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I didn't know who else to take this idea to, so here goes. I am SOHO user of Warp and am disturbed by the potential of not having OS/2 being supported. I am not a techie, yet have been successful in trial and error methods with the help of Users Groups have been able to make OS/2 very productive for me.
One of the things that astounds me is the apparent cavalier attitude of
IBM with regards to the installed base of users. It is with this in mind that I
write this note to you.
IBM stock is currently about 94. I just bought some shares at 93 3/8...My
suggestion is, that all of us users should at least buy one share of stock, and
then form a Warp Users Stock Owners Association where we could provide our proxie
so that the Association would have some weight. I have heard numbers varying from
10 to 18 million Warp users, if this is the case then if just 50% of us just bought
one or two shares a piece it would make a bloc of votes that might get their attention
in a productive way.
Please let me emphasize it is not my intent or intention to create a "confrontational"
group. My thinking is more on the lines of creating a meaningful shareholders voting
block that might be able to influence officer selection and at the least be a viable
reminder that there are dedicated Warp users out here. I think this would have
a chance of effecting some changes as opposed to some of the critical comments in
the users groups.
With proper promotion perhaps we will be able to find someone in the Warp
User family with corporate law experience to put this together and perhaps find
someone who could organize and represent the proxies?
What we need now is a vehicle to spread the word and to get this idea in
motion...maybe even promoted at WarpStock....
Thanks for your time....Dave Dobson
Editor Reply: So can the OS/2 community come together on a project
to pool IBM stock shares to help influence how IBM treats us? Any people have opinions
on this proposal? Any people familiar with investment law care to tell us if this
is feasible or not? What are the costs involved in this undertaking? If you have
any comments/information please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
I contacted AM-Tax support about the future of their DOS based program. They
stated that Microsoft is trying to 'kill' DOS. Most AM-Tax operational problems
occur with printing. The problems usually lies in the way Windows (Win 3.x, 9X,
etc.) "spools" output from DOS jobs or there's various incompatibility
issues. The new inexpensive printers are designed to work only with true Windows
applications. Most AM-Tax customers are price sensitive so they will not spend money
for more expensive printers that can be used with other OS systems.
He stated that "a number of their customers like me are good with software.
They know what they are doing and can easily use DOS programs to their satisfaction".
I asked if they could develop an OS/2 version. If not that, could they develop
a Java or some other open source version? He replied that they are a small software
company. It is probable that their situation and program design will take them in
a direction that anything other than a Windows version is unlikely.
They plan to issue DOS and Windows 9X versions for tax year 2000. There are no
definite plans for tax year 2001. That is the year, they probably will not make
another DOS version.
Several people have been concerned about this in the Newsgroup: comp.os.os2.apps.
I hope that interested persons can continue to contact them and vote for an OS/2
useable program at http://www.amtax.com/ or
Editor's note: Besides what Herb Anderson had to
say about AMTax above, I also looked into the other three Tax packages reviewed
previously in the newsletter and here is what I have found:
I am trying to contact them to verify that they will offer a personal version in DOS or Win3.1 this year. Their site says they are giving away the 1999 Professional version for free (phone support will be charged for, email free). They still list OS/2 as a supported platform on their web site - http://www.lamsontech.com/
"To celebrate the NEW Millenium, we are pleased to offer FULL VERSION of
ExelTax absolutely FREE for the 1999 Tax Year. "There are no string attached",
NO expirtation date, NO gray-out option. You get FULL VERSION ExelTax with electronic
filing absolutely FREE. Email technical supports are still FREE. Phone supports
are $10.00 for every 15 minutes. We have full version of ExelTax 1998 ready for
download as working demo. Headstart ExelTax 1999 will be available for download
October 28, 1999. FINAL Version are released December 28, 1999."
TaxCut - http://www.os2voice.org/VNL/past_issues/VNL0199H/vnewsf6.htm#TaxCut
According to TaxCut's email support:
"Currently, the system requrements for TaxCut 99 have not been released. We, however, sspect that the system requirements will be nearly identical to the system requirements for TaxCut 98. Generally speaking, if you were able to run TaxCut 98 you should have no difficulty running TaxCut 99, with one exception: TaxCut 99 will be available on CD only. 3-1/2" diskettes will no longer be available. Therefore,in order to install TaxCut 99 your system must have an internal CD ROM drive, or you must have acess to an external CD-ROM drive. "
deluxe - http://www.os2voice.org/VNL/past_issues/VNL0199H/vnewsf8.htm
Site still lists support for Win 3.1. Their site is atrocious and unhelpful in the extreme. I could find no email option to ask a simple question of their tech support. I wasn't about to call their pay for phone support number just to get a non-response from a typical windoze everywhere company. If anyone can get a reasonable response out of Intuit on this, please let me know.
Mr. Dodel: I just finished reading your article and felt a need to comment. My
best friend and I attended Warpstock 99 and felt that the overlying message especially
at the roundtable was " OS/2 is dead. Get over it!" I left totally confused
as to what the future of personal computing is with IBM or even if there is one.
Would I have to shell out $1600 to purchase Warp Server? Who to ask?
Here's some more mud for the waters. I decided to call IBM sales. The rep, who
will remain anonymous, first clarified that they were, in fact, still selling OS/2
Warp v.4, and would continue to do so as long as their large customers requested
it. When asking about the next step up in the Warp family, I was told "Well
it's Warp server for E-Business, but we don't recommend you buy it unless there
is a technical need for it. We recommend you go with a Windows product".
Have I dialed IBM? Isn't this like going into a Ford dealer and have them try
to sell me a Chevy? What possible reason can IBM have for marketing their competitor's
product? Can you say "collusion"?
After this conversation, I figured that I wouldn't bother reloading OS/2 to a
replacement machine. Linux and BeOS here I come. Now I've come back to the fold
and decided that, yes, I will continue to run OS/2. Yes, I will likely pay for Software
Choice. All this in spite of the fact that Big Blue has apparently thrown out all
or part of their Y2K compliance statements. (This too, is a little vague. A topic
for another Voice editorial, perhaps.) Why? Because every time I fire up this Win-doze
machine, it frustrates the (insert favorite expletive here) out of me. OS/2 is still
my favorite operating system, I have a great deal of time invested in it, and I
don't intend to give it up that easily.
Editor's reply: Actually it's more like going into Sears, where they will sell
you a GE, Frigidaire or their own Sears brand storage freezer. Whatever you wish
to buy, and they will sell you a service contract on any brand they carry. The difference
is that GE isn't threatening to charge Sears more because Sears sells it's own brand.
So Sears doesn't bad mouth it's own products to force you to buy something else.
Sears is not afraid of GE, but looks on it as another product they can sell to make
I hear people say that IBM isn't the villain or that microsoft isn't really evil,
but the facts as they have come out in the US DOJ - microsoft trial and elsewhere
show that microsoft will use any tactic, legal or not to crush any competition.
Well IBM allowed microsoft to gain this power that is now held over them. So now
it is you and I who have to pay for IBM's past inability to get the message out
about OS/2 and their current secret deals with microsoft.
Were you at the Warp Jeopardy session at Warpstock? If so you had the opportunity
to see the IBM commercials/mini-films from past versions of OS/2. They were truely
amazing. Why is it no one outside of a few people at some product roll-outs actually
saw these? Where did IBM spend all those millions of marketing dollars? Buying CEO
lunches? They should have marketed their product to the masses. They would have
been successful, because as much as OS/2 has it's faults, even today it is better
then the junk out of Redmond.
IBM could do the right thing and release OS/2 as open source. That would keep
it alive and allow it to thrive. People are fleeing to Linux, not because it makes
a great client, but because they can tolerate it enough so they have an alternative
that they believe has a future. OS/2 is a far better/user friendly desktop alternative,
yet IBM refuses to sell it and in fact engages in anti-marketing the product.
To everyone that asks them to promote OS/2, IBM says there is no market. Who
are we then? I have lost patience with IBM. The time is now for the OS/2 user community
to begin to take control of OS/2 from IBM. We can't do that overnight, but we can
start with gradually replacing parts of the operating system. That would give the
OS/2 user community control over it's own destiny. The time is now to start supporting
VOICE and the Warpicity Project as well as the OS/2 support project - Warp Doctor.