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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 editor@os2voice.org. We are always interested in what our readers have to say.

Spreading the Word About eComStation
September 27, 2006

Ed Durrant commented Christian Hennecke's editorial from the last issue:

I've just read your article in the latest VOICE Newsletter and couldn't agree more!

You refer to C&L as being OS/2 Friendly—I wonder if you could talk them into putting a link on their home page at http://www.cul.de/ under the one that says Test drive Linux, to say Test drive eComstation and have a link to the eCS demo CD download page at http://www.ecomstation.com/democd/.

Just a thought!

OS/2 for PowerPC
November 2, 2006

Henry Keultjes was very interested in OS/2 for PowerPC that got mentioned in Mark Dodel's article about the computer museum in the July 2006 issue:

Once you read the link in my signature line, you will know that I am obviously intrigued by your statement of an OS/2 PowerPC version.

Can you give me more details?

I happen to have two model 60's because they were used to hold an IBM RT board as well as a similar set-up to run Microdata on 68K. Of course, I have all kinds of other PowerPC based machines plus a treasuretrove of mid-70's vintage Microdata equipment that is going into a Pick museum in Campobello SC.

Shortly after, he added:

To much excitement—the hardware is PS/2 of which I have a model 60. Still I would be very interested in knowing of a PowerPC based PS/2 model.

Mark Dodel replied:

AFAIK there were only 4 models of PowerPC systems released by IBM that would run the OS/2 PowerPC Edition (2 desktops and two PowerPC Thinkpads).

OS/2 PPC was shoved out the door by IBM in 1995 and it was only half-baked. It was based on the Mach kernel and was supposed to have multiple OS personalities but was never developed beyond a barely beta quality of OS/2. You can read more on it at http://pages.prodigy.net/michaln/history/os2ppc/index.html. From what I have heard it will not run on any other PPC machines because only these machines were built to meet the IBM/Apple CHRP standard. This version of OS/2 had its roots in the IBM-Apple collaboration in Taligent which was supposed to result in a machine able to run OS/2, MacOS, and other personalities. Apple bailed out of Taligent before there was any real result and IBM gave up in 1995 when it became apparent that Intel could keep up or surpass the processor power of the PPC.

Can you imagine if Apple hadn't sold out to Microsoft where things would be today?

The PowerPC machine we have is a Power Series PC model 830. You can see a photo of it at http://www.os2voice.org/VNL/past_issues/VNL0706H/vcfos2table.jpg (it's the machine on the left). The machine was donated to the OS/2 museum by Hollis Blanchard of http://www.penguinppc.org/. He had LinuxPPC installed on it and couldn't understand why anyone would want to install OS/2 on it. For me it was for the history of it. This was the only non-Intel version of OS/2 ever released. Supposedly IBM sunk over $500 million dollars into its development and it was a complete failure. The version they released was only because of contracts they had which promised a release and you could only buy it if you knew the product number or had a contract for it. It is unstable, has very limited hardware support and no networking capability.

We had the machine on display at the 2005 Warpstock event in Hershey, PA. Hopefully we will have it on display at next year's event and the current plan is to have the entire collection (vintage OS/2 releases on vintage PS/2 systems) at a computer museum in Wall, NJ which is planned to be opened in 2007. The PPC machines show up on eBay on very rare occasions. Unfortunately they are usually too expensive for me or they are non-working. :-( If you ever hear of any model 850 or a Power Series Thinkpad 820 or 850 available for a reasonable price, I'd love to have samples of those for our collection.

Formatting: Christian Hennecke
Editing: Christian Hennecke