Virtual OS/2 International Consumer Education

August 1998


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An editorial view from Mark Dodel, editor of the VOICE Newsletter

The heading says it all. OS/2 Lives on. Many people (including some folks at IBM) want it to die, but it's just so damn good it keeps on keeping on. IBM has cut off just about all that is left of the shrink wrapped applications for OS/2 in their drive to be the number one purveyor of "NT applications" (not my first choice of verbiage) in the world, but still some things slip by. They have refused support for ISV's and IHV's to the point that any new application or device support that is developed for OS/2 is a rarity. They tell everyone that Java is the one and only future for OS/2 in it's latest direction as a "network computing solutions".

But folks it is still happening. A couple months ago it was Lotus Smartsuite for OS/2 Warp 4. This month it's Netscape Communicator for OS/2 4.04 beta. Long overdue, but it's finally arrived. For a beta it's not bad, but there are problems with stability especially with Java 1.1.6. The biggest news is that it doesn't appear to lock up and Black Hole like its predecessor did. At least not very often. This month's issue of the newsletter has a short review by the ENDuser of the spanking brand new (well to those of us who never use winDOS it's new) Communicator for OS/2.

Also in this issue is a review by Don Eitner of the Lexmark 5700 Inkjet printer and Lexmark's continued support of OS/2 with excellent driver development. Dan Casey is back with part 5 of his OS/2 technology issues series. In this issue he discusses how to set up a multi-configuration OS/2 boot partition. Also a review by Wayne Swanson of a nifty little app for watching the outposts of Warpdom around the world, WarpGLOBE and another short review by Don of X-it 2.51, the WPS utility which first put the close button on the OS/2 title bar and now does so much more. Tom Nadeau adds his 2 cents about SMP in Warp 5 and we have 2 more interviews with OS/2 users showing that OS/2 is in fact alive and still kicking.

I'll use my soap box this month to promote a couple of interesting ideas I have recently encountered. The first is a novel way to fund the development of OS/2 Freeware. The folks at PowerDale IT, Ltd. who are developing the AWE (Advanced Web Editor) - are asking OS/2 users to go to their page and click on a Hotmail advertising banner for which they will recieve about 10¢. What makes this extremely ironic is that Hotmail is owned lock stock and barrel by those generous folks at micro$oft. They have dubbed this 'clickware' and say "Clickware has all the benefits of Freeware to the downloader of the software, has no annoying nag screens, and actually 'pays it's way'." I say more power to them, and here's clicking at you. ;-) If you are totally adverse to going to a Micro$oft site, there is also a casino banner you can click through instead.

Before I get into my usual jag asking readers to write to the USDOJ to complain about IBM's blatant anti-competitive practices, I'd like to direct your attention to another worthy cause. Martin Alfredsson, the keeper of the Warp X site which chronicles what little that can be ferreted out about the future of OS/2, has begun a campaign to get people to commit to purchase of a Warp 5 client. As of this writing he has pledges for over 5100 copies of a version 5 client. If you are interested in coaxing IBM to release a Warp 5 client read over this web page - and fill in the pledge form for the number of copies of Warp 5 client you would purchase if it were available. Be as honest as possible, since making a bogus pledge will only confirm IBM's belief that OS/2 has no future.

Of course if we can convince the US DOJ of the illegality of most major pc vendors forcing us to buy pc's with only Windows preloaded, then perhaps IBM wouldn't be in such a rush to write us out of the picture. If you feel the same way please write a letter, stating your concerns about the lack of choice in computer operating system availability to:

Joel I. Klein
Assistant Attorney General
Antitrust Division
U.S. Department of Justice
601 D Street, NW
Washington, DC 20530

The email address is

If you would like to let IBM know that you want them to support OS/2 and ask them to release a new version of OS/2 send an email to:
John Stenson
Network Computing Software

Finally if you want to let Lou Gerstner's office know how you feel you can do so by pointing your favorite web browser to You'll probably then get a response from someone in John's office anyway, so I'm not sure what difference it makes.

Mark Dodel
Editor, VOICE Newsletter


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