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 (http://www.os2ss.com),
the OS/2 E-Zine (http://www.os2ezine.com),
and EDM/2 (http://www.edm2.com). 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is the only way we can be sure you're getting the kind of information you really
want to know. --dON eITNER
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
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
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
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
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.