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Warpstock 2005
An outsider's impression

by Chuck Pettus, © February 2006

Dear OS/2 Folks and Friends and others. . . As an OS/2 "outsider" the following is my commentary and impressions of Warpstock 2005 USA [Hershey, PA]. I hope my report is an encouragement for Warpstock Europe 2005, set for November 18, 2005.

Please allow me the following disclaimer.

I alone am responsible for my comments. My comments are strictly my opinions and impressions, although some comments may be facts or may have some degree of credibility. I do not speak for or represent any names, groups, corporations that may be mentioned in this commentary.

Let me begin first by extending my praise and thanks to the Warpstock 2005 Board of Directors and the Warpstock 2005 Event Team for their contribution to Warpstock 2005. I extend my thanks further to the Contributors, the Sponsors, the Patrons and especially the attendees for their support.

My lasting impression is What a super experience and overall great event! I cannot compose enough words to express my ecstasy and excitement experienced at Warpstock 2005. What an upbeat affair! I heard no IBM bashing or disgruntlement with IBM. I'm probably getting a little ahead of my words and should backtrack somewhat.

On with the show

Ok, first of all my complicated schedule of commitments made my possible attendance very iffy. I was unable to pre-register and only signed up at the door. All hotel accommodations were gone long before my arrival. A challenge, yes, but I rose to the occasion. I found offsite facilities about 5 minutes from Warpstock 2005.

Now for some good news. I saved enough in expenses offsite that I could donate $100 to a very worthy cause for a very worthy family of an OS/2 community member who had died recently.

Warpstock 2005 was my first Warpstock. The site, the Wyndham-Hotel, in my opinion, appeared as a fine first class facility to host this event. The program guide proclaimed Warpstock 2005 as "The Sweetest One." Indeed it was. Now as an "outsider" and a "minority" (black, the only one at the event), I was overwhelmed with the professionalism, friendliness and camaraderie I experienced from everyone. I made many friends and gained a multitude of "contacts."

By the way I was very pleased with the snapshots of me in the advanced display of Warpstock 2005 photos compiled by Julian Thomas:

I am an OS/2 hobbyist with over 10 years experience that goes back to the multi-zillion install diskettes for OS/2 ver. 2. I met numerous attendees from Europe and several key eComStation people. The sessions were organized very well and some were repeated to accommodate those with schedule conflicts. When I needed additional information from a session, all presenters made themselves available after their sessions. There were many displays and numerous demos. Warpstock 2005 was a very informative experience for me.

I missed a few good things

I have numerous regrets that I hope can be converted into significant info benefits for the OS/2-eComStation community. I did not realize how many opportunities I missed until I returned home from Warpstock 2005. The key theme of my regrets is how many bits of good news and opportunities abound in the future for the community. I missed the many chances to learn more about the significance of the IBM withdrawal of OS/2 and the Microsoft settlement. OS/2, in my opinion, has far outlasted Win 3.1, Win95, Win98, WinME and apparently has not been withdrawn from those who can pay.

I missed the chance to learn more about eComStation, which plans to be around in the foreseeable future and may have all of those driver updates I need for my 3 Gig-P4 Dell Dimension primary hardware I use for my OS/2 hobby nonprofit non-business activities.

I missed the chance to better understand the IBM-Mozilla relation and the possible important implications. Mozilla for OS/2 benefited from the IBM effort, even though OS/2 benefit possibly was not one of the goals. In my opinion, anyone with OS/2 advocacy and a willingness to be part of some IBM supported non-OS/2 development project may extract some OS/2 benefit as an offshoot or side effect from the non-OS/2 effort.

I missed the chance to learn more about Open Source OS/2 activity. Much has been written about the complexity of OS/2 code ownership and legals. In my opinion, maybe OS/2 could benefit from a new image and new "hype." How about a new something to be called or known as "Open" "Source" "Too" or OS-"Too". Open Source activity may qualify for an IRS nonprofit status. IBM and others have various charitable programs to support worthy nonprofit programs. Hobbes is a nonprofit university activity that is very helpful to the OS/2 community. I was informed that Hobbes announced a request for donations and received the resources to continue their program. I believe that at Waprstock 2005, a request for support and donation was mentioned for some other nonprofit development that involved OS/2.

It was good for me

Although I missed many opportunities to better understand OS/2's future challenges at Warpstock 2005, I was very pleased to hear all of the talk about the next Warpstock 2006. In my opinion, the OS/2 community still has many positive exciting options awaiting discovery. The OS/2 community should encourage wholesome relations with those who are eligible for grants from IBM and other corporations.

I really enjoyed Warpstock 2005 and I received an enormous amount of very helpful information.

My OS/2 bio

A brief summary of my background includes a visit to the past when in late 1960's I became involved with IBM's APL, my beginnings with personal computing. Others and I were free of the raised floor, glass house computer centers. The downturn and collapse of industrial and academic computing departments had begun. I had an IBM 2741 "typewriter" communication terminal at home, a 150-300 baud acoustical modem and was on my way. In the 1970's I had the chance to touch the IBM 5100 and IBM 5110 "portable" 100 pound computers. Well, less than 100 pounds, but heavy and bulky. In the early 1990's, I first saw OS/2 on the mainframe. I donated my IBM 2741 terminal to the university around 1984 after the IBM-PC announcement. In 1995, I received an IBM "AMBRA" 90Meg Pentium and began with the OS/2 Ver2.1 trial diskettes. My primary hobby platform now is a Dell Dimension 3Gig-P4 running OS/2 Ver4.5 Fixpak3 in a 30+ Gig partition. My hobby is Project Odin.

OS/2 was an enjoyable education for me. About 5 years ago, I sent my first report on several PCI sound cards to the OS/2 community. Recently, I helped with the request for documentation on Power PC-OS/2. I extend my thanks to the OS/2 community for help with IBM and DANI "-506.ADD" and other drivers. I thank RSJ and F/X for their products that I purchased. I also had the joy and pleasure with IBM OS/2 Speech Recognition. I hope to reinstall IBM Speech soon.

Formatting: Christian Hennecke
Editing: James Moe