Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 28th Jul 2002 18:30 UTC, submitted by Prognathous
OS/2 and eComStation OSNews reader Prognathous writes: "Well, actually it was released earlier this year, but I couldn't find any references in your news section, so it's about time. The only problem is that other than in usenet, details are scant and the official release was very subdued (search the page for "4.52")." This release is only available to IBM's active software subscription customers of OS/2 Warp 4 and it does seem to be a service pack ("Convenience Package" as IBM calls it). IBM does not intend to provide any additional convenience packages in the future.
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This CP2 which I have only very recently got will be shipped along with CP1 if you subscribe, since CP1 is a prerequisite of CP2 when not newly installed. Therefore for most users a license to OS/2 Warp 4 buys you software you will not use right out of the box, and upgrade from OS/2 requires both CP's to be applied consecutively.

I am totally blind, and haven't tested my screen reader, IBM Screen Reader/2, with CP2 yet; it'll prove an expensive buy if my screen reader, made to work with IBM OS/2 Warp 4, doesn't work with it after all. It also means that new GUIs, open source etc. probably won't help me much. The beauty of this upgrade path is the preservation of IBM's interface. IBM developed this screen reader, so I'm quite sure it'll work as did when I used it under Warp 4. OS/2 aint dead though, for sure; just not marketting to consumer style. Some say IBM would have been more successful had they marketted it at a time when they could have made a difference - Aug 1995. Perhaps a simple strategy like a new version would help? Perhaps if IBM stopped dreaming about Java integration everywhere and improved their ability for native applications cross-platform, like Win32? Their work on Linux should surely be enough for hardware independence, if they want that. The fact that users still use it is a testament to its success for the few people who didn't just go with the flow. The only dead thing about OS/2, if at all, is a manufacturer's point of view; developing device drivers for newer devices. While good support is here between OS/2 CP's and EComStation, obviously not as much as in M$ OSes for manufacturer support. Right now I can't even find a PCMCIA LAN card for OS/2!

EComStation I would like the opportunity of testing B4 I buy it, but Alas this won't be easy. Last of all, IBM's older accessibility team couldn't be more needed now, when their love of both Linux and OS/2 could bring out truely revolutionary assistive technology for both platforms. They have great manpower, why do they use it in other fields where it is sparingly used at best? http://www.ibm.com/sns .

Windows accessibility vendors (background only, simply to illustrate our lack of choice):
http://www.gwmicro.com/
http://www.dolphinuk.co.uk/
http://www.freedomscientific.com/

Support is also available for the Linux console (krnl patch Speakup), in Emacs and for braille terminals in BRLTTY. Such great support from IBM is gone now, and I feel that OS/2 should be just as well put in the hands of the visually impaired as it was in the past, instead of being carried on as a dead myth that no-one wants to hear about. Nothing wrong with supporting the majority if it saves on pointless cost, and the vendos mentioned are all great people, but half the blind people I know criticise OS/2 before they even know what it is - it's that forgotten.

OK, off my soap box and into the plughole. Sorry folks.