Home > OS/2 > eComStation 1.1 from a user’s view, Part 1 and 2 eComStation 1.1 from a user’s view, Part 1 and 2 Eugenia Loli 2003-11-22 OS/2 29 Comments OS/2-eZine online magazine posted the first and second parts of its review of eComStation 1.1. More interesting eCS and OS/2 material on its back issues. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 29 Comments 2003-11-22 7:37 am I simply love the eCS GUI. It’s just like WinXP classic and even better looking. Nice, clean and functional unlike Luna’s bubley or Aqua’s one. I like clean interfaces. Very professional. 2003-11-22 7:49 am You think Aqua is not functional? 2003-11-22 8:26 am You think Aqua is not functional? No that’s not what I meant. Aqua might be functional but it’s too white. I want something neat and easy to your eyes. Aqua is too white, I start getting a headache even when I look at the screen shots. 2003-11-22 8:32 am …in that I was struck by how “old” the GUI looked. It’s not unprofessional, certainly, but it looks like something from the late ’90s, if not earlier: all squared off and brazenly lacking even a hint of anti-aliased text. I also wonder about the “Aqua is nonfunctional” meme. I see it a lot but, except for the occasional well-thought out criticism from folks like John Siracusa, people don’t back it up. The window decorations don’t take up a lot of room, the oft-criticized shadows allow for borderless windows, for all the heat the Dock initially took it proves to be a fine program launcher/switcher… even the pinstripes are becoming surprisingly subtle. Honestly, I think this is the same kind of mentality that led people to dismiss BeOS because of its color scheme–a snap judgement that has little to do with actual functionality. 2003-11-22 9:01 am CNET had a “Alternative OS” story around January 1998. I had never heard of BeOS, but, when I saw OS/2, RedHat with AfterStep, and BeOS, I was so impressed by the harmonious (albeit odd for an OS) color scheme and GUI I purchased it. OS/2 even in 1998 looked old, and I’d say those screenshots don’t look much different than 5 years ago. 2003-11-22 9:45 am The UI went to hell with OS/2 Warp 4. IIRC it was the original Mac OS UI designer that did the Warp 4 UI. Everything went square and very agggressive. The OS/2 UI was adapted to Java designs. They got rid of the nice Notebook-style and replaced them with the ugly rainbow tab-style. Pastel anyone? IMO the UI needs a major update. What’s needed is a total redesign of the widgets matched with a better palette of colours. Other than that, everything else is fine. The plumbing is in great condition. And it’s a lot more stable and easier to install than Linux. And there is plenty of good compilers to go around. http://www.ecomstation.com 2003-11-22 10:44 am OS/2 is nice, but it became really expensive, take this into account. Getting applications for it is more expensiv, the UI is also too clutered with options. You may stay with it because you have some historic app or use windows with twoos2 as an emulator. But there’s no other use for it. Linux is dirt cheap and pretty easy to use (depends on the distro), Windows can be cheap if you go shop some refurbished w2k (whatever their silly EULA tells, probably illegal). You do not use an OS for itself, you use because of apps. I tried using OS/2 from 2.0 to 3.0, ditched IBM’s messing around. TeamOS/2 did too much harm. You may also use Macs if you have money to throw through the window. Macs can also be seen as an investment. 2003-11-22 10:59 am You may also use Macs if you have money to throw through the window. Macs can also be seen as an investment. A little contradictory, no? 2003-11-22 11:46 am I looked at the eComstation site for hardware requirements, but could not find anything (perhaps it was under my nose and couldn’t see it:-). Does anyone know – is it up-to-date for current hardware, drivers, etc.? Thanks! 2003-11-22 12:32 pm I looked at the eComstation site for hardware requirements, but could not find anything (perhaps it was under my nose and couldn’t see it:-). Does anyone know – is it up-to-date for current hardware, drivers, etc.? Thanks! I have installed it on an 2x Intel 815XX, 1x 850, 1x VIA (don’t remember chipset name) and 1x 440BX. I’ve never seen a computer that would refuse to run OS/2 or eComStation. The only peripherals that I own and won’t work with are the USB-WinTV, Belkin Wireless nic (it broken in XP too) and MS GameVoice. I have not tried my HP USB camera though. 2003-11-22 12:47 pm Thanks Ronald – sound good!! 2003-11-22 12:49 pm So they have something new called a trashcan, and the latest browser is netscape 4.7 and mozilla 1.3 Sorry but this is so extremely dated, where are the png icons, where are the nice looking themes. 2003-11-22 1:09 pm So they have something new called a trashcan, and the latest browser is netscape 4.7 and mozilla 1.3 Sorry but this is so extremely dated, where are the png icons, where are the nice looking themes. What do you mean Mozilla 1.3? The latest browser released by the Warpzilla team is at 1.6a on OS/2! See here http://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/mozilla/releases/mozilla1.6a… As for the PNG icons and the themes well these things are hardcoded into the os. There is a project to replace the Presentation Manager (adding proper skins and anti-aliasing support) at http://frepm.sourceforge.net/ but I’m not too familiar with that particular project. 2003-11-22 1:27 pm >The latest browser released by the Warpzilla team is at 1.6a on OS/2! Wrong latest is (as always) nightly build. I’m currently running fine here with 1.6b build ID: 2003112008 on OS/2 > where are the nice looking themes. Belive it or not, there is enough out there you can show MacOSX developers and you will see some shining in their eyes (and a decent question: ‘aeh won’t you better write such in Java so MacOSX users could use that too’). >where are the png icons Oh yes plaese let’s all do the stupidity like e.g. in KDE where every resolution needs an own icon file You’ve too missed some more things what is needed to be up-to-date. Introduce the identification of file type by three letter suffix. … 2003-11-22 3:21 pm all squared off and brazenly lacking even a hint of anti-aliased text. Some people don’t care about anti-aliased fonts (I don’t). I have considered the option of buying a copy of eComStation, still am, it’s just a little expensive in my opinion (around € 200 for a dual pentiumIII I have). For a person who likes the SGI or Motif theme(s) on KDE (me) the UI doesn’t look that old. 2003-11-22 4:36 pm I use the 4DWM theme on icewm so I I don’t mind the UI of ECS. 2003-11-23 12:26 am I always liked OS/2 as the quirky underdog, but looking at it again now, I find the UI to be extremely ugly and clunky. 2003-11-23 2:13 am If they went ahead and ported some up to date apps for this release and build in a Win32 emulator so we can run some recent apps, eCS will sell. Who uses Win 3.1 apps now anyway? They need to port OpenOffice, GIMP, some other productivity tools. 2003-11-23 6:16 am Why is it that people seem so hung up on appearance-related items (e.g., anti-aliased fonts) while ignoring various OS/2 advantages like Workgroup Folders? Are hobbyists so superficial now that it takes eye candy to impress them? 2003-11-23 6:33 am Roberto, GIMP has been ported to OS/2 for a few years now (though it requires an X server to run in most cases). Even a PM version is available. http://gimp.netlabs.org/ Also, a port of OpenOffice to OS/2 and eComStation is in the works: http://tinyurl.com/w6bv Also, as an OS/2 user who still uses a number of Windows 3.1 apps, let me remind you of the high level of utility that is still present in older programs such as Quicken Deluxe 98 and Visio 4. Both of those programs are relatively powerful compared to their existing equivalents in the Linux world, and both of them run perfectly well under OS/2. Shouldn’t functionality be the true measure of a program’s utility rather than chronological age? 2003-11-23 7:30 pm I’ll ramble a bit here as I’m a quite tired and trying to watch football at the same time, but… I’ve been using OS/2 for almost 12 years now. The most stable install I had was Warp 3. But demands are being put on op systems now that also contribute to some increased instability. IMHO, eyecandy is one of those demands and has contributed to some instability in the worplace shell (WPS). Almost every crash I’ve ever had in eCS was just the WPS crashing, OS/2 proper (kernel/command session) keeps running and probably would forever. It’s just hard to use with a crashed desktop (eCS even adds an option to restart the WPS which helps about 75% of the time). But as I do with my vehicle, personally I USE my op sys to get something done and I don’t spend hours making it LOOK pretty. And eCS-OS/2 is very usable. A little work on the WPS and it will be even more stable. But, if you insist on eyecandy, there are ways to do that with eCS also. Take a look at: http://www.os2voice.org/VNL/past_issues/VNL0802H/vnewsf6.htm for how that can be done in eCS. Personally, I find things like puffy pastel care-bear titlebars, little LED shaped buttons (red means close right but what are yellow and green?) and huge over-powering icons everywhere annoying. They certainly don’t add to my productivity and I don’t even like them in Linux. About the only op sys I’ve found as acceptable as OS/2 for it’s interface is BeOS. I found it to be similar to the OO OS/2 desktop with a *NIX -like file system. BTW, I’m running eCS 1.1 on a Gigabyte 7VKML motherboard with an AMD Athlon 1700XP+ with all modern hardware. The only thing not working here is my cheap $40 USB digital cameras and my cheap $20 USB scanner. The scanner has an alpha backend but I just haven’t compiled sane to add it yet. I have a Win98SE/Win2K Pro machine just to scan/DL pix, a RH Linux 9.0/SuSE 8.0 machine for education and maybe the future, a BeOS R5.03 Pro machine for playing and my eCS 1.1 machine for 99% of my work. That won’t change anytime soon. Somewhere today I saw someone say that Java on Windows was much faster than Java on Linux. Well you haven’t seen speed in Java until you see it run in eCS-OS/2. IBM sure did it’s work in 1.3.1 as that has to be the fastest! And now we have a choice of 2 1.4.X versions! I intend to stay with eCS-OS/2 until it just won’t run on any hardware anymore. If that happens we’ll probably have things like (formerly) Palladium, DRM and the DMCA to thank for it. And then I’ll probably just unplug my system and take up a hobby. — Davey Brain dsbrain2001@yahoo.NOSPAM!com “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth” – John F. Kennedy Gigabyte 7VKML AMD Athlon 1700XP+ Savage 4 AGP 4X 32M This eCS-OS/2 system uptime is 10 days 12 hrs 08 mins and 09 secs 2003-11-24 12:40 am Hello I have been using OS/2 since 2.0 and been using every subsequent version since. Now I have eCS 1.1 and run Mozilla Firebird .7, I use Thunderbird .3 – both being current and running eCS 1.1 on a ASUS A7V 333 1800+ processor with 40 gig IDE, and a 20 gig scsi. I have a HP scanner attached to my SCSI controller. All works great for me. At work we use eCS for our WEB, MAIL, FTP, and List server with current versions of that software. The advantages of using eCS as a web server is it is NOT suseptable to Viruses and with Norman Virus Control all incoming mail is scanned before it is delievered. As for Apps, I am currently running Open Office 1.1 for Windows on eCS 1.1 utilizing ODIN – http://odin.netlabs.org/ , also using Adobe Acrobat 4.x for windows thanks to Innotek http://www.innotek.de The main reason I use eCS is because it gets the job done with little or no system lockups, no blue screens, and if an app does go into limbo, a simple Ctrl + click on Tasks , I can kill it and start it again. NO REBOOTS like windoz. Most of my apps have current updates, so sounds like there is still developement going on for those that think OS/2 apps have ceased to be updated. As long as eCS is updated and I can run current Hardware, I have NO reason to change. Cheers…. 2003-11-24 1:01 pm >You may stay with it because you have some historic app >or use windows with twoos2 as an emulator. But there’s no >other use for it. What is “twoos2”? 2003-11-24 1:55 pm Hi folks! I noticed some of you want to know what hardware is supported on OS/2 and eCS. I guess none of you is imaginative enough to google “eComStation hardware”?? If you would do that you would find the one-and-only place to be for such matters, a site which is actively developped each day, and which continues to grow. On this web site you’ll also find the most extensive list of all devices working with OS/2 and thus also eCS. So just visit it: http://www.os2warp.be, and never forget it, so make sure I never read again here: “What hardware is supported on OS/2?” :p Kindest regards, Jonas Buys Project coördinator os2warp.be << http://www.os2warp.be >> 2003-11-24 9:43 pm Also known as WarpVirtual: http://www.warpvirtual.net/index_eng.htm It’s similar to VirtualPC. 2003-11-25 1:19 am I have been running OS/2 Warp 4 for a while in a P3 450MHz Dell Optiplex with a 17 inch monitor. The Warp GUI always looked a little dated and clunky to me, mainly because of the size of the desktop icons at 1024 x 768 and the max/min/close widgets on the title bar. Three applications have made a difference to me. I bought a copy of Object Desktop which includes a number of functional improvements to WARP, including the Task switcher. Styler/2 lets me change the eye-candy to something more modern and seems pretty stable. Scitech Snap Graphics lets me run at 1152 or even 1280 screen resolution. At that level the icons become smaller and the lack of anti-aliasing is less apparent. In combination this has made OS/2 much more pleasant to use and it is my currently preferred OS, although not necessarily the most used. 2003-11-25 1:56 am Sure, the UI seems dated, squared, and graphically unpleasing. There aren’t many current apps, and hardware challenges often tax the patience of even the most even keeled user. But let’s not forget what OS/2 does have: 1. The ability to associate files by object type, rather than by extention. 2. The ability to view and convert graphics files from the the desktop, without the need for a helper application. 3. DDE on a level that Linux and windows users could only dream of. 4. Noncooperative, pre- emptive multitasking. 5. A clipboard that allows you to paste to another operating system running in OS/2. 6. A kernel that does not rely on zero wait-state to gain processing speed. 6. The ability to remain fully functional at the system level, even though the application in the forefront fails to respond. 🙂 2003-11-25 3:11 am Several people seem to be complaining about the ‘dull’ looking GUI. At least part of that has to be because all the pictures in the linked review are using a very OS/2-ish (read: old-fashioned) theme. While I admit that the OS/2 GUI isn’t as glitzy as Aqua or KDE, it can be customized at least to some (better) extent than shown… For a handful of (simple) examples, there is the eComStation 1.1 screenshot gallery: http://www.ecomstation.com/gallery/index.php?g=eComStation_1.1/user… 2003-11-26 3:54 pm No one has mentioned the Toolbar on OS/2 and eCS. It has been around a long time, and is one of the nicest features of the PM Shell and WPS. It’s accessible by hotkey (via XWorkplace), and with its “drawers”, it enables me to start all my apps from a single location quickly (those that don’t have a hotkey for starting), without having icons scattered all over the beautiful photo that I use as a background. I haven’t found that in Windows XP, which clutters the display with icons, requiring me to minimize apps to see them or else activate the start button and scroll to the app I want: much harder than OS/2 and eCS. I’s still waiting for a version of Windows that will load and perform as quickly and as well as eCS and OS/2.