Virtual OS/2 International Consumer Education

August 1997

The WarpGuru
Questions for IBM
OS/2 Hardware Project
OS/2 Reviews
VOICE Board Member Interview
OS/2 Tips
View from the END (User)

The WarpGuru

The Future of OS/2

By: David Both (

Last month's column was a brief history of OS/2. This month I will talk about the future of OS/2 - a subject near and dear to all of us.

IBM has stated that it will continue to develop and promote OS/2 for at least the next ten years. The future development of OS/2 Warp has been laid out by IBM for the next five years. Here is what I know and can tell.


IBM views Java as a way to make application programs independent of the operating system on which they run. Because of Java's pivotal role in the next few years, IBM is spending large amounts of money on Java development. The language itself, programming tools, and Java applications are all being developed.

With Pure Java as the language of choice, the platform of choice will be OS/2 because IBM is making OS/2 the platform of choice for Java. It will be the fastest, most flexible platform on which to run Java applications.

Additional Hardware Support

Device drivers are critical to IBM's future plans for Warp. Without drivers, OS/2 will die. IBM recognizes this need for more hardware device drivers for OS/2 and has committed a significant amount of money and development resource to creating additional hardware drivers during the next five years, which is as far as the plan goes for now.

OS/2 Warp 4 Enhancements - 1997

During 1997 IBM will continue to enhance Warp 4 with new features and functions as well as upgrades to existing features. These enhancements will be provided via free downloads as they become ready.

One of the primary upgrades during 1997 will be to the Warp 4 Java support which, although it works, is slow and still has some bugs in it. In fact, a complete rewrite of the Java Object model is being done which will significantly improve its speed.

I also expect a Warp 4 version of Warp Server to be released in 1997. Note: As of late June 1997, the prospect of a version of Warp Server based on Warp 4 is looking less likely. A new version of Warp Server may not be available until Warp 5 with its converged kernel becomes available in 1998.

Bluebird - 1997

Bluebird is Warp 4 with a modified installation procedure. Designed to be the operating system for Network Computers, it will allow much greater flexibility during the installation process. It will feature the ability to use a browser for its user interface as an option to the standard WorkPlace Shell.

OS/2 Warp 5 - 1998

IBM plans a major new version of Warp in 1998. Currently being referred to as Warp 5, it is expected to be a major link in IBM's network-centric computing strategy.

Warp 5 will feature a converged kernel. The SMP and single processor versions will be combined into a single kernel. This will make it much easier to create the SMP versions of Warp Server in the future.

Network Computer Directions

The future of OS/2 is inextricably bound up with that of the Network Computer (NC).

The Network Computer itself is the hardware package intended to deliver computing power to the desktop. It may be designed to have no local disk media on which programs and data are stored, but this may be somewhat unrealistic. I believe that some local storage will be provided to allow users the ability to personalize the computing environment.

The NC must be an appliance much like a TV. It must be able to receive programs from a number of sources and the content of the program must be irrelevant to the transport.

The NC must be able to receive programming content from any source. By content I mean application programs and information. The NC must receive this content and the content must not be tied to the creation, transport, or reception media in any way.

Pure Java

Pure Java is intended to be the universal content which any NC will recognize and be able to use. Microsoft is terrified of this as evidenced by their own proprietary Java initiative. They are also scared of the NC itself and have announced their own NetworkPC which they do not seem to know how to position. I use the term Pure Java to ensure your understanding that I am not talking about the perverted version of Java espoused by Microsoft.

Pure Java will enable users to run application programs regardless of the underlying transport and reception layers. Applications will be free from the tyranny of operating systems and hardware because of the universality of Pure Java. There will still be different hardware and operating systems, but they will not restrict our choices of applications as is the case today.

The Struggle for True Mobility

Although the object oriented interface seems to have simplified the use and the customization of an application, the total software environment appears far from having completely reached the desired level of usability with regards to maintenance and mobility. By mobility I mean the ability to move users from one computing location to another with maximum flexibility and minimum disruption to the user - the ability of the user to perform meaningful work - and with minimum or no intervention from the IS department. Here again, the NC can provide a solution.

A new operating system environment is required, and it should have three main characteristics: it should be easy to use, easy to maintain, and easy to transport. That is it should be easy to move a worker from one desk to another, whether in the same room or halfway around the planet, and to allow that worker to carry his or her computer configuration and preferences along.

In this sense the achievement of such mobility will establish a complete separation between software and hardware, in such a way that software can be organized, updated and maintained in a location and then run anywhere by any kind of machine, keeping its use as easy as possible. Mobility should be added to client-server architecture that has already separated the user from maintenance tasks. This conjunction can be easily reached only when we change completely the way in which we think about the operating system environment.

Reengineering the Operating System

So far the operating system, the foundation component of any software environment, has been seen as a unique entity and not divisible into subcomponents. At the same time network protocols have acquired more and more importance, since they have allowed the birth and the use of a client-server architecture; their importance grew so much that the set of files related to networking has become part of the operating system.

Currently the entire operating system is stored on the same media, the hard drive. But we can easily establish that the operating system can be divided into at least three components, each of them related to the three main functions that constitute its modus operandi.

The first component is responsible for loading the kernel and the requested device drivers specified in configuration files like CONFIG.SYS. This component is strictly related to the hardware: any change in the machine configuration needs some changes in this set of files and subsequent reloading of this core of the operating system. This part of the system is usually very small since this set of files must always be resident in memory once the operating system is loaded and operational.

The second component consists of those files, commands and libraries necessary to give the user all the desired functionality. These files can be added and removed during normal operation without creating any disruption in the function of the kernel of the system. This part of the operating system is usually very large.

The third part consists of a few relatively small files: they are those files in which choices and configuration related to the user interface are stored. These files are the ones necessary to personalize the user's computing environment.

The New Environment

Looking at this subdivision of the operating system, the following scenario is likely: load the kernel and device drivers from a local storage medium, access the remote machine via a network connection, load and use the remaining operating system files via this network connection, and load the customization files from the local medium again.

This scenario suggests a very interesting and flexible new computing environment: the user can now take a couple diskettes, or a ZIP or Jazz disk, or a flash RAM card, or a smart card anywhere and thus have a personalized software environment running and working. The user not only can be mobile but also is no longer required to manage software and operating system updates.

The Computing Toaster

In this new computing environment the Network Computer taken to its ultimate expression becomes a simple computing appliance - a toaster. A user can sit down at any computing appliance in the enterprise, insert a personalized smart card into the computing toaster and have his or her own computing environment to work in. This environment is more productive for the user and also for the IS department.

When a toaster breaks, plug in another. The user's smart card contains the information necessary to personalize the new toaster every time it boots so only minimal productivity is lost in making the substitution. Applications are available from the network and can also be subject to the customization stored on the smart card. All the latest operating system software and application updates are available from the network. Nothing needs to be installed or configured on the toaster.

Since there is no configuration, operating system, or application software stored locally on the toaster to be damaged when power failures or other problems occur, a simple reboot solves most problems.

Toasting the Internet

To take this concept a step further, we can load a customized computing environment on a toaster via any connection to the Internet. When traveling, a user has the same access to applications as at the office and the computing environment is familiar because the configuration has been transported in the user's briefcase. The computer used by the traveler may be in the hotel room, the enterprise's remote office, or even the client's office.

This approach to mobile computing has the added advantage of reducing the theft of laptop computers be keeping them out of the place where they are most frequently targets - the airport.

The New ISP

In this new environment the role of the ISP may change significantly. Rather than simply supplying access to the Internet, the ISP will also supply applications. Although large businesses will probably be their own providers, a new class of provider will emerge to supply applications for the small and medium businesses. This new class of ISP will be the Gillette of computing. Gillette essentially gave away razors in order to sell blades. The ISV will provide the computer at zero or extremely low cost and sell access to the applications.

What more could a small or medium size business ask? Most don't care about computers, software or operating systems. They have a task to do and want a simple, easy to use tool to accomplish that task whether it be accounting, word processing, or data mining.

A New Era

With new NC hardware, a new network-centric operating system structure, and with Pure Java as the unifying element, the next few years will begin an era of explosive growth in computing unparalleled since the introduction of the PC in 1981. New business opportunity will abound as companies scramble to provide programming content to satisfy NC users. The struggle to catch up in this market has already begun and most of the players don't even know it yet, but OS/2 is already far out in front.

***Author Biography***

David Both is President of Millennium Technology, Inc., a computer
technology consulting company based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is also
Coauthor of the book "Inside OS/2 Warp", from New Riders Publishing, and is
currently writing a new book "The Warp DataBook" which is available only on
the internet. David can be reached at His
web site is


Questions for IBM

Compiled By: Gerry Ellington ( )

The following questions about the future enhancement/direction of OS/2 were submitted by VOICE members in response to a request by the WarpStock Organizing Committee. The questions are to be submitted to IBM for them to prepare answers at their upcoming WarpStock presentation. Additional suggestions/topics may be sent to For more information on WarpStock please refer to

1) Is IBM going to support SOHO in the future ?

2) Will Bluebird replace the single user OS/2 system or will IBM continue a Warp x.0 for any small user, home or small business ?

3) Does IBM would realize that MS will be replacing Win XX with NT for the consumer market ? At that time the distinction between Enterprise and 'kitchentop' is gone, will IBM concede the Enterprise so easily since the 'kitchentop' is conceded ?

4) What are your thoughts on positioning OS/2 as an alternative to Windows products?"

5) How can IBM market to the SOHO users who are using Win products?

6) Has anybody heard of what they (IBM) are doing with Team OS/2 ?

7) What advertising campaigns and marketing plans do you have charted out in OS/2's future?

8) SPG was a major blow: How can IBM keep ISV's ??

9) Why has IBM not put SMP on the client ? All indications are that the most dramatic performance gains in the near future will be from SMP. Does IBM have any plans to introduce SMP on the client ?

10) Will the next version of OS/2 be a full blown OS designed to run on the desktop, or will it be a watered down version to run on thin clients ?

11) What is being done to address the support of hardware with device drivers ? It is all too common today to have to purchase drivers for even the most common hardware from third party vendors. Cases in point: Connectix Color Quickcam, HP scanners, decent Epson color printer drivers, mixers for Creative Labs Soundcards, etc...

12) What kind of tech support options will home and SOHO users have for

13) What efforts is IBM making to ensure native OS/2 apps in the following 5 top areas for SOHO: accounting, taxes, desktop pub, contact management, and shipping/tracking?

14) When will IBM provide native scanner/TWAIN support built-in to OS/2?

15) What help can IBM provide to any company or individual needing copyrighted material to produce a native OS/2 multimedia encyclopedia?

16) When will Win32s 1.30 support be fixed for OS/2?

17) What support will IBM provide to help those who want a nationwide OS/2 computer magazine on the retail shelves?

18) Will IBM make the NSTL (National Software Testing Laboratories) OS/2-compatibility list available to IOTTA as a foundation for IOTTA compatibility labs?

19) When will IBM make available its OS/2 retail customer list to OS/2 ISV'S and consultants?

20) What efforts is IBM making to promote any kind of nationwide syndicated radio or tv talk show about IBM products, particularly OS/2, for the home and SOHO user?

21) When will IBM Marketing come up with a product name, color scheme, and logo plan for OS/2 to make it palatable to first-time computer users?


OS/2 Hardware Project

The OS/2 Hardware Listing Project

<A project for building an Internet database using forms based data entry and retrieval with OS/2 native tools and no C coding>

By: Nigel J. Clarke ( )

Recently a number of members of the Team OS/2 mailing list got together and decided that they would start a project to produce a database of PC hardware with an accent on usability under OS/2.

The number of requests for hardware information posted to mailing lists and newsgroups seemed to indicate a need for a site complimentary to both the existing IBM sites and personal sites operated by various users. This site would specialize in offering unbiased information directly from users of the hardware.

While IBM provide a great resource for finding drivers and hardware that they, or the manufacturer, have tested with OS/2 there is no universal site for getting information on those neat new 'toys' that are being produced or even reliable information about actual installation of hardware under OS/2.

We felt that by asking for user input we would get the unvarnished truth about the products rather than a marketing spin. Most users tend to be very forthright in pointing out deficiencies in install routines that aren't apparent from the makers on-line information or from IBM's database.

This was an ideal project for a web site and a representative of VOICE proposed the use of their web server to host the project.

First of all we needed a way of communicating with other members of the group. I set up a closed mailing list to provide this as the team are in various time zones (Germany, India, Bermuda, and all across the US) making direct communication difficult.

A quick survey of the group revealed that, while there was a lot of enthusiasm, there was a lack of the coding skills normally needed for this sort of database project. To get around this I put together a basic web page for comments by the group. As this was an OS/2 project I decided to use only native products to get the job done and freeware or shareware where I could. The draft web page for data entry was done with the freeware kHTML EPM add in offered by Ken Arway. Although this requires recompiling EPM it afforded me the opportunity to upgrade to the latest, full, version.

The kHTML package comprises the archive containing the uncompiled e code and full documentation. You also need the EPM 6.03 archive containing the E compiler. The EPM compiler isn't shipped with OS/2, but is freely available from Hobbes. Ken's documentation supplies both a full listing of the necessary files and complete instructions on recompiling EPM.

Features of Ken's package include support for table creation and full frames support, complete forms support, including all input methods, support for NetScape 3.0 tags (embedded LiveAudio, LiveVideo, Live3D, and Quicktime) and Java applet tags.

In addition to the basic add in, required files are a few utilities to help with HTML coding. Ken has built in support for the freeware HTML tag stripper ( from Don Hawkinson. There is also a direct link to your browser of choice for previewing your code. I found a great little freeware colour reference that can be linked in ( on Hobbes or the Gismo homepage <>). To support syntax checking I used a pointer to a site that offers a free HTML checking service <>. I couldn't find a freeware OS/2 based reference listing of the HTML tags so I skipped that. (Whenever I couldn't find an alternative I left the default lines in Ken's code). There is a Windows based reference listing that is the default, but I wanted to avoid non native programs. You can set both a Telnet and FTP client to use for uploading your completed code to a remote server and working remotely with it.

Having coded up a rough outline and submitted it to the group now was the time to look for the back end database. Another trip to Hobbes located a number of databases and the mSQL package caught my eye. This is an OS/2 port of the miniSQL project being done by David J. Hughes of Hughes Technologies in Australia. This costs just AUD 65 (~US$50) for a private license and is free to certain users, (check the license file for more details). I obtained the most recent release of the OS/2 port of mSQL version 1 from <>. Version 2 of mSQL is in beta at present and the OS/2 port can be found at the same site as the earlier version.

The only difficulty with this database engine is a lack of freeform text field support. As we wanted to gather users comments about the hardware this was a drawback to the use of the mSQL package.

The OS/2 port of mSQL contains a copy of the W3-mSQL program that allows SQL commands to be embedded into a web page as custom HTML. This makes it possible to use a web form both for data entry and for database queries. The W3-mSQL program will generate database queries and display the results of them on-the-fly.

I found mSQL quite quick to set up and thought that it would be reasonably easy to put together some REXX code to take the output of the Comments area of the HTML Form and make entries into a textbase. The CGI Parse REXX script ( by Sacha Prins gave me the code necessary to strip out the data from the survey form into a REXX variable. This REXX script would allow me to place the comments into text files and I could then make a pointer to the appropriate text file on the new page generated by a query to the database. Accessing the comments button on the page would bring up the appropriate text file.

All that was now required was a piece of code to do the link to the textbase entries. A REXX to SQL interface package for mSQL was written by Mark Hessling and I found that at <>. This would allow the value of the appropriate record in the mSQL database to be looked up, after it was entered via the W3-mSQL program, and then use this value to label the comments file. Having a standardized value for the names of text files would allow easy generation of the web page with the button linking to the correct comments file.

Now we had two database tables (manufacturer details and product details) using the makers name as the primary key field and a set of text files containing comments. These text files were labeled according to the record to which they referred. The search page could be set up to search by Manufacturer, or by Model or just list all the products in the database in a particular category with a few simple SQL queries.

While I was working with the pieces of software to set up the database I read an article in the July issue of BYTE magazine about their web project. Luckily for me it covered just the topic I had under consideration, namely freeform text retrieval, and the author, Jon Udell, had written some PERL scripts to do the sort of data retrieval that we needed. A quick trip to the BYTE website to read an earlier article on the same topic gave me the PERL scripts that they used ( Interestingly enough there was a recommendation in the article for the mSQL product for use where a commercial, industrial strength, production database wasn't necessary.

The freeware or shareware software that had been found on the net gave us the opportunity to use either an OS/2 based web server and REXX for our CGI scripts with mSQL as the database server or a regular Unix based system with PERL based CGI scripts and mSQL depending upon what was actually available to us. The VOICE webmaster was contacted for information as to the capabilities of their server (he had previously been on vacation) and we found that we could use a Notes database published through Domino for the project. This threw the software side of the project into a spin as the project now wouldn't need any of the packages that had been found on the net. However the work done on this project can carry over to similar projects.

The team worked on a preamble to provide users with a reason for entering data about the hardware that would act both as an entry point to the web site and would be used as the announcement in the OS/2 newsgroups.

At the moment the conversion of the group approved web page to the Notes form is in hand and the Hardware Project web page should be up and running shortly.

Thanks to
Ken Arway ( for writing kHTepm.
Don Hawkinson ( for his freeware HTML stripper.
Ken Kinoshita for Gismo <>.
Sacha Prins ( for the REXX CGI parsing script.
David J. Hughes ( of Hughes Technologies for mSQL.
Dirk Ohme ( (OS/2 ports of mSQL and W3-mSQL).
Mark Hessling ( for the REXX/SQL code.

All the software packages mentioned here are available either from Hobbes
( or from the sites listed in full in the text.


OS/2 Reviews

The Hewlett Packard 5P Scanner

Street cost: Seen it in Computer Shopper for anywhere between $299.00 and $399.00.

By: Mark Dodel ( )

Initial Impressions:

The HP 5P comes boxed with a 50 pin SCSI cable, power cable, and a small ISA PnP SCSI interface card. There is also a CD-ROM disk of HP scanning software as well as a lite version of Corel's Photo-Paint for Windows. The 5P is a Flat bed single pass color scanner with a base optical resolution of 300dpi with 'enhanced resolution' up to 1200dpi. The scanner has a maximum document size of 8.5 by 11.66 inches (216mm by 297 mm). With a case measuring 12 inches wide by 19 inches deep, it takes up a fair amount of desktop space, so you need to plan out where you will be keeping it. There are only 2 switches on the scanner. An on/off rocker switch on the side and a green 'Scan' button on the front. There is a one year HP warranty on this product.


There is not a whole lot to setting the scanner up. There is a dial on the back of the scanner to select the SCSI ID. It comes preset to 2, but is easy enough to change if there is already a device using that SCSI id. The device is self terminating so there is no need to add a terminating connector. All you have to do is Plug the enclosed SCSI cable into the back of the scanner, insert the accompanying SCSI card into an empty ISA slot and connect the other end of the cable to the cards 50 pin connector.

Easy so far, right? Well of course the manual had no mention of OS/2 and the CD-ROM that came packaged with it only had DOS and Windows software and drivers. What to do next? Well the SCSI card only said that it was a Symbios Logic SYM20403 on it. There was no mention about the exact model of the card in the manual and I could not find any mention of a SYM20403 on IBM's DDPAK online site. So I looked at the DOS drivers and saw that they were for the Symbios Logic 416. I found a mention of a "SYM 4162- ISA PNP SCSI HOST ADAPTER". I downloaded this and found these were the correct drivers.

I had a great deal of problem getting the Symbios Logic 416 SCSI card that comes with the 5P, to work in my machine with an already installed Adaptec AHA-2940-UW controller. I couldn't get the drivers to find the Symbios card. That is until Paul Balme, author of CopyShop/2, suggested adding /OVERRIDE and /IRQ nn to the SYM416.ADD driver, where nn is the number of the interrupt being used. For some reason this is not documented in the driver readme. For some other reason, I had to remove my SB 32AWE PnP card from the machine or it wouldn't boot, but the scanner was found and usable by CopyShop/2. Hmm, PnP was supposed to alleviate all these device incompatibilities. .

This was at best a temporary solution, since I wanted to put my sound card back in my computer. I finally gave up and bought an adapter for the 2940's external 68 pin SCSI connector and that works great. If you do have a 2940-UW or other Ultra Wide controller, and go the adapter route, make sure it actively terminates the upper bytes. I bought an Adaptec converter just to make sure. It's a ACK-68P-50P-E External connector with active termination. Adaptec has a web page on doing this

If you don't already have a SCSI card (at least the Adaptec 2940-UW), you may not run into this problem. It also may have been the way my Mother board (a SuperMicro P6DNF) implements PnP support, but I've heard from one other OS/2 user with a 2940-UW who had the same problems. I did install the scanner under PC-DOS 7.0 and the drivers included with the scanner had no similar problems finding the Symbios card or causing problems with other devices.


I have not attempted to use any of the s/w that came with the 5P under OS/2. I hear it requires Win32s 1.30 to run, and I don't do windows anyway. I did install the HP driver and scanning utility under real DOS/Win 3.1 to verify that the scanner works. There is an FAQ for HP scanners - that gives details on how to obtain and run older versions of HP's software under Win-OS/2.

One of my primary reasons for purchasing the scanner was for Fax and copy capabilities, with the added benefit of scanning in graphics. I had seen the demo of CopyShop/2 and was impressed by all it's functionality. It can enlarge or reduce copies, it works well in faxing via Fax Works, and it supports 35 different graphic formats, most of which I have never heard of. Besides the usual BMP, TIFF, PCX and PNG, it lists a couple of MAC formats, PCL, RAS(SUN), PSD(Photoshop 3.0), TGA, and Winfax and several more. Another nice feature of CopyShop/2 is the preview mode, which scans at 75dpi and allows you to not only view the image to be scanned, but to select an area of the image for the final scan. I have been very pleased with CopyShop/2 and the help I have received in getting my scanner to work from Paul Balme, the author. CopyShop/2 however is not Twain enabled and relies on an HP specific driver from Danmar. In addition the maximum selectable resolution in CopyShop/2 is 600dpi, but even at this resolution, a full page scan in 24bpp color would swamp my swap file (over 100 meg) and I have 128meg of RAM. So I mostly scan at 300 dpi which presents no problems for color scans.

I recently installed the twain support that comes with TrueSpectra's Photo>Graphic Pro software. These are Solution Technologies Twain for OS/2 drivers. The HP 5P was listed as supported at STI's web site. Works fine using Photo>Graphics Pro and PMView, but when the scan completes I get an error message twice saying:

Twain for OS/2
HP Scanner Unrecognized Command

According to STI the version of the Consumer Driver Pack that comes with P>G Pro is (1.0.14) and does not fully support the 5P. They said that Photo>Graphics Pro will be upgraded to TWAIN 1.6 shortly and I'll be able to download a new Driver Pack as well as updated application from the TrueSpectra site as soon as it's
available. In addition Embellish does not recognize the scanner at all. Leon at STI said he would contact the developers of Embellish and try to find a solution.

A German company has also developed twain drivers for OS/2 - CFM. I tried the demo version available from their site, but could not get it to work with the 5P. To be honest though the demo only mentions the older HP's, as well as most Microtek, some Mustek, Linotype Hell (?) and Ricoh scanners as well.


The HP 5P works well under Warp with what I find to be very good quality output, but you have to purchase additional OS/2 native software to use the scanner under OS/2, unless you go to the trouble of finding and installing back versions of HP's windows apps to run under Win-OS/2. More and more OS/2 graphics applications are being made TWAIN enabled, however, so they will work with the purchase of TWAIN drivers (hopefully a little smoother with the newest version of STI's TWAIN driver). Also no OS/2 s/w supports the front panel scan button (at least not yet) though I'm not sure this is any real hardship since you can't change any settings on the scanner itself. CopyShop/2 is a great application for turning your HP scanner into a full featured copier/fax machine with the bonus of supporting lot's of graphic file formats. Finally the 5P only has a maximum of 11.66 inches for a document length, but it's cover conveniently lifts to accommodate hardbound books.

Reviewed or mentioned in this article:

Hewlett Packard 5P scanner $299-$399 retail ( )
CopyShop/2 $55 (J3) ( )
TrueSpectra's Photo>Graphics Pro v2.0 $124.99 (IB) ( )
PMView v1.0 $42 (BMT) ( )
Embellish v2.0 $65 (J3) ( )
CFM TWAIN for OS/2 drivers demo version ( )
Solution Technologies TWAIN for OS/2 drivers v1.0.14 $45 (IB) ( )

( BMT => )
( IB => )
( J3 => )

Author: Mark Dodel, RN, BSN, MBA (<>) or
VOICE Newsletter editor and health care computer consultant.


Interviews with the VOICE Board

In our continuing series of interviews with the people who make up VOICE, we now interview Peter Lazenby (Projects), VOICE Treasurer:

VOICE > How long have you used OS/2?

Peter > 7 years. I went from dos to OS/2 2.0 out of necessity. My bbs started growing, and I needed more nodes. Desqview didn't work well at all, so I got a used copy of OS/2 2.0 and installed it with full hpfs from the start. Liked it so much, I put it on my work machine too, and have never looked back or regretted the move. I also have OS/2 installed on my wife's machine, and on both my kid's machines.

VOICE > How do you currently use OS/2?

Peter > I use OS/2 for everything I do. Nothing else quite cuts it. At least one dos app I use works better under OS/2's dos than it ever did under real dos.

VOICE >Do you use OS/2 applications in your work as a graphic designer?

Peter > Yes. I use TrueSpectra Photo>Graphics, Embellish, and PMView extensively for graphics designs, however my main line of work is engineering consulting, where I use AutoCad in a VDM (which works better in a VDM than it ever did under dos).

VOICE >Aren't you involved with Panacea Software and HTML Studio?

Peter > Yes... basically a few graphics, their homepage, and a bit of PR when required.

VOICE > What is your background in computers?

Peter > Started with a Tandy mc-10, upgraded to a C64, then got my first IBM PC for christmas one year from my mother (don't ask for dates... I'm terrible with dates). Since then, I've upgraded to the point of having the original XT still intact and usable (if an XT can be called usable). I have 5 working systems set up here, and they're basically all hand-me-down hardware from my personal upgrades. I've had no formal training though... everything has been self-taught.

VOICE > What other OS/2-computer related activities are you involved with right now?

Peter > Other than VOICE, I'm involved with Team OS/2 (you may have seen my pages at the old site... Project: Team OS/2. Also, I began the "OS/2 Spoken Here" campaign from a suggestion by someone on one of the Team OS/2 mailing lists (Jim Franklin). The url is

VOICE > How's it feel to see the "OS/2 Spoken Here" graphic on other OS/2 sites?

Peter > I was actually quite amazed at the fact that it was so accepted. That's why I put up the OS/2 Spoken Here page, along with an extra graphic for non-teamers. I also created a very large version of the Spoken Here graphic for use as a banner on that page, and was surprised at how many people took the large version instead of the button.

VOICE > How did you get involved with VOICE?

Peter > Received an email mentioning the first chat session when VOICE was just a thought. With all the doom and gloom associated with OS/2, I made sure I attended, and the rest is history.

VOICE >What does the "VOICE Treasurer" do?

Peter > Collects membership dues and maintains the bank account and member database.


OS/2 Tips

Aug 17, 1997 - Is Netscape Navigator for OS/2 starting to run sluggish? Try going into Options->Network Preferences-> cache tab and select the buttons to clear both the memory and disk cache. Then close down NS/2 and restart it. Should be considerably faster.

Aug 14, 1997 - Want to report a OS/2 problem to IBM or a feature you want to see added to OS/2 but you don't have a customer id or paid support contract. Try the following service available on the net:

There is a form to submit "Customer Requirements" for product enhancements. Go to URL:

There is also a way to submit code DEFECT reports to IBM. Instructions on how to do this are at URL: Select "Technical Assistance" and look at the instructions under "Email Service for Problem Defect Reporting".

The preceding tip complements of IBM Personal Software Services

Aug 5, 1997 - I have seen many inquiries about support for 128 bit encryption in Netscape Navigator for OS/2. I have been told this exists, but that IBM has chosen to keep it internal and not release it to the general public. If you have an interest in this product please contact
Deborah Bandera -
Though I have never heard back from her, I have heard that if enough people request this, then IBM may release it.




By: dON k. eITNER (

As a home user of OS/2, I think I'm inherently disgusted with the way IBM treats OS/2 as a corporate solution to the point of near complete exclusion of the home and small business markets. As a result of IBM's commitment over the years to maintain and advance OS/2 for their corporate customers, we end users do receive many benefits such as free fixpacks and upgraded device drivers as well as some of the best office applications (StarOffice, SmartSuite, etc) available. But my needs are not currently being met directly. With my extremely limited budget, I think I qualify more than most for the title of End User and I am making it my business to thrust end user concerns into the OS/2 market. This is why I joined the early efforts to construct VOICE and why I intend to attend and help out with the upcoming Warpstock event.

As the world becomes less reliant on DOS and other command driven operating systems, and as computer hardware technologies advance, I find it only logical that we end users would want to experience the true power of our PCs with a 32-bit operating system renown for technical excellence. OS/2 is only one of the options available, but it's currently the best option due to its ease of use over Unix (especially for someone moving from DOS or Windows). I chose OS/2 because I wanted to do more with my computer than DOS would allow, and I had heard some interesting things about it in the media (when Warp 3 first came out IBM actually seemed interesting in promoting it). I purchased it in late '95 after having heard all the horror stories about Win95 and watching several people I knew reinstall Win95 at least once a month. It was not surprising to me to find that OS/2 was vastly more stable and even a bit faster on similar hardware, as I already knew all about the bloated nature of products from a monopoly out of control.

So here I sat with my copy of OS/2 Warp 3, some free fixpacks and a moderately responsive IBM support team to listen to my concerns and apply fixes as needed. All was good. I could still run my few DOS and Win3.1 applications on OS/2 or by booting real DOS as desired, and the only times I had problems were when hardware failed (a far too common occurrence when you can't afford the top-of-the-line). Over the past year or so, however, I've watched IBM grow ever more resistant to the idea that non-corporate users run OS/2 and would very much like to see it promoted by its maker. OS/2 keeps getting better, but IBM keeps getting more out-of-touch with us. This is the time for major action on our parts. It is up to us, the end users, developers, and enthusiasts, to teach IBM about the necessity to market its own product. We must pull together to present a unified front demanding that IBM listen to our concerns, meet our needs directly, and try even just a little bit to promote OS/2 as the viable mainstream operating system that it is. I hate to see a great thing go to waste, and I now fear the forthcoming BeOS release for the x86 platform as it appears Be Inc. is determined to promote its OS and grab a piece of the market. Such determination has apparently gone out of IBM, but a spark the size of Warpstock holds the potential to rekindle the flame and keep our beloved OS/2 in the public eye. Let's get out there to Warpstock and make it the single most important computing event in history! Let's make change!


Previous Page Index Next Page