OS Warp

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OS Warp

Postby Nerdy-ish » Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:36 am

Remember OS Warp, that system that IBM wanted to get people to install around the time of Win 3.1 (IIRC).

I really wanted to try it, but the programming was not exactly the best. At the time when I got one of their CD's I put the CD into the drive, and it spun up, executed the install script then said that the CD drive is not recognised. If it's not recognised, how with startup script manage to run in the first place?

Oh well, that was as close as I got to trying OS Warp.

Okay, I admit that CD drives back then were kind of rubbish, or needed proprietary cards instead of connecting straight to the ISA bus, and having a drive that was bootable was like performing voodoo.
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Re: OS Warp

Postby paulm » Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:57 am

Nerdy-ish wrote:Remember OS Warp, that system that IBM wanted to get people to install around the time of Win 3.1 (IIRC).

I really wanted to try it, but the programming was not exactly the best. At the time when I got one of their CD's I put the CD into the drive, and it spun up, executed the install script then said that the CD drive is not recognised. If it's not recognised, how with startup script manage to run in the first place?


:) As a long time user of OS/2, I'd have to say you've got things more than a little muddled.

OS/2 2.0 was released before Win 3.1 (and before the first Linux kernel was released for that matter). Compared to anything else available at the time, it was a revaltion. Fast, small memory foot print, effective multi-tasking. And the ability to run Win 3.0 software seamlessly on the OS/2 desktop.

At the time, there were no bootable CDs available, though they did start to filter through within a year or two. 2.0 was available both as a floppy disk install (I think it ran to around 20 1.44 MB disks) or as a CD install, but booted from a floppy disk.

CDs were a real problem at the time. Most were connected to sound cards and had propriatary (sp) interfaces, which made support for them patchy to say the least.

OS/2 wasn't called Warp until the release of OS/2 3.0 (and then by accident - Warp had been the code name used in development).

The last full OS/2 release (4.00, in 1996, IIRC) was still limited to booting from a floppy, though it was no longer available as a floppy disk set. There was an upgrade (somehing like a super fixpack) which did boot from CD, but it was not available as a stand alone product.

In addition, there was a free project which allowed the generation of updated OS/2 CDs, and which added the ability to boot from CD.

The things that killed OS/2 were IBM's inability to market anything (they knew how to deal with Fortune 500 companies, but not much else...), endless MS fud (I've still got a wonderful cartoon based on the emerors new clothes that came out when Win 95 was released) and IBM's own internal politics.

Oh well, that was as close as I got to trying OS Warp.


Your loss. While OS/2 was a long way from bug free, it was streets ahead of anythnig else available at the time. Even today, the interface (the Work Place Shell) is difficult to beat. Not bad, cinsidering that real deveopment stopped in 1996.

Okay, I admit that CD drives back then were kind of rubbish, or needed proprietary cards instead of connecting straight to the ISA bus, and having a drive that was bootable was like performing voodoo.


Exactly. I still remember the problems with CD drives when the first Win 95 bootable CDs were released. If you didn't own a Sound Blaster, there was a good chance you would be looking for a floppy disk to boot from. And then hoping that whatever CD drive you had was close enough to something in the driver list to allow it to be run by the drivers availabe from the floppy.

I had a number of OS/2 based clients, both business and private. They were great, but never enough to keep me in business. Trouble was, I'd go out, set things up, then never hear from the client again. Windows clients - a whole different story. For a while, I looked after 3M in Brisbane. Once their OS/2 servers were set up and running, I never touched them again. But I used to have a regular job fixing their Windows desktops. At least a couple of calls per month for stupid things like printer drivers that no longer worked, or network settings that had mysteriously vanished. Or the endless stream of malware that used to get through and cripple them.

While its not (IMHO) a viable commercial product any more, there is still a development of OS/2 available today - eComstation, as marketed by Serenity Systems and available through Mensys in Holland. They just released a new (very delayed) version.

I can't see it being viable in the long term (not enough native software, not enough developers and too much MS fud in the commercial market), but it remains an attractive and very functional OS. I still wish I could find a full implementation of WPS to run under Linux. As user intefaces go, it was far superior to anything else available then, and, even now, really only lack eye-candy compared to more modern desktop intefaces

Have a look here if you want a few details:

http://www.ecomstation.com

:) Here endth the first lesson on OS/2.....

Paul.
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Postby Nerdy-ish » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:05 pm

Okay, so it was a looong time ago so the 100% correct on names, and I did put the "IIRC" as a get-out of the exact time frame of release.

Anyhow, the CD drive I had could be connected to it's dedicated card or the Soundblaster sound card I had, except using with the soundcard gave more variable results, mostly not favourable, so I ended up using the drives dedicated ISA card. There was also back then the issue of having to set DIP switches, IRQ's and the rest of that nonsense.

I could not install OS/2.... but I had no problem getting Win95 installed from CD.

It may have been my loss, but more IBM's for not getting the CD to run / install. Anyway, the closest thing I came to that was a bit like Linux was BeOS 5 PE.

Now that was interesting to play with, because it was an executable within Windows, then loaded BeOS 5 PE and ran a TONNE load better than Windows did for multimedia.

What I remember of it, is the trailer video clips around at the time, BeOS could easily open 5 clips and play them all, and all without dropping any frames. Windows could just cope with one video clip.

I would have stuck with BeOS but read in a magazine that there would be no more versions, so decided to stick with Win.
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Postby johnhudson » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:47 pm

You could say that Windows wiping out OS/2 and the squabbles within Unix opened the window through which Linux slipped in. If either OS/2 or Unix had succeeded, would Linux be anything more than a hobbyist product?

I doubt IBM would have put the effort into Linux if OS/2 had been a success.

So perhaps we should all be grateful to Bill Gates for creating the opening that Linux needed.
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Postby M-Saunders » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:13 am

eComStation 2.0 Home & Student Edition (ESD) - 149,00 EUR


150 smackers? That'll really help to get hobbyist developers interested in the platform...

I haven't been to the eComStation site for a couple of years, but it is horrendous. They have absolutely no idea how to sell the OS. So it looks like they're a true successor to IBM then! :-)

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Postby paulm » Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:24 pm

M-Saunders wrote:
eComStation 2.0 Home & Student Edition (ESD) - 149,00 EUR


150 smackers? That'll really help to get hobbyist developers interested in the platform...

I haven't been to the eComStation site for a couple of years, but it is horrendous. They have absolutely no idea how to sell the OS. So it looks like they're a true successor to IBM then! :-)

M


:( Looks like it. The endless delays prior to the release of 2.0 haven't helped either. I stopped paying my 'software subscription' at least three years ago, and had given up any hope of ever seeing 2.0 come out.

I've now got a copy (was entitled to it as a result of my long term support), but I've nothing to install it on at the moment, and I'm far from sure I've any real use for it any more anyway.

As you say, the price is really helpful. Especially considering there is esentially no software development going on for it any more. While there have been some projects (like Open Office) for eCS, they are few and far between, and don't provide much in terms of a usable software base.

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Postby Ram » Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:46 pm

This the stuff you're talking about.

Image
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Image


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lubuntu LXDE 13.10 running on AMD Phenom II*4; ASUS Crosshair III Formula MB; 4 GB Ram.....
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Postby guy » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:27 pm

As I recall (equally unreliably?):

OS/2 was widely seen as a genuine threat to Windows. However the MS Office monopoly was by then firmly entrenched, and IBM felt obliged to be able to run it - which in practice meant licensing some under-the-bonnet stuff from Microsoft.

Thus, all our favourite mephistuffelian had to do when things got too hot was to hike the license fee and attached strings to an unsustainable level. IBM had no choice but to let the dream die.

I wonder if eComstation is really so expensive because they are as greedy and dumb as the RISCOS owners used to be, or whether the Monopoly tax is still being extorted.
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Postby johnhudson » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:39 am

Microsoft was already in the line to use OS/2 when a couple of hackers showed Bill Gates how to create a Windows environment on top of MS-DOS - something which he had thought was impractical. Once he realised it was possible to give MS-DOS a windowing system without IBM, he ditched OS/2.

Incidentally the MS Office monopoly did not emerge until the late 1990s, a decade after Bill Gates had decided to ditch OS/2 in favour of the fledgling Windows system.
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Postby DocMindwipe » Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:09 pm

johnhudson wrote:Microsoft was already in the line to use OS/2 when a couple of hackers showed Bill Gates how to create a Windows environment on top of MS-DOS - something which he had thought was impractical. Once he realised it was possible to give MS-DOS a windowing system without IBM, he ditched OS/2.

Incidentally the MS Office monopoly did not emerge until the late 1990s, a decade after Bill Gates had decided to ditch OS/2 in favour of the fledgling Windows system.
Actually, Windows emerged while MS was working on OS/2 1, 1.1 and 1.2

IBM, when MS stuffed out Windows 2, pulled OS/2 from MicroSofts grasp, with the result that MS practically stole the sourcecode to OS/2 and developed it into Windows NT3.1 (just to keep the Windows version-number in line with Windows 3.1)

The effect WindowsNT3.1 had, was that IBM took MicroSoft to court, but they settled for a deal: IBM wouls have access to every single line of Windows sourcecode untill 1995 (or 7 years or thereabouts, IIRC)

OS/2 v2 and v3 WARP, was IBM-only products, and the latter was released in 1994, true 32bit operating system and stable as anything. Windows are, up untill today, still bugridden and unstable, IMO... the best they've released is WinXP, followed by 7 when it comes to stability. However, my favourite Windows version was and still is 98SE, as I could do "anything" with that.

As for
Compared to anything else available at the time, it was a revaltion. Fast, small memory foot print, effective multi-tasking. And the ability to run Win 3.0 software seamlessly on the OS/2 desktop.
Amiga did this in 1985. at least 4 years before OS/2. 3 years before Mac. And Windows still doesn't do it :P
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OS/2 vs Windows

Postby Nuke » Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:29 pm

I love these OS/2 reminiscences - everyone has a different story to tell. I have only just sold my copies on eBay - got 30 GBP for a shrink-wrapped v2.1.

Around 1990 I delayed getting a home PC until OS/2 v2 was released, because I knew from work that DOS and Windows 3.0 sucked. I was really angry with MS for then pulling out of OS/2 development to push Windows, creating an OS "schism" www.os2bbs.com/os2news/os2history.html , and nothing MS have done since has changed my attitude towards them.

The story I heard was that Windows was originally meant to be OS/2's GUI. The MS developers grafted it on to DOS to try usability, like Porsche might put a new Carrera body on a VW Beetle chassis to try the seating position etc. MS gave copies of this to some non-tech employees and to try at home with their families. The reports were positive ("Gee-Whizz - never seen anything like this before!") and MS decided to go to market with this dog's breakfast.

IBM were horrified, and tried contractually (but failed) to stop Windows being marketed. MS was still bound to contribute to OS/2 development, but allegedly tried to foul it up - the equivalent parts in each OS for which they were responsible were always made easier for the user in Windows than in OS/2.

The IBM/MS partnership inevitably ended, but with each retaining some rights to each other's code as it stood at the time. Thus in OS/2 V2 IBM was able to offer an option with DOS and Windows included - running in an OS/2 virtual machine. I remember playing DooM in a DOS window on the OS/2 desktop - I got pretty good at getting DOS and Windows stuff to work in OS/2. But this ability backfired on OS/2, as independent developers did not bother to port to it knowing that OS/2 could run it in a DOS/Windows VM anyway.

MS did not attack OS/2 only with FUD. They financially penalised PC makers (even IBM themselves) who offered OS/2 as an alternative to Windows, by refusing a bulk discount licence for Windows. Also, as someone has said, IBM was internally inconsistent in that the apps developers favoured Windows as they (self-fulfillingly) argued that corporates would go for Windows rather than OS/2, and they did not want to be bothered to write for both.

MS had internal differences too. After they wrote NT (a mixture of DEC's VMS design and OS/2 code), one faction wanted to ditch Windows 3.x ("Windows-on-DOS") and concentrate on NT (a "NT-Lite" version would have run on most new PC's by then), while another did not want the money-making Windows-on-DOS killed off. In the end Windows-on-DOS was kept on life support for another ~7 years (as Win95, 98 & ME). Windows XP was of NT pedigree.

There were some great things about OS/2. I especially liked that for any app you could instantly pull up an Icon editor and modify or make your own - an enjoyable time waster whether at work or home!
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Postby guy » Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:45 pm

I would be surprised if that's true. IIRC it was like this:
MS pulled a real coup when they got IBM to license MS-DOS - The "IBM PC" went global as much because it was an open architecture allowing any manufacturer to make compatible kit. But MS hung onto the MS-DOS IP, making it impossible to clone MS-DOS fast enough (DR-DOS came too little too late), so tying the OS level of the global phenomenon to them.

When WIMP (Windows-Icons-Mouse-Pointer) UIs appeared, MS were not about to throw that away. OS/2 was IBM's challenge to their renewed Windows monopoly - again too little too late.

I did get to use OS/2 though - one time I went up to a cash dispenser and it was rebooting. The boot screen gave the OS and version. :shock: So next time I used that dispenser, I was using OS/2. :) I think OS/2 had officially been dead around 5 years by then, maybe longer. Fully security audited/accredited or carrier-grade systems are seldom bleeding-edge, to say the least (I suspect that only space technology lags further behind).
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OS/2 vs Windows

Postby Nuke » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:09 pm

guy wrote :

MS hung onto the MS-DOS IP, making it impossible to clone MS-DOS fast enough ... so tying the OS level of the global phenomenon to them.

When WIMP ... UIs appeared, MS were not about to throw that away. OS/2 was IBM's challenge to their renewed Windows monopoly - again too little too late.


Sort of, but OS/2 could not have been "IBM's challenge" to MS because OS/2 was a joint IBM/MS project. The project was started in 1985 before Windows v1.0 was even on sale. Even after Windows came out, versions 1 and 2 were not even a commercial success let alone a monopoly. People were still waiting for OS/2, or thinking of MacOS or GEM from Digital Research. Until about 1988 even MS still spoke of OS/2 as the proper successor to DOS and Windows, and of the latter being a stop-gap. But in 1988 MS started work on writing their own (ie independent of IBM) 32-bit OS which became Windows NT, but was initially called MS OS/2 v3.

Then the success of Windows 3.x from 1990 made "Windows", (initially a technical term - the "W" in "WIMP"), into a brand name. This gave MS the courage to rename their new 32-bit OS as Windows NT [New Technology]. Of course they could no longer call it MS OS/2 anyway as they now divorced IBM, and the OS/2 trademark belonged to the latter.

There are claims that what made Windows such a success in the early days was largely its games. Back then it was widely felt that computers were supposed to be serious tools, and many people felt guilty playing games on them. But somehow they felt OK with the supplied Windows games, like Reversii and Minesweeper, because they seemed integrated with the computer. Most importantly, unlike DOS games, at work a game could be replaced on the screen by a boring work document with a click of the mouse if the boss came out of his office: this ability appealed just as much to the PHB as to his underlings, as he sometimes liked to play games too. MS always had canny marketing.
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Re: OS/2 vs Windows

Postby guy » Sat Jul 02, 2011 1:00 pm

Nuke wrote:OS/2 could not have been "IBM's challenge" to MS because OS/2 was a joint IBM/MS project. The project was started in 1985 before Windows v1.0 was even on sale. Even after Windows came out, versions 1 and 2 were not even a commercial success let alone a monopoly. People were still waiting for OS/2, or thinking of MacOS or GEM from Digital Research.

The challenge was not to Windows per se but to the MS monopoly. OS/2 could not give anyone a monopoly if it were a collaborative product. IBM's idea was to make OS/2 dependent on IP from each company, so it couldn't be split off. In the event, MS outsmarted them.

Until about 1988 even MS still spoke of OS/2 as the proper successor to DOS and Windows, and of the latter being a stop-gap.

You think MS believed what they told everyone? If MS had intended to honour that impression, they would have withdrawn Windows when OS/2 hit the streets. Instead they shafted IBM.

There are claims that what made Windows such a success in the early days was largely its games. Back then it was widely felt that computers were supposed to be serious tools ... a game could be replaced on the screen by a boring work document with a click of the mouse if the boss came out of his office: this ability appealed just as much to the PHB ...

"There are claims" that the world is flat. Back then was the Amigatari heyday and it was quite the opposite - I knew many people who bought PCs for office or school precisely because they were so crap at games. ISTR that some games available in beta were actually withdrawn by MS from the production release because they were too playable. It was common enough for sysadmins to delete the games from the office/school builds. It'd be like buying a beamer in the heyday of the Ford Capri, it's just not the car to lash up a CB burner and paint in go-faster stripes.
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