Virtual OS/2 International Consumer Education

May 1998


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Interview with an OS/2 User

Next we interview Ryan La Mothe. Ryan is an student and works in the computer services department at the University of Wisconsin Platteville. He is a long time OS/2 user.

VOICE> Who are you? Please feel free to give as much or as little information as you are comfortable with.

Ryan> I am Ryan La Mothe. I an Electrical Engineer/Micro and a Math major at the University of Wisconsin Platteville. I have been a long time OS/2 users and programmer, although no public software, and I love and fight for OS/2 whenever I can, in any situation. I am currently employed at our Campus Network (ResNet) and I have once again reinstated OS/2 as an OS supported by our department.

VOICE> Can you please describe your current use of OS/2 at home? What kind of hardware and software are you using for OS/2? Do you run DOS/Windows apps under OS/2?

Ryan> I use OS/2 to write my reports, play some games such as Quake native hack, run my web server and FTP server. I also use OS/2 for almost all of my multimedia needs such as MP3 and Photoediting, but the lack of decent software for my SB16 SCSI-II card and OS/2 in general forces me to use other options. I am using a K6-120, 32 megs RAM, Matrox Mystique, 2.3 GB HDD, 1 GB HDD, SB16-SCSI II, and SCSI CD-ROM. I currently do not run any Windows software under OS/2.

VOICE> How and when did you decide to use OS/2? What features attracted you to try OS/2? What previous experience did you have with other operating systems?

Ryan> I decided to use OS/2 when it was still version 2.0. I purchased it because I did not believe that Windows 3.1 was software that I wanted to use. I never did use it and I try not to use it even to this day. OS/2 lets me do things the way I want to do them. OOP (Object Oriented Programming) has always fascinated me, even from my NeXtstep days. OS/2's object oriented interface is still about 10 years ahead of its time and when OS/2 dies the world will never know how GUI's should have been.

VOICE> What other operating systems if any do you use and if they are networked, how well does OS/2 work with these other systems? What percentage of your time is spent running OS/2?

Ryan> I currently use RedHat Linux 5.0 Kernel 2.0.32. I use this mostly as a 2nd option, because as an Electrical Engineer/Micro designer I can make Unix do things in Real Time just as I can in QNX. Linux is networked as most Linux machines are: POP3, HTTP, FTP, TELNET, SMNP, etc. The only reason that I use Linux over anything else it that it has a true process/thread killer and the ability to compile source on the spot with immediate results. OS/2 doesn't even come close, nor does anything else.

I spent approximately 85% of my time on OS/2. OS/2 is networked with Netware 4.11 and that is about it. The netware connection works OK but is ancient compared with the IntraNetware clients that the Win95 and WinNT machines are currently using.

VOICE> Do you think you will continue to use OS/2 at home, or move to another platform in the future?

Ryan> I will always use OS/2. That is a fact. I always have and I always will. Unless IBM pulls the plug, then I will have no other choice than to use Unix or something else.

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?

Ryan> OS/2 is dead. As much as all of the people in the world hate to admit it, it is dying. Just walk ten feet away from your computer and ask anybody if they no what OS/2 is or if they no anybody using it and they will gives you a puzzled look. IBM needs to give the marketing for this software to someone or some company that doesn't have their heads up their asses. OS/2 needs to start from the ground up, not from the sky somewhere and hopefully trickle down to consumers.

OS/2 needs many things. First of all, an SMP version, a Micro Kernel interface, an Alpha version, a MIPS version, a REAL thread and process monitor. To sum this all up, they need the Linux base with the OS/2 GUI.

VOICE> How have IBM's statements that they are targeting the medium to large business sector affected your decision to continue using OS/2?

Ryan> They haven't. They have just affected my feelings and my ability to persuade anyone to use OS/2.

VOICE> If IBM licensed another company to sell the OS/2 client to home/SOHO users, would you support this product?

Ryan> I would die supporting this product. But, only if the marketing was done by an independent company, but the coding was done by IBM. Maybe GNU? Look what's happening to Linux.

VOICE> Have you tried to use OS/2 in your workplace? If so, what problems did you encounter that led you to stop using OS/2 or to fail to get OS/2 running in your business?

Ryan> I had to stop using OS/2 for exactly one (1) reason. The software that I need to remain competitive and the software that I need to do my work cannot be found on OS/2. Try finding MATLab, PSpice, Mathmatica, or any various different types of software that I need to use on a daily basis.


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