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OS/2 turns 25 years old ( anyone remeber this Operating System?)
The Inquirer ^ | Mon Apr 02 2012, 19:06 | Egan Orion

Posted on 04/03/2012 9:41:31 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

Now it's Ecomstation

TODAY MARKS the 25th birthday of OS/2, which IBM announced on 2 April, 1987.

Initially intended as a protected mode successor to PC-DOS, OS/2 became the first serious PC operating system rival to Microsoft Windows. For a while, IBM and Microsoft collaborated on it, until Microsoft withdrew its support for various reasons and focused its efforts on Windows NT instead. OS/2 has never fully recovered from Microsoft's abandonment of it, nor has Windows.

However, throughout most of the 1990s, OS/2 was a much more stable, secure and reliable PC operating system than Windows. It was capable of running Windows applications and did so better than Windows. The OS/2 Desktop Shell was a masterpiece of object oriented design and programming that has never been matched by Windows or even the heavyweight Linux desktops Gnome and KDE.

Unfortunately, IBM never really understood the great potential that OS/2 had or gave it the management commitment, software development resources and marketing support to make it the formidable PC desktop competitor to Windows, Mac OS X and Linux that it could have become.

IBM dropped support for OS/2 at the end of 2006, but Serenity Systems International still sells OS/2 under the name Ecomstation. It has had a very interesting and eventful first 25 years. µ



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: ecomstation; hitech; ibm; ibmos2; os2; os2warp

1 posted on 04/03/2012 9:41:35 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I remember installing and configuring a phone voicemail system on an OS/2 system once back around 1993. That’s about it though, never had enough experience on it to rate it but it was fairly easy enough to navigate around in.


2 posted on 04/03/2012 9:45:38 AM PDT by Peter from Rutland
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Problem with OS2 Warp IBM sales guys could not sell Ice to a man in Hell. Microsoft Sales guys could sell Ice in the Artic circle.


3 posted on 04/03/2012 9:51:38 AM PDT by Bailee
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

“... OS/2 was a much more stable, secure and reliable PC operating system than Windows....”

What wasn’t?

Gates was as much a computer guru as Obama is a constitutional guru.

And both are equally matched crooks.


4 posted on 04/03/2012 9:52:39 AM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

The real tragedy of the era was VAX/VMS. It was the OS for DEC minicomputers and considered great. However, closed source. So it was eclipsed. DEC, the second largest computer company, withered and was sold to COMPAQ. I’m sure many DEC/VAX’s are still in operation, but DEC management never capitalized.

I wrote my first e-mail on a DEC/VAX in 1981.


5 posted on 04/03/2012 9:53:47 AM PDT by cicero2k
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I still have a copy that came on about 50 floppy disks.


6 posted on 04/03/2012 9:55:08 AM PDT by Bigun ("The most fearsome words in the English language are I'm from the government and I'm here to help!")
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To: Peter from Rutland

Well, if you feel nostalgic, you can always run an OS/2 emulator.

http://www.os2site.com/sw/emulators/bochs/index.html

I played around with OS/2 warp, but it was lacking for any driver support.

But, hey, it was nearly free (found the book and disks in a second hand store for $1)


7 posted on 04/03/2012 9:55:45 AM PDT by Bigh4u2 (Denial is the first requirement to be a liberal)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I replaced Delta Airline’s OS/2 RPL servers and workstations with Windows NT.

As a young whipper snapper I stayed up late many nights rebuilding IBM OS/2 servers in the bowels of airport server rooms.

Circa 1998


8 posted on 04/03/2012 9:56:03 AM PDT by TSgt (Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.)
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To: cicero2k

OS/Who?


9 posted on 04/03/2012 9:56:23 AM PDT by ImJustAnotherOkie (zerogottago)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Best OS, ever.....and the most poorly marketed.


10 posted on 04/03/2012 9:56:56 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: Peter from Rutland
Anyone remember or run across Metaphor Computer Systems? Windows, Mac OS and OS/2 and all the rest of them never even came close. I watched IBM stroll in, take over and kill the company. Somewhere, in a forgotten closet in MS Castle Redmond, lies a complete Metaphor file server, database server and four workstations. They looked at it and turned their backs on it.
11 posted on 04/03/2012 9:57:41 AM PDT by Noumenon ("I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands." Col. Nicholson-The Bridge on the River Qwai)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Microchannel Bus................


12 posted on 04/03/2012 9:57:51 AM PDT by Red Badger (Think logically. Act normally.................)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I used to work for IBM. The reason I think OS/2(half an operating system-old joke) failed was IBM, in their infinite wisdom, made the OS/2 application development suite super expensive to buy. There was about a 3 year window in the late 90’s where they had MS whipped in the market place and blew it totally. The should have made the dev suit totally free ware.


13 posted on 04/03/2012 10:01:11 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: cicero2k

VAX/VMS and later Alpha/VMS was simply awesome. Tons of groundbreaking software like VAXnotes (the precursor to ALL forum software and Runoff (the precursor to HTML).

I worked at DEC from ‘84 to ‘92.


14 posted on 04/03/2012 10:03:10 AM PDT by Peter from Rutland
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To: Noumenon

Much the way HP killed off OSF/1 in favor of HP-(S)UX.

A crying shame.


15 posted on 04/03/2012 10:05:12 AM PDT by Peter from Rutland
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Yeah, I tried using OS/2, and OS/2 Warp, but got tired of no applications (None?, well, hardly any...and very expensive) for it. Had to keep buying Windows programs, and then run them in “emulation mode”, which wasn’t much better than using Windows in the first place.

Also, I wasn’t all that fond of having to partition off a huge chunk of the HD, and use dual booting, because there were some programs that refused to run in emulation mode.

Like Sony Beta-Max, it was MUCH better, but too much an orphan, thanks to rotten marketing & developer support...even Apple had more native aps & software than IBM could provide for OS/2.


16 posted on 04/03/2012 10:05:36 AM PDT by ApplegateRanch (The difference between "bad" & "worse" is more noticeable than that between "good" & "better")
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To: TSgt

That must have been fun ! /s


17 posted on 04/03/2012 10:05:43 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The Global Warming HOAX is about Global Governance)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

OS/2 was a true multitasking OS, vastly superior to Windows 3.1, which had no process protection. OS/2 had a Windows 3.1 compatibility mode that was more stable and reliable.

What killed OS/2 was IBM’s total indifference to developers and marketers. I wanted to write a device driver for OS/2, but IBM wanted something like $10,000 for the Device Driver Kit (DDK) and another $5K or so for the compiler.

In contrast, Microsoft gave away their Device Driver Kit (DDK) for free with a compiler thrown in. And they gave great marketing support including a hardware compatibility program that granted hardware vendors the right to use the Windows logo and artwork in ad copy to sell Windows compatible hardware.

So all the hardware vendors (including mine) turned their backs on OS/2 and embraced Windows. This despite the fact that by any technical measure OS/2 was the superior platform by far. OS/2 had a 100% compatible Win 3.1 subsystem (IBM cross-licensed their source code with Microsoft). So a device driver written for OS/2 would also support Win 3.1 apps.

If IBM’s management weren’t such idiots we would be running OS/8 today instead of Windows 8.


18 posted on 04/03/2012 10:08:28 AM PDT by Gideon7
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To: Bailee
No salesman got paid ...to sell it....

IBM was a mainframe...MVS sales organization....

Believe me....MVS was gonna be the snaswer to everything.

I got bloodied up because I was trying to support something called VM/370.

19 posted on 04/03/2012 10:09:16 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The Global Warming HOAX is about Global Governance)
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To: Gideon7

See #19.


20 posted on 04/03/2012 10:10:44 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The Global Warming HOAX is about Global Governance)
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To: cicero2k
The real tragedy of the era was VAX/VMS.

The lead designer of VAX/VMS, David Cutler, was hired by Microsoft as Chief Architect of Windows NT.

21 posted on 04/03/2012 10:12:14 AM PDT by Gideon7
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To: Da Coyote
Gates was as much a computer guru as Obama is a constitutional guru.

That's a misrepresentation of the quality of Gates' work (Windows is it was then). OS/2 was more reliable not because the folks in Boca Raton were better software people than the folks in Redmond.

It was better because it was designed at its inner core to run only on '286 and later processors that had the new "protected mode" that gave the OS the chance to manage virtual memory by process, and also had a robust memory management unit to catch (or "trap") exceptions when something wrote or read from memory that was unallowed.

Windows didn't even try to worry about that until Win 95, though the 3.1 release of windows did start to roll some of that stuff in there with their VXD (virtual device driver) architecture. Furthermore, Windows had to stay 100% DOS compatible, which shot any idea of using a lot of the 286 and 386 protection features.

22 posted on 04/03/2012 10:12:28 AM PDT by krb (Obama is a miserable failure.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

All I know is that it had a little cat that chased the mouse pointer around.


23 posted on 04/03/2012 10:15:45 AM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: central_va
Me too,...see #19.

Left in the great purge...1992.

24 posted on 04/03/2012 10:16:57 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The Global Warming HOAX is about Global Governance)
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To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Salo; JosephW; Only1choice____Freedom; amigatec; stylin_geek; ...

25 posted on 04/03/2012 10:18:22 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Salo; JosephW; Only1choice____Freedom; amigatec; stylin_geek; ...

26 posted on 04/03/2012 10:19:06 AM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

The irony is that I’m seeing almost the same indifference and sclerosis in Microsoft’s management today that I saw in IBM’s back then.

No software developer is going to write apps for a Windows Phone that has 5% market share. Right now Microsoft ought be working on an Android VM and an iOS VM that can run Android and iPhone apps on Windows Phone and the desktop.

The clean-room reverse-engineering methodology is well established legally and Android may not even require it if the VM is hardware based. Microsoft should be using the desktop PC as the platform to embrace and extend the smartphone ecosystem.

Windows Phone? Microsoft is getting just as stupid as IBM was.


27 posted on 04/03/2012 10:30:35 AM PDT by Gideon7
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
OS/2 turns 25 years old ( anyone remeber this Operating System?)

Yes, I remember OS/2. I ran it for about 5 years as my desktop OS.

28 posted on 04/03/2012 10:42:16 AM PDT by Lee N. Field ("And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise" Gal 3:29)
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To: Bigh4u2
Those are emulators that run on OS/2, not emulators of OS/2.
29 posted on 04/03/2012 10:48:42 AM PDT by newzjunkey (Newt says, "A nominee that depresses turnout won't beat Barack Obama.")
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To: All
I would've liked to have seen how things would've shaped up if Windows hadn't "won" the PC "desktop wars" and IBM's OS/2 had.

The byzantine structure of IBM along with the decades earlier consent decree, harmed the operating system. They couldn't even require their own PC division to support it.

It had many features in the early/mid-90s including voice dictation, video chat and movie creation that are taken for granted now yet were pioneering then. In many ways it forecast what was to come.

30 posted on 04/03/2012 10:56:25 AM PDT by newzjunkey (Newt says, "A nominee that depresses turnout won't beat Barack Obama.")
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To: Red Badger
Microchannel Bus................

Worked well but proprietary hardware bus; never a good thing. Ask Apple.

31 posted on 04/03/2012 10:58:33 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: Bailee

Actually Warp sold really really well when it first hit, #1 in sales for the first few months. The problem was that popularity didn’t sustain long enough to seem permanent, so nobody wrote apps for it, and it was primarily useful as a way to run Windows apps that wasn’t supported by the app maker. Then Warp 4 didn’t upgrade the Windows shell to include 32 bit, so then it was trapped as a way to run OLD Windows apps that wasn’t supported by the app maker and the doom was at hand. Good OS, well marketed to users, but didn’t have enough momentum for app developers to make the switch.


32 posted on 04/03/2012 11:03:05 AM PDT by discostu (I did it 35 minutes ago)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Helped design a Worldwide Marketing system I/O by I/O using OS2 in 1991-93 It was slow so many Bugs I inadvertently sat next to Indonesian IBM GM on Plane and he said Operating systems was a Hardware Hog never Use it.. I wanted LINUX .We were forced by HQ Corporate System to use it we had to train Programmers as none existed in ASIA IBM flew in from Dallas Once a Month. We were literally debugging their own System..later abandoned 5 yrs later. That was our 1st foray away from IBM Mainframes..


33 posted on 04/03/2012 11:23:36 AM PDT by philly-d-kidder (AB-Sheen"The truth is the truth if nobody believes it,a lie is still a lie, everybody believes it")
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To: Bigun

I recently threw away my OS/2 Warp installation discs, I think is was about 14 discs. Of course that was 3.5” high density.


34 posted on 04/03/2012 11:24:25 AM PDT by dangerdoc (see post #6)
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To: central_va

Me and some friends, back in the late 80’s, used to use a Hex editor on copies of PC-DOS disks COMMAND.COM and change the copyright from “International Business Machines” to “Ignorant Business Men”.

True Story.


35 posted on 04/03/2012 11:28:01 AM PDT by AFreeBird
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Bill Gates used OS/2 to continue his game of rope-a-dope with IBM.


36 posted on 04/03/2012 11:34:38 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Over half of U.S. murders are of black people, and 90% of them are committed by other black people.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

We were using a Banyan network(!), deploying Windows 3.1 onto PCs at the time... Surprisingly, OS/2 had good Banyan driver support; as an Admin I ran Win3.1 under Warp and it actually performed pretty well.

Then in the late 90’s, we went to Windows NT4 on the Desktop and Microsoft networking, and you know the rest of the story ;)


37 posted on 04/03/2012 11:37:45 AM PDT by mikrofon (PC Bump)
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To: Noumenon
Do remember Metaphor; was repackaged Xerox STAR and was way too expensive at ~$15K/workstation. Bit slice micro-coded D-machine architecture. Very nice.

At the time I was living on a Dorado and later a Dandelion, coding in Mesa with the Pilot/Co-Pilot development environment. Its like does not exist today, sigh.

38 posted on 04/03/2012 11:47:23 AM PDT by Mycroft Holmes (<= Mash name for HTML Xampp PHP C JavaScript primer)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I actually liked OS/2 a lot. Rexx was a really powerful scripting language. These days I’m happy using Linux, but I do think that ultimately it would have been better for consumers had OS/2 succeeded. Unfortunately, at the time, IBM could not market themselves out of a paper bag.


39 posted on 04/03/2012 12:27:23 PM PDT by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Still have OS/2 LAN Manager umbrella from the roll-out,


40 posted on 04/03/2012 1:29:17 PM PDT by Renkluaf
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To: newzjunkey

Yep. My bad.

But you can run BeBochs for Windows and install OS2 in a virtual setup.

Never tried it though so don’t know how well it would work.


41 posted on 04/03/2012 2:42:53 PM PDT by Bigh4u2 (Denial is the first requirement to be a liberal)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I used every version and loved them. It did very well despite IBM’s best attempts to make it unsuccessful.


42 posted on 04/03/2012 4:15:01 PM PDT by NCjim (Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.)
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To: Da Coyote
Gates was as much a computer guru as Obama is a constitutional guru.

Gates actually did early development work on good products. The operating system for the famed TRS-80 Model 100 (a laptop still used to this day) was the last software he personally contributed to.

43 posted on 04/03/2012 5:24:27 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
That was quite a battle between IBM and Microsoft. Finally, MS told computer hardware manufacturers that, if they wanted to preload Windows on the hard drive, they would have to pay for a Windows license on every computer they sold, even if it didn't have Windows. If a manufacturer didn't go along, their customers would have to install and configure Windows from a CD or diskettes, a substantial competitive disadvantage. So now manufacturers selling OS/2 on a box would have to charge for OS/2 and Windows.

Talk about predatory market practices. Go ahead and sue; By the time your case is heard we'll have 95% of the desktop market. My opinion, IBM was not nimble enough to deal with a marketplace which was revolutionized every 6 months. Full disclosure, I've worked for IBM for 34+ years.

When Gerstner took over IBM he asked the key question: IBM had decided the desktop O/S was non-strategic, so why was it spending hundreds of millions each year fighting for it. A company losing billions/year couldn't afford to subsidize such an effort. That was the end of the battle. Too bad Gerstner couldn't now apply that reasoning to the Federal Government's expenditures.

My younger daughter still has fond memories of sitting on my lap playing Reversi, one of the games that came with OS/2. I drove the cursor and she worked the mouse buttons.

Trivia fact: Shortly after Al Gore invented the internet , OS/2 Warp offered a free browser called Internet Explorer. Netscape cost real $ in comparison.

44 posted on 04/03/2012 6:00:03 PM PDT by Dilbert56 (Harry Reid, D-Nev.: "We're going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war.")
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I use it everyday it’s now called ecs


45 posted on 04/03/2012 7:01:38 PM PDT by markman46 (engage brain before using keyboard!!!)
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To: Gideon7; cicero2k

Print or NoPrint
Link or NoLink
Tify or NoTify


46 posted on 04/03/2012 7:24:23 PM PDT by narses
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