Virtual OS/2 International Consumer Education
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January 2002

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Letters, Addenda, Errata

If you have any comments regarding articles or tips in this or any previous issue of the VOICE Newsletter, please send them to We are always interested in what our readers have to say.

December 6, 2001 - We received quite a few responses to our editorial in the November issue on "Whither OS/2?". We published a few in the December issue and here are a few more of them.

First letter is from David Odom:

Just wanted to let you know that I am still and will continue to be a loyal OS/2 for as long as it still works. I may need some help in installing fixpack, searching for hardware device support, etc., but will do all I can to keep using OS/2. I have been a loyal fan since OS/2 1.2 while working for IBM. At least some of us old IBMers didn't desert OS/2 like IBM deserted us.

Keep up the good work and if I can help in any way, I will.


David Odom

The following letter is from Eric McCann:

Not really a submission, more of an answer to where will the OS/2 users go...

I haven't used OS/2 for a while now. I'll say that right at the outset. I still try to keep an eye on how things are going (esp. with products like ODIN,) but right now I'm sitting on a Windows box.

I soldiered on a bit, beta testing Warp 4 (and getting no responses to my bug reports,) using the final release for some time. I finally gave up when I needed USB support (not then available) TWAIN support for my digital camera, and a good graphics app. I was having trouble finding all of them under OS/2, and so was pretty much forced back to the world of blue screens.

I haven't sat idle, though - between watching what Windows was doing (and I have to admit, Win2k impressed me, though I never bought it) and looking at alternatives. Much of the non-commercial (what IBM insulted as the "kitchentop" market - yes, that still stings) OS/2 community will probably start looking at linux. I did. I didn't want to fight through that learning curve.

I looked at Be - in fact, still have it running, as it handles my digital camera and Web authoring needs nicely. It doesn't, however, see the NIC or (gag) Winmodem/sound card in the current PC.

WinXP? I'm somewhat less concerned about the privacy issues (wish I could find the site that went into the "hardware report" and "authentication" processes again,) or the Fisher-Price interface. I just don't want to give more money to Microsoft.

My next step is going to be a Mac. I've already picked up older ones to (cheaply) figure out what's going on in them, and I have to admit, I love the things. iMac, iBook, PowerMac or Powerbook - they've got great hardware, stability the OS/2 user has come to know and love, and in OSX, a Unix based OS that IS actually easy to use.

As far as investment in knowledge, software, and hardware? OS X will support the newer hardware and digital cameras/camcorders/etc. Software? VirtualPC was mentioned as coming for OS/2. It's been a long-time resident of the Mac world. Heck, buy a 733-867 Mhz PowerMac and stick VPC running OS/2 on it.

This, at least, is the solution I'm saving my pennies for. My only REAL hold to Windows at the moment is gaming. Everything else, I can do on the Mac. And given VirtualPC, I can probably move my games onto it, as well. It wouldn't hurt OS/2 users to think about that as an option.

-Eric McCann

The following letter is from Wilson Yip:

Concerning your article "Whither OS/2?" I have gone from using OS/2 both at home and in the office to using OS/2 in the office and Apple Mac OS X 10.1 at home.

Later on, probably at the beginning of next year, when I am more familiar with the OS and there are the Mac OS X 10.1 equivalent programs, I shall be moving the Mac to the office as well.

The Mac is extremely easy to use and I have absolutely no regrets making the move although it involved writing off some PC hardware and buying a PowerMac. It has been worth the experience with this new OS which although based on BSD is extremely protective of the user though its Aqua interface. My only regret is that it took Apple so long to release this new OS.


Wilson Yip

The following letter is from Lutz Wagner

Hi Mark,

Are more people going to flee OS/2? If so where do you go?

You give the answer yourself:

For me, there is no other viable alternative. Microsoft is morally bankrupt, so even if their latest and greatest windoze actually worked, I wouldn't use it.

I couldn't have expressed it any different! That is exactly my opinion! I had never believed some years ago that 95 percent of the western global population would surrender voluntarily to a monopolistic organization, whose primary goal apparently is to rule the world (or should I say conquer the world?).

Linux and the other *NIXs are just still too server oriented and still too complicated to manage as a desktop

Again, you are awfully right. There has just recently been an article in a german computer magazine called c't, which by experience with the latest Suse Linux 7.3 confirmed especially the user-unfriendliness of Linux.

So we all have to stick to what we believe is the best OS in the world, no matter what the mainstream says. And lets hope that there will be an increasing community of free developers to supply us - for money if necessary - with the future things we need.

Lutz Wagner
Hamburg, Germany

The following letter is from Jos Joslyn:

Hi Mark,

I have just read your editorial in VOICE, and am responding to your request for thoughts/opinions on the future of "our baby", and potential alternatives.

I have to say that at this moment in time I feel more hopeful about the future of eCS - hell, lets not kid ourselves OS/2 as we have all come to know and love is in it's final "death throws". My renewed enthusiasm is fired by what seems to be a resurgence of ISV work, in particular the two main players Serenity Systems, and Innotek.

You ask can Serenity continue the work once IBM finally pulls the carpet from under the OS/2 development? I firmly believe that yes it can. I also believe that the day when IBM do finally end the relationship with OS/2 is further away than we are being lead to think. The reasons are clear, IBM is a Corporate hungry entity, and as such will always feel the pressure from these corporations before it relents to any pressure we could bring to bear. Banks and insurance companies globally are still major users of OS/2, and have proven absolute in their resistance to move to any of "Billy boys toys". It is corporations like these that prevented IBM from shutting the door on OS/2 years ago. It was no surprise that initially Warp4 was little different from Warp3 - "Look & Feel" apart. IBM was sure that Warp3 would be the last version to be released, the embarrassment of that bloody awful ad campaign, the IBM PC Co decision - against IBM company policy - to sign THAT agreement with Microsoft, and the closure of Boca Raton, Fl. along with the subsequent loss of large numbers of key staff on the OS/2 project. Would have, for most other products been the "death knell", but not "our baby!!". Large corporate refused to be pushed and shoved onto a platform that was unstable, memory hungry, poorly designed. And still is today!!

So I believe that we will see key development continuing, and I believe with Serenity getting hold of more of the pie for eCS development. To the point where there will be no more legacy license issues with the remaining MS code - the network modules for example - and then we will see eCS become the standard bearer that OS/2 would have become had IBM the courage to seriously tackle MS & give ISVs' the level of support and integration that should have been there without question from the start.

With OS/2 IBM has been a control freak, they believed that just as it has been for the MainFrame & AS/400 systems the PC had to be "Blue throughout" OS, Apps, the whole shooting match. An impossible dream, they should have worked more closely with the excellent ISVs' that exist out there.

eCS-OS/2 may never be a major "gaming" platform, but in terms of a PC work platform it cannot be bettered, even with all the neglect it still stands head & shoulders above the rest. And if the Multimedia (DVD + Audio) can be built, which I am sure it can be cracked, well we will have a damn good system that we can be very proud of.

Look at what has been achieved by Serenity Systems since they have been working on eCS - along with Innotek and others. The installation is sweet, could still be better, but is a million light years away from the OS/2 install, and now installs a version of OS/2 that looks better than Win2000/NT. Gives the installer more control over the installation, and delivers a great set of tools and applications in the sweetest of methods.

And there is more to come, I have heard great things about Connectix' VirtualPC for OS/2. Plus the recent announcement by Innotek with regard to the acquisition of co-StandbyServer for OS/2! All of this is FANTASTIC NEWS!!!, how can we possibly be downbeat. The only potential loser in all of this is going to be IBM at the end of the day. And who knows maybe - just maybe - we will see a 64bit version, I believe that is still a possibility.

Anyway thanks for the article(s)

Best regards

Jos - OS/2 Senior Support Specialist

December 3, 2001 - As I had suspected, my article on wireless networking under OS/2 would be somewhat popular. :-) Cisco 340 PCMCIA Wireless network card. Here are a couple of comments on that article.

First from Dan Rudolph:

Mark--read your article on going wireless with the cisco 340 card. Glad I had not seen it earlier or I would have been searching e-bay for deals instead of contacting Artem. I bought two PCMCIA cards from them, at more like $170 per card, but they shipped immediately. When I had a hardware problem with the first cards, (perhaps my fault) they were very fast to replace them. It was similar to your ISA problem. I had purchased their ISA PCMCIA socket, and it burned out both PCMCIA cards. Whether it was their card, or my having to push a bit to install it, I don't know. I returned all that, and asked just for the two cards and they asked no questions. I got a Quatech ISA card reader that I had no trouble installing.

I did not haggle about having to pay the return shipping to Germany as they support OS/2. Of course shipping does bump up the price. The new cards work like a charm, in both my thinkpad and the quatech for peer to peer. Went and got the same linksys you have, and now that works like a charm.

The only minor issue is that in MPTN setup the info for editing the card setup is in german. Takes a little knowledge to know what the fields actually are. I would hope that Artem would provide just a half-page translation.

Overall I think this is an excellent choice, the price is a tad above what you got but there is no need to search e-bay and Artem service is really excellent.

Dan Rudolph

Then from Aron Eisenpress:
Hi Mark,

I finally had a chance to read your article on this - good writeup. Only thing I have to add is that the Cisco 350 card I have does work fine with suspend/resume on my laptop (an AST Ascentia 950n). According to the info I could find, by the way, the difference between the 340 and 350 is that the 350 has higher transmit power, which I guess should mean greater range - in any case that's the card we had in the office here!


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