed 5th Dec 2001 04:31 UTC

Josiah: That's only in XP. Not 9x.

Of course putting a link to notepad in my 'send to' folder is the keenest thing ever.

Re: multiple associations
by Eugenia on Wed 5th Dec 2001 04:39 UTC

Plus, on Win2k/XP this feature takes two menu options (Open and Open With), while OS/2 uses only one option and it is much faster to access. On OS/2 you only got the 'Open' and at the right of the Open you got an arrow inside a rectangle (see one of the screenshots in the article, in the third page). If you click on the word 'Open', the file will open with the default assosiation program, if you click on the arrow inside the rectangle, which is just 20 pixels on the right, a submenu opens instantly which lists all the assosiated apps and then you click which app you want to open your file.
BeOS also has that instant submenu called 'Open With', but as Win2k/XP has two options in its menu: 'Open' and 'Open As'. OS/2 does the same job as XP and BeOS but with a single click, because it utilizes this weird widget, the arrow inside the rectangle, a widget used a lot across OS/2.

Warp was difficult to install?
by Richard on Wed 5th Dec 2001 05:52 UTC

Okay, I'm almost 67, retired, and not a guru; just an Australian guy who was asked by the editor of Australia's Multi-CAD Magazine in early 1995 to look at Windows 4, Windows NT3.5 and OS/2 as better platforms for Computer Aided Design and Draughting applications. I wrote articles regularly about shareware and evaluating new products.

Most of us into CAD used AutoCAD on a DOS platform in thosedays, and most only used (16-bit) Windoze® for email and such stuff.

Insatllproblems with OS/2? I only had to do the install on Warp Connect 3 twice to get it right... on a 486DX4-100... and it ran like a bird. Windows 4 (known to the greater unwashed community as Windows95) - when it did finally come out - looked so much a copy of in so many ways, it was quite funny!

The number of times I have installed and reinstalled w95, w95osr2, win98 and win98SE sincemakes that seem small beer in comparison.

I also only installed Warp 4 twice over before I got it right! And this was before I ever attended an OS/2 User Group meeting!

So, I do think it's unfair to suggest that OS/2 is limited by its installer. Sure, it isn't slick. But many slick apps give you no choices. "When all else fails, read the instructions. I do this several times before being intimidated by a machine!!

I also do not accept that you have to have a pretty looking desktop with gizmos. How often do we actually see our desktop? Perhaps at startup... then it immediately gets covered.

And pretty desktops use resources... something I continually tell folk who complain to me that their machines are running slowly - when I physically look at the machine, its a minimal RAM with a 1024x768 picture of a tiger in the jungleor something in 16 million colours!

What I have found is that I have a number of 16-bit apps that run far better in win-OS2 than in 32-bit Windoze.

Why do I still use them? Because they WORK! Beacuse they work fast, because they do what I bought them to do.

The few apps whose work I need to share with others have cost me hundreds of dollars in upgrade fees, then os upgrade fees, then hardware costs for more facilities, then newer apps to take use of the extra hardware, then alleged upgraded operating systemes which within a couple of years have sucked all the new resources dry. Sound familiar?

Also, I have found that 16-bit apps - known sneeringly in the Microsoft community as "legacy" apps - don't run well in any version of Windows after OSR2, because both the OS manufacturer and the applications manufacturer want you to replace them with newer ones.

The original Win95 ran them very well, to persuade you to buy the OS <grin>

And another thing, you can't generally speaking run more than one appearance of a "legacy" app concurrently under any version of win32 from 95 onwards.

You can under OS/2's Win-OS2 and WIN-DOS.

I ran five appearances of DOS AutoCAD in Warp3 Connect, each with a substantial data file loaded. And the OS still did its other tasks.
Okay, who would want to? I don't know. But it just shows me that it handles threads and stuff an awful lot better than win32.

So where are we? I got lost!

Following my editor's brief, I found that NT 3.5, and then NT3.51and finally NT4 were most definitely not as fast as OS/2, running identical applications. I used a System Commander switched boot to ensure that my evaluation was on truly idedntical machines. However I found that the Microsoft afficionados wrote scathing comments to me about my evaluations, which is really a pity.

I did many timed tests using a stopwatch, loading applications, and loading large data files, and then saving a change to those data files - all essential measurements to compare the products/platforms.

Funny about NT3.51, by the way. This was an emergency fix to NT3.5 when it was discovered that WinNT3.5 would not run 95 applications!

Another funny one too, there was a version of AutoCAD that would not run under WinNT3.51 either... we had to wait for NT4 before it could be used.

Reading the WINE HQ website and looking closely at the successes and failures recorded there for everyone to see, all the succesful running of win32 apps under Linux were Third-Party ones. All the Microsoft ones were disasters. I have a theory.

Could it be that unpublished api calls were being used by the Microsoft products? So, therefore WINE knew nothing about them, and therefore ground to halt?

Nasty thought, I should go and wash my mouth out. Professional engineering firms wouldn't dream of doing that!!

To conclude... OS/2 Warp 4 is still on that machine... well, at least it was, until I lost the boot portion of its first disk (yes, it was installed into C:\ partition). So I'm now looking at setting up an ethernet with that machine which has a new first HDD, and two other machines, with two of them on OS/2, and one on Windoze to run the few win32 applications I actually need, to demonstrate my being convinced that it is truly a better system - specially after I upgrade it toWarp 4.5

Okay, I've bared my soul. Shoot this antipodean down!Actually I don't mind... freedom to state one's opinion is one of the few real freedoms we have left, isn't it?

Antipodean? Ummm I know two ozzies programming stateside. One is Kim Henkel who wrote brand new 32-bit code for XTree look-alikes - called ZTreeBold (for OS/2) and ZTreeWin for (Win32). I use them both. Fantastic products. Check out his website at www.zedtek.com

Drop me a line at eagles@chatministries.org if you like. As long as you aren't abusive, I'll reply <big toothy grin>

Questions
by Plato on Wed 5th Dec 2001 05:58 UTC

I left the article with more questions than when I started. The story states that this is a "client" OS, which leads me to ask client to what? I heard that Citrix started off on OS/2 way back when; is this a continuation of the same? What's even more confusing is the control panel -- "DHCP, web, ftp, telnet servers, BIND, DNS and other exotic networking software, all can be controlled." It seems to me that this review is only half of the story!

What about the server part that is apparently necessary for all of this to work? Wouldn't it make more sense to review them as a unit?

Hey
by Hey on Wed 5th Dec 2001 07:30 UTC

My Win98SE at home kan have multiple associations, and I havn't updated or modified the software. Only difference compared to 2K/XP is that it's not in a submenu. Open / Edit / Print is some standard commands, but you can add whatever you want. Learn the facts...

What ist an "outdated" GUI?
by Cornelis on Wed 5th Dec 2001 08:24 UTC

At home I am operating OS/2 since about 1992, currently Warp 4 and waiting for the upgrade to eCS 1 (german language version). At work I am developing mostly with WindowsNT, sometimes with Windows2000 (probably soon also with XP) and with Linux, so this is the range of GUI experience I am having every day.

My feeling about "modern" and "outdated" GUI is that the Linux guys are just trying to imitate the Windows look and feel somehow, so that cannot be "ahead" (yet??). And at the same time I am asking myself: Why on earth don't the new Windows versions bring any REAL functional improvements for the GUI, like I am used to for years already with OS/2, but constantly further evolving with all kinds of third party products?

Already the missing "virtual desktops" with the possibility to drag windows from one to the other, so always having an accessible desktop available, even if I am having tons of applications open ("ObjectDesktop" brings that). Or the unability to turn of the automatic opening of menus when moving over them (I am not such a mouse acrobat that I can keep a menu easily open if I want to hit a specific submenu; they are constantly closing before I am there... And no: "TweakUI" doesn't do the job, or not without breaking the menu functionality of MS VisualStudio...). Or dragging a file icon into a command line window and getting the full path there in a command ("DragText"). Or the inverse: Open a WPS folder from the command line, opened in the "current folder". Or dragging the text from almost ANY window or dialog to almost everywhere else, mostly performing a useful task (again "DragText"). And many, many more things. And even without open-sourcing the PM and WPS etc., this set of features can be extended by any third party programmer, and this is what happens indeed.

Or in short: I am always feeling like going back to the stone age when sitting down at my working place computer. You can work that way, but "comfortable" would be different! At least I have other expectations.

My guess is that the only reason why people do not miss all these GUI features is simply the fact that nobody knows it, so there is no real incentive for MS to really do any further GUI development (except for gimmicks, more colors, other "styles" etc. of course).

InnoTek ports VirtualPC to OS/2
by Oliver Fels on Wed 5th Dec 2001 08:28 UTC

Hi.
I'd like to mention, that VirtualPC from Connectix is currently ported to OS/2 by the Germany based company InnoTek.
It will contain full support of the full VirtualPC suite, of additional interest might be the OS/2 VirtualPC addons for Windows.

Members of InnoTek are also involved in the ODIN project.

Further information can be acquired from
http://www.innotek.de

Regards,
Oliver Fels
InnoTek Systemberatung GmbH

OS/2 stability
by GHF on Wed 5th Dec 2001 08:29 UTC

We are using OS/2 on a system running our voice mail system. The system supports about 4000 mail boxes on a PENTIUM 200 with 64MB of RAM. This system has only crashed once in six years of operation. Other than that the system has been shut down for a hardware upgrade (to the current 200Mhz processor), when a hard drive failed, when the system was upgraded to OS/2 ver. 3, and when the power was out long enough that our 30KW battery backup shut all the servers down three times over the past five years. It was in continuous operation for close to three years before the hard drive crashed.

Never let it be said that IBM doesn’t know how to create an operating system.

Re: Eugenia
by bkakes on Wed 5th Dec 2001 08:56 UTC

"because it utilizes this weird widget, the arrow inside the rectangle"

OS/2 is the only operating system that I know of to get this right. It has two submenu widgets; one for when you can select the root menu item (that's the arrow with the box), and one for when you can't (just an arrow). All other OSes I know of force the user to decide if he/she can choose the root item based solely on context.

m00
by gozu on Wed 5th Dec 2001 09:25 UTC

yeh, in win9x if you hold down something like ctrl or alt or shift or something, i cant remember, then right click you get that same 'open with' option dont yah?

Not there yet
by Boris Singer on Wed 5th Dec 2001 09:30 UTC

As a fan of OS2 from 1992 (starting from version 2.0), I was rather happy with WARP 4. Not rushing for constant renewal of the desktops, etc., I would have probably kept WARP 4 a while longer if I had not bought a 2 CPU PC. Making a long story short, the installation procedure of eCS 1.0 is far from perfect (actually it is quite buggy), connection with the NT LAN (the choice of my organization, not mine) is a real pain (still not working right), and the number of crashes I have experienced during the last few months far exceeds what I have seen during almost a whole decade before. I recent fix of the kernel made the system far more robust, but crashes do happen. Add a problem of not having OS2 gurrus around. So, I wish it was all a bit easier.

it's sooo goob we've whant beat 'em-
by Truculent Ian on Wed 5th Dec 2001 09:54 UTC

no other comment

Remark not consistent with "Findings of Fact"
by joe on Wed 5th Dec 2001 10:09 UTC

" Warp 4 was released in 1996, but soon after IBM stated that they would be limiting support for the OS. This was due to Windows 95 taking the desktop market by storm. "


The Findings of Fact by Judge Jackson in the DOJ VS Microsoft trial list another reason why IBM abruptly dropped support of OS/2. Accordeing to testimony by an IBM representative, IBM was forced to drop OS/2 in order to get licenses for Microsoft products. if IBM did not drop OS/2 they would have been forced to pay a much higher price for Microsoft licences.

IBM had a winner with OS/2, it was illegal manipulation of the market that killed OS/2.

Hmmm... Someone either has a lot of personal issues or has a major crush on Eugenia...

Wow. Who let the trolls out?
by Dave on Wed 5th Dec 2001 13:37 UTC

Looks like ol' "bongobob" and "nuts medfly" don't seem to realize their domain gets logged. Methinks some judicious editing of the commenting system will help to alleviate the noise level here.

While they're at it, someone please find the pacifier this loser dropped and pop it back in their mouth - it's nappy-time, children.

*******************

Great article, by the way, Eugenia! ;)

and the band played on..
by the doctor on Wed 5th Dec 2001 13:38 UTC

So anywho.. after flipping to the second page of comments to see what i had missed comment wise from yesterday, i'm greeted by an idiot. Awesome. ;)

At any rate, i rather liked the article, even if it did have some small errors, it wasn't anything that was in the scope of the actual review which is what i was interested in. I must admit though, esc has really killed os/2's UI. It looks kinda cheezy now with all the beveled buttons and random use of gradients. I hope that stuff is somewhat configurable. And whats with removing the OS/2 logo from WPS? At least they could use something professional looking.

I know i know.. who cares about the UI. I do that kinda stuff at work so its my job to care.. screw functionality. ;>

da docta

not real-time?
by Cris on Wed 5th Dec 2001 16:10 UTC

Hi Eugenia,
I am a satisfied long time OS/2 user (since v2.0). I have to say I really
enjoyed your article, most of all because it is a well balanced report from a
new user. There are a few minor mistakes, but other have already pointed them
out.
I would like to comment on the "not real time" assumption you made, not knowing
on what you're basing it. OS/2 DOES have a near real-time kernel, and it
specifically has a priority level that's called "real-time foreground server".
Applications that run with that priority level can effectively defeat the
preemption mechanism to achieve real-time performance. Because of this, you will
find virtually no applications that make use of this priority level, apart for
some specialized privately-written apps. At least, this is what I learnt from
some literature... if anyone has more infos please jump in.
As for the MIDI and multimedia performance, I think it's better to separate the
"no applications" (or "no good applications") issue from the "technical" issue.
I think OS/2 can do more or less what BeOS does (try playing multiple
audio/video streams on a simple pentium and you'll see), and it has a RTMIDI
(real time MIDI) subsystem to address very precise MIDI reproduction. On the
other hand, OS/2 really misses a good MIDI-writing app (there is a good one, I
don't remember the name, but it's not on par with Windows ones feature-wise) and
a few modern audio/video codecs. There was one audio/video professional editing
tool, but they stopped development due to low sales.

Bye

Cris

Not true
by Anonymous on Wed 5th Dec 2001 17:32 UTC

The article states that " The kernel supports 192 threads per appplication by default, but I find it amazing that the OS allows you to easily change its value to a more desirable number. To do the equivalent in Linux you need to edit a header file and then recompile the kernel,"

You don't have to recompile the Linux 2.4 kernel to change max threads. It's a sysctl / tunable under /proc

v Control freak
by bongobob on Wed 5th Dec 2001 17:52 UTC
Re: Control freak
by Eugenia on Wed 5th Dec 2001 17:56 UTC

> I wonder when she'll start banning my domain?

Very soon.
I will say that again: here, is not Slashdot. You are not allowed to talk dirty and harrass other people, as you did. If you have personal problems with me (as it seems so, for some reason), please email me and we will work it out.
If you have something constructive to say in this forum, please do so. If not, get the hell out of here.

File types are EA
by DME on Wed 5th Dec 2001 18:37 UTC

> OS/2 does not exercise the MIME types for the file type problem, but rather uses the extension of the application

On the contrary. The file types can be marked in the Extended Attributes of the file, and they are user-editable.

So you can have an HTML file labelled at the same time as types "HTML", "text/html" (and "texto/html" if you have a Spanish version of OS/2 that somebody translated too much). You can label them as "HTML following some W3C Standard" o even "Cake recipe".

Though there are only certain types installed by IBM. And applications sometimes install their types. You can be over-organized by using your own types.

The problem comes when the association engine tries to make sense of all the associations. If you have different applications associated to each type or extension (you can associate to "???EXAMPLE???.TX?" or even "*") or the applications are in a different order for each association, it's up to WPS to decide what to show in the right-click menu. And since it's so distributed and there are only 10 options shown (in Warp 4, maybe it is different in eCS), it can be very difficult to get right.

at the time?
by Ruove on Wed 5th Dec 2001 18:38 UTC

>I remember that in 1995 demo CDs of Warp 3 were bundled with RAM Magazine in
>Greece, a country not too hot for computers at the time.

at the time? which time was that? last time i checked that country was still not too hot for computers. how do you define "hot" anyway? from the number of users? infinissimal. from the number of coders? virtually nonexistant. That's probably why RAM had an easy time getting the licence to publish Warp 3.

OS/2
by Ollie on Wed 5th Dec 2001 18:49 UTC

OS/2 is OS/2 is OS/2.

Win's Open With
by Warren E. Downs on Wed 5th Dec 2001 20:38 UTC

>yeh, in win9x if you hold down something like ctrl or alt or shift or >something, i cant remember, then right click you get that same 'open with' >option dont yah?

That lets you pick an application from *all* registered apps, but doesn't give you a simple list of associated apps for the specific file type.

How I miss OS/2!!!
by Jon Trott on Wed 5th Dec 2001 21:04 UTC

Well, what a bit of nostalgia this was. We all have our addictions, and one of mine are various OSes. Linux is awesome as an OS, but is still a bit bare on apps (tho gaining). Win 2000 runs okay, but other than one fast box I have, I'd rather not load such a monster on my old boxes. All that to say, I ran OS/2 for years with pleasure. Only when IBM abandoned it after a disasterous marketing campaign (anyone remember the OS/2-sponsored new years' football game... can't recall what bowl it was) did I see the handwriting on the wall. Even then, I hung in there for another couple years, dual-booting my OS/2 and a windoze partition for when I just had to have a 32-bit app.

When will OS/2 run 32 bit apps? If it did, end game. And a redesign of the WP shell would help, though like others here I enjoy the basics of that shell. I wish anyone well who renovates, tweaks, and in other ways rejuvinates OS/2... it is an awesome and enjoyable OS and truthfully my favorite, tho partially due to nostalgia. Anyone remember CP/M juiced up with ZCPR? Ha, ha....

(In His Grace)
jon trott

I loved the article! But your last two paragraphs conflict with each other.

You stated: "please do not forget that eCS OS/2 is a business level OS, not a consumer level one"
Then you say: "Its GUI is aged, hardware support has been kept a bit back, multimedia needs more attention... I want to see development tools coming with the distribution."

It is a business grade OS. Most don't come with dev tools or focus on media playback. If I am going to get a server OS, it's going to be my server. Not playing DVDs or compiling on it. It's going to serve. And most businesses if doing any development will gladly buy their development tools. Most don't come with dev tools out of the box.

I also didn't see you mention DesktopOnCall. I know it comes with eCS. That would have been a great thing to add, since in the end there you make mention of VirtualPC coming out for it. DesktopOnCall lets you run your machine as a VNC type server, but you can access it from any java-capable browser (in case you didn't try it).

Other than that, I thouroughly enjoyed the article. I run OS/2 everyday, as it is my main OS, with BeOS being my number 2. OS/2 does all my real work, and I use BeOS for little media things. to Many of us OS/2 users the price is as expected, since we are used to paying much more for something than in other OSes (RSJ CD-Writer is a FINE example of pricing)

Thanks for the mention of OS/2!

Adam McNutt

Regarding the installation of eCS 1.0
by Eugenia on Wed 5th Dec 2001 23:13 UTC

I was just given the url http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/opinions/3689/2/">for on the net. It sems I was not the only one with installation problems. :o

Re: Cornelis/What ist an "outdated" GUI?
by chris on Wed 5th Dec 2001 23:18 UTC

> ... Or dragging a file icon into a command line window and getting the full path there ...
This is possible in Windows too (I use XP).
> ... Open a WPS folder from the command line, opened in the "current folder" ...
Type "start ." at the command line.

Loved os/2, loving ECS
by lydia on Thu 6th Dec 2001 00:15 UTC

I absolutely love ECS! I use it on my home laptop. I had no trouble installing it - everything went really smoothly. All my old apps reinstalled
seamlessly. I run Netscape, Opera for Os/2, openchat/2 with gemZ plugin, att global dialer. I use Lotus SmartSuite - I use 1-2-3, WordPro,
and use the Organizer all the time. I use PMView, KAZip, WarpAmp and FileStar. I even have an old copy of Kitchen Assistant/2 with all
my recipes on it. I have many more applications here .
One thing I WOULD like to see is something like Quicken and a Tax program come out - heck, I pay for my shareware, would be happy to
pay for "household" apps!

Hi

I am an OS/2 user since 1996 (Warp v3). Over these years one big obstacle for this
OS was support for video display adapters. But that has been fixed now. IBM has licensed Scitech Display Drivers (of course developed in Germany -- StarOffice was also developed there). Now, with SDD most display adapters are supported in OS/2.

Sooo, It is a shame an excellent OS have this fate. ECS is a hope. But what will reverse the lag in the OS development is Open Source. IMO, ECS and even MCP are 'maintenance' products. I mean that code update is minimal. Of course, Serenity have created a very attractive bundle. But the key part of an OS is the kernel and API development. There is no more _innovation_ and real development in OS/2 thats why other OS have advanced and catch it up and even leave it in the dust in some areas. BTW, this was MS strategy with the win9x to provide an OS with some multi-tasking capabilities until they were able to improve NT... the result was
WIN 2000 - IMO the first OS MS developed that was superior to OS/2..

IBM, should Open Source this product. They talk much about open source, now thay can prove if they fully supports the Open Source movement. Just remove those darn parts of the code which are propierty of other companies and make room for development. I bet, there could be a functional OS/2 OS (Open Source) release within a couple of years.

Later

Edfel



sorry if I conveyed the wrong impression
by Richard on Thu 6th Dec 2001 03:08 UTC

Ummm sorry folks, and particularly Eugenia...

I wasn't being critical of the article Eugenia wrote - indeed I thought it was well balanced, and I have been intrigued to find out that part of the deal between IBM and M$ seems to have been the removal of competition from M$ on the basis of user licence cost of M$ apps to IBM.

Now that DOES make much more sense in a commercial world than other suggested reasons for scaling down OS/2, although it isn't the way I think/behave.

I just felt some background might be useful, showing that my experience was you need more than one go to install OS/2 has often been the case. But so most other OS's too.

I have actually tried 3 versions of BeOS, two of QNX and one of WinLinux - and a couple of real Linux. None of them worked on my machines for various reasons, some didn't work at all, some only partly.

So, for stability reasons I could be called an OS/2 afficionado - but not a fanatic - because I've looked around, and come back to something I know will work - at my age I don't need to learn a whole new system.

There's an old engineering principle... "When it ain't broke, don't fix it".

That applied when I used to tune those marvellously simple SU carbies (that nobody else would touch) on hotted up cars in the UK in the 50s and early 60s. It applies equally to 'puters too in this day and age.

OS/2 has always needed an install to a default VGA 640x480 screen first up. It isn't hard - if you have the drivers - to then use the CD to install your obscure video card. Or even install them from a floppy.

While different, look at the Safe Mode concept introduced by M$ for 95 onwards, and the NT boot loader option to boot to VGA - you eliminate many conflict problems that way.

The NT loader choice was, of course, copied from the ability in OS/2 Warp to do exactly the same on boot.

Something I found with Warp 4 was it defaulted to internet from a LAN which I didnt have... but there was the ability (from memory) to add a dialup afterwards. Six years later, last week, my wife's brand new notebook preloaded with WinME was also... so this looks normal to me.

Another point,if I may... If config files (like config.sys which can edited in a text editor) are regarded as outdated, may I ask why they have to be seen as such? If you have the info there that can be edited in an ascii editor, isn't it better than the cumbersome registry key statements in 95/98 et seq? Certainly it's easier to restore if you make a mistake, you boot from DOS on a floppy and copy the old file back (which we always save first, don't we?)

Anyway, I don't wish to hog the posts here. The last one I made was horrendously long. Sorry for that.

I found the original article truly very interesting, and reading past where I disagreed - we can disagree and still get along well - and also found it highly informative. While the new version looks like maybe more work needs to be done on it, I'm greatly encouraged to read another correspondent here did have success, and likes using it. I for one hope to try it when it comes 15,000 miles across the Pacific ;) Maybe I can buy it as an upgrade to my Warp 4?

Please be encouraged, Eugenia ;) I love your editorial style and your journalistic ability.

Richard

Bulletproof and secure, to boot.
by Bob S. on Thu 6th Dec 2001 04:00 UTC

I ran a web/mail/calendar server for a security company on Warp 4 for a year and a half,with NO FIREWALL, and half the kiddies on the planet trying to break into it.

No joy for them. This was one of the earliest OSes to include "SYN flood" defense in the IP stack AS A TOGGLE OPTION. It doesn't get nicer than that.

Though I found EMX to ease the pain of building UNIX apps (and running EMACS), the lack of Win32 support did cause me to inch away from it. Funny how I still wound up running BeOS.

OS/2 was the Right Thing in more ways than I can count. I'm glad to see it continuing one way or another.

--Bob

Doublebyte support?
by Jonathan Byrne on Thu 6th Dec 2001 04:16 UTC

Remove nospam from the address to contact me.

The article makes no mention of support for other languages. What, if any level, of
support does it have for east Asian languages (CJKV)? Displays? Input method? No
support?

> Now, with SDD most display adapters are supported in OS/2

Hmm, I was sure that I mentioned SDD. In fact, this is how I got support for my graphics card. By installing manually SDD. After the installation was over, because by default, I could only install eCS if I was picking VESA, I got the first CD and installed manually its drivers.

>The article makes no mention of support for other languages.

Indeed no. I haven't look that up at all because I only use English. I am Greek, but I can't stand Greek on my computer screen, so I don't bother trying to set them up. I find Greek to be nice when written in books, but when I see them in my screen, I have some weird, mixed feelings... :o

eCS NLS support
by Kim Cheung on Thu 6th Dec 2001 06:15 UTC

eCS does provide support for several DBCS languages: Japanese, and Traditional and Simplied Chinese. Korean version is being done by somebody on a volunteer basis (as is Russian). In all, there are 14 standard languages - and a couple of "unofficial" languages.

Household finances exist for OS/2
by Esko Toivonen on Thu 6th Dec 2001 07:33 UTC

Hi Lydia!

>One thing I WOULD like to see is something like Quicken and a Tax program come out - heck,
> I pay for my shareware, would be happy to
> pay for "household" apps!

You should try out Moneydance, many Quicken users praise it. I find it very usable of taking care
of my finances. It is a Java application, but OS/2 runs fine Java.

Thanks Eugenia for a nice and balanced article. Having going through OS/2 versions 1.1 - WSeB - eCS,
I see eCS as a welcome attempt to get new users to a very good OS. OS/2 is at home , but at work
we e.g. constantly struggle againts viruses and other Wintroubles.

Ecomstation: Great product
by Randall Shimizu on Thu 6th Dec 2001 07:39 UTC

Serenity systems has done a great job with ECs, but I believe that their develpment model has been flawed.

Serenity has a point when they say that a lot of the OS/2 code has possible industry secrets from Microsoft and probably cannot be opensourced. Serenity had some outside developers working on the code. These developers obviously had to sign NDA agreements. So why doesn't Serenity elicit help from the OS/2 community and get them to sign NDA agreements.

This would allow the ECs to flourish into a truly modern OS and surpass Windows once again.

by Cornelis on Thu 6th Dec 2001 08:57 UTC

> So why doesn't Serenity elicit help from the OS/2 community and get them to sign NDA agreements.

I am no spokesman of Serenity in any way, but this one is easy to answer: In order to do what you are suggesting it is NEITHER necessary to opensource OS/2 NOR is it necessary to access any OS/2 source code with NDA agreements etc. at all! (Even thought some "hints" from "IBM insiders" can be helpful in certain cases...).

Or in other words: If drivers for certain things are missing, they can be written with the current tools. There are already people being busy with the one or other, without any NDA agreements whatsoever. (Licensing IS of course an issue in certain cases, like playing DVDs, but this is not invoked by IBM or Serenity.) Also adding features to the GUI (or WPS) is not a matter of knowing internals: It can be done much more easily than with any other GUI, and it is being done. But this activity is spread out over the world, not centralized by IBM, which is of course a problem for potential (new) users of the system.

Bundling all this together into one "product" so that the user doesn't have to find all these nice things in all different places where they are being developed is a thing that Serenity seems to try doing, which is what I like about eCS: It makes OS/2 "more accessible" than it has become in the past years, even though most of the new things that are in eCS are not Serenity products (sure, some are...)

Dynamic Screen Resolution/Colour Depth
by Michael on Thu 6th Dec 2001 15:09 UTC

One (the only one) thing I wish for in the WPS is dyanamic screen resolution and colour depth. I tried BeOS, and fell in love with capacity to have different virtual desktops, each at a different screen resolution and colour depth. I have a couple of venerable Win 3.x programs that do not run well at 1280 x 1024 x 32 bit colour.
Well, okay, I only have one - Grand Prix Manager. I know it's about seven years old or so, but every once in a while I like to pretend I'm Ron Dennis...

Open source OS/2?
by Kim Cheung on Thu 6th Dec 2001 18:07 UTC

OS/2 is being used by some rather significant financial institutions around the world. I don't think they are comfortable with the thought of open sourcing OS/2 to the public. On the other hand, the nice thing about OS/2 is that *lots* and *lots* of things can be done without the source code. What it takes is programmers that are willing to take a look at it. That doesn't mean that you can do *everything* without the source code (like dynamic screen resolution, anti-aliasing fonts, irregular shaped windows - these things can not be done without the source code) - but the networking, the multi-media, the drivers, the file system, and to a great extend, the WPS, can all be fixed, extended, or even out right replaced without too much fan fare.

There are much work to be done. The installation program is not perfect by a long shot. However, lots of work are being done almost immediately after the 1.0 went out the door. This is the first time in the 15 year history of OS/2 that something is being done to modernize the installation process - and yes, we fully expect to have some rough spots in it's first release. The pre-boot screen is being replaced by a multi-page setup (similar to typical bios setting screens). The entire phase 2 installation is going to be replaced by auto-matic NIC detection code, new drivers, loader, and kernel are being integrated into the process. Heck, we might even replace the ugly and totally confusing LVM user interface.

Much more to come, folks!

Pricing
by Kim Cheung on Thu 6th Dec 2001 18:21 UTC

"With a price of $299 for the normal version and $399 for the version that supports SMP"....

I think it would be interesting to note some of the street prices for the Windows products (from the latest Micro Warehouse catelog):

WinXP/Professional (full version): $299.95 (upgrade): $199.95

W2K Prof (full version): $279.95 (upgrade): $189.95

So, the SRP price for eCS is at par with the *street price* of Windows - and what do you get with the Windows packge? Just the operating system. No Office suites (that's another $479.95 for office XP Professional - full version), no Desktop-On-Call (another $40 or so), no DHCP/DDNS servers (not avilable unless you get the server), no firewall (another ???), no HobLink/X11 server (another $2xx), no Anti-Virus program (another ??), no ..... (it's a long list).

So, for SMB, eCS packs in tremendous value for their bucks.

It's going to be a little while for things to _really_ open up
by Mike Nomad on Thu 6th Dec 2001 21:46 UTC

If I understand IBM's OS/2 site correctly, the last of their support doesn't end until 12/31/2002. At the point that IBM has completely given up on the product (and I will always hate them for doing that), I would expcect eComm to take off like a rocket.

OS/2 is heavily used in Europe, particularly in German banking. IBM was going to pull the plug on OS/2 years ago. When IBM put the word out, the response from Europe was both loud and ugly: If we don't have an IBM OS, then we'll stop buying both IBM apps _and_ IBM hardware. IBM backed off.

If you don't like Windows....
by Matthew Angert on Thu 6th Dec 2001 23:09 UTC

If you don't like Windows and you are NOT a Unix person, OS/2 (eCS) is the only available option to move on an X86. I am a little different kind of OS/2 user...I don't "remember the good old days" because I started using OS/2 Version 4.0 in 1999....that's right 1999! I am currently running OS/2 Warp MCP (4.5) on my server and eComstation 1.0 on my desktop. Back in 1999 I was dissapointed with Windows and it wasn't a stability issue. I really didn't have any crashes but I always ran an NT product and stayed away from 9x :-) I just got bored with the same crap and wanted something different....especially since I support NT4/2000 machines all day at work. My first avenue was Linux...WRONG ANSWER...and before anyone starts on how wonderful Mandrake 8.1 is I know, I have installed it and it really is very nice. BUT, for the normal user it is way to complicated and has too many things in too many places. The stability and power of Linux is superb and I see why so many are jumping on the bandwagon...I understand and AGREE with the interest there; but Linux for SOHO is not ready for primetime just yet. BeOS is really cool also (used BeOS 4.5 and 5.0 Pro) but it doesn't have a FULL-Java capable Web Browser or Microsoft Office compatible Office Suite and the network capabilities are poor (I have a SOHO LAN). So what is left other than an *nix variant??? What? That is why I bought OS/2. WOW! I love it. It doesn't do everything Windows does nor does it have all the apps; but if you are a SOHO user who needs Office suite capabilites, Internet Browsing, Email, MP3 goodies and CD burning, OS/2 has those features! And they are very nice. Even better the thing runs like a charm: smooth, stable and simply elegant. The WPS is one of my favorite things about it because it is so customizable. Windows 2000 and XP are very nice products but if you are like me and are just tired of Windows (and Microsoft's practices), please give Serenity a chance with their eComstation product. The installation was not hassle free by any means but with a little time and patience all is perfect and they have forums on their website if you need help. Serenity has done a wonderful job and I want their success. Hearing the news about Virtual PC is exciting because there is one app I use in Windows and I have another PC for it...NO MORE!! The biggest piece of advice I can give is to check and see if your hardware is supported. Check out: http://www7.software.ibm.com/2bcprod.nsf/WebCat?OpenView I can say I am very glad I gave the OS/2 Operating System a try. I hope others who feel that Linux and Windows is just not for them will do the same. You may be surprised at what you see!

Great!
by Kevin on Fri 7th Dec 2001 03:33 UTC

Great review!! Keep up the good work...

Re: eCs/OS2 aged ? Look again!!
by Tee on Fri 7th Dec 2001 08:32 UTC

Eugenia!,

I collect pc boxes/servers- mostly a motley crowd of Pentium 1and II's/Pentium Pro's/AMD K5/6'S/III's that are "sent to pasture", and also run the newest pc hardware on self-assembled boxes (AthlonXP to Pentium 4's) and test many kinds of OS's that can be bought off the shelf now. I must say that I found eCs runs fine in everyone of them and this speaks volumes for a kernel designed light years ago (albeit quietly brought abreast of times). My point is:- Aged OS this isnt.
Try that with some other "new" OS's and you'll see they arent adapatable to older pc hardware. This eCs/OS2 thing possesses
a versatility that defies belief. If you play with OS's on different hardware on an almost daily basis you get 1st hand knowledge
of the average, the better and the cream - and eCS is one of the very few os's which falls into that creme de la creme category.
Besides installation went like a breeze (partly because if you play with OS's all the time you develop a knack that allows one to install anything with few or no problems ;) Thanks for a fine write up.

BeOS future ?
by vlad on Fri 7th Dec 2001 15:22 UTC

I just imagined that this is what BeOS will go through -
a few years on forgotten partitions, with shrinking developer base and then
the owner company finally license it out. New company will pick it up, update and release and it will be reviewed as 'Aged OS'.
Whatever people here say good about Win2K/XP/NT will only demonstrate their limited experience with M$ products. 'Never crashed' is NOT a good feature of the OS. It's not a feature at all.

Re: eCs/OS2 aged ? Look again!!
by Eugenia on Fri 7th Dec 2001 16:34 UTC

Did I ever spoke about the internals of OS/2 being aged?? Why always among my readers are some dumb ones? >:(
I spoke about the GUI, which is ugly as hell (not too mention that it lacks modern features, like double-buffering and free-form windows). The Gui looks like Windows 3.1 on steroids or at best, like a bad Windows95. End of story. Needs fixing. Needs beautifying. Needs a real artist to work on it. <P> >Besides installation went like a breeze <P> Funny, because I got two emails from people who had the same probs as me. And yes, they were OS/2 old timers.

hehe, starting to get some bite into it
by Richard on Sat 8th Dec 2001 05:12 UTC

just go to show you can't please all the people all the time.... ROFL l!!!!

actually some of the people, some of the time, would be nice, eh?

Richard

Look and installation
by Kim cheung on Sat 8th Dec 2001 20:41 UTC

"Needs beautifying. Needs a real artist to work on it."

Not to say that it's not needed (we all want to look pretty, don't we?). It all depend on your point of view. Many OS/2 systems in use today do not run the shell *at all* (don't try that with Windows). In the consumer area, beauty might be king but in a business environment, there are many other considerations.

">Besides installation went like a breeze

Funny, because I got two emails from people who had the same probs as me. And yes, they were OS/2
old timers. "

What you see in eCS GA is only the first pass of rewriting the installer (in what, 15 years? :=)). "problems" falls mainly in a few areas:

a) LVM

This is where we get most of the trouble reports. LVM - as IBM delivered it - is in fact very solid in itself. It's that user interface that cause majority of the problems. You can actually run LVM from the command line and you will find that the LVM engine itself is very solid. Work is underway to completely rewrite the LVM user interface. By using the new user interface, I can assure you that LVM will become much less of an issue than it really is.

b) Pre-boot

Depending on your hardware, if you can get through pre-boot using the default options, things generally are very smooth - with the exception of the IDE controller driver. Just by a draw of luck, the particular version of the enhanced IDE device driver included in eCS GA is.....in the word of the author of the driver: Not one of her better piece. While it functions fine in a great variety of hardware, it does do "funny" things on certain hardware. A later version of that driver does not display some of the odd behaviors.

The pre-boot screen is a 1.0 attempt to deal with the great variety of hardware in the market today. It cuts down the need to use boot floppies tremendously . A new version is near completion which acts capablities such as multi-page configuration screens and auto-matic device detections. The 1.0 version of the pre-boot function (call OS2CSM) can only handle one screenful of user interface and there is no room for putting any sort of words on there to explain the options. As a result, far too many people then we like to see are getting confused, and fustrated by the inability to boot pass config.sys. In addition, by addition automatic device detection (PCI, anyway), we will be able to change the default settings base on what's detected, rather than requiring the user to know what option to select. This is a much needed feature that simply didn't made it into 1.0.

c) Network installation

Work is underway to incorporate automatic NIC detection and setup of the TCP/IP network. With supported NIC cards, the installer will be able to detect the PCI id and set up the associated TCP/IP network automatically. We would like to set up the peer and client/server requesters automatically as well but the first priority is the TCP/IP network. The goal is to get rid of phase 2 installation completely.

d) Loader and Kernel

After eCS GA was frozen, IBM released versions of the loader that can handle some additional hardware out in the field. Unfortunately, these releases never reached "official support" level until the eCS GA masters were made. We had no choice but to include these as "un-official" code. Some of the problems people reported could have been addressed with the newer loader (and kernel).

No, I wouldn't say that there is not more work that need to be done to the installer. We are busy working on it.

Regards,

Good article but. . .can I pick a few nits?
by Geezle/2 on Sun 30th Dec 2001 07:59 UTC

The article is an interesting and well done report of a newbie's experience with OS/2-eCS and a refreshing departure from the typical tech media industry's treatment of non-Microsoft products (I'm guessing that neither Eugenia nor OSNews.com are receiving a significant portion of Microsof's $?00,000,000 "advertising" budget for Win XP!).

Anyway, the article is excellent overall so please don't take my criticism of a few minor points as condemnation of the whole.Eugenia mentions "the GUI, which is ugly as hell (not too mention that it lacks modern features, like double-buffering and free-form windows). The Gui looks like Windows 3.1 on steroids or at best, like a bad Windows95."


This claim seems to me to be terribly unfair and quite surprising. I had always considered OS/2s UI to be the most elegant and aesthetically appealing interface of any OS on the market and eCS just improved upon it. Granted, the article is largly subjective impressions and as such the author can write whatever comes to mind without feeling a pressing need to defend it but "ugly as hell"? . . ."like a bad Windows95"? Them's fightin` words!

I will admit. . .MacOS X Aqua interface is a thing of beauty. . .it is also slower than creaping death on even the best desktop hardware ever created for any architecture. As an engineer, I know that the design process is often a balancing act between conflicting priorities. . .In this case, eye candy frequently has a price that is paid in performance and or usability. It is my opinion that eCS has about the right mix as shipped for use on the typical user's current hardware.
Stated is that the UI "lacks modern features, like double-buffering and free-form windows". Firstly, I assume by "free-form windows" we are refering to shaped windows. While the UI doesn't "support" shaped windows, it doesn't prevent applications from having them. There are in fact some nice applications for eCS that use shaped windows. I see nothing wrong with allowing the application developers the latitude to implement the window shaping of their choice rather than imposing the shaping on them from the OS level.

Additionally, double buffering everything to hit the screen seems unnecessary and wasteful of resources. Double buffering is certainly a supported presentation space management technique for applications but it isn't required. That seems to me to be as it should be. . .make the interface smooth and fluid by keeping the GUI light and quick rather than trying to compensate for bloat by double buffering the whole darn thing. . .`course opinions vary. . .

Sure, the Presentation Manager looks a bit industrial, particularly when compared with the comical LooneyToons interface on Windows XP. I count that as a point in eCSs favour though. It is pretty and pleasant without looking cheezey and toy-like. Equating it with win3.1 or even Win95 however is just plain bizarre. . .nonsensical even. I've spent a little bit giving a hard look at widgets, frame details, dialog boxes and other basic desktop features since reading that line and I still cannot figure out how one could perceive Windows to be more attractive than eCS. . .no accounting for taste I suppose. . .

Anyway, the rather bewildering attitude towards eComStations UI aside, the article was very good!

Question
by Tim Ward on Wed 9th Jan 2002 23:16 UTC

Does anyone here know anything about getting OS/2 working with DSL???

I have BellSouth DSL working fine with Windows, but it is a USB modem... arg!

Any help would be appreciated!

P.S. Eugenia... Great article!

Re: Question
by Eugenia on Thu 10th Jan 2002 00:09 UTC

I don't think that OS/2 supports USB modems, but I have to say that I am not 100% sure about this.

USB Support in OS/2 Warp
by Richard on Fri 1st Mar 2002 10:05 UTC

Eugenia and Tim, yes OS/2 does support USB, not in its Warp 4 form, but through either an add-on or a fix-pack, I'm not sure which.

This is not just for modems, either; it appears to have basic support plus specific support for Audio, keyboard, mass storage, mouse, and printer.

I have not yet tried it, but hope to shortly. I subscribe to an ozzie "fount of knowledge" who used to be an IBM engineer in my home town of Adelaide - but he went to Sydney for IBM's association with the regular Olympics in 2000, and has stayed there ever since.

He also tells me he runs the Australian Telstra telco's adsl which uses an Alcatel modem which is available with either a USB or fast etherlink output.

He has sent me a CD with fixpacks and all sorts, and I have briwsed it for an answer for you...

I post the contents of two text files from that CD.
Hope that this information is useful.

============
http://techsupport.services.ibm.com/asd-bin/doc/en_us/ddcat.htm

IBM USB support only works with Intel USB chipset.
================
USBCOMM.TXT File Version 1.10 for
Universal Serial Bus (USB) Communication Device Driver Support for OS/2
September 13, 2000
(c) Copyright International Business Machines Corporation, 1998 - 2000.
All rights Reserved.


Contents
========
1.0 Overview
2.0 USB-Communication Driver Installation Instructions
3.0 USB-Communication Driver Un-Install Instructions
4.0 Requirements


1.0 Overview
=============

This USBCOMM.EXE driver package provides you with IBM's most current support for Universal Serial Bus (USB) communication (modem) devices on the OS/2 Operating System.

1.1 The USBCOMM.EXE file that you received contains the following 3 USB files in a self-extracting compressed format.

- USBCOMM.TXT This file that you are reading
- USBCINST.EXE Executable that installs USB communication driver support
- USBCOM.SYS USB Communication Driver


2.0 USB-Modem Installation Instructions
===========================================

2.1 To use these USB driver files, you must expand the USBCOMM.EXE file into
its 3 component files by
(a.) opening an OS/2 window and
(b.) typing USBCOMM at the OS/2 command prompt.
Once the USBCOMM.EXE file is expanded, please continue with the
USB Installation Instructions.

2.2 At the OS/2 command prompt, type USBCINST. This command will:
(a.) Verify that the Basic USB device driver support is present.
(b.) Create a backup copy of the existing CONFIG.SYS file. The name of
the backup file is displayed on the OS/2 window.
(c.) Add the USB communication device drivers to the OS2BOOT directory on
the Boot partition.
(d.) Update the CONFIG.SYS file with the appropriate USB modem entry.
DEVICE=C:OS2BOOTUSBCOM.SYS

Where C: is the drive letter of the OS/2 boot partition on your
system.

2.3 This completes the installation procedure. You must now REBOOT you system
to initialize the USB communication device driver support.

The USB commincation device uses the first available COM port that it
detects on system boot. On most system this is usually COM3. The USB
communication device can be referenced by specifying this COM prot.


3.0 USB-Modem Un-Install Instructions
================================

3.1 Restore the backup version of the CONFIG.SYS file that was created by the
IBMCINST utility to be the system's CONFIG.SYS configuration file.

3.2 Safely shut down and then re-boot your system in order to remove the
USB-Communication driver from the system configuration.

4.0 Requirements
=================

4.1 Hardware

4.2 Software
(a.) USB Basic support

(end)

USB Support in OS/2 Warp
by Richard on Fri 1st Mar 2002 10:08 UTC

Eugenia and Tim, yes OS/2 does support USB, not in its Warp 4 form, but through either an add-on or a fix-pack, I'm not sure which.

This is not just for modems, either; it appears to have basic support plus specific support for Audio, keyboard, mass storage, mouse, and printer.

I have not yet tried it, but hope to shortly. I subscribe to an ozzie "fount of knowledge" who used to be an IBM engineer in my home town of Adelaide - but he went to Sydney for IBM's association with the regular Olympics in 2000, and has stayed there ever since.

He also tells me he runs the Australian Telstra telco's adsl which uses an Alcatel modem which is available with either a USB or fast etherlink output.

He has sent me a CD with fixpacks and all sorts, and I have briwsed it for an answer for you...

I post the contents of two text files from that CD.
Hope that this information is useful.

============
http://techsupport.services.ibm.com/asd-bin/doc/en_us/ddcat.htm

IBM USB support only works with Intel USB chipset.
================
USBCOMM.TXT File Version 1.10 for
Universal Serial Bus (USB) Communication Device Driver Support for OS/2
September 13, 2000
(c) Copyright International Business Machines Corporation, 1998 - 2000.
All rights Reserved.


Contents
========
1.0 Overview
2.0 USB-Communication Driver Installation Instructions
3.0 USB-Communication Driver Un-Install Instructions
4.0 Requirements


1.0 Overview
=============

This USBCOMM.EXE driver package provides you with IBM's most current support for Universal Serial Bus (USB) communication (modem) devices on the OS/2 Operating System.

1.1 The USBCOMM.EXE file that you received contains the following 3 USB files in a self-extracting compressed format.

- USBCOMM.TXT This file that you are reading
- USBCINST.EXE Executable that installs USB communication driver support
- USBCOM.SYS USB Communication Driver


2.0 USB-Modem Installation Instructions
===========================================

2.1 To use these USB driver files, you must expand the USBCOMM.EXE file into
its 3 component files by
(a.) opening an OS/2 window and
(b.) typing USBCOMM at the OS/2 command prompt.
Once the USBCOMM.EXE file is expanded, please continue with the USB Installation Instructions.

2.2 At the OS/2 command prompt, type USBCINST. This command will:
(a.) Verify that the Basic USB device driver support is present.
(b.) Create a backup copy of the existing CONFIG.SYS file. The name of
the backup file is displayed on the OS/2 window.
(c.) Add the USB communication device drivers to the OS2BOOT directory on
the Boot partition.
(d.) Update the CONFIG.SYS file with the appropriate USB modem entry.
DEVICE=C:OS2BOOTUSBCOM.SYS

Where C: is the drive letter of the OS/2 boot partition on your
system.

2.3 This completes the installation procedure. You must now REBOOT you system
to initialize the USB communication device driver support.

The USB commincation device uses the first available COM port that it
detects on system boot. On most system this is usually COM3. The USB
communication device can be referenced by specifying this COM prot.


3.0 USB-Modem Un-Install Instructions
================================

3.1 Restore the backup version of the CONFIG.SYS file that was created by the
IBMCINST utility to be the system's CONFIG.SYS configuration file.

3.2 Safely shut down and then re-boot your system in order to remove the
USB-Communication driver from the system configuration.

4.0 Requirements
=================

4.1 Hardware

4.2 Software
(a.) USB Basic support

(end)