Virtual OS/2 International Consumer Education

September 1998

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Interview with an OS/2 User

Our next interview is with Wolfgang Becker, who was born, raised and educated in Germany, where he still lives.

VOICE> What kind of business are you involved in?

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 systems?

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 OS.

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 task(s)?

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 see added?

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 OS.

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?

Wolfgang> Definitely.

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?

Wolfgang> No.

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