Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

IBM Cranks OS/2 Curtain, Compaq Revives OpenVMS 186

Freshly Exhumed writes "This site has a couple of divergent OS sagas ... IBM is basically saying "Bring out your dead" to OS/2 fans. Compaq has listened to the faint cries of "I'm not dead yet" and announced a reprieve for OpenVMS." OS/2 has repeatedly refused to die before, though. One interesting snippet from the article on VMS: "The Wildfire version of the Alpha processor will allow users to run OpenVMS in the same box as Compaq's Tru64 Unix operating system, using hard partitioning techniques." IBM 390, upcoming Alphas ... when will mainstream chips do this? :)
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

IBM Cranks OS/2 Curtain, Compaq Revives OpenVMS

Comments Filter:
  • Not really, you're right.

    I think they know that the real OS/2 user community is also the Linux community. They are investing a lot and I think they're hedging their bets a little.

  • Yes, but the boxes melting is hardware based..... How is OpenVMS's reliability, and not the VAXes?

    Basically, I am trying to draw a contrast between hardware and software. Hardware gets melted. Software doesn't.

  • by cybrthng ( 22291 ) on Saturday May 20, 2000 @10:44AM (#1060097) Journal
    I don't know how many times its been thrown out that OS/2 is dead. As of lately there have been some interesting developments that will let OS/2 live as long as linux and windows exist.

    Netlabs.Org [] s a great starting point for people interested in OS/2. Not only do they have Project Odin [] But they also have many other interesting developments. Project ODIN is the PE to LX converter that allows Windows 95/98/NT binaries to be converted or ran natively on OS/2. There is a new SB Live driver that has been ported from Linux that also created a new library and code to allow OpenSound modules to be used in OS/2. (FIlling in the sound card gap) and alas there is a small passthrough driver that makes WinOS2 think you have a SB 16 installed so that no matter what soundcard you have as your OS/2 driver you won't have to find those tricky "WinOS2" drivers.. just use this "passthrough" one.

    On another note, Papyrus 8 was just released. It really is a nice tight/integrated "Office" suite that still fits on 3 floppy disks (yes it does hehe) and PMview 2000 is coming out with a new version.

    The most interesting note is the integration of Warp Server E-Business codebase with that of OS2 Warp 4. This was done through Fixpack 13. If you upgrade to Fixpack 13 your not limited to the 528 megs addressable space anymore, you have the 32bit KEE extensions for 32 bit filesystem driverws (such as jfs) and there are many more updates and new addons available.

    On top of that a great company called scitech has released video drivers for TNT, TNT2, Geforce, 3dfx (all versions) and Matrox (all versions) cards that make the graphics fly. OpenGL and MGL acclerated support are available as well. (i believe the url is for this company).

    As well as having the fastest Java implementation around, one of the best Dos/Windows and OS2 environment easiest to port to platforms, i don't know why ibm would kill it. The device drivers are there, the end users wishing for a new version are there.. and why would they continue to add 32 bit BSD based ip stacks, SMP and server related systems to kill it a measly 12 months from now?

    Interesting indeed, but as usuall looks like a laywer and a business need to review this "Future plan" for OS/2 and see what it really means. I can't see IBM telling a bank to redo everything in java when there is NO support for java other then stock tickers and web page games..

    And boy howdy, how sweet of a development platform Visual Age C++ 4.0 for OS/2 is once they iron out the bugs.. use the Open API and your app will compile under NT as well.. woah, offer a choice who would have ever thought of that!

  • >> Then tell the VMS person about how we're getting different languages to work together. They will look at you in amazement, wondering why there isn't a standard calling convention that all the languages use.

    >OK, I'm really skeptical about this. Maybe this works for what I'd guess are 'traditional' VMS languages (C, FORTRAN, and maybe COBOL). And linking C/C++ and Fortran isn't that unusual. But could I link, say, C++ and Ada95 together?

    Yes. See, DEC decided not to support Ada95 natively so they had ACT port GNAT (based on GCC) to VMS. So VMS should support Ada95 w/ C++ as well as/ as poorly as Unix does.

    I still don't understand what he's saying about getting different languages to work together though. Everything compiled in Unix uses the C calling conventions, and even early Unix C, Pascal and Fortran compilers let you intermix code, IIRC.
  • *mismarked* bolts. get it?

  • OS/2 did suck -- No file manager (friggin buy that), No backup util (friggin buy that too), an it sucked up RAM (friggin buy more of that too).

    At least MS bundled more stuff. Yea, it sucked, but it's nice not to be nickled and dimed. I forgot how much that pissed me off.

  • If I recall it right. One of the VMS architect dude now works on NT.

    You're probably thinking of Dave Cutler, who was one of the main architects, if not the main architect, of VMS (and RSX-11M, I think), and was one of the main architects, if not the main architect, of NT.

  • I'm sorry, when you say "I come here to bury OS/2 not praise it" you are morally obliged to praise it. It's called whatchamacallit. There's a word, something fancy. The passive periphrastic. No, that's not it, it just sounds good. Anyways, the idea is you say you're gonna say something and then say the opposite. I'm too tired. I onlypost tired, and I can't type tired. Go figger

    Disclaimer: The above made absolutely no sense. Please moderate this to oblivion.
  • OS/2 was admittably a better OS than Windows. However, besides its frequent and unexpected crashes Windows has dominated the market. The reason behind the fall of OS/2 was not its incompetence but the weakness of the IBM sales staff. I've worked at IBM and I know. IBM is a great company when it comes to research and development. I mean look at all the innovations that have come out of the Almaden Lab alone (copper interconnects, Microdrive, load-unload, data mining etc...). Every year more patents are filed by IBM than any other high tech company. The problem is when it comes to competing on the "competitive" market, IBM is lacking. Maybe their image is all wrong, I don't know what. All I know is their ultra star hard drives are great. That is the problem though they have great technology but no flashy image, and unfortunately that is what you need to sell to the average consumer. IBM and OS/2 were both robbed by Microsoft but I won't shed a tear over this. As far as I'm concerned it's business. If any other company could come along and tear Microsoft to pieces it would, that is how our system works, pure capitalism. I personally feel that we should bury OS/2 and call it good. Besides when you compare OS/2 to current operating systems it just doesn't cut it any more. I think the future of operating systems will be with the high end Unix clones like FreeBSD, and OpenBSD. Linux doesn't scale well enough, at least not yet. OS/2 is dead, get over it.

    Nathaniel P. Wilkerson
    NPS Internet Solutions, LLC []
  • I read the partitioning to mean virtualizable -- ie able to run operating systems as processes, nested arbitrarily. This is what the s390 guy did who had 40000 odd linux kernels running simultaneously.

    Note that vmware does a variant of this, but because they do it on the i386, they have to jump trough hoops. The i386 isn't virtualisable, so they have to scan for instructions that would expose this and rewrite them to a trap to some meta-level code.

    It stands to reason that if you have the ability to run two OSs on one CPU, the capability carries over to SMP configurations too.
  • /*
    There are still folks out there running DOS 3, not to mention the Cult of the Amiga and the Trash-80 and the Timex-Sinclair. How do you put a stake through the heart of these beasts? (esp. one that Big Blue sold to banks, governments, etc).

    Why should anyone stop doing what their doing? If it works use it, if it's more fun stick with it!
  • or perhaps developing countries could use it?

    "Now, for only 15 dollars a month, less then the price of a daily cup of coffee, a third world child can have food, immunizations, and OS/2"

  • Substantial portions of OS/2 were written by Microsoft. It was originally a joint IBM-Microsoft project. Microsoft and IBM split up the project after OS/2 1.2. Microsoft would have to sign off on any attempt to open source OS/2. The chance of that is about as good as the chance of Natalie Portman becoming my love slave.
  • > It's syntax was hard as hell. It was sorta arcane. UNIXes were heaven compared to it.

    No more so than Windows is "more intuitive" than Unix. I happened to use VMS before either of those, and sometimes I still long for the simple clarity of the VMS command line.

    But I know it's just a matter of familiarity. Universalist claims on either side are unsupportable.

  • Uh, If there wasn't UNIX and vms, linux would not exist. I like Linux, but I ain't a zealot like you!
  • No.

    The "Open" in Open VMS means open systems, not open source. Basically means the OS/NOS in the release plays nice in the sandbox with other OS/NOS's

  • No, the next Y2K scare will the Unix inspired 2038 problem, when all the 32 bit time counters roll over. OpenVMS will still be plugging happily along (even on 32-bit platforms), because the people who designed OpenVMS didn't assume that it would all be replaced in 10 years. (In VMS, the core time representation is a 64 bit quantity, with resolution to a millisecond (IIRC) and range from sometime 1500s until > AD10000.)

    Difference between VMS and OpenVMS: 4 letters. Back when Sun/HP/IBM were claiming "open systems", DEC decided to rename the OS. Unfortunately, they did it about the same time they released the first Alpha machines and confused the issue, making some people think that OpenVMS was something to do with the Alphas.

    "Legacy systems: the ones that work."

  • OS/2 has been a lame horse since the beginning. It's about time it got shot. But at least IBM is attempting to make OS/2 programs platform neutral instead of leaving OS/2 people in the lurch. They should be commended for that.

    When the pack animals stampede, it's time to soak the ground with blood to save the world. We fight, we die, we break our cursed bonds.
  • I like to think you could get Unix/Linux boxen that sturdy, but the fact is, that VMS boxes are it already. It's been around, has grown hair on its chest, even tough it's a bitch in ease of use for the unitiated. And that's a vi addict speaking.

    But to digress to a similar story: One time, in my former job, we had a few seconds of power failure in our building, and I, in a corridor at the time, heard cries of woe everywhere from colleagues, whose windows thingies had failed them. Smiling, for I _am_ a BOFH, I returned to my identical hardware, mightily surprised to see my Linux box still in the very same shape I left it in. Much gloating ensued, I can tell you. And I started reading the next Usenet article. My guess is a capacitator for just such power failures wasn't big enough for Windoze (3.1 at the time, I think), idle or not, but enough for an idle Linux box.

    I'd hate VMS dying, for it did some wonderful things with hardware in my time.

  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Friday May 19, 2000 @07:18PM (#1060114) Homepage Journal
    Time was when OS/2 was the best PC OS out there. IBM had a window of technical superiority that they could have exploited to allow OS/2 to become the mainstream OS. Unfortunately they blew it in typical IBM fashion. It's too bad. I was a big OS/2 advocate at the time and we had some good times going up against Microsoft back then and fighting their FUD (Much of which they tried to recycle when Linux appeared on the scene.)

    There are still quite a few die-hard OS/2 fans in IBM (Many of whom read this site.) I expect they'll probably be bitter about it, but many of them were starting to make the jump to Linux, if only because it lets them work however they want to, not however someone else wants them to.

    I'm glad Linux at least is beyond IBM's control. They'd find some way to fuck it up, otherwise.

    In many ways OS/2 is also a study of what not to do with an operating system. IBM tried to preserve backward compatability at all times, to the detriment of the design. It seems like the Linux crowd is avoiding the mistakes IBM made. And it's finally realizing the IBM dream of one OS that will run on all their hardware (Something they wanted to do with OS/2 but were never able to accomplish.)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Considering that Compaq has commited in writing to support OpenVMS on VAX for roughtly 9 more years, the 4.5 year comment is more than a little odd. Furthermore I find the comment about front-end web technology strangly disturbing (are they refering to some sort of web based administration, UGH!).

    Another odd thing is the article is the first I've heard of OpenVMS being in any danger since Compaq purchased DEC, and I keep up on OpenVMS. Simply put Compaq is smart enough to know they've got an excellent product there that they make a lot of money on. Somehow I have to question the reliablity of this information.

    To bad they didn't mention anything about when OpenVMS V7.3 will be out. I'm perfectly happy running V7.2 on my cluster (even have VAX/VMS V5.5-2 on one VAX), but I really need TCPIP V5.1 as it fixes a problem that exists with previous versions of their TCP/IP implementation.

    For people that have VAX or Alpha systems they can get a free Hobbyist Licenese [] for OpenVMS.

    I'm sorry to hear about OS/2, it is an excellent product. I started running it with V1.3 shortly before I got my hands on Linux 0.12. For a while for me both OS's competed to be my OS of choice. However, the combination of Lotus Smartsuite for OS/2 and the release of Windows 95 drove me to the Mac. These days a merging of a G4 PowerMac frontend and an Alpha based OpenVMS cluster is my system of choice, with a nice fast x86 Linux box coming in a close second.


  • Everything compiled in Unix uses the C calling conventions, and even early Unix C, Pascal and Fortran compilers let you intermix code, IIRC.

    Less true nowadays, especially with OO languages like C++ and Ada95, which doesn't fit well into systems designed for procedural languages. You can link C and C++ together, but you can run into trouble, especially when using two different C++ compilers, as there is not standard C++ ABI (or even a decent de-facto standard). The g++ ABI changes every few releases (which I don't mind too much: I would much rather have them get it right than use the first thing they managed to come up with, and then be stuck with backwards compatible hacks for the next 5 years). OTOH, C ABIs are well defined for virtually all major platforms, which is fortunate, as otherwise you would be unable to use gcc, with, say, Solaris C libraries.
  • From your statement, VMS basically runs things like machinery, etc, where upgrades are rare (being very expensive), and things don't change much.

    Well, in my shop we're using VMS to support realtime telemetry processing, analysis, and anomaly resolution. We can't of course boast of uptimes in years because we're constantly upgrading our hardware and software and reconfiguring our networks. But the clustering is very robust.

    And yes, you really can get code written in any lanugage linked together.

  • "Compaq OS/2" was a branded version of MS OS/2 (like "Compaq DOS" and even "Compaq Windows") -- in the old days MS didn't feel like slathering their name all over everything.

    Anyway, I thought Pathworks was something else entirely different, not that it really matters.

    Thank you.

    Are you the Hot Grits troll? If only I could be so honored....
  • PMIRC! My favorite client for a *LONG* time, till I ended up on X-Chat [] and Linux, OpenBSD [], etc etc.

  • by holzp ( 87423 )
    thought they were going all linux?
  • How many folks think this OS is never going to go away?

    There will always be hardcore fans using it. However, in the Internet era, the useful lifespan of an unmaintained operating system is only until the next remote root exploit comes out or the next new technology is impossible for users to get working on it. E.g. does it have IPv6 support? (just one possible death knell for an unmaintained OS)

    Wonder if the folks who thought then that they couldn't get fired for buying IBM are sweating

    Hmmm, yes, that's the problem with relying on a big vendor for a proprietory solution - in a few years time, "proprietory" can turn into "dead".

    As a side note, I wonder what the chances of somebody buying OS/2 are? (I mean to develop, not to use)

  • Quite funny to see all you people wanting the OS/2 source released, when it actually IS available.. Well some of it at least.

    Through "legal" channels you can get hold of almost anything you want, through the developer connection, if you prove reasonable reasons why you should have it. And what about JFS?
    As for "illegal" channels, the kernel source is "out there". And some other parts of the sources aswell. Maybe someone should have a look? Ofcourse "for educational purposes only"... ;)

    Oh and for those who wonder.. I'm still using OS/2. All the time. And until it doesn't do the job I need it to do better than any of the alternatives, I stick with it. Fuck IBM :)

  • Fyndo wrote:
    Businesses also WANT to be the sole supplier of anything they sell... Doesn't mean it's good for anyone in the long run.

    Some anonymous coward replied:
    It doesn't mean it's bad for anyone in the long run, either.

    Well, AC, I figure you must have really liked the old Soviet Union, the former paradise of the single-source suppliers.

  • ...please please please do not form a FUD army like "Team Linux". The OS/2 Teamers were the worst possible zealots, installing an attitude of defeatism and victimization...

    It really didn't seem to me like that at the time, and still doesn't now. Maybe it was just the particular TeamOS/2 Israel I was in and its 'leadership', but back then it was just a bunch of harmless guys who enjoyed diddling with OS/2. We had some support from IBM Israel, especially in organizing meetings, but on the whole it didn't seem more than a hobby of a few dedicated people. There wasn't much zealotry, not even in the mailing list, and when bit-by-bit members of the team resigned to using NT or Linux because they had enough of a dead OS, it was met with understanding, not scorn.

    All in all, it was a nice experience, even if 'we didn't win in the end'...

  • The first such offering will be the one-to-eight way Alpha-server GS80, which will come with up to 32Gbytes of memory and up to 56 PCI slots

    A beo. . Oh, never mind.

    This is good news however, there are a lot of shops out there waiting on the OpenVMS releases and from all the corporate restructurings etc. have had to wait way too long. Very glad to see Compaq make good on it's promise to keep the OpenVMS track alive at least for a few more releases.

  • Sure, I like UNIX, but there are many advantages to VMS about which a UNIX only geek of today might never learn. VMS is a solid, highly secure OS -- to toss this technology away is plain folly.

    I honestly think we'd be better off just devoting time and effort to fixing the (few) areas where the free Unixes are not as good as VMS then we would be trying to salvage anything useful from it.

    I really, really don't like VMS. It may be a stable system, but I can't help but wonder if that isn't because it is even uglier then Unix is, and thus no one uses it. The Unix command line at least appeals to geeks after they get to know it, but even the VMS advocates I know agree that it is Very Messy Syntax.

    "I've used Mach; Mach is one of the reasons I think micro-kernels are a bad idea. I've used VMS; VMS is one of the reasons I think VMS is a bad idea." -- Linus Torvalds
  • Why should anyone stop doing what their doing? If it works use it, if it's more fun stick with it!

    I agree. That's the advice I give to others who think they have to keep upgrading/buying software as if they were adding fuel to a car.

    ...yet, then again, I gave away a box of OS/2 software -- including 3 boxed versions and a dozen+ commercial apps -- to someone at the begining of the year. I hadn't used it for a couple years and had moved exclusively to Linux.

    But then again, I've got a small group of abandoned SPARC Station 1 and 2s here also...go figure!

  • Those old DEC operating systems won't die... My dad was a TOPS-20 user (archaic DEC operating system, precursor to VMS); he used to wear a T shirt around that had the famous Mark Twain quote "the reports of my death have been greatly exagerated" and on the back a system crash message "%DECSystem-20 not running"...

    I want one for OpenVMS, except it could say something like "MCR OPCCRASH&quot.

    there are 3 kinds of people:
    * those who can count

  • Part of that "pathetic business and marketing plan" was the OS/2 operating system. One big reason it never caught on.

    The similarity of the name to PS/2 might have been a factor: it created the impression that one needed a PS/2 to run OS/2. Also, OS/2 1.x was not marketed well. One couldn't just walk into Egghead Software and pick up a copy of OS/2. Finally, the "DOS Coffin" in 1.x was not compatible enough with real DOS.

    Free-form file names, bundled Internet software, full-featured GUI: J. Random Luser probably thinks these are Windows innovations. Yet OS/2 had all of these before Windows did. Shame. OS/2 could have been a contender.

    Oooh, moderator points! Five more trolls and idjits go to Minus One Hell!
    Delenda est Windoze
    Ooh, moderator points! Five more idjits go to Minus One Hell!
    Delenda est Windoze

  • I know European airlines that run payroll on OS/390 and have to re-IPL (reboot) every day as a matter of standard operating procedure.
    I want some of whatever you've been smoking, dude! There is nothing that outlasts an OS/390, VMS or not. Do you have any idea how sturdy S/390 systems are? Quadruple (as in "4x") power supplies, live CPU swap, etc. IPL is only done when the machine was severely physically damaged (like taken a direct hit by a nuclear warhead of more than 300kT).
    VMS is very good, there's no doubt about it. However, comparing VMS to OS/390 is like comparing Win95 to FreeBSD.
  • I have mixed feelings about all this.

    In a way, it is a shame that a system that was arguably better than windows got left in the dust.

    On the other hand, it *is* IBM, who in there own day raised as much passion and hate as Microsoft does today.

    the final rewards of arrogance, I suppose...

  • There are a ton of government shops that still use it. Finance areas seem to be high on it also.

    At the bottom of the article was this sniglet.

    We were spending millions developing NT on Alpha, but when we looked at the value proposition when compared to NT on Intel, it didn't differentiate NT on Alpha,' he said.


  • Much of the Presentation Manager API, some LAN code, and bits of the filesystems are supposedly Microsoft. Probably some of the driver subsystem as well.

    OTOH, the Workplace Shell (desktop UI, arguably the best part of OS/2) is IBM alone. Most of the services are, and the kernel is probably 99-100% IBM code nowadays as well.

    Microsoft's biggest part is the HPFS386 filesystem, for which they still charge IBM several hundred dollars' in royalties per copy sold... One reason Warp Server Advanced is so expensive.

    Other than that, it's probably not volume of MS code that's the problem, it's figuring out exactly which bits are still theirs, and removing them gracefully.

  • Geez, we should auto-moderate the first 5 posts for each topic :D.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    One can obtain the source code to "Open"VMS from Compaq by signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and paying a fee. Typically this is done by big customers who have had a chance to feed bugfixes back in to the OS. This probably does not qualify as Open Source but a customer can obtain the source.

    It is probably also worth pointing out the the DECUS hobbyist license [] lets you run a fully licensed VMS 7.2 OS plus many layered products (e.g. compilers) for a nominal fee (around $US 30.00 to 40.00). One can obtain used Alphas for around US $1000.00 or less these days.

  • I work for a company that writes backup software. They were the writers of a popular backup/media management package, which does some serious backup. There are still quite a few number of large organazations using VMS/VAX with JukeBoxes. Names that come to mind is CitiBank, Bank of New York,.... Most places even forget (exepect one admin) that they are running VMS for backup because it never breaks. We also mess around with windows 95/98/NT/2K, Linux (slackware, Redhat), and Macs. Comparing VMS (or OpenVMS) is like comparing a bulldozer to a army. Both can destory things but the scope and process is extremely different! -- MPCM
  • Actually this is NOT troll bait. I am not trying to bash all those Linux folks out there. No, really. I would just like to see a fully open OS that is not UNIX-like. No offense.

    So, I really wish IBM would release OS/2 as open source. It is a very good operating system. It is very fast and is much more familiar to us who grew up in the non-Unix part of the world.

    It could do great battle with Win98/NT if it were GPL'd. It's just a great piece of engineering. Fully SMP, fast TCP/IP stack, fastest Java JIT, can boot a true DOS VM and play games, WPS, great connectivity, etc.

    I know people have said that parts of OS/2 are licensed from other companies. Well, IBM, release as much as you can and we will get it to run.

    Please, IBM, let it out as open source. If you really want to get back at Microsoft for dumping you and OS/2, this is how you do it.

  • I bet you thought linux was hard to use when coming from a dos enviroment. VMS is different, and I *like* having a choice of how the OS is designed and laid out. VAXen are extremely reliable, how many boxes have spanned a decade of operation? Theres plenty of VAXen from the 80's still chugging away in closets. Why? Because it continues to work.
  • by Spoing ( 152917 ) on Friday May 19, 2000 @07:31PM (#1060139) Homepage

    As a former OS/2 user, I come here to bury OS/2 not praise it. Praise is useful to the living, not the dead, and then only when deserved.

    IBM's announcemnt a few weeks ago [] about a "transition" from OS/2 to other operating systems just made official what has been a fact for a few years. OS/2 hasn't been IBM's focus, a smarter multi-OS whatever the customer wants approach is what they've obviously used.

    Oddly enough...after another look at the same announcement today shows that IBM has changed the text...making it sound even if OS/2 isn't really going away.

    Don't believe a bit of the soft-padded inclusion of OS/2 -- there's no practical reason to use it.

    The Register got it right [] when they talked about the original announcement.

    As a former OS/2 user, I have to ask that others not waste time on Amiga-style wishes to revive any part of OS/2. The WPS was sweet, but unfortunately the GUI as a whole was unstable. Sure, it was better then what the other guys offered [] but that's faint praise.

    Since then, the tools and operating systems have improved. Any OS that has fallen behind won't be able to keep up without borrowing from the leaders. I'm even doubtful that closed operating systems can keep ahead of open ones -- even Apple seems to have realized that.

    While it would be great to take a look at the code from OS/2 -- and maybe even incorporate a few parts -- it's not realistic. Most of the parts have been superceeded by better, open, programs.

    Even the potentially good stuff such as the WPS GUI and the b-tree support in HPFS is co-owned with Microsoft -- so there's no chance that we'll ever see it.

    Besides, with KDE/Gnome and the file system changes that coming along, there's very little to pick from the carcas if it were available.

  • What makes you think OS/2 is(was) lame? Back when you could run dos and win 3.1 or OS/2 the choice was clear. You had a fully 32 bit OS that ran all the win3.1 programs and was truly multi tasking. It had the HPFS filesystem and a pretty sweet GUI.
  • Microchannel wasn't all that bad. It was just backed up by a pathetic business and marketing plan.
  • It shows that VMS can take much more flaky hardware errors than can UNIX.

    Well, I suppose VMS could implement some kind of ECC code in software, sort of a RAID-for-RAM, if you will, and that might help -- unless the bad RAM contains the ECC engine, of course. But really, this sort of thing is a hardware issue.

    It's true. Even Win95 is less susceptible to flaky hardware than Linux is. Some severly overclocked systems will run on Win95, but crash on Linux.

    Well, that's kind of a mis-truth. You often hear stories of Windows running where Linux does not. This is usually because of one of two reasons:

    (1) Cheap OEMs designing hardware that works with Windows, rather then designing hardware that meets the specifications.

    (2) Windows doesn't use as much of the hardware as it should. For example, in any SMP system, the extra processors could be defective and Win95 wouldn't notice. Linux would. Does that make Win95 fault tolerant?

    (As an aside: I suspect BeOS is the same as Linux here. BeOS also is a much more sophisticated OS then '95.)

    Take a PC running Win95 for example. If one ... kills an I/O processor, more likely than not, a UNIX will crash. Another bullet-proof OS, for example, could handle an I/O processor going out in the middle of operation and still keep running.

    Er, not really. Most OSes I've seen will recover nicely enough if a non-critical system fails. Even Win9X will, assuming failing applications don't take out the kernel in their death. Now, if, say, the system drive fails, then you can bet that will kill most any system. The solution is redundant hardware -- it works better and faster then software solutions anyway.

    (I don't know what an "I/O processor" is supposed to be. Severely failing hardware on a PC generally generates an NMI, which cannot be trapped, by any OS.)

    I have no experiance with VMS...

    But hey, lack of knowledge has never stopped you from posting before, right? ;-)

  • I've used both Linux and OS/2 since 1992, for example, and I know a lot of OS/2 folks (and ex-OS/2 folks) who are Linux users. You're right that the business OS/2 user base is unlikely to be interested in Linux, though. Most Unix folks who lump OS/2 in with Windows don't have a clue about its capabilities...
    -Rich (OS/2, Linux, BeOS, Mac, NT, Win95, Solaris, FreeBSD, and OS2200 user in Bloomington MN)
  • Right. Then you ask him how much it cost, and you can laugh at him. Normal people can actually afford to make Beowulf or MOSIX clusters.

    That ain't anything close to VMS clustering.

    Beowulf and friends are distributing processing tools. They take an easily paralizable job and handle the mechanics of distributing it for you. Beowulf is mostly application-level software; the machines still function as seperate hosts.

    A VMS cluster essentially turns a group of machines into a single machine. All resources are multiplexed into a single logical unit. If one of them fails, the others pick up all the work it left behind. Beowulf is nothing like it. Doesn't even come close.

    (I say this as someone who would rather bash his head into the wall then use VMS. I prefer Unix, but I know where we still haven't beat the competition -- yet.)
  • A VMS cluster essentially turns a group of machines into a single machine. All resources are multiplexed into a single logical unit. If one of them fails, the others pick up all the work it left behind. Beowulf is nothing like it. Doesn't even come close.

    Sounds a lot like MOSIX to me, though I don't know what kind of error recovery it has with regards to a unit failing. Of course, it should not give new tasks to a failed member of the cluster, but I don't know what it would do with tasks that had been running on it at the time; obviously complete recovery is not possible in most cases.

    MOSIX only works well in the precense of multiple procceses and/or threads, but of course such could be said for SMP machines as well. And if VMS actually manages to get around that (ie, run a single process on two machines, cutting the work in half), I'll be shocked and very impressed (also curious how the hell they did it).

    OK, I've got to say this: I wonder what a Beowulf cluster of VMS clusters would be like. There, I said it. :P
  • It's not that simple... OS/2 still has a large number of big, Enterprise-level customers... the kind of customers who look still look very suspiciously on open-source.

    More to the point, these customers are still paying IBM tons of money for OS/2 licenses and support. As long as they can make money from OS/2, IBM won't start giving it away for free...

  • Ball State University in Muncie, IN had an entire cluster of them as recently as a couple years ago.
    Purdue University's Calumet campus in Hammond Indiana still teaches "operating system fundamentals" (i.e. how to use a command line for CS students that have never had to use one) and a small number of programming classes on a VMS box (

    Of course, when the old man that's in charge of those classes finally retires or dies, that VMS box will be someone's Linux/Alpha machine in about two seconds.

    I know of no reason to build new systems on the VMS platform, but maybe someone else can explain that one.
  • You're forgetting one thing: most businesses could care less about which specific OS they're using *as long as it gets the job done*. 99.999% of the world doesn't share your lust for learning new API's, OS's, applications, &c. They just want something that will allow them to do the work they need, and do it quickly and efficiently. And other things equal, an organisation would rather support one platform than two, three or ten platforms. After all, they're in some other primary business, not dicking around hacking on a bunch of cobbled-together systems. Leave 'diversity' to the university research labs. The whole fiasco with M$ concerns Win9x/NT's inadequacy, not its monopoly status as such. I guarantee you people wouldn't be screaming 'Monopoly!' nearly as loudly if Red Hat or SuSe were taking Microsoft's place in the defendant's chair.
  • Basically nothing has changed!

    The SOHO concept has been ereased from the IBM dictionary a long time ago.

    Once again they are going for the software independent concept again (Last time they tried with the brilliant OpenDOC technology) it is JavaBeans+XML.
    Which means that it doesn't matter what OS you're long as it supports JavaBeans....

    The strategy announcement is saying that they will not continue to support the Warp 4...but it isn't saying anything about the Warp 4.5 (released last juli...featuring a new kernel, JFS and acouple of new API's)...and I hear an upgrade of this one is being developed...In march FP13 for Warp 4 was released...featuring the Warp 4.5 uniprocessor kernel (read: a kernel upgrade)...thereby changing the attention of the developers to this new 32-bit kernel....and it works the first driver with Kee support has arrived (The SBLive port)....

    In the last 5've been forced to subscribe to Software Choice...if you want anything else but drivers and the TCP/IP 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3 packages...
  • One couldn't just walk into Egghead Software and pick up a copy of OS/2.

    Funny, ISTR doing just that. "OS/2 for Windows", I believe it was called.
  • 3+ Open, ahh those were the days. :)

    You can get the source from DEC, oops Compaq if you are a large customer, also I beleive it comes when you purchase their mission critical support service.

    On the otherhand you can get basically the same product by going with FreeVMS which has about 2 dozen links posted here in this thread.

  • I doubt it. VMS is simpler all the way around, there is less to break, kernel wise.

    If you need a bulletproof environment, host it in a bad ass datacenter like Andover just did. Make it all redundant and always stay 30 ahead of capacity.

    Simple enough, but it'll cost a fortune.

  • of course they fixed the serious GUI message queue problems

    If you're talking about the SIQ, that can't be "fixed", because some apps depend on it. I believe it allows applications like VoiceType to work.

    (SIQ = system/single input queue, where all mouse/keyboard messages go through the foreground app before being dispatched to other apps)

  • One of the universities I used to hang out at wouldn't spring for extra air conditioning for their computer lab and the DEC Vax in there had to be shut down if the temperature ever went above 85 or 90 farenheit. Otherwise there was a risk that the hardware would be damaged.

    Another place I worked had an AS/400 in a closet. While there was a little wall unit air conditioner, one day the janator turned it off. The company called me in a panic, with the system down and about 100 customers waiting for service. The system had gone down rather and it was at least 100 farenheit in the closet. I set some fans up in the doorway and managed to get the thing up long enough to take care of the customers.

    Both VMS and OS/400 are at least as complex as UNIX. They're real operating systems that offer all the requisite operating system services. Both VMS and OS/400 come with huge stacks of documentation. The university had a table with 30 or 40 orange books documenting every aspect of VMS, OS/400 had a similar amount of documentation.

  • The OS/2 community had been doing a lot of work on emulating win32 programs, and I have read that a lot of this know-how is being channeled into Wine on Linux.

    Note that this is not code from IBM itself, but from OS/2 enthusiasts.

    Also, someone was also porting a very cool Asteroids-like game called 'Roids over to Linux the last time I checked. Great game, but yeah, a somewhat questionable name... :)

    Jon Acheson
  • User areas were numbered instead of named, so you could go to area 1, 2, 3, etc. I think there were up to 8 of them on a disk.

    There were, of course, no subdirectories in either CP/M or pre-2.0 MS-DOS.


  • I worked on DG/UX at one point. Data General had some cool clustering technology (I think VMS still had an edge there, though.) and a lot of B2 security stuff (ACLs, Mandatory and Discretionary access control.) They also had some pretty advanced hardware and were one of the leaders in NUMA technology. It's kind of a pity that they didn't enjoy more success despite their excellent technologies.
  • by VAXman ( 96870 ) on Friday May 19, 2000 @07:44PM (#1060179)
    Many Slashdotters think that Unix = Good, everything else = bad, but a Unix monopoly would be as bad as a Microsoft monopoly. Many computers users are not even AWARE that there are more than three operating systems available (Unix, Mac, and Windows). Diversity is good! Microsoft's downfall does not mean we should should have yet another monopoly. That's why I welcome alternative systems such as VMS and OS/2 and all of the others.

    VMS and OS/2 are extremely good systems. VMS is by far my favorite operating system in the world, and we can only hope that the industry trend is to have MORE different types of systems. This is very good from a security standpoint, because a bug in one system would not be able to take down the whole world. But from a personal point of view, I think most techies would be very bored in a world where there is only one system (I know I would!). The whole excitement of computers is learning new systems, logging on to a new OS for the first time, learning a new language, a new API, etc. If all of the world is an Intel PC running Linux (as it increasingly is becoming), there's isn't a fun any more.

    Demand diversity. Run VMS. Run OS/2. Run OS/390. Buy a Tandem. Get an old HP mainframe. Demand support for these systems from ISP's, ISV's, web sites, and the like. A one-platform universe if it is Linux or Windows or TRS-DOS is a very, very boring and dangerous thing.
  • The nail went in the coffin with Warp 4. Their largest/strongest customer base was in corporations... so what did they do...

    Well of course they fixed the serious GUI message queue problems, made performance enhancements to the shell, and made the FS layer completely 32bit....

    Oh wait... that's what they should have done. In true old IBM... "we have no clue what's going on so we'll see what we can do to kill of the product".... they added voice recognition.

    I could hear the "What the Heck!" uttered with the announcement... As all the companies promising applications quietly dump the projects.

    Anyways, that's when I bailed. Fortunately IBM these days has really turned things around... first sign of that... they didn't immediately destroy Lotus (it was dying anyways but they didn't help it along).
  • "If they're not making any money off of it and they don't want it anyway.."

    Last I checked they made more profit on OS/2 then Red Hat generated revenue. I guess it's all a perception thing.
  • All the high-end vendors support partitioning and/or recombination in some fashion. There's no technical reason "mainstream," by which I assume you mean "x86" processors could not be arranged in such an architecture. For starters, Intel made a supercomputer, the Paragon I believe, which used 386 processors. It's not a great leap from MPP to partitioning. However, the point is moot, as peecee-type systems aren't likely to have or need this capability. For one, there are usually too few processors for it to be useful; while partitioning one CPU may at times be interesting, it requires a great deal more software and architectural support. For another, people who buy peecee-type systems do so because they want a cheap box. The S/390's partitioning/VM scheme kicks serious ass, but the CPUs and architecture are more than adequate to handle the overhead - x86 CPUs would slow to a crawl. Those who need partitioning can afford to pay for it.
  • by VAXman ( 96870 ) on Friday May 19, 2000 @07:57PM (#1060186)
    For starters, if you haven't used VMS since 1986, you are not qualified to comment on it. If I hadn't used Unix since Version 7 would you value my opinion?

    The main selling point of VMS is clustering. VMS is generally regarded as the leader in clustering technology, and no Unix clustering implementation comes close to VMS's clustering technology even 10 years ago. No Unix clustering technology today implement shared disk clusters, distributed lock managers, or load balance sets.

    The newest VMS technology, Galaxy, is one of the most revolutionary advancements in OS technology in the last 10 years - the only Unix with it is Tru64 - who stole it from VMS.

    In general, VMS is considered significantly more secure and reliable than Unix. Whereas most Unix systems usually crash every few months, VMS systems have been known to be up for over a decade.

    The user interface of VMS is much easier to use, and much more powerful than Unix. It is an English-like syntax. If you think it is arcane, I have to ask, what were you using? The VMS command to search a directory tree of HTML files modified since yesterday for a string is:


    The Unix equivalent is:

    $ find ./ -mtime=1 -name '*.[Hh][Tt][Mm][Ll]' -exec grep -i text /dev/null '{}' \;

    It appears to me that the VMS command is much easier to look at and understand.

    VMS also supports many features that Unix never will such as file versioning, asynchronous I/O, rational memory management and IPC, calling standard, etc., etc., etc., etc.
  • One is on the release of Solaris 8, which is about $20 for the unwarranted version

    unwarranted (n-wôrn-td, -wr-) adj.

    Having no justification; groundless: unwarranted interference. See Synonyms at baseless.

    Gotta love subconscious word choice, eh? ;-)

  • VMS also supports many features that Unix never will such as ... asynchronous I/O

    Depends on how you define "Unix" and "asynchronous I/O". The UNIX 98 spec includes asynchronous I/O calls, in the sense of "start an I/O operation, don't block waiting for it to finish, and deliver an indication (signal, in the case of UNIX) when it completes, e.g. aio_read() [] and aio_write []; at least some implementations of the UNIX API provide async I/O calls. Are they sufficiently close to SYS$QIO? (Perhaps signals aren't as nice as ASTs, but....)

  • Most hard core Unix types want nothing to do with OS/2, lumping it in with Microsoft products in the big scheme of things.

    Well, it was one, in part, initially (and there may well still be Microsoft code in it).

  • Linux doesn't scale well enough, at least not yet.

    Ummm... &nbsp is not a S/390 IBM mainframe running Linux [] a pretty damn big scale of an OS? &nbsp I patiently await the day MS runs an OS on a mainframe.

  • There's no technical reason "mainstream," by which I assume you mean "x86" processors could not be arranged in such an architecture.

    Indeed not, and in fact, some are already doing so. See Data General's PIII Xeon based 64-CPU AV 25000 [] server, and their AV Flex [] offering. You can run DG/UX and NT simultaneously on the same machine. As far as I can tell, they developed AV Flex because they're quite securely in bed with Microsoft now, and having NT unable to run on their top of the line box was a bit of an embarassment. As it is, you can now run NT on the AV25000, even if each NT partition can only be allocated 4 CPUs. DG/UX, of course, runs just fine on all 64...

  • IBM will use OS/2 on at least the commentator stations in the Sidney 2000 Olympics [].

    Maybe they will use it in more places but I don't like reading PDFs.
  • Actually, multitasking and multi threading have no relation to each other. Multi tasking is the ability to run more than one process. Multi-threading is the ability of one process to have multiple, simultanious paths of execution. Both OS/2 and Windows have the same multi-tasking/multi-threading model. For 32bit apps, both are preemptivly multitasked, and many parts of the OS and some apps are multi-threaded. Second, don't go dissing the Win95 process/thread model. It kicks UNIX's all over the place (not in security of course). Under UNIX, a thread is a lightweight process. As such, the scheduler is process oriented, and threads take much more time and resources to create under UNIX. Under OS/2, Windows, and BeOS, a thread is the smallest unit of sheduling, and are very lighweight in terms of resources and creation tim. Lastly, there is no such thing as "true multitasking." Hell, under any definition of mulitasking, DOS had multitasking (TSRs.) Win95, OS/2, BeOS, and Linux both employ something called preemptive multi-tasking, where the OS decides when an app should give up processing to another app. Under cooperative multi-tasking systems, like 16 bit Windows and MacOS 10, the application has to call a function to return control back to the OS so it can shedule another process.
  • A two step program to end the drug problem:
    1. Make drugs legal.
    2. Put IBM in charge of marketing.

  • Actually it can, and they did. So did Win95 compared to win3.1
  • You're exactly right about the Microsoft hatred being about the only thing in common between the OS/2 and Linux crowds. For someone truly intrested in OS/2 and not into all the politics, one of the most depressing places on the internet has to be comp.os.os2.advocacy.

    Excluding the never-ending Tholen threads, which don't have much to do with anything at all, most posts these days are about Microsoft -- sometimes in relationship to OS/2, but a lot of times OS/2 isn't even mentioned at all. Not exactly the best advocacy in the world, especially when any OS/2 developer who decides to also port their software to Win32 has to run the gauntlet of bitter OS/2 users branding them traitors and telling them to go to Hell. You'd think that they'd be pleased that someone is still writing software for OS/2, especially given IBM's own lackluster support, but I guess the hatred is more important. Sad, really.


  • I'm rather suprised to hear this. I had an issue w/ useful life of OS/2 a few months back, and IBM told me that they would be updating it through the end of 01, if not for just their core dependants. I had also heard buzz about an updated Warp Server pack due out in Q1, with OEM preview and announcement late Q3. Then again, I think their move to Linux for many of the roles 'reserved' for OS/2 traditionally is putting a crimp it their style, and they'd like to move faster to exploit the explosive curve going on now..
  • Actually, there are many open OSs that are not UNIX-like. My favorite (for reasons that will becomes obvious soon) is AtheOS. It is a project run by one person, but is actually progressing quite quickly. It even has hardware accelerated drivers for some Matrox cards. The best part is that its architecture was heavily influenced by BeOS, and its file system is basically a clone of BFS that he made using the book that the guy who wrote BFS published.
  • As for the Win95 vs. Linux thing, I had no intent to glorify Windows in anyway. I was just repeating what I heard on the FAQ about how Win95 is less susceptible to bad memory than Linux, mainly because it doesn't use the hardware as effectively. I never said anything about it being fault tolerent, I merely pointed out that there are differences between OSs that will allow one OS to run on marginal hardware while another will not. As for having no experiance with VMS, that experiance is unnecessary in this case. I said I have no idea if VMS can do that, but I am sure that some hypothetical OS exists that could do that, and VMS might be one of them. The person I was responding to thought that it did not matter what OS was running, that the HW as entirely at fault. I was just pointing out that in some cases, some OSs will keep running in places others won't. I never said that VMS was one of them, I just said it COULD be.
  • by Coz ( 178857 ) on Friday May 19, 2000 @06:43PM (#1060226) Homepage Journal
    Ok, so they're carving the headstone for OS/2 - but they'll still offer "special-bid, fee-based" support. How many folks think this OS is never going to go away?

    There are still folks out there running DOS 3, not to mention the Cult of the Amiga [] and the Trash-80 and the Timex-Sinclair. How do you put a stake through the heart of these beasts? (esp. one that Big Blue sold to banks, governments, etc).

    "IBM wants its customers to deploy ebusiness technology applications concurrently with existing OS/2 applications until platform neutrality has been achieved, and then change the operating system," said the spokesman (quoted from the article)

    Wonder if the folks who thought then that they couldn't get fired for buying IBM are sweating, or if they're not getting fired for buying Micro$oft now?

  • Yo, COM is not without its merits. There is only a few major architectural differences between SOM and COM, the most important being that SOM supports direct inheritance, while COM doesn't. COM does something called aggregation which achieves the same effect. They support two different philosophies. SOM is slightly more fragile at the benifet of being more flexible, while COM is more resistant to base-class derived class interaction problems at the expense of requiring more programming effort to derive an object. I am of the mind that developers in general aren't responsible enough to do unchecked deriving, and that by making it less automatic in COM, the developer is required to have a clearer understanding of the interface between the base and derived class.
  • This is incorrect. Nothing in Unix says that threads must be lightweight processes, there
    are many implementation possibilities. Solaris is the only design firmly in that camp.
    Linux is actually quite the opposite, if I remember right, in that both processes and
    threads are created with the same spawn system call.
    Actually, I believe that you have it reversed. I know Solaris uses their own implementation of threads, and that Linux uses POSIX threads. I have seen test results that show that POSIX threads take 10 times longer to create than NT threads (which take serveral times longer than BeOS threads), and the system slows down significantly at a much lower thread count than under NT and BeOS. (Both of which have nearly a hundred threads from bootup.)

    Also, the (imho only) advantage of lightweight processes is that the the resources to
    create a thread are far less than any object that the OS is aware of. This is exactly the
    opposite of what you said.
    Actually, under most systems stuff like semaphores and locks take far less memory. The advantage of threads is two fold. First, the multiple paths allow multiprocessing, and second, they keep subsystems of a single program from having to on one another. This is a big help considering that fact that even the most basic PC these days has four processers, the I/O processor, the graphics processor, the sound chip, and the main CPU.

    The problem with lightweight processes is that support requires complex libraries and
    redundancy with the OS (which has to support multiple processes anyway) and requires
    non-blocking versions of all system calls, which are much more complex (interesting
    enough MicroSoft makes a big stink about their non-blocking support and their multi-
    threading support, when realistically only one of these needs to be implemented!)
    Threads and non-blocking systems calls are neither complex, nor terribly difficult. If the OS is designed from the core to support threads, (like BeOS and NT) multithreading naturally flows to the whole system.
  • Yes, it is partially hardware, but a great deal software. It shows that VMS can take much more flaky hardware errors than can UNIX. (It's true. Even Win95 is less susceptible to flaky hardware than Linux is. Some severly overclocked systems will run on Win95, but crash on Linux.) Take a PC running Win95 for example. If one shoots the harddrive, and the resultant shock sends a electric surge up and kills an I/O processor, more likely than not, a UNIX will crash. Another bullet-proof OS, for example, could handle an I/O processor going out in the middle of operation and still keep running. I have no experiance with VMS, so I don't know it can do that, but I think that's what the author was getting at.
  • Ahh, its all clear now. I didn't realize you were talking about non-OS managed threads. I had the idea that you were saying BeOS and NT threads are resource intensive.
  • [With OpenVMS]
    You decidedly don't get source code to the system.


    Back in the '80s you sure did. It was (mostly) written in Bliss, and totally distributed on MicroFiche (i.e. you can't recompile it unless you retype it...not real assurance that the same source you got was used to compile the system).

    I think the idea was that if the full bookshelf of manuals didn't cover it, the source could help out a bit.

    "Open Systems" are ones where the APIs are disclosed.

    There are lots of things I don't like about VMS, but lack of disclosure isn't one of them. Tons of disclosure come with VMS. Or at least 800 pounds of manuals. Seriously.

  • by hypergeek ( 125182 ) on Friday May 19, 2000 @08:46PM (#1060245)
    Time was when OS/2 was the best PC OS out there.

    I agree. I miss OS/2 Warp 4... even though I only used it for a sustained two-week period during winter break two years ago, it was the happiest two weeks of my life ;-).

    I'd also like to take a moment of silence for that wonderful IRC client.... arrgh... for the life of me I can't remember it's name was... it had a default nick of "Momoboy" and...


    Say it ain't so!

    Oh OS/2, how I miss you.
    Netscape 2.x,
    And TAPCIS, too.

    Beloved OS, we eulogize you,
    And if I were awake,
    I'd make this a haiku

    It's ok, folks... just let it out...


  • ... Is that it is by no means the first term to "lay claim" to the word Open.

    The Open Group recently released OpenMotif, with mention of "Open Source," and even the Raymond/Perens/Debian definition thereof. As well as mentioning that

    By the way, OpenMotif
    isn't Open Source.

    The number of occurances of the word "Open" in the press release should be a good tip-off that it's marketing-speak time.

    OpenVMS, which hearkens from the days of "Open Systems," is one of the cases of there being a fiction of openness. "Open Systems" are ones where the APIs are disclosed. And generally this means using some UNIX variation or some simulation thereof.

    In the case of OpenVMS, they provide a POSIX-compatible API, as well as most of the components defined as part of the UNIX95 specification. You can pretend it's UNIX, if you hold your nose. (VMS aficionados would say the same thing, but mean something else... :-) )

    With OpenVMS, you can probably compile some POSIX C code, and perhaps run some UNIX shell scripts. That's what "Open" means, in this case.

    You decidedly don't get source code to the system.

  • by schporto ( 20516 ) on Friday May 19, 2000 @06:47PM (#1060251) Homepage
    Manufacturing. Merely as an example. We currently use VMS to handle an entire warehouse. Everything from automated forklifts, to temperature controlled areas, to 100 ft cranes, to weighing of material. For us a move from VMS to UNIX (any form) would cost millions and take a long time. A real long time. And personally I couldn't gaurentee the same level of capabilities and/or reliability. (note though I have not been asked to look into the feasability)
    Besides which it does have (by my experience) more reliability than our UNIX boxes. Our computer room got 'hot' one day. Real hot. The UNIX boxen all shut down. Not real nicely either. Almost lost data. The vaxen just kept right on going. Never missed a beat. Dispite a backup tape melting inside one. It really didn't care. Nor did we. There were more of them in a nice redundant rollover cluster. Just replaced the tape and did another backup.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Open source advocates may be interesting in Free-VMS [], a free implementation of VMS similar to OpenVMS. Other interesting resources include
  • Same site, other articles.

    One is on the release of Solaris 8, which is about $20 for the unwarranted version, and NDS directory services.

    This is kinda odd, tho -- although eDirectory will run on Solaris, W2K and Linux, check this:

    > Novell is pursuing aggressive sales for
    > eDirectory. It will give a 100-user licence free
    > to customers buying Windows 2000 Server within
    > 90 days of its release. Sun Solaris 7 buyers
    > will be offered the same deal until 31 January.

    What, no Linux? People actually buy Linux, ya know.
  • Open VMS has many of the same features that the old 3+Open NOS's had when they were trying to client-server between VMS boxes and DOS/Windows machines. It's just much more refined and much easier to architect.

    Sort of like what Dec did with the 8400 Alphas and ATM (clustering), just it's all wrapped in one package. In short, makes the VMS environment more friendly with non-VMS systems using methodolgy from the old days.

  • by mazur ( 99215 ) on Friday May 19, 2000 @06:51PM (#1060262) Homepage
    "IBM wants its customers to deploy ebusiness technology applications concurrently with existing OS/2 applications until platform neutrality has been achieved, and then change the operating system,"

    What in Linux heaven or M$ hell do they mean? That they can ftp all customer stuff to the other platform, where it can be used? And that from a company, that used M$ tactics since before Bill Gates was born, only not that succesfully... And whom are they going to be friends with? Us, or them? The article leaves much to be enquired.

    IBM invented noninteroperability as a marketing strategy long before Microsoft, but failed because Amdahl left them, knew reverse engineering and how the IBM machines were designed.

  • I am wondering: is there any likelihood/possibility that OS/2 code or techniques might end up in Linux code? I know IBM is unlikely to open-source OS/2, but with their recent involvement in Linux, are they paying any OS/2 developers to work on Linux? (If not, what exactly is the extent of their involvement with Linux?) Just a thought...

    If they're not making any money off of it and they don't want it anyway, it would be nice if they just gave it away. That's what I would do. Of course, I'm not IBM. The FSF could do more with it than IBM wants to.

  • I can't speak to the Israeli Team OS/2 branch, but in general, Team OS/2 started out as you describe. Later on, though, things got really ugly, and the group eventually became a negative drag on OS/2, both with the non-OS/2 users, and eventually even with the OS/2 userbase itself.


  • Unisys's ES7000 [] will support dynamic partitioning on Intel PIII and Itanium processors. It will be able to run mutiple operating systems at the same time. Supported operating systems include Windows NT, Windows 2000, and SCO Unix.
    Although the entire system isn't mainstream, it does use some standard parts. It supports up to 32 CPUs, 64 GB of memory, and 96 PCI slots.
  • by Often_Censored ( 182111 ) on Friday May 19, 2000 @10:19PM (#1060276)
    I remember when, just four short years ago, I purhcased OS/2 Warp and my friends thought I was nuts. "It's half an Operating System they said" -- I knew that they were intimidated by a superior OS that ran the same Win 16 and DOS apps (albeit a little slower).

    I enjoyed stability, and the joys of true multitasking (not Win95 multithreading). No geek ever knocked the technical merits of OS/2 in my dorm. They just said "I like it too, but it just doesn't have the applications I need." Too bad for them -- OS/2 never ate my term papers. I enjoyed having a MS compatable OS that ran Win 16 apps better than Windows 3.1.

    My OS/2 days are long gone -- as well as the 486 DX-2 40 that I ran it on. I'll remember OS/2 as a testament to the engineering talent of IBM and the ineptness of their Marketing team (OS/2 sponsored the superbowl -- didn't remember that? I'm not suprised).

    I wonder if Linux would be as huge today if Windows had some stiffer (OS/2) competition. Maybe if Windows hadn't sucked donkey ass in such a hurry since then maybe we wouldn't have all these developers and user jumping ship to this labor-of-love called Linux.

    I'll always remember OS/2 as a window killing piece of engineering bliss that just never blossomed. IBM: you suck.

  • But the dichotemy is interesting; We're developing a new, updated version of it, but you'd be whipping a dead horse because we've already declared it obselete. A product life cycle of 0 is not something I'd like to be in on, and I do believe I walked into a doozy!
  • Unix didn't kill VMS. DEC killed VMS through stupid policies. And having used both extensively, and programmed for both extensively, I'll point out that VMS had/has technology that Unix systems (not to mention Linux) are still reaching for. Like clusters: talk to a VMS person sometime, tell him/her about "linux clusters", and then listen to her/him laugh at you. A properly set up VMS cluster is a thing of beauty, with capabilities and reliability orders of magnitude beyond anything available on Unix.

    Then tell the VMS person about how we're getting different languages to work together. They will look at you in amazement, wondering why there isn't a standard calling convention that all the languages use.

    Yes, DCL (the standard "shell" on VMS) is not the best possible interactive environment -- the unix shells are clearly superior. But DCL isn't VMS, anymore than bash is Unix. The VMS operating system is powerful and complete, and has solved problems the Unix people haven't gotten around to thinking about yet. The only thing that really sucks on VMS is the device:[directory]file.ext;version file names (although once you've lived with *real* (i.e. supported by the OS) file versioning, you miss it a *lot* when you do without).

    And we Linux people our proud of our months of uptime, but VMS people measure uptimes and availability in *years*. Many of the production lines and processing plants (refineries, etc.) in the US and around the world are run by OpenVMS machines.

    Don't get me wrong: I *like* Unix, and I'd much rather have a Unix box for my day-to-day programming environment (except that the DEC debugger blows away gdb) than VMS, but that's mostly because I'd much rather have bash than DCL. VMS definitely has its annoying quirks and faults. But slamming VMS based on a few weeks use of DCL and not liking the syntax is just prejudice.

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court