VOICE Home Page: http://www.os2voice.org
[Newsletter Index]
[Previous Page] [Next Page]
[Features Index]

September 1999

Free Stuff!

An editorial view from Mark Dodel, editor of the VOICE Newsletter editor@os2voice.org

What a month for OS/2 users. Besides all the great events that begin this month with Warp Expo West we also have lot's of new and old apps now available for free (well the cost of a download anyway). Starting things off, IBM has made a monster download of DB2 personal version available for free. Visit http://www6.software.ibm.com/dl/db2pde/db2pde-p/, pick your language version and register with IBM. You have to download both a language version and a common base module. It's a combined 73 Meg. And that's compressed. There are also large optional extenders that amount to about 200Meg more, so this download is for people with large pipes to the internet and a lot of spare disk space. DB2 Personal version "is licensed for installation and use by an individual user. You may only use the Program for the purposes of evaluating, demonstrating, testing, and developing application programs."

Next up in the Free Stuff derby is StarOffice 5.1. Sun has purchased Star Division, and has now made StarOffice 5.1 free not just for personal use, but for all use. You can get StarOffice 5.1 now by going to http://wwwwswest2.sun.com/dot-com/staroffice.html. They also have an option to purchase all distributions (OS/2, Linux, Solaris and windows) for only $9.95(plus $6 Shipping), but only in the English or Germen version at present. Why is Sun doing this? "It's all part of our vision of open network computing," says Sun CEO Scott McNealy. "Open, standardized, cross-platform file formats are vital to today's .com business model, which includes customers, suppliers, partners -- the whole value chain -- all using a variety of devices and platforms." And perhaps to attack microsoft in one of it's biggest vulnerabilities. If everyone can run StarOffice for free, why continue to buy bloated/incompatible updates of microsoft office?

Not all free stuff this month has brought joy. Innoval announced they were abandoning their OS/2 products to concentrate on a windows product. Unlike some others who have abandoned us in the past, Dan Porter decided on a class exit from the OS/2 market. He announced that Post Road Mailer, Web Willy Watch and the Java application JStreet Mailer. Innoval's website has been totally cleaned of these products and only promotes the windows product now, so you have to get these from some other source. You can get JStreet Mailer or PRM at http://st6.yahoo.com/innoval/os2software.html. (All three are on hobbes - http://hobbes.nmsu.edu ) You can find updates to JStreet at http://paul.vanKeep.com/jstreet/index.html, where unofficial updates keep this application alive. I can't live without Web Willy Watch myself, as it provides a great search function for all the web sites I have surfed through in the past several years. It also provides a parental control/site blocker function. You can read all about Web Willy Watch in my review from the November 1998 VOICE Newsletter - http://www.os2voice.org/VNL/past_issues/VNL1198H/vnewsf5.htm

Another OS/2 ISV that has left the OS/2 market; Truespectra, has made their excellent graphics creation/manipulation application - Photo>Graphics Pro, available for download on their site - http://www.truespectra.com/support.html. As sad as I am to lose yet another OS/2 ISV, this is certainly a demonstration of class on TrueSpectra's part and I have sent them a note saying so. For more on Photo>Graphics Pro check out Don Eitner's VIEW from the End(User) titled The Best Things in Life Are Free .

Finally, a rather bizarre source for free OS/2 software is an update to a DOS microsoft application. They have made the DOS version of Word 5.5b available for free download (The site states that "Microsoft Word 5.5 for MS-DOS is a complimentary upgrade for customers of Microsoft Word 5.0 for MS-DOS. If you intend to use Word 5.0 for MS-DOS in the year 2000 and beyond, we recommend that you upgrade to Word 5.5 for MS-DOS before December 31, 1999.") . But not only is it a DOS app, it is also a 16bit, text OS/2 program as well. Of course no mention of OS/2 appears on the web page, but you can create an OS/2 program object for it and run it full-screen or windowed. So if you want to take a trip down memory lane to a time when bill gates proclaimed OS/2 as the "operating System of the nineties", and you have a license for Word 5.0, then download it from http://officeupdate.microsoft.com/downloadDetails/Wd55eng.htm.

So who says there aren't any apps to run on OS/2? Now all we need is a spiffy new client release. We had Lynn Maxson back on August 28th with the topic being the Warpicity User Organization. We talked about what needs to be in place to support a user directed new client. Please read the transcript at http://www.os2voice.org/logs/V082899.LOG.html. For more on Lynn's Warpicity Proposal, please be sure to read his article in this issue, A Proposal, Not a Promise.

On Saturday, September 9, 1999 - VOICE hosted a Speakup with Andreas Linde of OS2.ORG. Topic: "OS2.org, what can it do for OS/2 and its users ?". OS2.org <http://www.os2.org> and VOICE talked about working together to help disseminate support information for the OS/2 community. The transcript for that speakup can be viewed at http://www.os2voice.org/logs/V090499.LOG.html.

On Monday, September 13th, VOICE and SCOUG jointly hosted a a Speakup on Warp Expo West. The Randell and Rollin show played to a packed house, and everyone was thoroughly captivated by all the plans for this great OS/2 event. If you missed it, you missed a good one, but you can read all about it in the log - http://www.os2voice.org/logs/V091399.LOG.html.

Coming up in September, we have a General VOICE meeting on September 20th at 8PM EST(00:00GMT) on IRC in WEBBnet. Please attend if you can. VOICE needs your input and involvement. In October, we have our good firends at Sundial Systems back for a Speakup on Monday, October 4th at 8PM EST (00:00GMT). No topic has been announced yet, but these are always informative and well attended. Also on Monday, October 18th, 8PM EDt (00:00GMT) we have another General VOICE meeting. 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.

September is the month beginning three great OS/2 events in a short time span. VOICE is doing it's part to have a presence at all events. If you would like to help by volunteering a couple hours of your time at one of these events, please contact Dan Casey at abraxas@os2voice.org. To help kickoff these events we have preview articles of all three shows. First up we have Peter Skye's chronicle of the birth of Warp Expo West. Then Christian Hennecke gives us a small history and preview of Warpstock Europe 99. And for those of us who have unfortunately missed the first two Warpstock events, Luc Van Bogaert tells us what to expect for the third annual Warpstock 99 in Atlanta.

These events demonstrate that there is more interest in OS/2 now then there has been in quite a while. OS/2 (and the flurry of OS/2 events) is getting more frequent mention in the press, and even IBM has admitted that sales of OS/2 are much better then they had projected. Just imagine the success if IBM actually did something to promote this great operating system? Phil Butler unloads with his Editorial: Myths versus Reality, taking on the FUDster feedback on the internet to Esther Schindler's interesting article - "SHHH! IBM's still selling OS/2" in this month's Sm@rt Reseller Online. As a side note regarding promotion of OS/2, since IBM is doing absolutely nothing to promote OS/2, Tom Nadeau has taken it upon himself to do so in an unusual way. Please read Tom's "Operation Rock Soup" - http://www.os2hq.com/archives/arch18.htm for an interesting idea on getting the word out on OS/2 to the masses.

In this issue of the VOICE Newsletter, we also have a step by step article on Preparing for and Installing OS/2 on an IBM Aptiva by John Twelker. And then I recount some of the research I went through in Choosing a laptop for OS/2.

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 editor@os2voice.org.

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 VOICE Newsletter.

Mark Dodel
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
Antitrust Division
U.S. Department of Justice
601 D Street, NW
Washington, DC 20530

The email address is antitrust@justice.usdoj.gov, however I believe a written communication has more effect then electronic.

[Previous Page ] [ Index] [Next Page
VOICE Home Page: http://www.os2voice.org