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Os/2

Charrisa

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Jun 25, 2015
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15
Despite not really knowing it's workings well really at all, I have a pretty big respect for this OS's legacy.

I kinda wanna get a computer to run it naturally, so I was wondering, does anyone know what the maximum newest tech that works with it? Because I know it doesn't work with any newer systems, unless you use the new version under the name "eCS/2".
 

Chuck(G)

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Your best bet is to stick with a P1 system with the usual stuff--or better yet, run it in a virtual machine manager, like VirtualBox. Even so, you'll find that, particularly, if you want networking, you'll have to put a lot of (usually floppy-based) stuff together to get a fully useful system. OS/2 was a good OS, but it's showing its age badly.
 

krebizfan

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Newest tech I ran an IBM branded OS/2 on was a Pentium III with an S3 video card. It was nicely responsive on that hardware. Almost too responsive since the sound effects often take longer than the event that triggered the sound.

You may have trouble finding drivers for lots of equipment. Some of the sites that used to have drivers for OS/2 are gone now.
 

Chuckster_in_Jax

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The safest bet would be an IBM PS/2 with a 486 processor or one that has a CPU upgrade. Name brands and clones with boards from major manufacturers should work fine. I have heard of people having trouble with some of the cheaper computers like Packard Bell.
 

Caluser2000

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It'll run on clones fine if you can find suitable drivers and good hardware. I've got OS/2 v3 running on my DECpc Lpv+433 with 486DX2/66 with 16megs of ram, a DE220(finding the driver was a trivial exercise) nic, using Warp v4 Servers network client software just fine, off it's CD no less. I use it to chat on #vc using PMIRC. OS/2 v3 supported all the DECpcs hardware out of the box. Ran v4 on a clone P3 system no problem at all. That had the scitech display driver which works on a few popular later video cards.

Link to my thread about the DECpc http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?21290-Digital-decpc-LPv-series
 

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Charrisa

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Jun 25, 2015
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Looks like an OS/2 system won't be hard to find at all then, which is nice. I'll probably look into it after I get my TS1000 workings.
 

Moondog

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Jun 12, 2015
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Michigan
I've only touched two OS/2 workstations in my life, however I recall them being very similar to Windows. I was on a desktop upgrade / standardization project, and we were rolling out new desktops with a standardized base image. Before the project, it was up to each facility's IT staff to purchase hardware and configure the workstations. This made it harder for the central corporate helpdesk to diagnose problems. There was a hodgepodge of pc's running Win 3.11, Win95, NT 3.51, NT4, OS/2 and occasionally some Macs.

The strange thing was for what the group that had the OS/2 machines were doing, they didn't have any special requirements to be running it. Either someone in the group requested it for applications that may have needed it at some time, or the department had been part of an OS/2 evaluation. Worst case was they were being used as test subjects so the local admin could get some hands on time with OS/2.
 

Chuck(G)

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I'd been a OS/2 developer since version 1.1 until its being overtaken by NT in the 90s. Back in those days, you started with the OS/2 development kit, which came in a box that might put you in danger of developing--a hernia. Bunches of professional, slick printed manuals and piles of floppies, to be replaced in subsequent months of more piles of floppies. The documentation was painstaking and very clear, not the garbage that Microsoft was producing. I can see why, for a time, that OS/2 was the choice for applications such as ATMs--very stable, but not flashy.

It's a shame that BillG thought being duplicitous in his dealing with IBM and the IBM developer community. There's a story there that's seldom told.
 

Beerhunter

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Hampshire, England
I well remember that meeting in Las Vegas. I see the hand of Ballmer rather than St. Bill. Although the latter was the front man back then.
 

Chuck(G)

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Maybe Ballmer; I don't know. But it certainly was buddy-buddy here--later followed by a knife in the back. Funny (?) thing was that Microsoft was handling all of the developer community for the next version of OS/2 and many had paid for the preview and development kit. Microsoft then said it would send NT 3.1 instead. Fortunately, threats of lawsuits quashed that. It's a wonder that IBM didn't sue them.
 

Beerhunter

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It's a wonder that IBM didn't sue them.
I think that it was partially shock. Us IBMers at the time thought that we were among friends. One of the IBMers in that meeting was one of the nicest guys in IBM, if not the industry. He simply could not believe that he could leave a meeting thinking that he had an agreement only for it to be scuppered three weeks later.

I do not believe that they would not have got away with it with earlier generations of IBM execs, like "Vinnie" for example.
 

krebizfan

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MS's internal memos that were released make it fairly clear that MS management saw IBM's plans for OS/2 as being disastrous for MS. MS did anticipate the loss of trust with developers once the split was announced and hoped the profits from Win16 software would assuage the developers. Considering how IBM dawdled on the release of 32-bit OS/2 and then diverted billions to focus on WPOS (with little ever offered for sale) even when faced with MS's competition, I doubt IBM would have been speedier in an universe were MS partnered with IBM longer. The split between IBM and MS was inevitable: MS needed new software to sell but IBM could rely on mainframe revenue to perfect an optimum unified infrastructure. Either MS split from IBM or MS became a Mac only software firm before getting swallowed by Adobe.
 

Chuck(G)

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It wasn't that MS went their own way--it was the way it was carried out. For example, in 1990:

BillG said:
OS/2 is our top priority

Now, if you were an OS/2 developer (and by that time, it was being billed as "Microsoft OS/2") how would you feel about "Forget what we've been saying. You really want to develop for our brand-new-stable-as-warm-Jell-O operating system". I was furious and I suspect that others were also.
 

griffk

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It wasn't that MS went their own way--it was the way it was carried out. For example, in 1990:



Now, if you were an OS/2 developer (and by that time, it was being billed as "Microsoft OS/2") how would you feel about "Forget what we've been saying. You really want to develop for our brand-new-stable-as-warm-Jell-O operating system". I was furious and I suspect that others were also.

The OS/2 community should have been kept "in the loop" much better ***by both sides***. It didn't really make sense for MS to hawk IBM's goods at any rate, but both companies should have been more up front.

I was a direct report to one of the managers on the NT 3.1 group, who had come directly out of OS/2 development, and he even seemed, at first, to have that "deer in the headlights" look...

Business wise, IBM was known for their disdain of anything that ran on metal weighing <= 2tons (look how they f'd up their PC biz), and MS knew it! They just didn't handle the dev "handover/support" very well...

gwk
 

Chuck(G)

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You could see that IBM figured that they made a mistake. After Warp's lackluster launch (it really was a very nice system), they mailed out CDs free with Warp and the devkit, including the C computer, which was a big deal. I don't know that "The IBM Developer Connection" ever gained a lot of traction.
 

Caluser2000

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Charrisa if you haven't found it already you may like to look at Al Savages page on installing v4 Warp http://asavage.dyndns.org/os2/warp4install/warp4install.html

Just be aware though, as mentioned, that it may not be walk in the park of far as setting it up. Sometimes its far to easy to waste a lot of time getting things functional. On my old v4 install ended up backing out out FP15 settling on FP14. Having a play in a VM might be the better option.
 
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Charrisa

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2015
Messages
15
Wow this has been really cool and informative.
I already have the last OS/2 available on a CD and 3 floppies. My issue is it doesn't work with any hardware I have at the moment.
 

Chuck(G)

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To get OS/2 Warp 4 running on a P3 system that I had, it took a bunch of downloads to get it running--and all of those were off of floppy. I don't think I'd want to do it again.

On the other hand, the eComStation variety of OS/2 and seems to be alive and well, at least according to OS/2 World. So go figure...
 
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