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OS/2 Sucessor eComstation Sees The Light Of Day 230

Bushwacker writes: "Just when everyone thought IBM's OS/2 Warp Operating System was finally dying, the fabled 'licensed-out' 'Warp 5.0' is now in version 1.0.0. Called eComStation, the operating system's developer, Mensys BV promises all of the features and stability of IBM's Warp 4.0, plus many updates, enhancements, and new features, such as efficient SMP support for up to 64 processors as well as easy network integration between client and server versions. eComStation has modest system requirements and should be able to work well on most PCs or x86 based servers without much trouble. But then again there's the age old issue of OS/2 driver support (sigh)... Currently, a preview version is available, with a final release 'coming soon.' The eComStation OS is available in Standard and Pro versions from Indelible Blue." Update: 05/08 11am by C :You can get more information and screenshots from the the .com version of the website.
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OS/2 Sucessor eComstation Sees The Light Of Day

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Easy dude, don't go invading Manchuria or we'll have to nuke that ass again.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 07, 2001 @04:28PM (#239653)
    Looking around at all the biased, uninformed, ignorant posts reminds me why FUD is such a good marketing tool. How many of you that just bashed Os/2 have ever ran it? For more then a day, and before it quote unquote died? How many are baseing your opinion on other FUD? Have any of you ran a BBS and wheren't running Os/2 or Linux? How often could you surf the web, play quake 1, and have 2 nodes with users actively doing things without a slow down? On a NON-pentium computer? Ohh that's right you never could.
    I'm not trying to flame here, but I'm tired of people spreading FUD. Not just about Os/2, but Linux, Windows, Mac's, anything that they haven't experienced first hand but they still shoot their mouths off because "everyone else" says so.
    And this *will* get modded as a troll.
  • in Sweden Nordbankens ATM's run OS/2. I saw one rebooting and rebooting one day in Stockholm. Must have been something wrong with in. But Im sure it runs much better the Föreningssparbanken's ATM, they use WindowsNT and its dog slow.. you get lag when you enter the PIN-numbers. Sometimes they crash and you cant use them. Pretty strange to see a "out of virtual memory" on an ATM machine.
  • by Riktov ( 632 ) on Monday May 07, 2001 @08:52PM (#239655) Journal
    I'm more disturbed by the name of the company Mensys. Can't help but remind me of, well let's just say, something about "that time of the month".

    One thing's for sure : don't let Mensys get involved with Siemens...
  • 7. As for IBM open sourcing the WorkPlace Shell, forget it. Parts of WPS are owned by Microsoft, as parts of OLE are owned by IBM. IBM can't open it up due to contractual obligations (We saw the same argument when Ralph Nader asked IBM to open up the source of OS/2 in the antitrust trial).

    Are you sure about this? I don't doubt that parts of the Presentation Manager are owned by Microsoft, but the Workplace Shell? Remember, that was built on SOM, and didn't come along until 2.0 (1991).

    It's possible that SOM was contaminated with Microsoft stuff, but if so, why did Microsoft junk SOM for COM?

  • Why don't they make a linux distro that is specifically for installing Oracle on top of?

    Like one of these? [oracle.com]

    Not actually Linux, but pretty much what you mean.

  • At least OS/2 has a certain amount of relatively modern software available for it (StarOffice 5.1a, Netscape Communicator, XFree86, GIMP), and the built-in DOS and Windows capabilities give OS/2 a lot of flexibility w.r.t. running older software.

    I like BeOS 5 (I've been running BeOS at home since the 4.0 release), but it's really hard to move to it fulltime. Not so with OS/2...
    -Rich (OS/2 Warp 4 and Linux user in Eden Prairie MN)
  • * Because I use OS/2. :-)

    * In the summer of 1992, after I installed OS/2 2.0 next to my existing Windows 3.1 installation.

    * I've used various distros of Linux since the 0.99 kernel (SLS 1.01 in the fall of 1992) including RedHat, Mandrake, SuSE, Storm Linux, Coyote Linux, LRP, and tomsrtbt, and also used FreeBSD 2.x and 3.x, BeOS 4/4.5/4, Solaris 2.5, 2.6 and 7, MacOS 6.01 through 8.1, Windows 2.1, 3.0, 3.1, 95, 95OSR2, 98, and NT4, and a number of mini and mainframe OSes (OS2200, VAX/VMS, KRONOS, NOS, etc.). I prefer OS/2 overall on the desktop.

    * See above.

    * Nobody else in my family uses OS/2.

    * Heh. No, when I was a child there weren't any Intel-compatible PCs.

    * I use four boxes concurrently (KVM switches are wonderful things) running OS/2 Warp 4, Win95 OSR2, BeOS 5 Pro, and Mandrake 6.1. Most of my non-game time is spent on the OS/2 box.

    * No, I don't consider OS/2 use to be normal. On the other hand, would *you* want to be considered a "normal" computer user? ;-)

    * Yes, few people understand why I use it until I show them what it can do, and then they are more understanding...

    -Rich (OS/2 Warp 4 and Linux user in Eden Prairie MN)
  • It also used the left mouse pointer to select, but the right mouse pointer to actually drag objects.

    Because of the fact that I'd used PC/GEOS (via GeoWorks Ensemble) for years before I say OS/2, the move to OS/2 was quite intuitive for me.

    -Rich (OS/2 Warp 4 and Linux user in Eden Prairie MN)
  • It seems like you misunderstand who is producing eCS. It is not IBM. It is a company called Serenity Systems, in cooperation with another company called Mensys. True, IBM did produce the OS itself but the packaging was done by a 3rd party.
  • which IBM released as OS/2 1.3 and MS - eventually - used as a basis for Win9x.

    The only thing Win9x 'inherited' from OS/2 was some GUI features and the win32 API, which was (originally) remarkably similar to OS/2's. All else in win9x was just an upgrade to DOS/win3.1.

    NT 3.51, OTOH, was partly based on OS/2, evidenced by the fact that - at least until NT4 - NT could run old 16-bit OS/2 textmode apps and had support for OS/2's HPFS file system (PINBALL.SYS IIRC).

    Win9x had a much better GUI but...

    Have you ever even used the Workplace Shell? True, in Warp 3 the interface looked a bit 'industrial', without too many bells and whistles, but its functionality is unparallelled. If you don't believe me, then read up on Object-Oriented User Interface design (Theo Mandel has some good books on it).
    As for the looks, as early as in 1994 there were desktop enhancers (like NPSWPS) that could jazz it up a lot!

  • OK, I think we can agree on those points.

    BTW, I checked your (old) website. Nice OS/2 links!

    You mean- those links are still alive? I haven't looked at those pages for years... :-)

  • In the Workplace Shell, the UI choice was made that one notebook tab can have more than one pages. The page you're at is indicated somewhere at the top, like '1/3'. The big advantage is that you don't get a big mess of tabs in your control panel. The disadvantage- as this case probably indicates- is that some users don't cycle through the pages but only click on the tabs, thereby missing some important settings pages.
  • I stopped in at an Egghead in Houston looking for some OS/2 software. They had a couple shelves filled with OS/2, but no 3rd party software.

    I asked the manager why they didn't have any and he said that Microsoft had threatened to raise their cost for Microsoft products if they where caught selling any OS/2 software - even special ordered.

    I always thought that was odd that they still sold OS/2, until it hit me - by allowing Egghead to have OS/2 on the shelf w/out any other OS/2 software, Microsoft was able to create the impression that no 3rd party OS/2 software existed.

  • Serenity Systems has been delaying the release date. I think they are too small to handle this full business profesionally. At least they sent a beta to those that prepaid. I wonder if the final quality and bug correction will be worth the price.
  • It's a pity that much of the open source software in OS/2 is ported from Unix. It uses forks that more expensive in OS/2 than in Unix. The right thing would be converting it to threads, but free OS/2 developers usually find better things to do with their time.
  • I know that OpenDoc is just one part of the WorkPlace Shell, but you have been able to download the source code for IBM's OpenDoc 1.2 [ibm.com] (the version in Warp 4 is 1.1) for Win95, OS/2 and AIX since the jump to Java.

    The license agreement stipulates that you only use the source code for debugging and education. Be wary about exploiting side effects that you discover in the source code, because the IBM OpenDoc team may change the code in future editions.

    Has anyone actually used it in some other product?
  • I'd have to go with Amiga advocates. At least the company that built OS/2 is still around. (No, the "New Amiga" doesn't count)
  • Yeah, but with Mac OS X, the Mac is like the Mac, only with a powerful command prompt and reasonably easy access to ported Unix software.

    Only runs on plastic see thru hardware, but still...

    So where does one get an eCS demo disk? Looked quickly, but didn't see anything at the indelible-blue site or at ecomstation.com.
  • I use OS/2 for server installations.

    No, I don't use OS/2 Server, I use OS/2 Client versions.

    My clients want a machine that will do 1 or more of the following:
    1) Web server (intranets or internet with small->moderate loads)
    2) Firewall/Proxy
    3) E-mail services

    I keep an extensive personal library of current and past releases of numerous OS/2 titles (both free and "for limited use"/freeware). Products which allow me to set up a customer for nothing but the cost of a Warp 4 Client box and my time (and at times registrations when needed for shareware such as InetMail/InJoy). Anything else that is needed, I may write custom in REXX or JAVA, and on rare instances use IBM's Visual C/C++ or Borland C++.

    Case in point...
    A company I worked with needed to build an Intranet for their call center. When I got there they were running NT4/IIS and 128 MB of RAM on a P133, serving nothing but static pages. The machine was dog slow handling aprox. 150 reps. giving static page response times of upwards to 15 seconds (30+ seconds for pages with scripting!)

    When I came in, and without using the existing machine, I asked them to purchase a copy of Warp 4 client. I applied all relevant services/fixpacks. Then I pulled a P90 IBM PC750 off the shelf, bumped it to 64 MB, removed the stock HD, and replaced it with 2 2GB HDs (for data redundancy) installed IBM ICS 4.2.1 web server (free for non-SSL use). Built them a new streamlined web site, added a specialized call-tracking pipe-server (written in ansi C under Borland)) that communicated with a client side Java app that each call-rep used to log every single call and it's disposition. Created a REXX based user ID search that parsed an 8 MB flat file for ALL matches in no more that 5 seconds. ...and atleast a dozen other call-rep utilities for handling/managing user accounts/account information.

    The system was put on-line, and even with the addition of 3 other call-centers adding their load the machine still served ALL responses to ANY client request (within the facility) to no longer than 8-9 seconds at worst, for actions that were running CGI. Web pages were usually delivered within 4-5 seconds at worst, although the system normally ran around a 1 second response time on all static page requests once the OS and the web server had "settled" (ie... caching and disk I/O had optimized from the extended use).

    The machine perfomed it's own maintenance with scripts I wrote, so that while the office was closed on Sundays, it would clean old logs for storage, perform it's redundancy backup to the second HD, and reboot itself (I seemed to have a small memory leak in the pipe-server that I was never able to nail down otherwise the machine wouldn't have needed to be restarted).

    I left that company with three commendations for improving productivity and turning the call center around from a "under consideration to close" to a "nessicary hub".

    That machine ran for over a year until a new person came into management there and demanded that they "remove the OS/2" machine. They went back to NT and my friend there cursed me every day he stayed at that job because he could never get the NT box to perform even remotely close to what the OS/2 box did.

    I'm sorry for going on like this, and I'm not trying to brag, but even a Client install of OS/2 rocks over any Windows variant as a server, and is about a billion times easier to use than any UNIX variant (which funny enough we jokingly refer to OS/2 as a "single user Unix") Sorry Linux fans :)

    Installs like this need no fancy hardware... need no fancy software... are simple to implement and I will continue to do so until I can't find hardware to install on.

    Unfortunately, I can't use OS/2 as a client. I use Windows :( my work demands it, as does my game playing. No, I will not use Linux at this time (my most recent experiences were spending 3 days tweeking V/H refresh settings blindly on an undocumented monitor in order to get a GUI running under RedHat. Or hand hacking memory assignment so that the computer can blindly access the the 256MB that has, but can't see. Or better yet, how about the CD-R that I could only get mounted on the system by faking it out as a SCSI device. And while it will atleast read CDs now, it sure as hell wouln't write a CD to save it's life. IMHO that's bullshit and I will not put myself through that again if I can help it.

    I honestly haven't used OS/2 as a primary client for a few years now :(

    What's my point in all of this?

    I really don't know, I felt I had to offer my situation with OS/2, an OS that I enjoy using. It absolutely is the best at what it does hands-down! It doesn't really answer my client needs though these days, and I wish it did. Windows does better at this, but only because most everyone else uses it. I wish I had a better client choice, and believe me, if I had the skills to write my own OS I would, but I don't :(

    I still consider going back to OS/2 as a client though as of late with all of the fixes, additions, and applications that have been released as of late. And holy shit, even more so since I got a chance to spend some time playing around with the newer Domino Notes Server and Clients... wow... It was never before so clear to me what a piece of shit MS Exchange/Outlook was until after using a real workplace colaboration product.

    Oh well... I don't know if I feel any better having said all that... maybe some will have enjoyed reading it...

  • Nicely baited...
    No, both the CD-R issues and the RAM issues were not more than four weeks ago using RedHat 7.0...
  • BeOS advocates.
  • stable than any but the most rarified NT box.
    It would even give my solaris a run for the money.. What about 3d support..NO GAMES NO REASON to switch...is the same reason I don't run a dedicated solaris or linux box.
  • and you will own the market...

    Make my games play and THEY will come
  • That was almost a really interesting, informed comment but unfortunately it was only about 75% coherent. Your english is killing you. Or else you're wasted right now. Sorry. (not that mine's much better...)
  • Errr, or you don't know what the heck your talking about... Try this [netlabs.org] or google

  • You have to boot to FLOPPY. OMG that is horrible.

    I'm pretty sure you could boot to a command prompt in version 2.1 without a floppy. By using Alt-F1 and then the F2 switch if I'm not mistaken.

    Many didn't know there was a utility which could make a single diskette boot system, called "bootos2", and if I had to boot from the 2 or 3 floppies more then a couple of times I would have thrown the thing out too. Look what StarDock did with the WPS by extending its features. The OO in SOM ( System Object Model ) was amazingly powerful though somewhat fragile at times. The fact that almost every aspect of the desktop and OS could be scripted with REXX was a boon for admins and weekend hackers. VxRexx blew VisualBasic away but who saw it or used it?

    IBM built a really flexible system and it's power was in its flexability. The fact that Microsoft had a rope around the neck of every OEM prevented that flexibility from being excercised by the OEM so the customers has as much power exposed to them as the OEM's saw fit. It was like dropping a box of motorcycle parts in front of mom and saying "let's go for a ride this weekend".

    I think it was 3 OEM's in Germany who fought Microsoft and pre-installed OS/2 for one year and in that year it gained an incredible 25% marketshare.

    The flexability of OS/2 was amazing. With some simple scripts you could make OS/2 a pseudo multi-user system by moving OS2.ini and os2sys.ini files around. The desktop was amazing but without a "File Manager" familiar to Win3.x users they were lost and would use the WinOS2 "File Manager" if they found it. Only businesses with vision could really put OS/2 through it's paces and with the OEM's locked out by Microsoft, Joe Public hardly had a chance figuring out even 10% of OS/2 capabilities.

    Just my thoughts....


  • I'm still embarassed about IBM's unwillingness to show any backbone against Microsoft.

    Dang, I thought they put up a good fight. No OEM would pre-install OS/2 because Microsoft would pull the plug on their DOS and Windows licenses so all IBM could do was sell at retail and they sold quite well there too. Then IBM fought Microsoft up until the last day, the day Windows 95 was released, before caving in. After all, Microsoft would have shut down IBM's PC division. In late 1994 and early 1995, IBM was selling 1 million copies of OS/2 a month and had TV ads all over the world. Something happened in around the March 1995 timeframe because IBM pulled all ads and stopped publicly pushing OS/2. From the DOJ VS MSFT case, I think the threats from Microsoft were sinking in and the PowerPC platform had failed...

    We won't even get into all the pressure put on 3rd party developers to ONLY develope for Windows. IBM put up a damn good fight againt the Microsoft monopoly. IMHO.


  • While most operating system bigots stick with what they know and want, I'll try to not do that too much. Well, a little bit.

    So I heard from a friend of mine that BeOS is the next best thing since sliced bread. I am uncertain as to if I can agree with that. I understand that most of the GNU suite of software compiles on BeOS and is directly usable, but there are other things that people use that don't work with BeOS. I am talking about using it as a server. Linux has LVS, which works somewhat good in lieu of a rather nasty ARP bug which exists in the Linux kernel. Does BeOS support cheap load balancing a'la Linux? I sure haven't seen that. Why spend $69.00 or whatever BeOS costs, to do the same thing, or less than a $5.00 Linux CD?

    So how does somebody think that taking over a relic such as OS/2 (which has been funded for a long time by IBM, past its expiration date) is going to generate revenue? Especially with that type of price tag. They most likely will not be able to sell to pointy-haired bosses who like Windows(R) or Solaris(R). And they most likely will not be able to sell to Open Source people who like to get stuff for free and with source code. So this leaves them to sell to Joe Bloe and his Compaq Presario, well short of a select few that still use OS/2 and find it useful. Well let's assume that there are a few people who actually buy this for the hell of it.

    So how this company will successfully have Joe purchase this product ($279.00) will be interesting. Especially since he already got Windows with his computer and if he is savvy enough, he might install one of those Linux distributions he got with his PCWorld magazine. To add to it all we have the infamous driver issue. Will eComStation actually have support for that pesky Presario CD-ROM controller, which doesn't work with anything short of Compaq's Windows drivers?

    Or are they going to try to not concentrate too much on retail and go after OEM deals?
  • True, but then again this product is being revamped to be a PC Workstation platform, good for running Lotus SmartSuite et al.

    This company is really not targeting that market segment if you ask me.

    Also, why in the world would somebody with that important of an application (assuming that it's a hospital with a gazillion medical records) do an OS upgrade? Everybody knows that things break with new OSes. This one isn't even made by IBM anymore...
  • by PD ( 9577 ) <slashdotlinux@pdrap.org> on Monday May 07, 2001 @04:30PM (#239682) Homepage Journal
    You convinced me. I just ran my Atari ST over with a truck. I haven't felt this good since 1985!

  • > Looking around at all the biased, uninformed,
    > ignorant posts reminds me why FUD is such a good
    > marketing tool. How many of you that just bashed
    > Os/2 have ever ran it?

    I not only ran it, I was a member of Team OS/2 for years and I worked at IBM on OS/2 for the Power PC and OS/2 version 4. (I wrote the half of "Feature Install" that works, and no I could never get permission to fix the other half. Or the flawed design that predated my employment at IBM.)

    I watched OS/2 die along with all the other non-MS proprietary OSes after Windows 95 came out and finally customers weren't actively looking to replace windows.

    Being a tiny fragment was no longer an option, the anything but microsoft crowd had to unite behind something, and all the momentum shifted over to Java as the last hope to keep OS/2 alive by being part of something bigger.

    Then Sun got greedy, refused to release Java to a standards body (despite endless promises), refused to make a Linux port of the JDK, had everybody sign non-disclosure agreements to see the Java runtime source code... Everybody's monopoly detector went off, and nobody wanted to replace microsoft's leash with sun's.

    The netscape (that great guru of Javadom who gave up the applet) suddenly went "Look! The cathedral and the bazaar! Open Source! Linux!" And all the java people went "ooh". And there was much rejoicing.

    I'd been toying with Linux since college, and had been TRYING to use it as my java development platform after leaving OS/2 (NOT easy back then). It was a bit like coming home.

    OS/2 is dead. Let it rest in peace.


  • I think your comments on the UI aren't fair. Personally, I find the Workplace Shell to be the most powerful UI so far of about a dozen OSes I have used. There is nothing unintuitive about the right mouse button, it's just the OS/2 way, not the same as everybody else, but not inherently any less intuitive. Personally I find it more powerful since you get more functionality out of it. The right mouse button in the object-oriented Workplace shell of OS/2 means "show me the list of all possible actions on this object". It's very logical and simple to understand and use IMHO.

    I still use OS/2 at home but I miss some of the apps that are available on other platforms. I'd like to have something as reliable as Solaris with as many desktop applications as Linux has today, and an OS/2 UI. Then I would be really happy.
    I'm afraid it's not going to happen so I'll stick with OS/2 for some more time.
  • The import/export filters in Staroffice have been working well and I can send people XLS or DOS files created with Staroffice without any problems. I read the ones they send me too using Staroffice.

    Incredible, isn't it ?
  • OS/2 does not run Win9x 32-bit windows applications. There were both technical and legal reasons for that. IBM had a source code license for Windows 3.x, and basically recompiled it as Win-OS/2 as a subsystem. They did not have the same license for Windows9x and would have needed to reverse engineer things to run those apps. An independent group of people are doing that, it's called Project odin. See http://odin.netlabs.org . I would not call it reliable though and wouldn't use it for anything production. But there are a few apps that run under it.

    Personally, I love Staroffice for OS/2 very much. In fact even on NT at work I prefer to use Staroffice over MS Office ...
    It's too bad Sun killed the OS/2 support for Staroffice but it's hard to blame them given IBM has dropped the ball on the OS.

  • No, it's always been that way in the Workplace shell since OS/2 2.0 in 1992. The changes in Warp 3 and 4 are cosmetic, mostly the color schemes, wallpapers and prettier icons to make it attractive, but it's basically been the same UI for 9 years. The right mouse button also lets you drag objects, if you hold it down and move the pointer. But its primary function is for context options. Whereas the left button is for clicking/opening/selecting. It does take some getting used to if you come from another GUI. I went straight from DOS to OS/2 and had seldom used GUIs before the Workplace Shell - I tried Windows 3.0 but it was never of any use to me because it was too unstable. So perhaps because I didn't have any other habits from other GUIs, I found the OS/2 shell very easy to learn. I miss its ease of use and functionality a lot in the other GUIs I use today - the NT shell and CDE under X primarily. I wonder how long it will be before somebody comes up with a UI as useful as the OS/2 one on the other platforms.
  • Two things, (1) OS/2 is the only operating system that can IPL (boot) an s/390 mainframe and (2) if you think Linux is anywhere near usurping OS/390 then you need to do more research on OS/390. While I love Linux, it doesn't even approach OS/390 in terms of reliability, IO speed (meaning it doesn't make full use of the hardware, this will probably change eventually), fault tolerance, and batch processing.

    I wouldn't doubt that IBM someday might put out their own distro, but in the mean time they have a nice potential revenue stream selling support contracts to mainframe shops who want to use it to replace existing unix and NT servers. Keep in mind these are customers who think nothing of dropping $500,000 a year on OS or application support. Linux has a shot at some success on the s/390, but it needs to become a bit more reliable to win over people who measure uptime in decades rather than years :)

  • by NMerriam ( 15122 ) <NMerriam@artboy.org> on Monday May 07, 2001 @06:00PM (#239689) Homepage
    Unless you want to use a network card, SCSI card, IDE controller, sound card, CD or DVD drive, floppy drive, internal hard drive, external hard drive, modem, external FPU, RAM, or that light on the front of the case that tells you when you're accessing the hard drive (that isn't supported anyway).

    Sounds like Linux -- except for the $279 price tag!

    (please note: this is not flamebait, this is humor (and a little truth, admit it!))

  • Well, the Amiga *was* cool, except for

    AAH! BPTRS! Look what you've done! BPTRS!! There crawling down the walls!! Blblflblmblrgrfp
  • But you must be thinking of Mac advocates.

  • NASA did the math, using two separate groups to work out the Warp number and the build number. Both groups were firmly cautioned to decide amongst themselves on whether to use Metric or Imperial units for their calculations.

  • So can a Universal Turing Machine. Your point?
  • If eComStation is such a great OS, then why is www.ecomstation.nl [ecomstation.nl] using Tru64?

    http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph?display=&site= www.ecomstation.nl&find_site=Scan [netcraft.com]
  • Why don't they make a linux distro that is specifically for installing Oracle on top of?

    That, is a great idea. How bloody simple would that be - a CD that turns a big x86 box into an Oracle server.

    Dave :)
  • What's really funny, is that for a while (until they renumbered it) the successor to Mac OS X Server 1.2 was going to be Mac OS X Server 1.0. As it is, we're going to have Mac OS X Server 2.0 that has as its core Mac OS X 10.x. I want to know what comes next, Max OS X 11?
  • Linux/*BSD is to frightening (Distributions like Mandrake and SuSE (well IMO is just as userfriendly as W2K..and you're able to change the default settings) for many people and that is the reason for them to use MS-Windows, though they're unsatisfied with its performance. What they need is an Operating System that has got the best of both worlds.
    eCS/OS2 has got the best of both worlds....It is polished, yet versatile (I'm thinking of the WorkPlace Shell here)...stable, great performance and it has got power applications for most office-work. The Java support is superb, and actually some Win32 support is present (via Odin, which uses Open32 and a partly implementation of WINE for this job).
    But it is not a gaming platform :o( That is a bit of a problem!
  • No actually eCS 1.0 = OS/2 Warp MCP 4.51, not 5.0. And nope, it is not P6 optimized, it uses the i486 instruction set.
  • No, you're quite right...it wasn't lack of hardware support that killed OS/2....it is certain divisions inside IBM that is trying to kill OS/2....
    But actually I have had little problems with hardware support...Even the GeForce2 is supported...the only area where there's a problem is with SCSI controllers (Funny since IBM for quite some time has been trying to push OS/2 into a server-role) and until recently soundcards (SBLive is now supported through a port of the OpenSource driver)...By this I mean, unless you want to use some exotic hardware, then there's no real problem finding hardware....

    Live long and prosper...
  • Diebold, NCR, Wincor-Nixdorf, etc. still have a lot of hardware around the world at the various Banks that's deployed running OS/2. Banks also expect to keep their systems running with suported software for many years after a product has been witthdrawn from service (5-10+ years in some cases).

    Banks are some of the slowest organizations to switch to new technologies, there is a market for this type of product.

    Only now are some of the manufacturers getting to install NT-based systems (Yes, NT - not 2000).
  • Half of the stuff on that list either relies on age-old standards (hence requiring only a generic driver) or has nothing to do with the specific OS (the RAM and das blinkenlights come to mind).
    The target of his satire may be off, but the commentary of his now-ranked-"Funny" comment is dead on. OS/2 hardware compatability has been terrifying, even to the seasoned user. I remember when i was working on systems when warp 3.0 and its ilk (warp! connect) came out. each month, IBM reps would hand out updated booklets on compatible hardware for Warp! installations. if you wanted to save a few dollars on a generic CD-ROM, forget using it in the OS/2 machine, because while you might get generic support within the program manager, you could not get the installation routine to read from the CD drive. ditto with "generic" hardware like network cards. Ever get AWE-32 drivers for os/2? the OS/2 rep said to sell the ESS Audiodrive cards instead. Win9x has the de facto support of hardware manufacturers. OS/2 didn't, and that was yet another reason it was so frustrating.
  • Support of Win32s programs (i.e. win9x) was a problem from the beginning. OS/2 could not get native win32s applications to run, and they could not licence the API from Microsoft. the closest thing they got was a win32 extension from win3.11, and that was a whole other purchase (Warp! fans will remember the Blue os/2 box that came with win 3.11).

    it's too bad in five years they never solved that incompatability issue.
  • A CD-ROM works, or it doesn't. The only time I ever had trouble installing OS/2 was with a proprietary CD-ROM, because every drive had a different interface

    aha! i was very very right! when OS/2 came out, ATAPI interface drives were just coming out on the market. This was exactly the CD-ROM situation when warp! hit the market, and that was a holy terror. Do you remember remember that warp! came on 32 disks too? Those came in handy when certain motherboards had EIDE interfaces that were out of spec.

    I'm not arguing about the benefits of the WPS. (i have not used/installed/touched os2 for about 5 years, give me a break here) i am also not going to tell you about the IBM(!), 3com 10base2 adaptors that refused to function under OS/2, and the xircom pcmcia cards that would not hot-swap. IBM and toshiba were the only laptop companies that i remember that came out with with , current warp drivers.

    what were your experiences getting Aptiva systems to work with OS/2? now, i'm talking about ACTUAL IBM computers. how about Aptivas with an mWave telephony card? How about AST's with riser cards? there were certain models of Aptiva that did come with os/2 installed, true, but on other models i was told by IBM reps that OS/2 was incompatible.

    my post is not akin to, but is actually saying that "i ran OS/2 warp and it was a pain in the ass, especially for multiple hardware configurations". anyone who built a variety hardware boxes for use in a Warp! environment knew that the Warp! installation was lacking, and improvements were overdue. Even the wildest OS/2 fantatic could not honestly dismiss this.

    lastly, unless you have actually used eComStation and seen "NT3.5->2000" type improvements, i doubt you are in a better position to distill and my post to a single sentence!

  • but I don't think hardware support was the thing that killed OS/2....'cos Linux has had the same problems
    don't mistake me, i don't think lack of hardware support was the downfall of OS/2 either. it didn't help anything, but there were many factors. The whole third party driver issue was a chicken/egg situation with IBM and peripheral vendors, but at least for Linux, there is a much larger user base that can write drivers. IBM was the main reason OS/2 failed. superior operating system, but poor product support, poor marketing (remember the Nuns with the beeper? d'oh).

    a popular musing was that if IBM marketed sushi, they would have called it "Dead, Raw Fish!" in the press pack.

  • That depends on your own specific needs.
    If you can download and compile your own Linux distro for free, why would anyone pay for a copy of RedHat or Slackware or .... That should answer your own question.

    If you are using BeOS, one reason to switch is that OS/2 or eComstation is _alive_, the company isn't looking for a buyout like Be, Inc. is. Another reason is that you can get productive on OS/2 or eCS. On top of big office suites like Lotus Smartsuite or StarOffice, there are many individual apps that are as good or better! Out of all the "alternative" OS, OS/2 has probably one of the hugest software bases of them. (Does Linux count as "alternative" any more? :)

    I think same argument could be made for *BSD! Drivers are pretty darn good for OS/2 | eCS too. How many "alternative" OS have support for the DVD, USB including USB CD-RW's?

    As for Linux, that's up to you. Some people like fiddling around and re-compiling their kernels and mussing around with LIB hell. Some don't, I tried and I don't. I just use OS/2 and keep on using and using and using...To me, Linux is not ready yet.

    If you are running a big web server farm like Google, OS/2 is probably not your best choice. If you want to play games, OS/2 is probably not your best choice, due to lack of games. If you consider yourself a "power" user, but are not a "hacker" type and you're sick of Windows crap, OS/2 is a good choice.

    Look around, compare the offerings and pick the one that is best for your job.

    And to those of you who think OS/2 is dead... you should keep up with the times. IBM is still spending $$$ on programmers to update and bug fix OS/2. Do you think they blow money just for the heck of it? They do it because they have many, many paying customers that justify the expense.

  • 1. eComStation is not developed or distributed by IBM. It is built on OS/2, but it was and is being developed by Serenety Systems, and distributed by Mensys and Indelible Blue and a few other vendors who escape me. Visit http://www.ecomstation.com/ for more information.

    2. IBM, as far as I know, has little to do with this effort. Interface overhauls, etc. are being handled by people who developed 3rd party apps for OS/2.

    3. Win 32 compatibility is being provided by the Odin project (formerly win32-os2 project). http://odin.netlabs.com/ I think.

    4. Xfree86 has been ported to OS/2 by Holger Viet. I don't remember his website, but there is plenty of information about how to do that.

    5. Both software packages mentioned in 3 & 4 are addons, and you do have to go out and get them, but they are also free. Source available in many cases also. (This does not sound all that different from apt-get or RPM does it?)

    6. For the person who said the mouse is confusing, Go to "System" double click on the mouse object, and then select "Mappings" from the properties/settings notebook. You should be able to reassign functions there. (those other posts that responded to you were, uh, uninformative.)

    7. As for IBM open sourcing the WorkPlace Shell, forget it. Parts of WPS are owned by Microsoft, as parts of OLE are owned by IBM. IBM can't open it up due to contractual obligations (We saw the same argument when Ralph Nader asked IBM to open up the source of OS/2 in the antitrust trial).

    8. It's probably already been said, but eCS != OS/2. This is the reason that you have a version number of 1.

    9. I prefer it because all the hardware I've purchased for my machines is OS/2 compatible. That is a little more work, but not as much as you might think. Besides, haven't Linux users had to do the same thing?

    10. Yes, I have tried linux. Linux Mandrake 7.0, Redhat 5.2 and 6.0. To be honest, they were cool. But I don't like to spend all that time fiddling around with configuring the computer. Some of that is fine, but too much is a pain in the neck. So I don't do it. (Case sensitivity was the thing that really turned me off. Just doesn't seem to matter all that much.)
  • by IntelliTubbie ( 29947 ) on Monday May 07, 2001 @04:32PM (#239708)
    Unless you want to use a network card, SCSI card, IDE controller, sound card, CD or DVD drive, floppy drive, internal hard drive, external hard drive, modem, external FPU, RAM, or that light on the front of the case that tells you when you're accessing the hard drive (that isn't supported anyway).

    I'm sure that this is intended to be humor, but the fact that it's been modded up at least once as "Interesting" means that some people are bound to be confused. Half of the stuff on that list either relies on age-old standards (hence requiring only a generic driver) or has nothing to do with the specific OS (the RAM and das blinkenlights come to mind).

  • They're already risking having a competitor do better than they. They are porting Linux to just about everything with a CPU that they manufacture. What is going to happen when 51% of S/390 (or whatever the heck they're called now) orders request Linux instead of OS/390? I'd call that an embarrasment.

    I also think they've prolly spent more money on a new version of O/S2 than they would have with making their own Linux distro. But that is strictly an opinion...
  • by joshamania ( 32599 ) <jggramlich@@@yahoo...com> on Monday May 07, 2001 @04:27PM (#239712) Homepage
    Why does everybody keep on insisting on keeping dead operating systems lying around? I mean, aside for the fact that I can get a little nostalgic about my Commodore 64 emulator, it doesn't do a wholehelluvalot for me. Just the statement about the lack of driver support should preclude IBM from wasting money on this venture.

    Now that I'm done ranting, I'll say something (I hope) semi-intelligent. IBM could have easily used Linux for something like this. They could have even used a flavor of BSD. Either way that would be better in the driver department.

    In fact, when is IBM going to get around to publishing their own Linux distro? Are they even thinking about something like this? Why not, Linux is halfway to usurping OS/390 and AIX (not to mention Solaris, Winblowz, IRIX, et al.)?

    I would certainly love to see big blue put the moves on a Linux distro. Not only would that give IBM a good reason to start putting a lot of effort into driver creation for Linux, but it would also give their Linux initiative a lot more clout, and it would allow IBM to take Microsoft on directly with a quality and widely used operating system.

    I'm surprised that more big software companies haven't put out their own distros. Oracle comes to mind. Why don't they make a linux distro that is specifically for installing Oracle on top of? I think it would be great if I no longer had to deal with all the crap that Redhat introduces into their distro that effectively breaks Oracle. Ugh....

  • Typical... of the lame marketing back-seat-driving
    that was the most memorable feature of the OS/2,
    Amiga, and Atari ST communities.
  • by Tofuhead ( 40727 ) on Monday May 07, 2001 @04:32PM (#239715)

    So, OS/2 Warp 5 is at version 1.0.0? Sounds very powerful...surely a scientist is behind this.

    If it's enhanced for Pentium III, I am so there, dude.

    < tofuhead >

  • by Tofuhead ( 40727 ) on Monday May 07, 2001 @04:45PM (#239716)

    eComStation is brought to you by your turnkey eCommerce B2B P2P bluetooth solutions partner. Thinking different, one customer at a time, because it's your e-internet.

    IBM...for great justice.

    [fade out from uplifting Moby track...now]

    < tofuhead >

  • IBM made more profit from OS/2 last year then RedHat had revenue. Red Hat would kill to have a product as profitable as OS/2.
  • But if you want to write app code for their OS, they won't stand in your way, at least not initially. They may crush you out of existence later, but they make it easy to write apps for their platforms. IBM, on the other hand, made it hard. And MS had a head start on cultivating developer mindshare. That and the fact that IBM was slower to respond to changing stimuli pretty much sealed the fate of OS/2.

    But of course nothing compares to linux, linux may be hard to configure for the average luser, but it's a developer's delight - all the tools are mostly there, and they're all free. Now if linux was easy enough for the average luser to install, there might be a market for 3rd party apps, but I'm not holding my breath.
  • Personally, I like the term "E-tard". Used properly, a single word can speak volumes...
  • Hell, I had to f**k with modlines just a month or two ago (with XFree86 4.0.1) to get my 19" Radius monitor to get it to do 85Hz @ 1152x864. (It does 90Hz in BeOS at that res). Couldn't figure it out (use math, to configure a computer?) So I just wrote a program to get the settings from my BeOS install (which, like every other GUI in existance *except* X, can actually read Plug & Play monitor specs).
  • If IBM would spend the massive money needed, and release OS/2 opensource they could TRULY speed linux adoption. Better, to save money, they could just make a window manager (with *REAL* fonts dear god..) that works like OS/2 does for X windows.

    With the release of a prominent, visible, powerful desktop operating system that WAS proven to be powerful, they could change the game in a big way.

    I can hear all the arguments saying "Well, they lost the first time on their NATIVE system". And its a valid point.

    However, it is an entirely different fight. IBM would be ADDING what they have (a working desktop paradigm/technology), and using what linux has (GREAT device drivers and solid support in 2.4 for the latest technology).

    In short, since IBM is investing so much money in linux, mostly as a server solution, why not go for the long shot and invest in the biggest battle of them all. The desktop.

  • > P.S. What the hell is an external FPU?!

    Hehe. Lil'guy. In the old times we had: 8088, 8086, 80286, 386, 486sx, 486slc, 486dlc and NexGen which didn't had an internal Floating Point Unit. You had to buy an external one (8087, 80287, 387 and 487(a 387 for the 486dlc and slc).

    Anyone remember the Weitek FPU's ? They were from 200 to 800% faster than the intel x87 counterparts. I still have two working motherboards with a Weitek slot on them. Does Linux make use of it ?
  • How do you know you're an OS/2 user? Except for playing the occasional game on my wife's Mac, it's the only OS I use at home. Well, I boot into Linux when I need to work at home.

    When did you first think OS/2 was a "superior" operating sysem? The day I tried the first beta of OS/2 2.0. I had used OS/2 1.x before, and although I could see the potential, I really couldn't use it.

    Have you ever tried using another operating system? Yes, pretty much every other major PC OS except *BSD, including BeOS.

    Have you tried different other operating systems? Huh?

    Is anyone else in your family an OS/2 user? My father uses it every now and then, but he rarely uses a computer nowadays.

    Did you have OS/2 experiences as a child? Heh. Sorry, I was in college when OS/2 1.0 came out.

    Are you a 100% OS/2 user, or do you occasionally use other operatings sytems? My day job is a Linux driver programmer, and I use my wife's Mac for playing games and a few other things that I could do on my OS/2 PC if I weren't too cheap to buy more hardware. Why buy a second CDR drive when I can make an ISO image and ftp it to the Mac?

    Do you consider using OS/2 normal? As normal as using any "alternative" OS.

    When did you first 'come out' and tell your friends and family that you were an OS/2 user? Back when I started using OS/2, everyone thought it would be the future, even Bill Gates [os2bbs.com].

    Have you been critized because of your OS orientation? Sure, but these people have never been able to explain to me why I should switch. They make it sound as if I'm missing out on something, but they never tell me exactly what that is.
    Lord Nimon

  • sigh...I'm still wondering whatever happened to Taligent [taligent.com] and "Pink".... Anyone remember that?...that at one point actually seemed like a MacOS-related thing I might actually use...heh.
  • I see a number of people saying that OS/2 has poor hardware support. I don't know where this information comes from...

    OS/2's hardware support is just about on a par with Linux's. In some areas, it's no doubt weaker (multimedia, perhaps). In others, it's stronger. I'm sure it balances out...

    OS/2 has had solid USB support, for instance, for at least two years. (True, it doesn't support OHCI, but most built-in controllers are UHCI.) Supported devices include modems, keyboards, mice, printers, speakers, USB-Ethernet and CD-RW devices.

    Other recent technologies OS/2 includes are UDF (for DVD-ROM and DVD-RAM), I20 (Intelligent Input/Output), ATA-100, and even support for some WinModems. This doesn't strike me as the mark of an obsolete OS.

    OS/2 supports Logical Volume Management, far more elegantly and transparently than Linux, for instance. The newest versions also come with JFS (journalled file system).

    OS/2's multithreading, SMP support, TCP/IP stack and Java virtual machines are all generally considered just about the best of any x86 operating system. These are all up-to-date with current features.

    In terms of everyday hardware, OS/2 supports almost all NICs, SCSI controllers, and video chipsets. (A special IBM version of Scitech Display Doctor supports almost all current video cards in a single driver.)

    As for software support... well, OS/2 is in a transitional phase. Remember, OS/2 originated in the days when BBS shareware ruled the cheap software market, and three-figure industrial applications ruled the commercial market.

    There are still big, commercial packages and small shareware packages (some extremely high-quality ones, at that), although admittedly the variety is shrinking rapidly.

    But the open source model is rapidly picking up steam on OS/2. Some of the most promising application support under OS/2 is free or Free. Just take a look at OS/2 NetLabs [netlabs.org] for a quick sample of some of the projects underway. And that's just scratching the surface.

    Most major Linux applications are also available on OS/2. XFree86, Samba, Perl, Apache, CDRecord, GIMP, GNOME, VIM, bash, gcc... I could go on.

    The point is, OS/2 is far from obsolete and nowhere close to being a dead end. Give us some credit. We (OS/2 users) are not a bunch of sad relics from an ancient era who refuse to wake up and notice the world has moved on. We're moving with the world.

    Some of us even hope to help move the world ourselves... and that, I think, is eComStation's goal.


  • compuglobalhypermeganet... Now that's deserving company name to produce eComCyberStation2000i!

    Buy 'em out boys...
  • Hah. You were trained very well.
  • Update was released last week. Schmuck.
  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Monday May 07, 2001 @04:16PM (#239769) Journal

    ...according to the price sheet [indelible-blue.com] eCS Standard is $279.00.

    If I'm using Windows, or another "alternative" OS like BeOS, *BSD or *LINUX, why would I want to switch?

    Can anybody explain why this would be of interest to anyone other than OS/2 people looking to upgrade?

    Don't get me wrong. I'm happy for the OS/2 people, and I'm glad to see diversity in the OS market. I just don't see what the advantage is over another OS. Any OS/2 fans wanna pitch it?

  • by Linguica ( 144978 ) on Monday May 07, 2001 @04:18PM (#239775)
    Is it just me, or does the name "eComStation" sound like the mother of all conference-room upper-management decisions?

    OK, I think we need to put a 'Com' in there somewhere, since dotcoms are big nowadays and everyone wants the internet. How does ComStation sound?

    And we need to make it sound more hip and high-tech. How about eComStation?

    I guess we should be lucky it's not "eComCyberStation2000i."
  • by zaius ( 147422 ) <jeff@nospAm.zaius.dyndns.org> on Monday May 07, 2001 @04:31PM (#239778)
    • How do you know you're an OS/2 user?
    • When did you first think OS/2 was a "superior" operating sysem?
    • Have you ever tried using another operating system?
    • Have you tried different other operating systems?
    • Is anyone else in your family an OS/2 user?
    • Did you have OS/2 experiences as a child?
    • Are you a 100% OS/2 user, or do you occasionally use other operatings sytems?
    • Do you consider using OS/2 normal?
    • When did you first 'come out' and tell your friends and family that you were an OS/2 user?
    • Have you been critized because of your OS orientation?
  • by zaius ( 147422 ) <jeff@nospAm.zaius.dyndns.org> on Monday May 07, 2001 @04:16PM (#239779)
    Unless you want to use a network card, SCSI card, IDE controller, sound card, CD or DVD drive, floppy drive, internal hard drive, external hard drive, modem, external FPU, RAM, or that light on the front of the case that tells you when you're accessing the hard drive (that isn't supported anyway).
  • How many of you that just bashed Os/2 have ever ran it?

    Ran my BBS on it for 5 years (it's still running - switched to W2K last year and have never been happier.. unfortunatly Linux doesn't have the same amount of quality BBS software..). I couldn't stand it, but it was the Best Tool for the Job{tm}

    Every now and then (not often.. 4 or so times) it would just commit suicide. Thank fuck for GammaTech, it saved my butt many a time after OS/2 trashed everything, and helpfully chkdsk tried to fix it by deleting everything.

    The interface was horrible - OO was not only useless but gets in the way.

    OS/2 only had one driver worth a shit - SIO (Vmodem) by Ray Gwinn.

    The reliance on the old DOS-way of things (like, drive letters, a huge CONFIG.SYS, rebooting after any system changes, etc) are really annoying.

    How often could you surf the web, play quake 1, and have 2 nodes with users actively doing things without a slow down? On a NON-pentium computer?

    You're talking out of the wrong orifice again... if your BBS was actually worth a shit, you would not have been able to run Quake and maintain adequate performance for the BBS (unless you never upgraded beyond 2400). Not even with a Pentium.

    I guess my (and most others perhaps) problem is I entered the OS/2 scene with Warp3, so I never knew the simple life of the earlier versions.. I suppose if all I knew was xfree86 then I'd say Linux sucked too..
  • by dg1kjd ( 159535 ) on Monday May 07, 2001 @04:19PM (#239785) Homepage
    The best thing about OS/2 always was the graphical user interface. Way ahead of their time with their object model and OpenDoc OLE concepts. Everything else (even KDE and M$ Windows) is still far behind. Would have been great to have it run on freeBSD or Linux. Great stable operating system with acceptable driver support and a decent GUI would *really* have been successful.
  • Has anybody else noticed how Japan seems to get all the cool toys first? Transmeta notebooks come to mind as an example...

    Well we Americans did get freedom, liberty, and justice far before the Japanese. If you don't mind, and if its all the same to you, I'll go ahead and wait a few months for my Transmeta notebook. Thanks.

  • Who has a shallower grip on reality... OS/2 advocates or Amiga advocates?

    [shaking cane] Dang it, you kids don't know what you're missing! There ain't nuthin' that can touch (OS/2, AmigaOS), even today! (OS/2, AmigaOS) has [feature], [feature] and [feature], which these newfangled operating systems haven't gotten right yet! If it wasn't for (IBM/Commodore's) incompetence, and Microsoft's conspiracy, we would be 20 years farther ahead than we are now, instead of stuck with technology that is STILL behind what we were running years ago!

    Dang it, where's my geritol....


  • Yes...I remember going through the same hardware grief when I was experimenting with OS/2 versions 3 and 4 a few years back. You had to choose your hardware carefully if you wanted to actually use any of it with OS/2. But how was this any different from Linux in its not-so-distant past? Hardware support under Linux can sometimes still be hit and miss...admittedly it has improved very rapidly (whereas OS/2 support never really improved all that much at all)...but I don't think hardware support was the thing that killed OS/2....'cos Linux has had the same problems
  • #include "rambling"

    My first introduction to OS/2 was in 1994 when I bought a used 486/66 system with 16MB of RAM, a VL Bus SCSI card, 420MB SCSI hard drive, an ATI Graphics Ultra Pro (VLB), and a brand new IBM 17P monitor to go with it. This was a pretty bitchin setup in June of 1994, and of course, it came with a real operating system on it - OS/2 2.11.

    I would blow people's minds with the machine. My father, a computer person with 20 years of experience at the time was in awe. The machine could compile C++ code, telnet (in and out), ftp (in and out), run WordPerfect 6.0 under DOS, and do all sorts of neat tricks - ALL AT THE SAME TIME. It did not thrash it's brain out - it had a real OS paging algorithm, not the nasty hack task switching that Windows 3.1 used. Oh yeah, I forgot that it also had an X-server and it was live on the internet through a SLIP connection.

    I did a lot of great work on the machine while working towards my masters degree. OS/2 wasn't without faults, but it was damned good compared to Windows 3.1 Windows 95 was still way off in the future. I saw OS/2 as a personal version of unix; it had all of the libraries and tools that I needed. The compiler (C Set) was world class, and the graphical debugger & performance analysis tools were decent too.

    In Dec 1995 I upgraded to Warp 3.0. That partition is still on my machine, one motherboard later, one video card later, two hard drives later, etc. The only thing that hasn't changed on the machine since I installed Warp 3.0 is the sheet metal on the case and the floppy drive. Every other component (including the power supply) has changed at least once. Show me a Windows partition that could survive all of that.

    And of course I supported what I used. I worked for IBM which helped a lot, but I still bought the printer drivers for my Epson printer (from Germany), ImpOS/2 for graphics (also from Germany), BackAgain/2 for backup, and other goodies. I had to buy more expensive hardware to ensure that it was supported under OS/2, and I could never use the bundled software that came with my hardware. (SCSI HP 4C scanner, SCSI Zip, SCSI Tape, Matrox Video, etc.) That was a harsh tax to pay, but I believed in the product.

    Buying the software that I should be getting for free was an uphill battle though. Eventually I had to install Windows 95 to use some Windows only software. For a long time I dual-booted between the two, usually preferring OS/2. On the same hardware it just seemed to respond much faster than Windows 95. Eventually I acquired more Windows software, and now I use OS/2 when I need to fall back to something old, like it's DOS support or those specific programs that I purchased.

    I'm almost entirely on Win 98SE now. OS/2 is still on the machine, and it's up to Warp 3.0, Fixpack 40. I never bothered with 4.0 - IBM was very good about allowing Warp 3.0 users to patch their way into new functions, so I haven't needed to. It's in maintenance mode now - I'd never install something new there.

    I can't complain about Win 98SE too much. It's what Windows 95 should have been. It doesn't crash often, and I can do almost anything I need to. But for code development, I avoid it like the plague and I go to Linux.

    BTW, that 486/66 was re-incarnated as my Linux firewall box! Good hardware never dies. And thank goodness for Linux, which gave it a use again. It's not a barn burner, but with a 4GB hard drive and 32MB of RAM it's actually a pretty usable little box. I would never attempt that with Windows of any flavor. (I really love that little box.)

    I've used every version of DOS from 2.1 up, OS/2, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98 SE, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2K Pro, AIX 3.x and 4.x, OS/400, and Linux in varying amounts over the last 15 years. (I'm not counting the stuff I've only just touched, like Solaris/SunOS, VMS, Ultrix, etc.) My favorite OSes are OS/2, Windows 98, and Linux. Linux has the lead at the moment.

    Back to OS/2 .. it should be dead. It's on life support because some fairly large customers still have it and need support. It is great at what it does, but it really has been eclipsed by Linux - Linux can provide all of the function of OS/2 (most of it at least), and IBM doesn't control Linux so IBM can't kill Linux by rolling over on it and playing dead. It's a shame that IBM rolled over and played dead a few years ago ... I'm still embarassed about IBM's unwillingness to show any backbone against Microsoft.

  • That was/is not its reputation. It WAS more stable than Windoze up to and including win98 (and probably doze ME). It WAS a beautifully executed system with a nice GUI, object oriented design, and so forth.

    What it never got was full IBM support and, therefore, never got decent applications made for it, nor device drivers, etc.

    I used OS/2 up to and including Warp 4.0. After that, it just didn't have the legs to continue so I jumped ship to linux. No matter what, I can't see ever going back to it (under any name), and certainly not for $279. That's like buying windoze, which I have never done. You pay that price for no software (game or productivity), limited drivers...what's the point?

  • The reason you "MOVE" with the right button and "SELECT" with the left is so you don't accidently move something you didn't mean to. You see, in OS/2, you can actually arrange shit in a folder EXACTLY as you want it, and that's the way it stays.

    Quit bashing something you don't understand.

    With that said, the previous poster was wishing for something elegant as OS/2 on *Nix. I have found the combination of Windowmaker + ROX Filer to be quite nice.

  • I used it briefly, but I found a better one:

    http://rox.sourceforge.net [sourceforge.net]

    Windowmaker + ROX is quite elegant.

  • by BobStJohn ( 240686 ) on Monday May 07, 2001 @06:27PM (#239811)
    How about a good print subsystem. An awesome object oriented user interface. Incredible networking support, and humor aside, excellent device support and business applications.

    The thing about it is ... it could be a year or two before people figure it out .. but this is not being packaged and sold as an "OS". It is more. But it will take folks time to figure out, throw it around, hold it up to the light, jiggle it, find the value and teach (us) vendors what it should really be used to do.

    Until then it is simply a world class operating systems, coming with a couple of world class office suites, some incredible remote control software, and a new way to execute software deployment.

    It could be fun for anyone .. but it will knock the socks of anyone who has to support normal business desktop users.

    Bob St.John
    Serenity Systems

  • I think your comments on the UI aren't fair. Personally, I find the Workplace Shell to be the most powerful UI so far of about a dozen OSes I have used. There is nothing unintuitive about the right mouse button, it's just the OS/2 way, not the same as everybody else, but not inherently any less intuitive. Personally I find it more powerful since you get more functionality out of it. The right mouse button in the object-oriented Workplace shell of OS/2 means "show me the list of all possible actions on this object".
    Maybe it changed then from Warp 3 to 4. On 3, it meant 'drag', the left button being for clicking on stuff only. If they turned it into a context menu on 4, then that's great and that fixes a major annoyance.

    I still use OS/2 at home but I miss some of the apps that are available on other platforms. I'd like to have something as reliable as Solaris with as many desktop applications as Linux has today, and an OS/2 UI. Then I would be really happy. I'm afraid it's not going to happen so I'll stick with OS/2 for some more time.
    For all the hot air about the layered nature of X Windows, it does seem to be layered in all the wrong places making it hard to graft a new UI onto existing applications. And it does seem a shame that all the innovation and sanity that came about in the late eighties to mid nineties is being chucked out in favour of dancing paperclips, buttons that are only identifiable as buttons if you hover over them, and unpredictable behaviour in the name of hand holding.

    I'm not going to judge whether a version of OS/2 I've not seen is any better, but perhaps a second answer to the trolls who don't want to see further development of alternative OS's is that we still, obviously, have a hell of a lot to learn from them.

  • FWIW, BeOS is free, as in beer, at the moment. And a boxed set from Amazon will set you back well under $50, if you want CDs and a printed manual and some extra funky bits.

    I'm guessing the people who'll buy eComBuzzword will be the corporate users who are still using OS/2 in little pockets around the world. A holdover from the mid nineties when IBM did heavily promote it (at least in Britain, where I recall TV commercials "Where's the hourglass?", boxed sets in computer stores, and Escom PCs being bundled with it as an option instead of DOS/Windows 3.1), some corporate organisations did standardise on it, and haven't switched because of the costs of doing so.

    I'm sure this makes sense to marketing people who come up with names like 'eComstation'. "What's the market for this product?" "Er, people who already have it but need more support". It's dim long term though, as I can't see, at that price, it attracting any new users, so they're essentially creating a declining market by persuing this strategy.

    Well, it's their money to lose I guess.

  • And this *will* get modded as a troll.
    I doubt it, because I posted a genuine opinion, negative about OS/2, based on experience with OS/2 Warp 3, and was modded down as a troll.

    I agree that a good half of the bashing posts, if not more, are from people who have never used it, and are trying to get a reaction, or just tease groups they see as the computing equivalent of trekkies.

    (Did I just say that ;)

    But some of us used it. Some of us have formed an opinion about how good it is, and come to one that's negative. That's pretty normal - I have my own pet OSes I adore to death that I've met people livid with me, furious, that I could possibly like {an OS I love}, because, hey, they used 1.0 and it crashed a lot then so it can't possible have been any good.

    I found OS/2's GUI clunky and unintuitive. Others feel differently. Whatever the case, the more important issue for me is that it's expensive, and I have to rely on a company for support that I don't know will exist in the future.

    I switched to Linux specifically to get out of this rut of having to rely upon a company for support and having no avenues to turn to if that company goes under. Ironically, if IBM had swung behind OS/2 that might have at least reduced the importance of that complaint, but it's still effing expensive, and I can't see myself wanting it in the future.

  • Charming argument.

    OS/2 mouse button usage is unintuitive because the "touching" act implicit in pressing buttons, selecting things, and moving them about, has been spread over two different buttons. Quite what Microsoft has to do with this I don't know, but as I'd used Macs and Amigas pretty close to exclusively before I used OS/2 for the first time, I don't think they can be judged to have "brainwashed me".

    And what control panel? I don't recall anything in OS/2 Warp 3 that allows you to change what button you use for dragging things. If I'd seen such a thing, I'd have changed it.

    If it's there in 4, can I suggest you take the hint and assume it wasn't just me who thought it was a poor design decision?

  • If I switched to a Microsoft based OS, I'd have to rely upon a company for support, so I'm not quite sure where you're heading with that particular logic.

    Or if you simply mean "you ought to switch because Microsoft is a big enough company", nope. I don't buy the argument. Even assuming they stay alive (which is reasonable), past precedent suggests that they will drop support for operating systems after a few years and cease to develop them.

    Besides which, MS OS's have never suited my particular needs as a user. I don't plan to run a business, I do know what I'm doing, and I find having to use the things at work (because it's the corporate standard) frustraiting and stress enducing.

    So for me, it's a straight choice. Go the propietary route with worthy OS's like BeOS and QNX, and be let down again when the vendors pull out and nobody's around to support the products any more, as happened with me with AmigaOS, as happened with me with QL QDOS. As presumably would have happened to me if I'd bought an Acorn RISC PC or an Atari ST, or use worthy and free, as in speech, OSes.

    That's a pretty easy decision to make.

  • My memory's fine, as I said, OS/2 is actually installed on my laptop and I switch to it regularly to watch VCDs. The "manual" is little more than an installation guide and is next to useless. Unlike most manuals, I really have read it cover to cover. It doesn't contain this information.

    Which I guess reconfirms the complaint that OS/2's user interface is clunky and unintuitive. You're suggesting there's some feature buried in there somewhere where I can change one of the "features" of this OS/2 I find confusing, and more important, counter-intuitive, yet it's not obvious it's even there.

    As far as Microsoft comparisons go, that's... well, Microsoft, who brought us the scroll bar that flips back to where it was if when you're dragging it you're a little too far away from the bar, and other irritations. I didn't "lose entire directory trees" when I used the Amiga or MacOS. I don't when I use WMFinder on Linux either. All three use the "left button means touch" (well, MacOS "only button means touch") analogy.

    I can only assume the "feature" was implemented that way because the programmers had had much the same problem with WinFile or MSDOS Executive (its Windows 1 and 2 precursor) rather than experience of how a reasonable OS implements things.

    I'm amazed actually how much a small complaint about the way the right mouse button behaves has been treated by OS/2 fanatics here. It wasn't the only complaint, and there's a bunch more (dragging with a modifier key held down to change fonts and window colours permanently? <Sienfeld>What, is up, with that?</Sienfeld> And why does it forget all those settings when I reboot anyway?)

  • What makes you think the last time I used it was 5 years ago? It's on my laptop now and I use it because it's the only way of getting the MPEG hardware in my Thinkpad to work (the Win95 drivers don't seem to work reliably, and the Linux drivers are non-existant.)

    And, according to those nice people who are flaming me in other threads because I had the audacity to suggest the GUI was less than perfect, the user interface has barely changed between OS/2 3 and 4. "It's basically been the same UI for 9 years"

    Whatever the case, I don't intend to look at the demo, not because of the user interface, but the price and non-free (as in speech) nature of it. It may be a perfect demo, it may blow me off my feet, it may be that eComStation has the world's perfect UI, but at that price, they can bite my shiny meta... er, they can reconsider their marketing strategy. I wouldn't have bought NeXTStep when it was that sort of price either, and that has a UI virtually everyone who's come into contact with it has raved about...

  • You mean non-free (as in beer) nature of it.
    No, I mean as in speech. I've bought full price copies of Slackware, RedHat, and OpenBSD before, and will do so many times into the future.

    The issue is not paying money. I have plenty, and will pay for what's worth paying for. The issue is support. As I've said before, I've been burnt several times now. My first machine was a Sinclair QL in the late eighties. Then Sinclair was bought by Amstrad and the platform died. I upgraded to an Amiga. A fantastic system. C= went tits-up, and there was noone to catch the OS when it fell. Right now there's notional support in that after its gone through the receiver several times, someone's been given an OS that hadn't been updated properly in 8 years, but it's too late.

    Open Source and Free software isn't about getting stuff for free. It's about not having your entire system tied to the fortunes and whims of a vendor. It's about being able to support yourself, regardless of what the vendor wants, and regardless of what happens to the vendor, and if you can't support yourself, to at least know that programmers out there can support you independently of what the vendor chooses to do.

    If RedHat went to the wall tomorrow, would Linux die? OTOH, if BeOS went to the wall tomorrow, how much longer would you be able to use BeOS for before the drivers ceased to work on your upgraded PCs and third parties stopped producing programs for the platform because it had gone stagnant?

    1) You're using an over half decade old OS even now because it does something that you're Windows/Linux can't.
    I assume you mean "your". At home I run Linux, OpenBSD, and I'm tracking the AROS [aros.org] project. I don't run Windows, and I have OS/2 purely because I can't watch VCDs on my laptop without it. I'd chuck it out if I could.
    2) You never bothered to upgrade to the next version but feel free to deride it.
    From what I've heard here, the GUI, my main objection, hasn't actually changed much since Warp 3. And OS/2 Warp 4 has been pricy since its release, so, for the same reasons as I wouldn't buy eComwotnot today, I'm haven't bought it. My reasons aren't sudden, new, ones just brought out to annoy people advocating OS/2.

    WPS is so easily configurable as to be almost unrecognizable with the installation of just a few freeware/shareware packages (and some commercial too.) You can even replace the damn thing if you don't like it (there are several WPS replacements), try doing that under Windows.
    This has, indeed, been done with Windows. There are various products to change every aspect of the user interface, varying from LiteStep, a GUI shell replacement sort-of based on NextStep (on acid), to WindowBlinds which changes everything else (the style of buttons, pull down menus, you name it, it changes it)

    I hate discussions like this because there are people who have used OS {you name it here} exclusively for years, or exclusively but for Windows at work in an environment where they're not allowed to load their own software (oh the joy of being a developer ;), and assume that feature {XYZ} that they found in {you name it here} isn't possible in Windows because big-bad-MS sucks, and Windows sucks, etc, etc.

    I remember going through the same enlightenment process too. "You mean Windows 3.1 does have dynamically linked libraries too? My god, you'll be telling me it has a hypertext based help system like AmigaGuide next! What? You're saying it does??"

    Any OS that's sufficiently modular, and Windows is nothing but modular (someone jokingly said here, only half kidding, that Windows is the first example of an exokernel OS) can be patched to change any aspect of it. Spend enough time, and you can pull IE out of Windows, thanks to 95Lite or 98Lite, you can have bash instead of command.com, LiteStep instead of Explorer, WindowBlinds to remove that, er, Windows 95 look, have the Windows directory called "H:\MyOS\OSFiles.SYS", and make it as torturedly different as you want.

    I appreciate that the initial layout is somewhat high, but considering the package you get for what you pay it is quite a good value. Equivalent of getting Win2000+Office-Pro plus many other commercial / noncommercial apps. Compared to Retail Windows + Office, I'll grant you it's "cheap". For most of us, we'd never pay those prices for that when we have the choice. Linux is a high quality, solid, product with a great deal of natural openess and flexibility, and while it's not perfect, it's a good fit with what I need out of a system. OS/2, unfortunately, is not. The default GUI is, to me, clunky, though I respect the rights of others to disagree with me on that, and the system isn't open enough, and free as in speech, for me to be happy about basing my future on it.

  • But IBM's failure to effectively market their superior product is what killed it, not Microsoft.

    I think I can tell you why because I were there at time of OS/2 2.x. (well IBM dumped me like shit, they took my soul, my dignity; I wanted them die. So I'm biased, be prepare for flambait/troll. ^^)

    You know, OS/2 2.0 was so good. It can run Windows 95, both windowed mode(multi-windows!) and full screen mode(in full speed!!), and have All the underlying protocols/interfaces you expect to interoperate with IBM's mid-range/mainframe systems. E.g. OS/2's scripting language is REXX (e.g. .cmd), and it's also 99% compatible with VM's REXX, which can be talked to each others. OS/2 has Visual REXX too! But I doubt anyone else other than IBM internal staffs has seen this great product.

    The SOM(System Object Model) was so amazing. It's the first time in my life enjoy programming so much - true transparency, while be able to access to hardware/enterprise components with minimal effort! It also came with C set(C++set) which was very powerful at that time.(VC++ was nothing at all).

    My job was finally bug fixing/reporting. My friends were luckier, they were responsible for games testing. YES! Game Testers! Played games on OS/2 everyday and got the same paid, can you believe it! Btw, my friend showed me running several windows of "Ultima 7" on the same desktop, I were stunned - not even Windows could do THAT!

    Sound like a paradise, what's wrong with it then? Yes! You bet - Management! Those boneheads "see" the "opportunities" in "New Business Model"(don't ask me what the hell is that). Putting all the resources to promote the concept VisualAge, and how it worked with VB - yes, Visual Basic(those idiots....they seem to forgot our products). At the same time, they joint with Microsoft crashing us - first Microsoft filing lawsuit against us using Windows' code. Well we didn't, but the wimp management immediately yeilded to their supreme power and change the direction of OS/2 immediately, which took out a lot of functionalities out of OS/2 and caused the creation of orphan child like "OS/2 for Windows".

    In order to meet with their promotion of VisualAge, and evaded the rage of Microsoft, they made a lot of changes after pre-decided shipping date, and rush to the production the ill-tested product. At the same time layoff/relocate a lot of technical staffs working on it. Game testers were first to be eliminated, and the management still don't understand why OS/2 2.0 has so many bugs and doesn't run games very well - Get A Clue! You fired the testers and ruined the final testing phase!

    We faced thousand lawsuits every year, why should we be so fear of them and disrupted our production line so badly?

    Enough of ranting....I just want to tell you, OS/2 was a great product, if only those clueless management could get away from us.

    P.S. VisualAge is a great line of products nowaday. It wasn't started so well, but it's afterall a great concept.

  • And the sixth patch to the next major rev will make it X11R6...


  • http://www.ecomstation.com/
  • That's blatant misleading :) You honestly don't think OS/2 has moved at all since then? Well, how about I won't try Slackware 7 'cause I know Slackware 2.3 won't run on my PC, and I won't touch WindowsXP neither 'cause Windows3.11 don't support my Rage Fury out of the box. :P OS/2 has USB, UDF, generic IDE, ATA100 and SCSI and Live and Opensource projects at http://www.netlabs.org Although your comment may have been funny before, all OSs have been back there. IBM have actually made new drivers continuously since 1996 for their corporate and consumer customers. Visit http://service5.boulder.ibm.com/2bcprod.nsf for drivers and http://www-4.ibm.com/software/os/warp/support/ for other information.
  • by RWarrior(fobw) ( 448405 ) on Monday May 07, 2001 @04:30PM (#239854)
    ... of the same marketing problems that killed OS/2.

    OS/2 Warp 3 and 4, for their times, were vastly superior to any comparably-priced microcomputer operating system. Remember that the competition, at the time, was Windows 3.1 and Windows 95.

    But IBM's failure to effectively market their superior product is what killed it, not Microsoft.

    The funny part is that in looking at the specifications for this product, I don't see that it will run applications designed for Win9x. Maybe I'm missing something here, but it looks like this runs DOS, Windows 16-bit, and OS/2 16- and 32-bit applications. All well and good, but I've got a lot of money invested in my 32-bit Windows applications, now, and even the availability of StarOffice for this platform isn't going to entice me into converting.

    What that omission a marketing decision, or an engineering decision?

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.