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(Time)   "More than 250 companies declared their intention to deliver OS/2 apps, including biggies such as Lotus, WordPerfect, Borland and Novell." Oh, the memories of a time long gone: Happy Birthday OS/2   (techland.time.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, OS/2, Novell, Big Blue, operating systems, WordPerfect, system software, graphical user interfaces, Windows NT  
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1635 clicks; posted to Geek » on 02 Apr 2012 at 3:23 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



49 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2012-04-02 02:34:12 PM  
The article didn't really go into the Windows NT relationship to OS/2.

OS/2 2.1 *was* very picky about what hardware you could install it on, and you got the same errors from beta copies of Windows NT. Verbatim, as they were leftover from the OS/2 / NT split.

Windows NT? Not Today, No Thank you.
 
2012-04-02 03:26:44 PM  
I ran OS/2 Warp on my butterfly-keyboard thinkpad, so I'm tearing up a little at this thread.
 
2012-04-02 03:30:38 PM  
CSB time,

A co-worker of mine was on the OS/2 team when he worked at IBM. The goal was to develop the future version of OS/2 that never shipped, but was released as a "developer's version" only. Some manager thought developers would flock to develop for an OS that was never going to be released. Surprisingly, they didn't.
 
2012-04-02 03:32:31 PM  
OS/2 2.1 was better than windows 3.1
Preemptive multitasking FTW
I could listen to music (MODs back then, the predecessor to MP3's) while simultaneously downloading an ARC (the predecessor to ZIP), using a 14.4Kbps modem (actual modulator-demodulator device, instead of a cable "modem") connected to a BBS(proto-internet) using the z-modem transfer protocol (ftp).
I had 5MB of RAM on that 386-33.... links 386 was fun. (It looks like you hit the tree Jim)
 
2012-04-02 03:38:56 PM  
As someone who had to write a single code base that worked on Windows 3.1, Windows 3.11, Windows NT 3.5, Windows NT 3.51, OS/2 2.1, and OS/2 Warp, yeah, I don't miss it all that much.
 
2012-04-02 03:43:19 PM  

rougeuxm: I had 5MB of RAM on that 386-33.... links 386 was fun. (It looks like you hit the tree Jim)


Can't be too happy about that one.
 
2012-04-02 03:45:05 PM  
I had a copy of OS/2Warp, hoping that I could walk away from 3.1.

Sadly, I couldn't seem to get rid of Win3.1 until NT4.0 shipped.
 
2012-04-02 03:47:42 PM  
My dad was super excited for Warp, bought it outright.

Didn't last long.

I was briefly entertained playing Darklands in a window, couldn't do that anywhere else at the time.

It lived on my dorm computer my first year of college, then that next year we busied ourselves following the latest builds of Win95.
 
2012-04-02 03:54:40 PM  
I have a copy of Windows 286 still in the box. The copy on the back of the box is something along the lines of "Designed to work with OS/2. The operation system of the future!"
 
2012-04-02 03:55:37 PM  
My company still has an install or two we sold on OS/2 that we offer very basic support for (with suggestions they purchase an upgrade).

Say what you will, but I'm amazed those things are still kicking.
 
2012-04-02 03:59:28 PM  

Tax Boy: I ran OS/2 Warp on my butterfly-keyboard thinkpad, so I'm tearing up a little at this thread.


I ran multiple channels of Maximus on Warp. Actually a very nice system, but like OS/2 vs Windows, Maximus lost out to Renegade.
 
2012-04-02 04:15:45 PM  
At one point, IBM released a port of the Work Place Shell for Windows, and I ran that instead of the standard Window Managers. For some time, I was dual booting between OS/2 and Windows, necessitated by the fact that my cheap ass printer wouldn't work in OS/2. Viva OS/2!

Has anyone mentioned how well OS/2 multitasked? Because I had 6 megs of RAM and in 1993 that was awesome.
 
2012-04-02 04:19:11 PM  
OS/2 is alive and well.

Chances are the last ATM you used was running it on the local machine. It is only recently that the big
manufacturers have moved to Windows XP.

/Used to work for NCR, and I know why drive up ATMs have braille keypads too.
 
2012-04-02 04:21:59 PM  
I ran a dual boot of OS/2 Warp 4 and Windows NT back in the day. Good times, man. Good times.
 
2012-04-02 04:24:04 PM  

jayhawk88: Can't be too happy about that one.


Oh man! The memories...

Did you ever battle the space pirates, on the tenth planet Isis...
 
2012-04-02 04:29:31 PM  

rougeuxm: OS/2 2.1 was better than windows 3.1
Preemptive multitasking FTW
I could listen to music (MODs back then, the predecessor to MP3's) while simultaneously downloading an ARC (the predecessor to ZIP), using a 14.4Kbps modem (actual modulator-demodulator device, instead of a cable "modem") connected to a BBS(proto-internet) using the z-modem transfer protocol (ftp).
I had 5MB of RAM on that 386-33.... links 386 was fun. (It looks like you hit the tree Jim)


Maybe 2.1 was better but 2.0 ran like ass on a PC with less than 16MB of RAM. Even then it just never seemed very snappy, although you're correct at how well it multitasked compared to Windows 3.1. I remember how cool it was to be able to format a floppy in the background even though my friend with an Amiga would rub it in that he's been able to do that for years on older hardware.
 
i^2
2012-04-02 04:31:02 PM  
Woo, OS/2! How long before we get the BeOS nostalgia article?
 
2012-04-02 04:31:21 PM  
I still support a business that uses eComstation, the most current implementation of OS/2. I roll my eyes every time I have to work on those machines, but their custom line-of-business app runs on OS/2 and not on anything else.
 
2012-04-02 04:31:42 PM  
My workplace purchased a large and expensive production machine on the used market. When it arrived, we discovered it was running OS/2 Warp! Networking and connectivity to the newer machines over newer protocols turned out to be a problem. The manufacturer wanted some obscene sum to do an upgrade to the new operating program running on Win XP. The machine sat around for a while, and then was resold. We bought a different machine that was based on a Linux platform, and have never looked back.
 
2012-04-02 04:39:06 PM  
*dons black armband*
 
2012-04-02 04:45:40 PM  

beer4breakfast: rougeuxm: OS/2 2.1 was better than windows 3.1
Preemptive multitasking FTW
I could listen to music (MODs back then, the predecessor to MP3's) while simultaneously downloading an ARC (the predecessor to ZIP), using a 14.4Kbps modem (actual modulator-demodulator device, instead of a cable "modem") connected to a BBS(proto-internet) using the z-modem transfer protocol (ftp).
I had 5MB of RAM on that 386-33.... links 386 was fun. (It looks like you hit the tree Jim)

Maybe 2.1 was better but 2.0 ran like ass on a PC with less than 16MB of RAM. Even then it just never seemed very snappy, although you're correct at how well it multitasked compared to Windows 3.1. I remember how cool it was to be able to format a floppy in the background even though my friend with an Amiga would rub it in that he's been able to do that for years on older hardware.


Okay, If you're comparing OS/2 to an *Amiga*, then you are a bigger geek than I am. Gratz!

\ran 2.0 on 16Mram 386/40
\\and it ran damn well
\\\beta tester for 2.1 - they used to fedex me *sheets* of 1.44 floppies
\\\\then finally sent CDROMS
 
2012-04-02 04:45:52 PM  

DjangoStonereaver: /Used to work for NCR, and I know why drive up ATMs have braille keypads too.


Do tell!
 
2012-04-02 04:53:14 PM  

rougeuxm: 14.4Kbps modem (actual modulator-demodulator device, instead of a cable "modem")


Cable and ADSL modems (but not ISDN or fibre) are as much modems as dial up ones - just because they don't work at audio frequencies doesn't change that.
 
2012-04-02 04:56:45 PM  
No one here with fond memories of DESQview? How about GeoWorks Ensemble?
 
2012-04-02 05:08:00 PM  

syberpud: CSB time,

A co-worker of mine was on the OS/2 team when he worked at IBM. The goal was to develop the future version of OS/2 that never shipped, but was released as a "developer's version" only. Some manager thought developers would flock to develop for an OS that was never going to be released. Surprisingly, they didn't.


I seem to recall that IBM charged almost $1k for the OS/2 developer releases while Microsoft gave the Windows developer realeases away for free.
 
2012-04-02 05:13:43 PM  
OS/2 should have been OS/3 and just said to hell with the 286
 
2012-04-02 05:26:03 PM  
Ah, I remember my OS/2 days. Actually developed and sold some software for it. It's a shame it didn't catch on, it was well ahead of the competition. But IBM couldn't market their way out of wet paper bag.
 
2012-04-02 05:34:02 PM  
Ahh OS/2. I used to work in a university department where the lead IT guy loved it with a passion and had everyone use it. It actually wasn't bad.

However, I knew it was doomed when I went into the campus bookstore one day to pick up an OS for home. This was back around ~96 or so I had a choice to buy two different products

1) Windows NT 4.0/MS Windows Visual Studio, Kitchen Sink edition. Included every compiler known to man, and a copy of Windows NT 4.0 (The first one with the Win95 interface) along with Internet Explorer and everything you needed to get online. $99

2) OS/2 Warp. $199. $299 for the version with an IP stack and the truly awful IBM web browser. I could also buy a C compiler for $500. Oh, and the boxes were piss ugly as well.

MS understood Apple's "get the kids hooked" marketing strategy, IBM couldn't market its way out of an ugly OS/2 box.
 
2012-04-02 05:36:03 PM  
Yes, and remember that Steve Ballmer was the OS/2 evangelist for Microsoft. At Zenith Data Systems we had to push Gates for a commitment for a graphical version of Windows over the objection of that *
 
2012-04-02 06:05:07 PM  
I actually tried to load OS/2 Warp on my PC. It failed due to some requirement on the box I failed to take into account.

Apparently, not all IBM clones would load it, even if they were already running Windows.

Could I have made it work, ...maybe. But this was on my first PC before I ever took a computer class other than the class in BASIC in HS 20 years previous.

Good thing EggHead took returns on software. Even OldEgg were good eggs before they were NewEgg.
 
2012-04-02 06:44:27 PM  
I ran OS/2 Warp on my 386-DX16 with 4MB of RAM. I only had a 100MB HD so I had to run Stacker. if I had a bigger drive it would have been fine.
/ran it perfectly on my 486 SLC-66
/16MB of RAM
 
2012-04-02 06:50:31 PM  
A Stop 'N Shop supermarket opened in January 2012 nearby. The registers (although not the self-scan ones) are using OS/2 Warp 4.

Brand new equipment. Must be a pain getting OS/2 Warp to run on it...
 
2012-04-02 06:54:04 PM  
I got to try OS/2 out briefly on a borrowed computer, but never really had enough experience with it to decide on way or the other. On CompuServe, there were several OS/2 adherents reminding us they used it and the Golden Compass off-line reader in their signature lines.
 
2012-04-02 07:35:00 PM  
I remember buying OS/2 Warp 4 with my student discount. I never could get it to install though, it would always halt with some kind of error when trying to partition and format the hard drive (a 4GB Quantum Bigfoot). I had to stick with Windows 95 but I kept my boxed copy of OS/2 hoping to use it someday, but I never did really. It's still in my closet.

I finally got to at least try it for the first time years later by installing it on Virtual PC.
 
2012-04-02 07:36:14 PM  
Used to do some programming for the parent company of Checker Auto, developing interfaces between their AS400's and virtual terminals. Having to use OS/2 was the reason I am convinced that IBM stands for "Itsy Bitsy meatheads".

Goodbye and good riddance.
 
2012-04-02 07:48:04 PM  
Loved OS/2 Warp. It did wonderful things with a 486DX33 and 8MB of RAM.

Until I tried networking it to something other than another OS/2 machine.

OS/2 also had... what was it called, REXX? Hot stuff man.
 
2012-04-02 09:00:35 PM  

j_twelve: Loved OS/2 Warp. It did wonderful things with a 486DX33 and 8MB of RAM.

Until I tried networking it to something other than another OS/2 machine.

OS/2 also had... what was it called, REXX? Hot stuff man.


REXX is still used. Primarily on mainframes, but implementations exist for other platform, though I would need to look them up and have no desire to. IIRC, there were implementations for a couple flavors of mainframe OS, AS400 and DOS/Windows and, of course, OS/2. Maybe Apple/Mac?

REXX was an early attempt at a universal cross-platform language that failed, as so many things IBM tried did. It was JAVA before JAVA existed.
 
2012-04-02 09:33:57 PM  
i831.photobucket.com

Since the December '92 beta of 2.1. It was so much more powerful than the Windows 3.1 all my peers ran.
 
2012-04-02 10:10:03 PM  
As someone who is not tech smrt, please explain why so many people cream over OS2?

Why do so many people speak so highly of it? What was / is it good for? If it were so good, then why not make OS3, etc?
 
2012-04-02 10:18:33 PM  
As I remember, it had a great backgammon program...
 
2012-04-02 10:40:11 PM  

MBA Whore: Why do so many people speak so highly of it? What was / is it good for? If it were so good, then why not make OS3, etc?


It was ahead of its time. Not perfect but going in the right direction.

- it had pre-emptive multi-tasking while Windows still was on co-operative multi-tasking
- it was 32 bit while Windows was still sitting on top of 16 bit DOS
- it handled memory properly - DOS and its Windows GUIs were always hacks and unstable because of it
 
2012-04-02 11:18:22 PM  
I was a Team OS/2'er for years. Moved away from it in the early 90's once it became obvious that it was doomed. The last OS/2 install I ran into (outside of embedded systems like ATMs) was an IVR system at a major insurance company scripted in REXX (circa 2001 I guess). I came on and no one knew anything about the system, it just sat in the corner and routed calls as it had done for years. I took a look at the scripts once I managed to gain access to the box and said "Hey, this is REXX, cool."

I was then informed that my next project was to 'retire' this system and transition all the call flows to a new system since this one was end of lifed. It was like meeting an old buddy from college and then being told you were there to take him behind the bar and shoot him in the head...

Oh well, a pay check is a pay check, sorry bud. BLAM!

/csb
 
2012-04-03 12:04:08 AM  
From 1990 to late 1992, I worked for a company called Micro Focus, and they were a mostly IBM shop. PS/2s of every variety, Token Ring, and most of all, OS/2. We even had an IBM mainframe (a pair of them, actually) doing mostly email.

I was in the internal IT department, which oddly enough ran entirely on MS Windows.

Installing OS/2 taught me a very important lesson: do not simply take the defaults when installing something. If you did that with OS/2 (which came on more than a dozen diskettes), you ended up doing it all over again. Guaranteed.

The few Mac users in the graphics department thought it was all hilarious. Especially when, compared to true IBM everything, Mac hardware and software was pretty reasonably priced in those days ;)
 
2012-04-03 12:58:57 AM  
Great, now I miss OS/2..

/treesloth haz a sad...
 
2012-04-03 01:44:22 AM  
REXX ftw!! I both loved and hated OS/2. Warp was nice out of the box, but trying to add networking correctly to OS/2 after install was brutal. MPTS anyone? Micro channel, token ring, OS/2 all suffered from the same issues that Sony has faced all these years. Exclusivity and licensing problems. Open source and open standards always win. Or maybe cheap wins out over good. Anyway, I don't miss the netware client for OS/2 abending my 3.11 servers in the middle of the day.

/stream of consciousness that will no doubt get me in trouble here
//and beer
 
2012-04-03 08:28:41 AM  

Farking Canuck: DjangoStonereaver: /Used to work for NCR, and I know why drive up ATMs have braille keypads too.

Do tell!


Partially, it is simple economy of scale: it is cheaper to have the same keypad
for all ATMs on the manufacturing side.

But, in the US anyway, the ADA mandates that the visually impaired be able to
enter their PIN on an ATM themselves, regardless of whether its a drive up
or walk-up model. Therefore, braille markings. The person who explained this
to me (he had 20+ years of ATM experience, and this was back in the mid
1990s) said that even if it sounded unlikely, he had seen cases where a blind
person was taken to a bank's drive up by a friend and had, in fact, used the
keypad to do just that, and then they turned it over to their driver to make the
actual transaction.
 
2012-04-03 04:11:17 PM  

DjangoStonereaver: and then they turned it over to their driver to make the
actual transaction...


... who took out an extra $100 for their troubles.
 
2012-04-03 07:01:09 PM  

rougeuxm: OS/2 2.1 was better than windows 3.1
Preemptive multitasking FTW
I could listen to music (MODs back then, the predecessor to MP3's)


No it wasn't. MODs were similar to MIDI.

But yeah, preemptive multitasking ruled, AmigaOS FTW. :D

(eh, and MODs came from Soundtracker, an Amiga program).
 
2012-04-04 03:13:26 AM  

treesloth: DjangoStonereaver: and then they turned it over to their driver to make the
actual transaction...

... who took out an extra $100 for their troubles.


The ADA regulations did assume a nearly cartoonish level of trustworthiness on the part of the assisters.

Modern ATMs are much more capable of giving the visually impaired much more independence.
 
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