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March 2002

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Usenet OS/2-eCS Survey Results

By David Lewis © March 2002

[Editor's note: The following are the results of a survey conducted by David Lewis on the Usenet news groups comp.os.os2.advocacy and comp.os.os2.misc. The survey was in response to a few peoples incessant complaints about people posting eComStation related questions/posts in these groups. The complainers keep insisting that eCS is not OS/2, despite the fact that it is an OEM version of OS/2. David wanted to get the feelings of those who frequent the group as to their opinion on the subject. I found the results of interest and asked for permission to publish them in the VOICE Newsletter. David graciously agreed.]

The responses are in and have been tallied up. In total 82 people responded to the survey. Sorry to take so long in posting the results, but I got a lot more responses than I ever expected. I figured that 20-30 would respond, 40 at most. Thanks to one and all for taking the time to participate.

First I'd like to list the answers to the questions, followed by a quick comment or two based upon the many comments that I received. At the end I'll give my analysis, and the list of people who responded. Here goes:

  1. ) Are you an OS/2 user?
    yes 80 97.5%
    no 2 2.5%

    Comment: The majority of people who responded actively use OS/2. Quite a few were early adopters.

  2. ) What percentage of the time that you are using a computer is it running OS/2?
    100% 16 19.5%
    99 16 19.5
    98 3 3.7
    95 12 14.6
    90 6 7.3
    80 3 3.7
    75 3 3.7
    70 1 1.2
    60 2 2.4
    50 8 9.8
    40 2 2.4
    30 1 1.2
    20 3 3.7
    10 4 4.9
    0 2 2.4

    Comment: Most people responding use OS/2 as their primary OS. 72% of those responding use it 75% of the time or more. Almost 60% use it almost exclusively.

  3. ) Do you use OS/2 at work?
    yes 38 46.3%
    no 36 43.9
    occasionally 3 3.7
    retired 5 6.1

    Comment: A surprisingly large number of people use OS/2 at work. Several who are now retired used OS/2 before retiring. Many os those who don't use it at work wish that they did.

  4. ) Are you an OS/2 programmer?
    yes 25 30.5%
    no 38 46.3
    REXX 10 12.2
    sort of 9 11.0

    Comment: We have a lot of programmers here. Those who responded as REXX programmers weren't sure if that was really significant. I think that it is. The people who responded "sort of" seemed to express a concern about how polished their work is. They should be encouraged to continue developing their skills. The comp.os.os2.programmer newsgroups are a great source of support and information.

  5. ) Do you feel eCS is on-topic in these newsgroups?
    yes 79 96.3%
    no 2 2.4
    unsure 1 1.2

    Comment: This came through pretty loud and clear. The people feel eCS is on-topic. Several people commented (quite fairly I feel) that it is on-topic only when the discussion applies equally to OS/2.

  6. ) Is eCS OS/2?
    yes 78 95.1%
    no 0 0.0
    currently 2 2.4
    close 1 1.2
    unsure 1 1.2

    Comment: Another one that comes through loud and clear. eCS is OS/2. A couple of people have their doubts that it always will be OS/2. A few analogies were given. Such as, "A french fry with ketchup on it is still a french fry, only tastier".

  7. ) Do you feel that eCS: a) enhances, b) destroys, c) neither, OS/2's future?
    a) enhances 66 81.7%
    b) destroys 0 0.0
    c) neither 10 12.2
    unsure 2 2.4
    Is OS/2's future 3 3.7

    Comment: There's obviously a lot of support here for eCS. I should have asked how many people have eCS versus SWC versus straight OS/2. Personally, I run Warp 4 with fixpack 12. I haven't decided that the time is right for me to purchase either SWC or eCS.

  8. ) Are you a regular follower of these newsgroups?
    yes 76 92.7%
    no 4 4.9
    except .advocacy 2 2.4

    Comment: Most people are regulars here. comp.os.os2.advocacy turns a couple of people off though.

  9. ) Do you filter any participants or topics in these newsgroups?
    yes 38 46.3%
    no 37 45.1
    sometimes 7 8.5

    Comment: About half the people have had enough of certain people. That is their perogative. Many others reported that they deal with the noise through other means such as skipping certain posts or just deleting the messages.

  10. ) Would you describe yourself as: a) a participator, b) a lurker, c) neither, in these newsgroups?
    a) a participator 38 46.3%
    b) a lurker 37 45.1
    c) neither 7 8.5

    Comment: We have a lot of lurkers here, including myself.

  11. ) May I publish your name as having participated in the survey?
    yes 66 80.5%
    no 16 19.5

    Comment: Of those that said no, more than a few were worried that they would be harassed for having participated in the survey. Many people were concerned about spam. A couple of people who said that I could publish their names didn't include them, so I had to go with the information I had. The following people granted permission to say they participated in the survey:

David Lewis, Doug Fitzpatrick, Wayne, Martin Kiewitz, Pekka Rousu, Mark Pritchard, Manfred Agne, Jonathan Seder, hõrad µngravvÕd, Peter Volsted, Mark Dodel, David Butkovich, Lorne Sunley, Charles Hunter, Steven Howard, Doug Bissett, Christian Hennecke, Jim Backus, Bob Stephan, Stefan Milcke, Herbert Rosenau, Alex Smariga, L.J. Neve, John Varela, Lionel C. Abrahams, Andrew J. Brehm, Nick Knight, Mike Rezsutek, Bernard B. Yoo, Mike Greene, Rich Steiner, Tobias Rothe, Charles Christacopoulos, Tim Rosnau, Eric Paxton, Jeremy Harbinson, Stan Zulaski, Stilz, Lee W. Riemenschneider, Ian Campbell, Menno, Wes Newell, Frank Ambacher, R. McDermott, Jan Danielsson, George Frehner, Rod Farr, Andrew Stephenson, Kirk Thibodeaux, Peter da Graca, Peter Kocsis,, Rick Kramer, Mike Tuthill, G. Wayne Hines, Lennart Gahm, Timothy N. Perri, Steve Drewell, Jaime A. Cruz, Jr., Patrick Annette, Bob Eager, Mark Davis, Daniel Hellerstein, Peter Brown, Luc Le Blanc, Scott Vetter.

Personal comment: When I posted the survey I said, "I'd like to take a little survey to try and settle some of the various claims that are being made about these newsgroups and OS/2 vs. eCS". What I should have said was, "settle in my mind". I don't expect to change anyone else's opinions. Feel free to use the results as you wish, but I'm not trying to settle a fight here, or start one either for that matter. Just remember the old adage, "You can tell a bigot, but you can't tell him much".

Analysis: I feel that this is the real "voice of the people" talking here. Take a moment to scan through the list of names of the participants. It is interesting not only for who it includes, but also for who it doesn't. Many of the most frequent posters did not respond.

It also seems that we have a lot of lurkers here (myself included).

Many interesting comments were given along with the answers. As usual with any survey the results might not always add up to 100%, and there was the occasional answer given that didn't quite fit with the expected answers. I've added some new categories where appropriate. I felt that it was more fitting than just discarding the answers.

Overall I'd have to say that we have an interesting group of people here, probably uncommon from the typical computer users. But uncommon in a good way. Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey. I'm up for any questions and discussion about the survey, but after that its back to lurker mode for now.

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