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Choices to Make! Something microsoft users generally don't have to worry about
as all their thinking is done for them by Redmond. OS/2 users are always plagued
with decisions. IBM, in it's quest to abandon OS/2, has decided not to extend the
Warp 4 client End of Life beyond it's current January 31, 2001. That leaves OS/2
users with a new decision.
Here are the options as I see it:
1. Do nothing. This seems to have worked for many of the Warp 3 users. They live in a veritable time warp; but just because Warp 3 is no longer supported doesn't mean their computers stop running. But eventually more and more new things won't work. Odin runs better on Warp4, with the latest fixpacks. Lotus Smart Suite now requires at least Warp 4.I've already made my choice. I'm buying 3 copies of eComStation(eCS). Besides WiseMachine, and the OS/2 Convenience Pack, eCS is slated to include VoiceType, the Bonus Pack apps from Warp 4, PM Fax Lite and a copy of Desktop on Call. That last is to allow you or a support person to control your machine remotely. Also Serenity Systems is a licensed distributor with Sun Microsystems for Star Office. True, Star Office is currently frozen at version 5.1a, but Sun has announced that the 6.0 version will be open source. Not only has Serenity stated they will support the porting of SO 6.0 to eCS, but they are also actively considering supporting a DVD multimedia app for eCS as well. There has also been talk about writing improved USB drivers. Need to run Windows' applications? Then you will have a couple of choices/solutions under eCS. The Odin project, which provides a software solution to run win32 apps, or the Freedom Card, which is a pc on a board, which will allow you to run both eCS and Windows on the same machine at the same time.
2. Take IBM's advise and move to windoze or Linux. Well ethically, even if microsoft's latest operating environment wasn't a hack job, I still couldn't consider that direction. That would leave Linux. Perhaps in a couple of years, but it's still just too much work.
3. Buy IBM's Software Choice subscription, and hope that IBM continues to provide value as well as updates. Up until recently, there has been little of value on Software Choice for the small time user. We are now promised at least one Convenience Pack upgrade, Java 1.3, updates to TCP/IP, a new as yet unamed web browser. It will not contain VoiceType, or any of the Bonus Pack Apps, so if you use those, make sure you keep your Warp 4 CD's. IBM has now announced that the next version Visualage Java will no longer be supported on OS/2. In another bomb shell, announced on Warpcast, IBM plans no new versions of Visual Age C/C++. Neither of these indicates much hope for IBM to continue much if any OS/2 development beyond fixing reported problems for customers with support contracts.
4. Buy eComStation from Serenity Systems. The Managed Mobile Client, which is the non-networked version of the Managed Client/WiseManager setup, and which Kim Cheung showed off at Warpstock99. This new version based on the upcoming Convenience Pack will allow you to install off a CD. Kim promises Drag and Drop application install with the included WiseMachine, an abbreviated version of the Wisemanager product that is used to load and control whole networks.
Speaking of support, Serenity has lined up several distributor's to sell and
support eCS. They include Indelible
Blue in the U.S.; Mensys
in Europe; Orion
Solutions in Australia; Mati in
Mexico; and JBS Jacaranda Systems
in Canada. And for the enterprise corporate support, IBM's Rapid Deployment team
has been certified in installing eCS.
There are three distinct flavours of eCS.
Costs start at about $149 for the eCS Entry as an upgrade from an existing Warp
4 license. Prices and some packaging of the components will be left up to the distributors.
So check with your regional distributor about specific prices and any special promotions.
Hopefully Serenity or at least one of their distributors will be at Warpstock 2000
in Philly, in September to show off this new PC operating system.
It's your decision. You make the choice. I like the idea of supporting someone
who isn't afraid to support me and my choice of operating systems. If you wish to
discuss this further with me, stop by the VOICE booth at Warpstock
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the weekend of September 9th and 10th.
Speaking of Warpstock 2000, how many of you VOICE members plan on attending?
Anyone out there want to help out at the VOICE Booth? We need a few folks to do
2 hour shifts in the booth to answer questions about VOICE. We are also trying to
setup an OS/2 pc clinic for Warpstock 2000. If you can help us out please contact
me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more on Warpstock 2000 please see my
article on the host location, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in OS/2eZine's July issue
There are already lots of great sessions scheduled, and more in the works. If you
are in or near Philly and can help out help out the Warpstock 2000 organization
as a volunteer please sign up at the Volunteer page - http://www.warpstock.org/2000/volunteers.html.
If the Warpstock web site is still experiencing problems, please try the mirror
site at http://www.ibmforum.com/warpstock/.
The direct link to register for Warpstock 2000 online is http://shop.mensys.nl/cgi-bin/db2www/mns_art2.d2w/report?catname=WARPST2000&username=&i1=&o=&x=9874.435
If you are not yet a member of VOICE, we can use your support. If you haven't
done so yet, but are ready to do so now, joining VOICE has been made a bit easier
if you are outside the US. Mensys has added the VOICE memberships to their online
In July we tried something a little different. We had two Speakup sessions with
Serenity Systems' Bob St. John. A
wide ranging discussion on their new Managed Client, which was officially announced
at the Speakup. The logs of these two sessions can be found at http://www.os2voice.org/logs/V070300.LOG.html
In August there is a Speakup scheduled with Sundial Systems, on the 1st at 8PM
EDT(00:00GMT). No topic as of yet, but these are always a learning experience, with
the folks from Sundial, one of the most active OS/2 ISV's around. There is a General
Meeting scheduled for the 21st at 8PM EDT(00:00GMT). If you would like to hear from
someone in particular or have an idea for a Speakup event, please submit it to email@example.com, and we will try to
schedule something. Also on the VOICE Calendar are weekly Warp Doctor team meetings
every Wednesday at 8PM EDT (00:00GMT). As always, please be sure to check out the
updated VOICE Future events Calendar in this newsletter
or on the VOICE website at <http://www.os2voice.org/calendar.html>
for more details on future VOICE events.
For August, Timothy Howe looks at the current state of the next generation web
browser for OS/2 in Warpzilla Today . Tim also
interviews one of the primary developers. You may be surprised who that is. Next
up Christian Hennecke continues to inform you how to raise the needle on your system
speedometer in How to Supercharge OS/2 Warp, Part 3.
This month Christian looks at memory usage.
Some guy named Mark Dodel reviews his challenges in installing a big new drive
and controller in The IWill SIDE-Pro 66 Ultra ATA66 IDE
Finally, we have Louis Moullo with a review of RSJ CD-Writer
for OS/2 3.05, that we last looked at in the July 1999 issue of the VOICE
Louis fills us in on what has changed with RSJ in the past year.
Also be sure to read the Letters to VOICE, addendums,
Errata section, which has updates on past articles on Odin and the IBM Wireless
Next month we have a review of the Lexmark Optra E312 Laser printer, Part
4 of Christian Hennecke's How to Supercharge OS/2 Warp, and more. And if
everything works as planned, our German readers should be able to read a version
of the September issue in German. Hopefully this addition to the VOICE family will
help spread the word that we are truly an International OS/2 organization. Stay
tuned for further announcements on this project.
Just a reminder that we now have a full Newsletter
Master Index page. All the feature sections of the current and previous issues
can now be found on this one page. Additionally, we have added a Java based search
function to this master index page. It will allow you to search all past issues
for a specific word or phrase. So try it out and let us know what you think. If
you have any ideas for improvements let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
That's it for this month. We are always interested in your thoughts and views
on subjects related to OS/2, and would like to see opinion/editorial pieces as well
as hardware/software reviews. To that end, and because of several recent requests,
we have added a Guidelines for Article Submissions to the
Editor, VOICE Newsletter
If you want to express your feelings on the way IBM has abandoned
OS/2 users in it's quest to appease bill gates, please write a letter to the US
DOJ and tell them how you feel.
Joel I. Klein
Assistant Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
601 D Street, NW
Washington, DC 20530
The email address is email@example.com,
however I believe a written communication has more effect then electronic.