Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Nov 2013 17:32 UTC, submitted by toralux
OS/2 and eComStation

It was now 1984, and IBM had a different problem: DOS was pretty much still a quick and dirty hack. The only real new thing that had been added to it was directory support so that files could be organized a bit better on the IBM PC/AT’s new hard disk. And thanks to the deal that IBM signed in 1980, the cloners could get the exact same copy of DOS and run exactly the same software. IBM needed to design a brand new operating system to differentiate the company from the clones. Committees were formed and meetings were held, and the new operating system was graced with a name: OS/2.

Fantastic article at Ars Technica about the rise and demise of IBM's OS/2. OS/2 is one of those big 'what-ifs' of the technology world, along the lines of 'what if Apple had purchased Be instead of NEXT' or 'what if Nokia had opted for Android' (sorry). Our technology world could've been a lot different had OS/2 won over Windows 3.x/95.

I reviewed OS/2 as it exists today (eComStation) six years ago.

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RE[2]: Relevant.
by osvil on Tue 26th Nov 2013 18:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Relevant."
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I had an Amiga. I loved my Amiga. But as advanced and as fancy AmigaOS was at the time meant it was really a dead-end when taking into account some features that we now take for granted in a modern system. In a sense that making the system evolve would be highly difficult.

All of AmigaOS was about code running in "user". No isolation at all. Traversing and modifying liked lists of system structures. Runtime patching of dynamic libraries by a process for the full system. Adding memory protection on top of that without throwing backwards compatibility out would have been really difficult (the only way being probably running virtual machines and integrating clipboards and the like between the virtual machines). On the other hand if there was a company able to do that it was IBM, though.

And as flexible as AmigaOS was at the time, its reliance in doubly-linked lists for many of the system structures (even the filesystem!!!!) would have come back and bitten big time. Not to talk about the security nightmare it could have been (remember that back in the time viruses were quite common in the Amiga).

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