Our next interview is with Wolfgang Becker, who was born, raised and educated
in Germany, where he still lives.
I'm a freelance translator and most of my work involves technical texts from
various areas, for example paper machines, transmissions, electronics, electrical
engineering. I _only_ translate from German into English and vice versa.
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? Approximately how many
pc's are running OS/2 at your site?
Wolfgang> Simple. I'm a typical SOHO user. Most applications I use are directly
related to my work - I use different word processors, most are Windows 3.1 programs,
unfortunately, because none of my clients use native OS/2 apps. Hardware I use:
Pentium II 266 MMX, Adaptec 2940 UW, SCSI HDD, CD-ROM, JAZ and ZIP drives for backups,
SB 64 AWE for the noise, external ISDN adapter, Matrox Mystique (to be replaced
by an ELSA card, Philips 20" monitor. Other software I use includes Object
Desktop, Process Commander, Photo>Graphics for the occasional image processings
tasks, StarOffice, Lotus SmartSuite for Warp4. OS/2 is run both on my primary machine
(the other one runs Linux) and on my son's machine.
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
Wolfgang> It was a very fortunate accident. I happened to complain to a friend
about frequent GPFs under Windows 3.1 (which had just cost me a whole week of work).
He offered to 'lend' me his floppies of OS/2 2.0, I accepted and installed OS/2.
I never looked back. Why did I stick with OS/2? Stability of the OS, the possibility
to run Windows 3.1 apps and get rid of those GPFs. At the time I was already toying
with Linux - but there are even fewer applications (that _I_ need) for Linux than
there are for OS/2, so for the foreseeable future, OS/2 will remain to be my primary
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?
Wolfgang> See above. Lately, I was forced to install Win95 so that I can handle
specific files from a specific client. No, I don't have a network.
VOICE> Do you foresee continued/increasing use of OS/2 in this fashion?
Right now, there is no reason for me to give up on OS/2. I'll continue using
it as long as I can.
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?
Wolfgang> As far as I can tell, the base OS is pretty near perfect. However,
it is certainly desirable that drivers for new hardware be developed a little faster.
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
Wolfgang> This is making me uneasy and causes me to look to Linux more and
more, otherwise, no there has not been any noticeable effect as yet.
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
work, etc)? If this company could add features, what features would you like to
Wolfgang> This would depend on the licensee and the license agreement, but
it would not affect my usage of OS/2 per se. If the licensee is allowed to make
changes to the OS, I would like to see drive letters to disappear, for example,
I would also like to see devices and file systems mountable at runtime. If the licensee
was allowed to do this, I would like to see something like the final result of Timur
Tabi's project included in OS/2, so that I would _never_ have to boot that other
VOICE> Would you be interested in a refreshed version of OS/2 Warp 4.0, that
is a new install package that included all fixes and new enhancements as well as
new harware support since the original release?
VOICE> Has your business been contacted by IBM about the potential use of
Work Space on Demand? Do you see any use for that product in your business?
Wolfgang> No and no.
VOICE> Do you know of any other sites using OS/2 in your industry?