Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 2nd Apr 2012 13:51 UTC
OS/2 and eComStation "Co-developed by IBM and Microsoft, it was intended to replace DOS, the aging software that then powered most of the planet's microcomputers. It never did. Instead, Microsoft's Windows reinvigorated DOS, helping to end IBM's control of the PC standard it had created. By the mid-1990s, IBM had given up on OS/2 - a major step in the company's slow-motion retreat from the PC industry, which it completed in 2005 by agreeing to sell its PC division to China's Lenovo. But while OS/2 never truly caught on, it's also never gone away. Even if you believe that you never saw it in action, there's a decent chance that you unwittingly encounter it at least occasionally to this day." The last time I took a look at eComStation was way back in 2007.
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Missed it by this much....
by SonicMetalMan on Mon 2nd Apr 2012 14:22 UTC
SonicMetalMan
Member since:
2009-05-25

This one made me smile a little. I was one of the early users of OS/2 2.0 though I moderately despised the gui. Under the hood OS/2 did shine but the interface developers just couldn't seem to get a grasp of a consistent and simple user experience. Even Warp 4 though better was still lacking in usability, it was simply too "busy". By that time Microsoft was getting Windows whipped into shape so I was left with little choice but to abandon what I felt was a technically superior OS.

I am saddened that IBM left the carcass with eComstation, they have squandered their opportunity to make something more modern and useful of the old OS. I cannot justify throwing away money to buy what amounts to a legacy OS that will nor even recognize all my hardware, especially printers and wireless cards.

OS/2 should have been placed in the public domain where legions of developers could tinker with the thing in their spare time.

Reply Score: 5

Should have been
by redshift on Mon 2nd Apr 2012 14:50 in reply to "Missed it by this much...."
redshift Member since:
2006-05-06

Banks seemed to love it. I remember pulling up to an ATM that had been scrambled by a lightning storm and revealed an OS/2 desktop about 6 years ago.

Back in the day I ran OS/2 warp as my primary OS. It was much nicer than windows at the time... but the lack of native software choices was a big weakness. It should of been the future... but IBM was massively incompetent in promoting it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Should have been
by Doc Pain on Mon 2nd Apr 2012 18:55 in reply to "Should have been"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Banks seemed to love it. I remember pulling up to an ATM that had been scrambled by a lightning storm and revealed an OS/2 desktop about 6 years ago.


Yes, I've also seen that OS here in Germany's banks, but most ATMs seemed (and still seem... uh scary...) some kind of "Windows 2000" or "Windows XP". OS/2 has been used on workstations used in banks.

Furthermore, OS/2 was very prominent in governmental installations. Because it worked well in regards of networking (and also integrated with IBM mainframes that are still common in those installations), it was in use for a long time. There were many products (e. g. in financial administration) for interacting with the mainframe, such as data analysis tools, programming tools and office communication suites.

As I've mentioned mainframes: IBM mainframes were typically IPLed (PC-speak: booted) from a service element (cf. hardware management console, HMC) which was a PC running OS/2. Within its GUI tools you could select which image and hardware configuration to init from, and then have the machine power up by a mouseclick.

Back in the day I ran OS/2 warp as my primary OS.


I still have my original package with box, CDs, disks and manuals of OS/2 Warp 3 (german language). :-)

It should of been the future... but IBM was massively incompetent in promoting it.


Some german PC vendors even had OEM contracts of delivering OS/2 preinstalled on new PCs. That was part of a good marketing strategy, but with the "higher benefits" of preloading MICROS~1 software, OS/2 quickly disappeared from user's minds, and finally off the market, even though it had much potential in that time.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Missed it by this much....
by CapEnt on Mon 2nd Apr 2012 15:21 in reply to "Missed it by this much...."
CapEnt Member since:
2005-12-18

Serenity Systems is like any other "legacy support" company out there: they just want old support contracts for themselves, not actually engaging in serious software development, and then suck the maximum amount possible from the product until his dead.

They never had the intent of actually making eComstation a competitive product to get new end users (they do not even/ever has/had the resources to do so), and the development that still goes on is just the minimum to keep their legacy support business running.

Reply Parent Score: 8

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Serenity Systems is like any other "legacy support" company out there: they just want old support contracts for themselves, not actually engaging in serious software development, and then suck the maximum amount possible from the product until his dead.


That is probably fair enough, but I think it overlooks a factor more significant than Serenity Systems business model - they don't have the source code.

They never had the intent of actually making eComstation a competitive product to get new end users (they do not even/ever has/had the resources to do so), and the development that still goes on is just the minimum to keep their legacy support business running.


Any and all changes they have made have been through SOM/DSOM extensions, driver additions, adding/changing art assets, icons, etc., or patching binaries as the machine code level. There is only so much one can actually do without the source code.

Not making any excuses for them, your points are all valid. Just saying that without the source code their ability to do anything constructive with OS/2 outside of simple legacy support is rather limited.

Reply Parent Score: 3

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

you act like this is a BAD thing, at least they do offer new licenses and support. do you HONESTLY think that if IBM couldn't hack it that eComstation could compete with MSFT? Do you have ANY idea how many new pieces of hardware are released monthly? Linux has dozens of corps contributing and there is still a decent lag between when new hardware is released and when it has GOOD support, not some buggy beta.

Finally don't forget that nearly 30% of OS/2 belongs to MSFT. it has pretty much the entire Win16 subsystem built into it which means that while IBM can license it out to anybody they want they can NOT Open Source the code, its not theirs. I remember reading back in the day that figuring up the amount of time and money required to go through OS/2 line by line and remove or replace any infringing code would have cost tens of millions of dollars. Honestly? OS/2 isn't worth that kind of expenditure.


So at least eComstation allows those institutions that need to keep OS/2 running to buy new licenses and they do add generic drivers here and there. but expecting them to actually try to compete with Apple and MSFT? that's madness.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Missed it by this much....
by e-co on Tue 3rd Apr 2012 15:39 in reply to "Missed it by this much...."
e-co Member since:
2006-01-03

Some videos related to OS/2 and eComStation
http://www.youtube.com/user/eCoTVstation?feature=watch

Reply Parent Score: 1