Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 14th Jul 2005 20:57 UTC, submitted by Kelly
OS/2 and eComStation IBM has hammered the final nails into OS/2's coffin. It said that all sales of OS/2 will end on the 23rd of December this year, and support for the pre-emptive multitasking operating system will end on the 31st December 2006.
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RE: "Re: So ... it's now offical..." @rcsteiner
by on Sat 16th Jul 2005 03:29 UTC

Member since:

Thanks for the long and thoughtful response.

Up front: I'm an old OS/2 advocate and have fond memories of it...in the same way that I did about my 198? Ford Escort. It doesn't mean that I want one now!

As for me, I'll try and keep my response short and to the point...otherwise we'd be writing novels soon.

I'm talking about Rex. Good guy. He was visiting the company I worked for at the time when he made the comments. 4DOS was adapted to do parsing of config files as a part of a DOS memory manager (386Max & BlueMax).

As for Impractical. I can't run VMWare on my PPro box (not enough RAM), and Xen requires changes to existing OSes I have to disagree;

1. Pentium Pros were released about 10 years ago. They haven't been sold in almost as many years. Most elementary schools won't take them if you gave them away.

2. VM systems are useable now on current hardware.

3. Xen 3.x comming out shortly will not require changes to an OS with the proper hardware.

EMX and posix subsystems. Nope. Haven't heard or EMX. Did know about OS/2's posix support. Doesn't matter though, since if you compile posix compliant software from source, why not do it under some flavor of unix? (BSD, Linux, Solaris, ...)

Not only does OS/2 have a lot more capable desktop software available for it than either Solaris or ... Linux is a far better alternative, but OS/2 is a hell of a lot more stable (in terms of API) than Linux is, it ...

OS/2's desktop was almost perfect...except for that one lockup problem. That bit me on a regular basis. Linux with either KDE (using it now) or Gnome (use it at work) don't.

"The only completely consistent people are the dead." -- Aldous Huxley

Same goes for operating systems, toolkits, and APIs. The APIs layered on top of X are not specific to any one *nix are stable -- though they aren't static. They are messy and complex as a whole -- because people are spending time developing them and improving them.

Now, addressing your comment about size: OS/2 can't be scaled down. Linux (and the BSDs) can and are; Linksys routers, cell phones, and the future Palm OS.

OS/2 can't be scaled up. Linux (and the BSDs) are; from servers, to clusters, grids, and mainframes including most of the top 500 supercomputers.

OS/2 can't be deployed on new hardware or any non-x86 hardware (and no, I don't count the limited release PowerPC version as viable). Does OS/2 support serial ATA devices? I'd be stunned if it did.

Linux (and the BSDs) are; available for just about any CPU in current production plus a few that are no longer being produced. All categories of devices are supported, if not any one specific device.

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Member since:

Yes it does support SATA drives... for more than a year or two now. And yes. It does support USB (even 2.0) for more than five years now. As well as PCI-E graphic cards.(and usb scanners are more and more usefull for warpers, as it will become with usb webcams this year Well actually I've put old hard drive (from p133) with warp 4.52 (with all new fixpacks) to new shiny box (cel 2.2 ghz) - switch power on... and voila. Only driver I need was sblive 5.1 driver (one can choose between uniaudio (alsa compliant) and sblive (older port from unix). Rest of junk worked out of box... cordless logitech mouseman on usb, 3com nic and rest...radeon 9500pro. So one can call it nostalgia, but another will find it fiting well into scalability definition. We're not talking here about 500 processors or clusters, but when it comes to 2 or 4 cpus (real, not that fake ht) os/2 seems happy to run on smp (and yes there's a chance a new multicore cpus will smp compliant... so smp version of warp or esc could use them, but this is not sure yet)

So I've tried to fire up a winXP from first partition...
Well as I've done with BSODs and so... I gave up, and spent another lovely hour reinstalling this modern well scalable product....

So It seems to me that your opinion on warp comes out from mid 90'.
In fact, hardware support in OS/2 is a lot better now than in 1999...
(btw. there is no problem to add support for usb 2.0 in os/2 2.1... try the same with win95.... )

Reply Parent Score: 0

rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

Thanks for the response. :-)

FWIW, I *do* largely agree that either Linux or *BSD or something fairly similar is probably the future (which is why I've been slowly trying to migrate my desktop in that direction since the RedHat 4.2 days, and why my file servers and firewall are already there).

Most of my comments are made in my own desktop context at home on my existing hardware, and are being made as a long-time OS/2 user who has had over a decade to accumulate lots of very useful software that is no longer available to the public. :-(

A new OS/2 user would probably find things a lot more difficult than I do.

Because of this, I don't advocate OS/2 anymore for general use, although I still think it has some value for reasons that I outlined previously.

I agree that my PPro boxes are very old, but using OS/2 I can still surf the web with Firefox with no delays using a cablemodem connection, I can still burn CDs in the background while doing other stuff, I can still do the types of application work that I need to at home, and I can still play a number of the smaller games I like putzing around with.

That's all I ask of a desktop machine.

In any case, I'd say I got a *lot* of value for my PC dollar (both in terms of hardware and software). :-)

I agree with most of your architectural comparisons between OS/2 and Linux, but those features (while nice) won't run the software I want to run in the way I want it to be run, and the X toolkit API thrashing is really bugging the heck out of me.

Until that stuff is addressed, or unless my existing desktop stops doing what I want, it's going to be hard for me to justify a move. It has to be a net positive, and right now it isn't. Its' getting a LOT closer as time goes on, though...

Reply Parent Score: 1