Virtual OS/2 International Consumer Education

April 1998


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Interview with an OS/2 Business User

Last month the V.O.I.C.E. newsletter ran an interview with Perry Newhook on how OS/2 was being used in the maintenance of experimental nuclear fusion reactors. This month we've expanded due to overwhelming response from OS/2 users wishing to be interviewed on how they use OS/2 in their workplaces. We'll get around to you all eventually--if the letters ever stop coming in. This month brings you three new interviews. First up is Falcon Networking who host the OS/2 Supersite (, the OS/2 E-Zine (, and EDM/2 ( Second you will hear from a systems programmer with the New York State Legislative Bill Drafting Commission. Last is an interview with a student at Shimer College, proving that OS/2 has a place in education as well as in business. We are quite pleased with the response we got to our call for additional interviewees and will continue to sift through them all to bring you a good mix each month. If you have a question you'd like to ask (generally) about how others use OS/2 in their home, school, or work environments, we'd like to hear from you. Just send your question idea, or request to be interviewed to This is the only way we can be sure you're getting the kind of information you really want to know. --dON eITNER

Our first Interview with an OS/2 Business User for April is Dirk Terrell President, Falcon Networking, home of the OS/2 Supersite -

VOICE>What kind of business are you involved in?

Dirk Terrell> Falcon Networking is a commercial Internet services provider and software development firm. We are the home of the OS/2 Supersite and host many other well known OS/2 sites such as OS/2 e-Zine! and EDM/2.

VOICE>Can you please describe your current use of OS/2 in your workplace? What kind of hardware and software are you using for OS/2?

Dirk Terrell> The OS/2 Supersite machine runs Warp 4 on a Cyrix P150+ machine. The machine was donated by Indelible Blue and is one of their Einstein models. It has performed flawlessly in the year that we have used it. The software that powers the Supersite includes the IBM Internet Connection web server, the Hethmon Brothers FTP daemon, Hacksaw from Innoval, and the Rapid Internet Purchasing (RIP) system software which was developed here at Falcon.

My personal workstation is a Dell XPS Pro 200n Pentium Pro machine running Warp 4. During a typical day I will use DeScribe, Netscape Navigator, EPM, PMMail, Colorworks, PMView, the EmTec FTP client, and IBM Works.

VOICE>How did you decide to use OS/2? What features were considered important for this project(s)? What previous experience was there with OS/2 and other operating systems?

Dirk Terrell> Well, I have been using OS/2 since version 2.0 hit the streets in May, 1992. At the time I needed something more reliable than DOS/Win 3.1 so I gave OS/2 a try. It impressed the hell out of me. 24/7 reliability was the key for the Supersite and the RIP system. DOS compatibility, REXX scripting, and a multi-threaded design made OS/2 the OS of choice for the Supersite. Besides, it would be heresy to have one of the most prominent OS/2 sites running something besides OS/2. :-)

VOICE>What other operating systems if any were under consideration or are used for your business? If you use OS/2 in conjunction with other OSes in any form of a network, how well does OS/2 work with these other systems?

Dirk Terrell> We are not operating system bigots around here. We use what is best for a particular application and have machines running Linux, Solaris, and Windows NT. The OS/2 machines integrate very nicely with the other machines on the network.

VOICE>Do you foresee continued/increasing use of OS/2 in this fashion?

Dirk Terrell> Yes, our use of OS/2 will only increase.

VOICE>Are there any changes that you would like to see to OS/2 that would facilitate your continued use or expanded use of OS/2?

Dirk Terrell> I would like, like everyone else, would like to see improved software application support. The ability to run 32-bit Windows applications would be welcome here, whether it be a Win32 subsystem like we now have for Windows 3.1 applications, or the Win32-OS/2 project's goal of converting Win32 binaries into OS/2 binaries. I know people complain that supporting Win32 means that people won't write native OS/2 applications, but hey, we're going on two years now and the lack of Win32 support sure doesn't seem to have convinced developers to write native applications. Java is a powerful concept and I believe it will revolutionize the way software is created, so I would like to see IBM really stick to their guns on Java and Java support for OS/2.

VOICE>How have IBM's statements that they are targeting the medium to large business sector affected your work or your decision to continue using OS/2 for this/these task(s)?

Dirk Terrell> I've come not to expect too much from IBM concerning OS/2, so I don't pay too much attention to them one way or another. OS/2 does what I need it to do and does it very well. As long as it continues to do so, we will use it.

VOICE>If IBM licensed another company to sell the OS/2 client to home/SOHO users, would it affect your usage of OS/2 (would you use more OS/2 clients for your work, etc)?

Dirk Terrell> Well, it probably wouldn't affect our use of it internally, but it would probably make it easier to recommend it to our clients.

VOICE>Do you know of any other sites using OS/2 in your industry?

Dirk Terrell> I'm sure there are, but I'm not familiar with them.


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