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IBM To Release OS/2 Warp 4 With 'Convenience Packs' 167

Bushwacker writes: "Recently, the OS/2 SuperSite has announced some big (somewhat unfortunate) news about the Warp Client v.4. There's both good and bad news here: First the bad news -- Contrary to hopeful rumours spreading around, A Warp version 5 will not come out this year, if ever. IBM will instead release 'Convenience Packs' which are like FixPacks, but cost you money. The good news -- Unlike the free FixPacks, Convenience Packs will provide more important upgrades which cover a larger field than their lesser cousins. Maybe one of them will include the fabled Project Odin? At least XFree86 is still free ..."
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IBM To Release OS/2 Warp 4 With 'Convenience Packs'

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I was standing at an ATM here in St. Louis and inserted my card. The ATM froze, spit out my card, and rebooted. It was kind of interesting watching the ATM boot OS/2 v.3.

    And OCE printers/copiers, the 3165's anyway, use OS/2 for the print server.

    And until a few months ago, OS/2 ran the voicemail system here.
  • The problem lies in the fact that while Windows formats a floppy (or writes a large file to it, for that matter), the rest of the system grinds to a halt. You just have to wait until the system is done with the floppy before you can do other things with the computer. Note that this is my experience with Windows as of Windows 95. 98 may well have fixed the problem.

    --Phil (But I doubt it.)
  • Why? Because of all the desktop OSes I've tried, OS/2 is still the one I'm most comfortable in. I can use most of the Linux apps I want (slrn, pine, lynx, links, XFree86, GIMP) alongside the OS/2 tools I like (FTE, FileJet, 4OS2, Embellish, StarOffice, ColorWorks) and a few Windows things (AOLPress, ABC Snapgrafix, Drafix CAD), and if I want to take time out to play a DOS game like MAME or Quake or Descent or whatever I can do that too.

    It's still a pretty neat OS, really. See my web site for a screen snapshot. I use Linux too, of course, and dabble in a few other things, but the OS/2 setup is still my mainstay.
    -Rich (OS/2, Linux, BeOS, Mac, NT, Win95, Solaris, FreeBSD, and OS2200 user in Bloomington MN)
  • ...and I *do* have a box at home running it. But there's so damn little SOFTWARE available for it that it's sometimes VERY hard to do stuff.

    And keep in mind that I'm an OS/2 user bitching about a lack of software in the BeOS. I'm used to slim pickings in some contexts.
    -Rich (OS/2, Linux, BeOS, Mac, NT, Win95, Solaris, FreeBSD, and OS2200 user in Bloomington MN)
  • I generally use FM/2 as my file manager (a nice third-party PM app that seamlessly handles ZIP files and other things). Switching tasks is a fast process --use Control-Esc (or a mouse chord) to being up a task list. I also use Xit's task menu sometimes.

    I run Warp in 1280x1024, and the fonts are fine.

    It sounds to me like you were expecting a Windows interface. OS/2 isn't Windows!
    -Rich (OS/2, Linux, BeOS, Mac, NT, Win95, Solaris, FreeBSD, and OS2200 user in Bloomington MN)
  • You've forgotten that "Netscape 2.02" for OS/2 was an IBM port which used the Navigator 2.x interface bolted onto the Navigator 3.x rendering engine. It wasn't all that far behind its counterpart on other operating systems.

    You also seem to forget that various apps did in fact exist like ColorWorks, DeScribe, AmiPro/2, Mesa/2, and that Windows 3.1 applications (don't laugh, there are some good quality programs that were writted for that API) ran very well under OS/2.

    Personally, I'm glad that folks are porting things from Linux to Warp. Why? Because even though I have three dedicated Linux boxes at home (soon to be four), I still vastly prefer OS/2 to Linux as a general desktop box, and the ported Linux utilities and applications give me more software to play with.

    I don't think I understand your apparent problem with that...why the hell do *WE* have to use what *YOU* want to use???
    -Rich (OS/2, Linux, BeOS, Mac, NT, Win95, Solaris, FreeBSD, and OS2200 user in Bloomington MN)
  • Er, no. You see - OS/2 up until version 1.3 was *written by* microsoft!

  • Yep, this works just fine. My machine runs Warp 4, Slack 7 and Win98 without any of them bothering a single bit.
  • Some people in the OS/2 world seems not to have exactly the same mind. I've seen this page where a certain Cristoph, nicknamed Birdy, report advancement of porting GNOME, E and KDE to OS/2.

    The OS/2 ports of Gnome, E, and KDE are not to replace the WPS. They're to be used with XFree86/OS2 for the running of X11 apps on OS/2.

    Look also at the Everblue Project whose purpose is to create a "Presentation Manager" version of Xfree86.

    Everblue's goal is to make it possible to port X11 program to OS/2 by doing a simple re-compile. The ported program is then a native OS/2 program, and does not require X11 support via Xfree86/OS2. 32BitsOnline has an interview [] with Adrian Gschwend that has more info.

  • There's a lot going on in the OS/2 community, Slashdot just tends to ignore it. Sad really, the OS/2 community and the Linux community can do a lot to help each other out; afterall, The enemy of my enemy is my friend :-)
  • Considering it was ahead of a lot of the competion, quite well. There's only two this I wish were better, USB and DVD support. USB support exists, but ONLY for the intel chipset. Drivers to read the DVD are now available, but no player exists.
  • Thanks, no, I don't want my secret identity <S> published in Slashdot, it's full of scary people (like myself :) ).

    Yes, it's my creation :) . The problem is that the only Cockney I have is from the Internet Oracle postings, so I gather that th->f and "quid (singular!)" are Cockney enough, but I am not sure about "'undred".
    Can somebody confirm?

  • Amiga coverage in Slashdot is higher than OS/2, and most of the time it's just vapor.
  • Would "Free as in free 'undred quid, my china" be overkill?
  • Consistency.
    A problem (or is it a feature?) with OS/2 is that you can have PM apps, WPS apps, DOS apps, WinOS/2 apps, VIO (textmode) apps, Java AWT apps, Java Swing apps, X apps. Very useful but each with a different UI.

    Being CORBA based (SOM was an early CORBA)
    Umm. Since DSOM is distributed SOM (ergo, distributed CORBA), would it be very difficult to interact WPS and Gnome through Corba?
  • There is an equivalent API: DIVE (Direct Interface to Video Extensions) but I can't compare both.
  • I have heard about Win2000 destroying OS/2 Boot Manager and Lilo if on the same disk on every boot, but I have heard it is not true as well.
    Then I have heard of tricks to circumvent.

    You'd better check somedbody else :)
  • IBM almost certainly signed contracts that required them to continue supporting OS/2. This is simply an outgrowth of that. IBM could care less about the hobbyist market, in fact, it is hard to say if they ever cared about them at all.

    If I'm gonna use an unsupported OS, I'll use BeOS. At least Be cares about the community...

  • Ahh, I loved that.. Oops, didn't shutdown.. Hey, guess what doesn't work now. That's right - your HPFS partition! Time to reinstall.

    OS/2 was rad when all you ran were win3.1 and dos apps. Now it isn't.

    OS/2 users -> run linux! (or even better, FreeBSD!)

  • That isn't saying very much.. :) Of course it is more stable than 9x. Cuz 9x is the least stable OS ever invented. :)
    (Although, some of the macs may occasionally give it a run for it's money)

    I'm more interested in comparisons to NT.
    NT's stability seems directly tied to what drivers and hardware you are using. Some are good. Some are very, very bad. Guess that's what you get when too much stuff runs in kernel mode.

    The only 2k crashes I've got have been driver related (sound, CDRW DMA mode, etc).

  • Right now Bank of America uses it in all of their
    branches and throughout the company, that's why I stick with them as my banking service provider.

    I personally use it for any Server installs I set up, and I build household network firewall systems for people. My common install is a IBM PS/2 9595 (DX2/66) with 64MB of RAM and a 1.2 gig SCSI HD and 2 3COM MicroChannel NIC cards which I can put together all for about 60-80 dollars (my cost). I install Warp Client (which is $300 yikes) and InJoy firewall (for IPSEC) ($30 for 2 users). So for $400 you have a transparent firewall server that never needs rebooted. Never needs to be touched, turn it on and forget about it... ;p (plus that same server will also run SMTP, HTTPD, Telnet, and FTP services simultaniously as well without any noticable slowdown, handling 10,000 hits a day to the web server without a blink.)

    Then again, there's McDonalds which is installing Windows based systems to run their drive-through windows and every other time I pull up, the screen is down showing some kind of Windows error. =p
  • Seriously... OS/2 is basically a scaled down single user Unix variant. Just spend some time tweaking configurations on an OS/2 box for a little while and tell me I'm wrong. ;p

    Besides, OS/2 is great if you ever decide to upgrade to giant power, you can move right up to AIX fairly cleanly.
  • Please tell me you don't think OS/2 is a version of Linux or Unix.
  • "For example, what does DosEnterCriticalSection() do? How am I supposed to know that it does NOT operate like win32's EnterCriticalSection..."

    Actually, the OS/2 version made more were entering a critical section of code that needed the CPU...with Windows you're lucky to guess at the meaning even after reading the docs (I have VC++ 6.0 now and some of the MFC docs aren't even complete!)

    The OS/2 API's were categorized based on their applicability to the programmer (OS, Windowing, System, Graphics, Profile, etc). Try wading into the Win32 API without a map. The only thing that helps there is a 3rd paty book on the subject. At least with OS/2 you could reasonably guess where you had to look for something and then you could usually figure out what the params were with just the header files.

    Just my 2 cents...

    P.S. You do sound like you're whining.. :)
  • umm, no more than 3 years ago, Prudential Securities was still using it for their day to day trading (I don't know if they still use it, but if you go on the speed of business they probably are).

    I still have WARP running on a machine here still, somewhat only for nostalgia, but in general b/c I just always loved OS/2, and I probably always will.

    Back in my 386SX - 16 days (5mb of ram) OS/2 was the best thing you could get (desqview or win31 were you only options for "multitasking") and when you run a BBS and still want to use your computer for something worthwhile, OS/2 was the way to go.

    Enough of my blabbering, sorry for the rambling :)
  • I would have emailed this to you... but for obvious reasons can't :)

    What's the .sig source (your creation? - I want to be able to reference it :) )

  • The most public uses of OS/2 these days are automated teller machines and cash registers. My local Stop & Stop's register's displays have that telltale PM "look," to them, and once I saw an ATM rebooting (after maintainance), and sure enough, it was running OS/2.

    I expect that Linux, QNX, BSD, Windows CE (urg) will take over most of these roles, but probably not for a while.

  • ...sorry, I can't agree with you there.

    While it's true that the Workspace object model is very nice, its visual polish and ease of use has fallen badly behind Windows and the Mac. I have gone nearly mad from navigating zillions of tabbed property pages, and the way the tabs themselves look and behave are pretty frustrating. In addition, either WM or PM doesn't enforce visual consistency, so you can tell when a feature or object emerged in OS/2 2, 3, or 4, depending on what it looks like. I haven't used Unix GUIs except for NeXTStep, so I don't know how they compare.

    And while WM's SOM-based model is great, most users can get the same benefits from shell and OLE 2 integration under Win32 (coupled with the Windows Scripting Host), and host of APIs glued together with AppleScript on the Mac. As well are all too well aware, end user do not care about cleanliness of architecture. And sadly, OS/2 is basically the last refuge of SOM -- DSOM is dead, bascially, even though IBM should have pushed it as the best way to build CORBA objects, instead of using a rat's nest of specific language and ORB vendor CORBA bindings.

  • MS AND IBM wrote OS/2. Primarially IBM while MS wrote this program called Windows to get people used to the basic idea of a GUI.
  • Some times IBM comes through. Sometimes they don't. For example the same day the OS/2 news came out, the AS/400 group announced that they were discontinuing the Firewall for AS/400 product, which was based on OS/2. The reason? OS/2 was a dead end. A couple of thousand of Firewall users are very unhappy right now because they spent money and time on this product and now they're going to have to switch to another firewall.

    Editor at Large, Sm@rt Reseller
  • I know a little about OS/2, having managed 20-odd servers running 2.11 and 3.0 some years back.

    Our main problem wasn't missing drivers, it's that the drivers that were there were pretty poorly written. Driver for common network cards (Intel and 3Com) would crash under load. Installation was a bitch -- in one case you had to boot DOS, run a config program which gave you some magic number, and then add that magic number to your OS/2 CONFIG.SYS before it the hardware would work correctly. And that was easy compared to the voodoo I had to go through to get a SCSI adapter working.

    The networking in OS/2 was seriously lame-brained. Configuration was a nightmare of ugly control panels full of big blue jargon and TLAs. And that is if you could get networking -- it wasn't included in the base product until Warp Client v3 shipped in about 1994. When we were running 2.1, it was a maze of twisty P/Ns, all seemingly alike. Even basic TCP/IP support was an expensive add-on. IPX support was only available through a orphened Novell cleint that used *different* network drivers than the native OS, and which in turned required a troublesome ODI/NDIS shim driver.

    Furthermore, the dreaded "single input queue" problem bit my ass so many times I just have to tell you about it. Server was up, working fine, the GUI was locked hard. Nothing to do but to wait until 6PM and push the powerswitch and then pray to the CHKDSK gods.

    The bundled toolset was pretty poor. As "powerful" as the WPS was, the tools were buried in a confusing 6-layer deep folder hierarchy. That is, if you could find an icon at all -- it was usually easier to launch the GUI stuff from a command prompt. The best GUI file browser bundled with the system was the Win 3.1 File Manager, which should tell you how bad the PM Drives Object was. We even had to get shareware to even do basic system monitoring like 'top' or the NT task manager/performance monitor.

    I want to say that OS/2 was OK for what we were asking it to do. But, for a combination of technical and marketing reasons, it was really a big pain in the ass to manage. I'd never felt like a bigger reboot monkey. Eventually we switched the servers to WinNT 3.51, and our uptimes increased exponentially. Given the average slashdotter's opinon of WinNT, that really doesn't say much for OS/2.
  • Right on. Unfortunately for IBM, they delivered the perfect solution for DOS power users just at the time when DOS was being killed off.

    A long time ago, I worked at a place that had a DOS-based database server (some sort of XBase, I forget). Running on a 16MB OS/2 machine, we tricked the program into thinking it had 32MB of extended memory and ran with 15 concurrant users when the thing was only supported with 3 or 4.
  • A few years ago we were getting some telephone equipment installed. The technician attached a small VGA monitor to the voice mail system and booted it up. Lo and Behold "Microsoft OS/2 1.3" was coming up.

    Since that product was supposedly long dead, I asked him about it. He said that although it doesn't appear on any offical price list, you can still call up someone at Microsoft and get a new copy of OS/2 1.3 on CD-ROM for about $300 a pop. It works, it's very stable. (Although, I don't know how they handled the Y2K certification...)

    Whenever I hear about "Embedded NT", I always wonder if Microsoft is still selling a few more copies of OS/2 1.3 than they'd like to admit for embedded applications. When you read the stories here, it's pretty clear that OS/2 is pretty established in that market.
  • Linux users already have the Gnome and KDE object environments -- I don't think there's much room or demand for another one. Only old OS/2 users would be interested.

    What IBM could do would be to release some of the SOM infrastructure. Or, perhaps just give the Gnome team a walkthrough of WPS's feature set. With a little time and effort the WPS can probably be cloned, and it can probably be done in a way that fits in with the existing infrastructures and in a sufficently Unixy way.
  • I've heard a couple reasons for Microsoft's fallout with IBM:

    1) Serious culture clash. IBMers didn't like the hairy barefoot Microsoft guys. IBM was doing things like giving MS programers "demerits" for doing things like not cleaning up their desk before they went home or playing Frisbee on the lawn.

    2) IBM was never seriously behind OS/2 as an application server. They were afraid that it might cut into their midrange business. Instead, IBM's vision of OS/2 was pretty much limited to a client for IBM mainframe applications. This made it difficult for Microsoft to sell products like SQL Server. Considering Microsoft's success with NT as an application server, MS was right on this one -- OS/2 just missed that entire market.
  • Hehe so it is not just me that has problems with BSD and RAM, when the RAM works fine on any other system.
  • >>The order was 2.0, 2.1, 3.0 (Warp), 4.0 (Merlin)

    You're right:-) Then again, being a OS/2 user, you couldn't really be wrong;-) Wonder if there is a support group for former OS/2 users...

    OS/2 is the OS where they got the desktop right.
  • Just a little warning.

    My understanding is that OS/2 1.3, which was the last version worked on by both M$ and IBM, used the old 'Windows 3.1' desktop. OS/2 v2.0 and up was a huge rewrite with the new object oriented desktop.

  • There never was a OS/2 2.2, it was 2.0, 2.1, 3.0, 4.0 (warp).

  • I doubt it.. but I wouldn't be surprised of Project Odin tried to support it.
  • Actually, Caldera owns DRDOS now, and they do have an upgrade: Caldera Linux. :-)
  • But to most people, a word processor isn't a Word Processor unless it's MS Word, and a spreadsheet isn't a Spreadsheet unless it's MS Excel.

    Not true. I think to most people a word processor isn't a word processor if it can't read MS Word file formats. Where I work we're a service oriented company, and our upgrades (and user demand) for new versions of WP software has never been motivated by the 'newness' or features in MS Office releases, it's been so that we can open the *.doc files we get from the client.

    I think that the user base would actually prefer fewer IT-marketing-trend features, complications and OS 'integration' than provided by the current crop of MS Office applications. I know the BOFH would, the helpless desk would, and the PHB would like to pay the smaller cost presumably associated with a smaller application, too. But unless the 'superior' WP can open a client's .DOCument, its rubbish.
  • 'm quite sure that someone has emulated the OS/2 GUI to Enlightenment.

    Heh. I don't think so. The appearance of the widgets is not what makes WPS so cool. The cool thing is how it works, and that's not something you can just emulate with a theme.

    It's unfortunate that projects like Gnome/KDE/Enlightenment allowed themselves to be inspired by such a weak and archaic GUI as Win9x. Since they had the advantage of hindsight, they could have copied WPS instead.

    What this reveals about those projects is that they are not really attempts to give Unix a good GUI; they are attempts to give Unix a mainstream GUI. Those are two very different goals.

    If you don't know what I'm talking about, or think I'm full of shit, then please try out OS/2 some time. If you're interested in GUIs in general, then it's worth your time. Maybe you can find a Warp 3 in a bargain bin somewhere.

  • something that I've been told by an IBM eployee "has been discussed before" at IBM, but he was transfereed away and didn't know the current status. He said he'd try to find out for me. Since I never heard from him again, and we haven't heard a pip out of IBM regarding this project, I assume that it's dead, dead, DEAD - or just something they never *really* seriously considered.

    Since the WPS was, and still is, one of the best GUIs ever, maybe people who would like to see such a port should prod IBM gently but firmly and tell them. Heck, I'd pay good money for WPS for Linux...

  • I work in document processing at a bank and we use AS/400 for the back end and text stuff and Warp 4 for graphical applications like viewing checks... I also used to work retail and the cahs registers used OS/2 although i think it was 2.11. Financial institutions and places where they need total reliability still use it. No, it's not the consumer OS that IBM tried with 1.3 and then with Warp 3 (remember those cool ads in PC Magazine and the TV ads?) but for rock sodild reliability, a GUI that is still un parallelled you can't beat it. I still have and HPFS artition with warp 4 on it that i use on a regular basis but the hardware supposrt isn't there so that makes it tough. And the fact that IBM isn't changing the version number wth the release of the convience packs doesn't mean they aren't major upgrades. The warpcast ariticle stated that they would bring the Warp 5 server kernel over as well as some other very big changes. IBM may not be into the scrap-all-your-hardware-every-six-months-to-get-a- new-version-number game but i still think they do one HELL of a job with support, better then just about any other company i've dealt with.
  • I'm sorry, but for all you KDE'ers and GNOME'ers, you have got to simply WORSHIP OS/2's PM desktop. It is the BEST. Object oriented DnD Desktop.

    If they ever open sourced that puppy it would SLAUGHTER what is out there now. (Granted I'd rather see it merged with KDE... but that's another idea....) :-)

    Johnny O
  • OS/2 is _still_ a great OS.
    I still run it on the newest desktops and laptops with no problems.

    IBM can not afford to stop work on OS/2...contrary to popular belief, OS/2 is still very much alive and well. IBM draws (as of last year) over $1billion in direct and indirect services related to OS/2.

    It may not be on _your_ desktop, but take a look here and see where it is used: html
  • Yeah, yeah, a lot of people think OS/2 is dead, but it's not. I use a lot of computers day in and out as part of my job. Win95/98, WinNT, Solaris, MacOS, HP-UX, even Linux (heck I even have that on all my machines).
    My personal choice of OS? Still OS/2. For the best COMBINATION of stability, ease of use, ease of install and administration, OS/2 wins hands down.

    IBM cannot give up on OS/2 because it derives very significant revenue from OS/2. Here are some of IBM's biggest customers: html

    OS/2 has no drivers? No way! I still run OS/2 nicely on the latest home-brew PC's and laptops from IBM and Toshiba. I actually _don't_ have Linux on all the machines because I can't get Linux drivers for all the hardware.

    No Applications for OS/2? Also false! No games, maybe, but application-wise, you can get pretty big name and useful apps for just about everything. It is at least on par with Linux (though not for long).

    No support? Very, very false! IBM regularly releases Fixpacks for OS/2 which are available FREE of charge. They contain bug-fixes and sometimes new functionality. In fact, the latest Fixpak (FP13) was released just last week or so. How's _that_ for support? IBM still officially supports OS/2 for all its Thinkpad laptops (except the i-series)

    By the way, this announcement about convenience packs is not related to the new Warp _5_ client. It is in addition to. The best info we have from IBM is that Warp _5_ is still being worked on, but as typical, they are very tight lipped about everything until release date is closer.

    OS/2 co-exists nicely with all OS, it's got a bunch of free development tools (GNU!) and a decent install won't even take more than 200MB of your drive space.

    If OS/2 is dead, you better let these people know:
    because these technical sessions (complete with speakers from IBM itself) are overbooked.
  • Anybody remember the nuns in the TV ads?
    The Czech nuns with the beeper?
  • I think it's DIVE - Direct Interface to Video Extensions.
  • Well, there was one bank a while ago that used NT - the "Out of Memory" box (familiar to low-spec NT users who make tiny pagefiles) was showing on the ATM screen... There was another that used 9x, because it's familiar blue screen was showing on another, too.

  • That isn't true. I have the IBM OS/2 Programmer's Library on CD and paper. It has all the API documentation that you could want. Just because IBM didn't give it away for free doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.

    I stand corrected. If I paid for a copy of VisualAge for C++, I could have the API reference.

    This was just a boneheaded move on IBM's part. If you want your operating system to succeed, you need to SATURATE the world with documentation. Seriously. Include it in on one of those BonusPak CDs. Print it on toilet paper. I don't care. JUST GIVE IT OVER FOR FREE. What moron at IBM thought that making it difficult to write apps for their OS was a good idea?

    And hey, you can't just psychically determine what an API does. For example, what does DosEnterCriticalSection() do? How am I supposed to know that it does NOT operate like win32's EnterCriticalSection (which operates more like OS/2's DosRequestMutexSemaphore())?

    The headers that came with EMX are not documentation enough. There was a grassroots project out there somewhere to produce a free API reference...and it fell on its face. I wrote up the Prf* APIs...but I can't tell you what all ten million OS/2 APIs do...let alone all their side effects.

    ...but maybe I could have if I had real docs...

    I don't mean to sound whiny, or like I want something for free. But it just makes sense to make REAL good friends with your application developers right from the start. But I've already stated what I think about how many applications actually got developed for OS/2.


  • Oh, sure, there WERE word processors and other office applications, but they all kinda sucked. IBMWorks? Blows. Used it for quite awhile, though, so I was kinda glad when the VMware beta would boot OS/2, so I could convert all those old documents to Rich Text Format. :)

    ...that's not to say that something has to be MS Word to be good. Let me be clear about that.

    Also, does anyone remember the big hoopla about an OS/2 port of DOOM? This was ages before iD open-sourced it. The beta of the program always segfaulted on the title screen, and IBM learned the hard way that OS/2 desperately needed direct video and sound access if OS/2 was going to at least be ELIGIBLE to be a gaming platform.

    You can't be a viable desktop OS unless you can play games under it. I (*ahem*) tend to be a believer in this. This fact is partially why Win95 came in and mopped the floor with Warp, when by all respects it should NOT have. Warp had YEARS to prove that "Crash Protection" and Multithreading and 32-bit architectures and long filenames, etc were a good reason to switch from Win3.1...Win95 offered all these things (more or less, depending on your opinion)...but not until much MUCH later. And while I can't really blame it all on game support, I know -I- was impressed by win95 games, like the at-the-time-new Pitfall title, in a way I never was with Warp.

    DIVE, and GRADD, and DART were some of the results of the OS/2 multimedia/game effort. Funny how we take things like fbcon and DGA for granted under Linux, huh?

    Never got my DOOM fix under OS/2, though. And one day, it crashed and took my filesystem with it for the last time, and I never went back. I was then dual-booting Linux and Win95. And it's sad, because I should, by all rights, be telling this story the other way around, with OS/2 overcoming Microsoft's offerings.


  • >Perhaps if OS/2's WPS were ported to linux

    This is just the GUI right?

    I'm quite sure that someone has emulated the OS/2 GUI to Enlightenment. Take a look at (I hope I got that right.)
  • Try - it is the official homepage of the Danish Guide and Scout association. Only one page in English, though.

    We monitor the stability, and our OS/2 box beats or matches several web hotels (NT, Linux, some other *nix'es), we monitor for comparison.

    Still, we do think that our next OS will be Linux.

    Yours in scouting,
    Niels Kristian Jensen
  • but the classic test for preemtive multitasking is to watch the performance of the machine while formatting a floppy...If the system slows down to a grind, then the OS is using primitive, co-operative multitasking

    What with all new Apple Boxen lacking a floppy drive, there's going to be a big hole in Apple's Quality Assurance Testing.

    Sure, their developers think they're writing code that implements and uses pre-emptive multitasking, but without the ability to conduct the Classic Test, they'll never be able to tell!

    Steve Jobs is gonna be pretty pissed when this gets out.

  • There are OS/2 USB drivers for many devices.

    For more news/info check

  • GIMP/2 [] currently requires you to install Xfree86/OS2 [], though I understand a WPS version is in the works.

    Running Xfree86/OS2 has an additional benefit if you have Linux systems on your network. It provides you with the ability to run software on your Linux box with the display occuring on your OS/2 box! I've set up a web page [] documenting how to do it(there's minor differences in setting up the OS/2 and the Linux systems). I've succesfully run Civilization CTP on my OS/2 system using this.

  • They often release more than one fixpack a year
    That is, if you have OS/2 in English, other languages have to pray some big customer will request a fix.
  • Yes, Project Odin implements Direct-X, at least a part of it. More work has to be done but we can already run 2D-Apps and 3D-Apps if they support GLIDE. For example I can run Quake II, Quake III and Halflive on my OS/2 box with my 3DfX card. Odin is *not* an emulation so performance loss is minimal.
    RealPlayer and Office '97 is also working!!
    By the way, the link to the Odin homepage is wrong, it should be like this. []
  • I agree that IBM would have been better off if they had given away the SDK. The OS/2 Programmer's Library CD was relatively cheap, about $50 if my memory is correct. Some of the information was also reprinted in a set of paperback books by QUE.

    At that time, Microsoft was charging real money ($300?) for the Windows SDK. A friend of mine paid over $2000 for the Microsoft OS/2 2.X SDK. That was shortly before Microsoft bailed on OS/2 and announced NT. He didn't get a refund from Microsoft even though Microsoft had broken their promises to the purchasers of the SDK.

    I remember hearing people say that an expensive SDK was actually a good thing for an operating system, as it kept out the unwashed masses of amateurs and shareware programmers.

  • IBM OS/2 1.3 also runs on ISA machines, although it is only guaranteed to run on IBM ISA machines. I used to run it on a no-name 386 clone.
  • IBM wasted all that money on Super Bowl ads about e-Business instead of showing us OS/2's superiority in formatting floppy disks. They coulda turned the whole thing around overnight.


  • I use OS/2 almost exclusive at work. (I have an NT partition also, but the the only time I ever use it is so that I can run PCAnywhere to dial into clients' computers and look at their problems. If I had a PCAnywhere-compatable program for OS/2, then NT would become obsolete for me. Too bad it uses a proprietary protocol. It wasn't my decision to have clients use it.)

    The reason that I use OS/2 is going to make you laugh, probably.

    I'm a DOS developer. That is, I maintain a number of business apps that use the DOS API rather than Win16/Win32. I don't see these apps going away anytime soon, since they actually happen to work quite well, and porting them to another API would be uneconomical.

    Anyway, I really have almost no need for Windoze compatability. My compiler runs under DOS, my apps run under DOS, my text editor runs under DOS, etc. This has an amazing consequence: I am actually free to use whatever OS works best, with the only real restriction being that it needs good DOS support!

    Except for my PCAnywhere issue, I don't need Windows. And if you don't need Windows, then there is no reason to use it. The only reason Windows is still around, is that a lot of people are locked into it by dependence on some particular application that is only available for Windows. That's why Microsoft is so terrified of middleware. (That's also why I have an NT partition. Fortunately, I only need it once every few months.)

    Under circumstances like that, who wouldn't use OS/2? It's the best tool for the job, and unlike 99% of the world, I actually get to use whatever happens to work best.

  • At all three they plan (or were planning) to replace their Novell servers with Windows -- despite the fact that there was no one I could find in IT that actually thought it was a good idea. They all referred to a previous commitment to go with "NT 5.0" when it was available. Does anyone know anything about this?

    Netware has infinite uptimes. The only time you ever have to work on it, is when the fans become clogged with dust.

    Combine that with the fact that there are IT people, and you have a problem. What are they supposed to do all day? The last thing the IT profession wants are long uptimes. That leads to layoffs.

    What what I have seen in smaller businesses (not Fortune 500) here's the overall pattern of how the evolution worked: first, you have a reliable network. A Netware file server and about 100 users. There isn't anyone whose full-time job is to take care of the computers. Everyone is happy and their computers work.

    Next, someone "upgrades" to Windows, perhaps on a whim. Nothing wrong with trying new things. It looks pretty, so a few more people try it, or perhaps one of them needs to read an Excel spreadsheet that some asshole sent them. Now one of the employees -- not really an IT professional -- has most of his or her job gravitate over to keeping the computers running.

    Eventually, it becomes too big a job for this part-timer who really has other responsibilities, so the company places an ad for a new position: IT. Guess who the applicants are? Fullblown Microsoft-indoctrinated MSCEs. One gets hired.

    Now you are in deep shit. This guy's credentials are impeccible, he knows all the coolest buzzwords, and he must be a genious, because he does a better job of keeping your Windows workstations running, than the part-timer that preceeded him. The company is going to listen to him.

    Within 12 months, that IT person needs an assistant, as things get even more "upgraded" most brilliant product to date: Win98. Win98 has created more jobs than Henry Ford! Thank God for Win98!

    The Netware server is kind of a sore spot, though, so both the IT dudes decide to replace it with 2 or 3 NT servers. Another 12 months go by, and now you have four IT people working for you.

    That's progress.

  • I remember hearing people say that an expensive SDK was actually a good thing for an operating system, as it kept out the unwashed masses of amateurs and shareware programmers.
    It's interesting the way elitism works, isn't it? The "unwashed masses of amateurs and shareware programmers," are technilogically elite compared to the "we don't know anything and don't want to know andything about computers" crowd that Micros~1 traditionally targets.

    I wanted to try OS/2 but never had the guts to shell out

  • Someone on /. complaining about consistancy? Strange. On Linux you have TK apps, you have GTK+ apps, you have Qt apps, you have Motif apps, you have Athena apps, bash apps, csh apps, ncurses apps, add nauseum. Not bad necessarily, but I don't think a Linux user (you imply you are because of the Gnome comment) is in any position to critisize ANY other OS about consistancy.
  • Troll.
    Linux users->run NT (or even better, BeOS!)
  • Actually it is the same situation as with Linux and Windows and RAM. Flaky RAM tends to bring down Linux much easier than Windows. Also, overclocked CPUs tends to bring down BeOS faster than Windows or Linux.
  • "the original development of Windows was a joint collaboration before 'differences' made IBM pull out and start there own project (OS/2). "

    Actually, IBM and MS were working on OS/2 and MS left after their falling out, taking their part of the code base with them to develop Windows. They basically used IBM, waited around until they had enough to go to market with, and split. If you read the forward in the manual (or maybe it was the box) of Windows v.1.0, it will say something to effect of "prepares you for the awesome power of OS/2!"

    From what I remember (I've read several articles on the saga), OS/2 was just taking too damn long for MS. The extra time put in is evident: low overhead, clean, quick...if only people would support it. IBM, open-source it...please...
  • >>Who still uses OS/2?

    >The villian in Goldeneye

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed that. Warp 3, at that... but talk about stable, the whole place gets hit with EMP and it's still sitting there on it's little splash screen. ;-)
  • > Would love to see the OS/2 Workplace Shell (WPS) being released under the GPL

    Is there an enlightenment work-alike theme or other mock-up of this somewhere ? I've never used anything beyond OS/2 2.1, and even then I was at too early a stage to understand what made it different... I'd like to see what they did with their GUI that made is unique.
  • I do - both server and client - extensively. Why? Because for most things its far better/nicer than most other things. The GUI is the best I've ever seen - Gnome/KDE/Windows all seem very shallow in comparison. It is VERY stable & reliable & fast. It is still supported - new fixpacks and drivers just keep coming out - we now have full DVD & USB printer, keyboard, mouse support etc. There are plenty of software products - Lotus Smartsuite, Star Office, Netscape etc., and nearly all command-line UNIX software can now be compiled for it using EMX meaning we have Apache etc. Odin is making great progress; recent tests showed it to be the fastest Java platform available and the TCP/IP stack is excellent. Yes, I recognise that Linux beats it at some things, but I still use OS/2 for a lot of tasks. As a web server serving a large servlet-based website, for example. As a general-purpose client.


  • I can browse with Netscape and write/send email without a keyboard....all using voice commands on a Pentium 133 with 32Mb of ram. Try that on ANY other operating system.

    You're telling me OS/2 is good enough to make netscape work?

    I don't believe you.
  • DIVE is not like Direct X. It's more like WinG, the precursor to Direct X.

    What most people don't know about DIVE is that it was designed to do only one thing: play movies. There were no real attempts to extend it beyond that capability. DIVE doesn't let you bitblt to only a region of the window - you have to update the whole thing in one shot. When playing a movie, that's fine. When doing sprites, it's horrible.

    Direct X started off the same way, but MS kept extending it with more and more features. When people say that Direct X is so much better than DIVE, they're generally correct, but it's a meaningless comparison. It's like saying that a car is faster than a bicycle. Just because a car is faster and more people drive a car than ride a bike, that doesn't mean that bikes are obsolete and should be ignored.

  • Dude, there have been only three stories [] about OS/2 posted on Slashdot ever. Just three! If anything, the Slashdot editors are biased against OS/2, not for it.

    Which reminds me, I'd like to thank Slashdot for posting this article.

  • If you want to read an article written by someone who knows what he is talking about, check out -000003.html []. It's practically the complete opposite of the super-lame ZDNet article.

    It's freakin' unbelievable how poorly written ZDNet articles tend to be. It's not like the writers work for the NY Times, where everyone needs to crank out major articles on a daily basis.

  • There hasn't been much doing in the OS/2 Community form what I've seen.

    That's not true. Only people inside the OS/2 circles know everything that's going on, and Slashdot is a good forum for telling non OS/2 users about the major happenings in OS/2 land. I figured that when Project Odin first got Direct X support, that was a huge deal. Or when Win32-OS/2 was able to run Quake II on OS/2, with full hardware 3D (despite the fact that OS/2 itself doesn't support hardware 3D). Even John Carmack himself was impressed with that. But these stories were never announced on Slashdot.

  • I switched to Linux. Linux in 1996 had better driver support than OS/2. What does THAT tell you?

    To me, it says that it was coincidence that your specific combination of hardware was better supported under Linux than under OS/2. That's why we hear all sorts of stories about some person who couldn't install oeprating system X on his machine, when operating system Y worked without a problem. And then a bunch of people reply with their own stores, but they had success with X and not Y.

    I could easily stand on top of a hill and proclaim how easy OS/2 is to install for me, but how much of a pain Linux is. But I won't, becase it would be unfair. Not only do I know OS/2 about 100 times better than I know Linux, but I hand picked my hardware to be OS/2 compatible rather than Linux compatible.

    but I'm not gonna hold my breath until I turn to speak.

    Very witty :-)

  • Most of the customers who are left are big banks. One thing OS/2 excels at beyond any other OS I've seen is talking to Big Blue Steel. If you've got an IBM Mainframe OS/2 is almost a given, even if IBM PCCO never did like the OS very much.
  • Microsoft was handing out Windows developers kits left and right. You were lucky if you could find someone in IBM who you could persuade, after much arm twisting, to sell you a dev kit for a few hundred dollars. Of COURSE there were no apps for OS/2.
  • Ok, genuine question: Who still uses OS/2? Why?

  • by pim ( 111585 )

    I seriously don't get you folks. You determine what kind of operating software to install on a $3000 piece of equipment solely on the availability of games? Get an N64 or something, more cost effective and more stable.


  • The "look" of the Workplace Shell (WPS) is not really anything spectacular, IMHO, so I'm not sure whether a theme would really be informative. The great thing about the WPS is all the things that you can do with folders and other desktop objects -- and they are objects. Want to print something? Drag the file icon onto the printer icon. Need a handy copy of a program on your desktop? Make a shadow -- like a shortcut, except that if the original gets relocated, the shadow still works. Need a file to be associated with a specific application? Don't worry about filename extensions, just go ahead and set the properties. It's a very useful GUI and not very difficult to learn. A while ago, you could even get a "Workplace Shell for Windows" from the IBM Employee Written Software site; not sure if that's still around.

    At the OS level, I used to have to run several DOS sessions at once, each with their own environments. OS/2 never blinked. And if one of them broke, it could be mercilessly destroyed while the rest of the system kept on going . . . but I digress.
  • no apps? are u really sure or did u never look? i recall several word processors, spreadsheets, databases, image programs and tons of the usual shareware stuff. if u don't believe me... well tough and i got a lot of that stuff on CD still anyway =P
  • I used to push the WPS concepts on the GNOME mailing lists. But as far as I could tell, GNOME just kept trying to look as much as possible like Windows.
  • OS/2 had applications, you just had to turn a few stones to find them. But it had a "nutritionally complete" set of applications, if you looked.

    But to most people, a word processor isn't a Word Processor unless it's MS Word, and a spreadsheet isn't a Spreadsheet unless it's MS Excel. MS once said that they would produce Office for OS/2 once it had 2,000,000 sales/users. At it's peak, OS/2 was between 10 and 15 million users, but MS never produced Office/2.

    Comparing OS/2 to Linux for a moment on this front, both past and future is interesting.

    While OS/2 had commercial apps, they were hard to find until you'd become an insider. Linux apps are the same, except that the Web has become better developed to help people become insiders.

    On the applications front, MS apps were considerably more trim in the OS/2 days, and were thus more formidable. They've put on a lot of fat since then, so I suspect people are more willing to consider non-MS alternatives.

    One way OS/2 has contributed to the current situation is to become, "legendary," one of those "superior" things mowed over by the MS marketing machine.

    That's true, IMHO.

    It has helped set the stage for MS' current woes. It helps highlight how their "innovation" isn't technical, it's in business practices.
  • Who still uses OS/2?

    The villian in Goldeneye


    There's only room for one evil empire on the planet.
  • by Detritus ( 11846 ) on Thursday April 13, 2000 @12:02AM (#1136445) Homepage
    NASA uses OS/2 in some of its telemetry processing systems, data acquisition/reduction systems and embedded control systems. When these systems were developed, OS/2 was the best operating system for the task. It was a "real" 32-bit operating system that had a GUI and ran on PC hardware. Windows NT and Linux are currently more popular for new systems development on PCs.

    In industrial and military/government computer systems, you don't throw away working hardware and software without a good technical or financial justification. It doesn't matter if the system can't run the latest games and Microsoft bloatware, these aren't general purpose desktop computers running word processors and spreadsheets.

  • by Detritus ( 11846 ) on Thursday April 13, 2000 @12:22AM (#1136446) Homepage
    Whatever Lou Gerstner did to bring them round was miraculous, but have they really learnt from past mistakes? Not if they are still supporting a dead dog like OS/2.

    One of the reasons that I like IBM is that they support customers running old and "obsolete" hardware and software. Unlike Microsoft and many other companies, that tell you to get fscked if you aren't running the latest version of the product or if the product has been discontinued.

  • by Detritus ( 11846 ) on Thursday April 13, 2000 @12:30AM (#1136447) Homepage
    Of course, IBM wouldn't release any API specs for the operating system, so you basically limited to porting Unix apps.

    That isn't true. I have the IBM OS/2 Programmer's Library on CD and paper. It has all the API documentation that you could want. Just because IBM didn't give it away for free doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.

  • by netfunk ( 32040 ) < minus physicist> on Wednesday April 12, 2000 @11:51PM (#1136448) Homepage people get so nostalgic about OS/2?!

    I ran the thing for over 4 years. Gave up on it after Warp 4...I just couldn't get the hardware support I needed. (I switched to Linux. Linux in 1996 had better driver support than OS/2. What does THAT tell you?)

    Furthermore, I got sick of it crashing. It actually did that a LOT. Seriously. My experience with OS/2, after years of using it and developing for it, on beefy boxes as well as constrained systems, was that it NOT more efficient than Win95: It crashed as much (and more than once took the filesystem with it), and didn't run faster or in less space.

    Actually, Warp 3 and OS/2 2.1 were probably better than Win95 as far as resources go, but ghod, Warp 4 was BLOATED.

    And I really don't see the attraction to the Workplace Shell. It's okay. It's a different paradigm. I can respect that. Generally speaking, I consider X to be just an excuse to open a whole bunch of Xterms, so I'm really not into the cool GUI features so much...but if the "object oriented" metaphor of the WPS was worth anything, it was most undeniably never taken advantage of.

    Actually, it wasn't the drivers that drove me from OS/2. It was the apps: there WEREN'T any.

    And don't give me any shit about this one. There were NO apps. There was no StarOffice, for what good that thing is. There was two browsers: WebExplorer, which was crap, and Netscape 2.02, which was more than a YEAR out of date when it made its way to OS/2.

    The only saving grace of OS/2 was EMX: the GCC port to OS/2. Of course, IBM wouldn't release any API specs for the operating system, so you basically limited to porting Unix apps.

    Which brings up a good point: I don't understand the need to port everything from Linux to OS/2. Why are people porting Enlightenment to OS/2?! (apparently the WPS isn't so magical for everyone. :) ). Hobbes, the main OS/2 archive, used to have OS/2 programs. Now it has ports of Linux programs. Save your energy and run Linux instead.

    Basically OS/2 was a good idea that was (and still is) mistreated by its creator, and is WAY past its usefulness. I see no reason to artificially extend its life. If you want Linux apps, run Linux. If you want Win32 apps, run Windows, but don't expend your talents on a dead OS when there is more potential for good elsewhere.

    Ugh. I hate to write that, having spent years doing my share of OS/2 advocacy. There are still some chunks of OS/2 that could be useful to the Open Source world if IBM released the code, but I'm not gonna hold my breath until I turn to speak.


  • by G27 Radio ( 78394 ) on Thursday April 13, 2000 @02:58AM (#1136449)
    Many casinos are using them for their most important application--slot machine monitoring. Slots are the biggest revenue source for casinos so uptime is extremely important. I worked for the Sands in Atlantic City when ACSC was developing the OS/2 version of their slot monitoring software (ca. 1995) One reason for choosing OS/2 was to stick with the IBM-all-the-way solution (IBM AS/400, Token Ring, IBM Industrial PC's, IBM Artic Cards {multiport serial cards for interfacing with slot machines}) The AS/400 is big in the Hotel/Casino industry. And the idea of using Windows for a 24-hour high-availability application was (is) a joke. A casino using Windows for slot monitoring would have been like a hospital using it for life support systems.

    About a year and a half ago I was working for the Bank of the Northern Hemisphere (aka F-U National Bank) and they were still using OS/2 for their customer service terminals. Again it was a situation where high-availability was a must. Can't have Windows crashing in the middle of a phone call. Of course, they're replacing those boxes with NT now and their Novell servers as well.

    Which brings me to a slightly off-topic question. I've worked at three Fortune 100 companies in the last 2 years. At all three they plan (or were planning) to replace their Novell servers with Windows -- despite the fact that there was no one I could find in IT that actually thought it was a good idea. They all referred to a previous commitment to go with "NT 5.0" when it was available. Does anyone know anything about this?

  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Thursday April 13, 2000 @04:04AM (#1136450) Homepage Journal
    95/98 are just a cute GUI on top of a nonreentrant DOS. OS/2 is more like NT. It's much harder for a program to lock the entire OS up, crash it or render it unstable. Unfortunately it suffers from APIs very similar to the ones in Windows (Having been originally designed by Microsoft) and it's still pretty easy to effectively lock the system up due to its single system input queue, which allows one misbehaving app to clutter the system input queue and bring everything else to a halt. NT has a slight edge in design.

    Additionally, there's a windows programmer mentality in the OS. What does that mean? Well what that means is that programmers don't hesitate to use application or system modal dialog boxes. They also tend to assume that their app is the only one running on the system, and will grab focus and raise to the top at the most annoying times. They also tend not to utilize the OS/2 threading system to minimize the impact of the single system input queue. OS/2 and Windows systems tend to feel sluggish to me.

    On the plus side, the entire environment is object oriented (And very similar to Gnome,) something which continues to elude Microsoft. The whole desktop is a tree of objects and once you learn how everything works, the interface tends to be very intuitive. It's also easy to modify. Want some extra buttons on your title bars? No problem -- just find the frame SOM object and subclass it systemwide.

  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Thursday April 13, 2000 @04:14AM (#1136451) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft still holds many of the copyrights in the code for OS/2. Figuring out what they did versus what IBM did would be an insurmountable task. It'd be easier just to design an interface/API for Linux or some other open source OS which would bring over most of the best features.
  • by TicTacTux ( 99149 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2000 @09:42PM (#1136452)
    Upgrades/Patches/Convenience Packs (underline your favourite here) to an operating system are one thing. I've worked with OS/2 in the past and (apart from trapping at me because of downlevel drivers here and there) I've seen it as fast and stable. (With a superb TCP/IP implementation, to pick out one of the pearls)

    Unfortunately, man¦woman does not live on bread alone. Lack of (or age of) application software did their thing to impose severe pressure on this operating system. IMHO, IBM should've given away a SDK for free, for everyone and not just some handpicked 'key developers'. Imagine what a bunch of enthusiasts together with gcc and a suitable GUI development kit could have done. sigh...

    And, of course, their main competitor (don't recall the name, but I faintly remember something some quarrel before court) has its own way of making the competition's life pretty damn hard...

    Would love to see the OS/2 Workplace Shell (WPS) being released under the GPL and OS/2 itself containing txtutils like sed, awk & co. Plus, of course, an up-to-date (not-only-limited-to internet-) app suite.

  • by ( 142825 ) on Thursday April 13, 2000 @01:44AM (#1136453) Homepage
    Many of the cash registers use OS/2. The cash registers that don't run under OS/2, use OS/2 as their service provider.

    Many airlines use OS/2, but ValueJet ran Windows, maybe that's why they crashed ;)

    According to Bill Gates, "OS/2 is the operating system of the future".

    I use Merlin, and have been using OS/2 as my primary desktop since 1992. I'd say it's more stable than Windows, but that's not really saying anything. Back in 1994, someone I worked with realized how stable OS/2 when he saw OS/2 crash during a database import. I was running a database import in a DOS box, and the desktop crashed and restarted itself. The import that was running, did not stop.

  • by JeffL ( 5070 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2000 @09:38PM (#1136454) Homepage
    I used OS/2 from version 1.1 up until Linux version 1.0 (OS/2 2.2 I think). I do feel a lot of nostalgia when I hear about OS/2 even though I haven't used it for 6 or 7 years so I am very sorry to see the bad news.

    I just can't get over the fact that I was doing things on a 12 mhz 286 with 3MB of RAM in 1990 that I still find difficult to do on Windows 98 today (like doing real work while formatting a floppy). I could download things at 2400 baud without any foreground slow down! Try that in Windows 3.0.

    A sad passing for a truly fine operating system. If only Bill Gates had used his powers for good not evil and had backed OS/2 1.3 as the premier desktop/server OS it was and let Windows be merely a footnote next to Microsoft Bob.

  • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Thursday April 13, 2000 @02:28AM (#1136455) Homepage Journal

    It took the object appearance of a GUI, and carried it to a far deeper level. The desktop objects also had inheritance, and it showed throughout the UI.

    For example, one time I was changing icons, waltzing through the silly dialogs, thinking that it was a pain in the neck. Then I thought, "WIBNI I could just drag that icon that I want and drop it over the current icon on the settings page?" I tried it, and it WORKED.

    Many other things turned out to be that way. If you thought an object ought to behave in a certain fashion, give it a try. Most of the time, the desktop objects behaved in the absolutely intuitive fashion expected.


    You could get along in a very simplistic fashion, but you could always find a deeper layer, and new things that the OO underpinnings could do for you.

    More depth

    Being CORBA based (SOM was an early CORBA) meant that classes could be replaced. There were add-ons that extended the WPS in many ways, Stardock's Object Desktop being the most noteworthy.

    There's more, but not now.
  • by JD Grinnell ( 149704 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2000 @11:02PM (#1136456)
    First, I'd like to say that the lead in for this news item was very one sided. It makes it appear that this convenience release is a bad thing. Anyone who thinks that probably isn't an OS/2 user. Let me explain...

    The convenience pack release which will be rolled out this Fall will effectively be the improved base operating system, complete with any fixpacks that addressed bugs and added improvements. This is great because we get all the fixes and improvements to the base OS all on one CD. You won't have to install the base OS and then the various fixpacks for the base OS, TCP/IP, etc. This is great news.

    Also, I don't recall reading anything that says that IBM will stop producing and releasing free fixpacks for OS/2. They often release more than one fixpack a year in order to try and address issues in a timely fashion. So you have a choice. Continue using the free fixpack route or go for the convenience pack to streamline installation.

    You are eligible for the convenience packs if you are a subscriber to their related support system which runs about $200 for two years. This entitles you to other stuff beside the convenience pack by the way.

    OS/2 has its place and has been on my system since ver 2.11. I do have a win98 system which I only use for games or building Access databases (yuck!). I also have SuSE 6.3 installed and running and love using Gimp under it. Perhaps if OS/2's WPS were ported to linux (or if someone wrote something from scratch as nice) I might be inlined to switch over to linux for my main computing needs. I do have a number of OS/2 apps that I would miss though and I hate trashing software simply because it isn't "new".

    IBM continues to focus on the needs of their big clients who run OS/2. Individuals like me who use it aren't much of a concern for them. Still I get to benefit from the support that IBM is making available to companies who can spend more on computers in a single quarter than I'll likely make in a lifetime.


"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain