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EComStation 2.0 GA To Be Released May 14

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the be-first-in-line dept.

Operating Systems 133

martiniturbide writes "After a long delay, eComStation 2.0 GA will finally become reality. It will be released in time to be presented at the Warpstock Europe 2010 event which will be held in Trier, Germany, from May 14 to 16. We consider eComStation 2.0 to be the biggest overhaul of OS/2 so far. Together with a team of both hired and volunteer developers, we have extended the functionality, removed limitations, updated hardware support as far as possible, and resolved close to 1000 issues that had been reported since the release of eComStation 1.2R. The new eComStation 2.0 GA is the result of several years of combined efforts and investments."

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Finally! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31969948)

I'll be able to format floppies again without slowing down the rest of my work.

Re:Finally! (1)

Harald Paulsen (621759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31974550)

I'll be able to format floppies again without slowing down the rest of my work.

Not for long [slashdot.org] !

Hey! FAGGOTS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31969956)

More likely... (2)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#31969974)

Perhaps this is the real story behind IBM's alleged relaunch of OS2? [slashdot.org]

Re:More likely... (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970114)

Not entirely.

Like AmigaOS it just wont die (4, Interesting)

StephenM_Sparrowhawk (913477) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970116)

OS/2 is still used quite extensively in Australia by banking institutions, who claim it is still more reliable than the Windows equivalents. Much of the critical banking infrastructure reliant on OS/2 has since been ported to Linux (Mostly running atop RHEL.) The combination of high stability. the very configurable and flexible workplace shell with REXX IPC, at a time when the NT kernel was still being sorted ensured rapid uptake and penetration in some vertical markets. Like the AmigaOS it was very economical of system resources and had a very consistent UI. There are still lessons in the Workplace Shell (OS/2) and Intuition (Amiga) for both KDE and GNOME. Window managers with some of the WS features for Linux http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workplace_Shell [wikipedia.org] and related http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS7822082064.html [desktoplinux.com]

Re:Like AmigaOS it just wont die (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970328)

Wasn't there even some cross-pollination between Amiga and OS/2? (IBM licensing REXX in exchange of some GUI tech, something liek that)

Re:Like AmigaOS it just wont die (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970348)

Wasn't there even some cross-pollination between Amiga and OS/2? (IBM licensing REXX in exchange of some GUI tech, something liek that)

Yes. There are details on some of the OS/2 information pages.

Re:Like AmigaOS it just wont die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31970792)

Umm, AmigaOS is dead. It's very dead. It's been very dead since about 1993.

Re:Like AmigaOS it just wont die (3, Informative)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31971962)

Heh. OS/2 on 300MHz and 32Mb ram makes for a more responsive Automatic Teller Machine than the later 2GHz 512Mb burdened with XP. The rest of the whole ATM was identical so you know it was doing the same job.
Also, it took 15 minutes to install, against the XP's 2-3 hours.

Re:Like AmigaOS it just wont die (2, Informative)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31971990)

P.s. if some idiot power cycled it while booting, OS/2 survived, XP died and had to be re-installed.

Re:Like AmigaOS it just wont die (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31973466)

What? Troll? I speak from first-hand experience.
The install floppies I used were grey. Let's see if this is modded Troll, too.

Re:Like AmigaOS it just wont die (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 4 years ago | (#31972000)

Heh. OS/2 on 300MHz and 32Mb ram makes for a more responsive Automatic Teller Machine than the later 2GHz 512Mb burdened with XP. The rest of the whole ATM was identical so you know it was doing the same job.

The application was identical on both ? What was it written in ?

Also, it took 15 minutes to install, against the XP's 2-3 hours.

Well, that's just incompetence. There's no reason an automated install on known hardware shoudl take that long.

Re:Like AmigaOS it just wont die (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31973430)

Although the software app was different, the screen, keypad, card reader, receipt printer and money handling hardware were all the same, as was the data transfer and validation backend. Thus my assertion that the OS/2 units booted faster and were more responsive in operation doing the same job.

Re:More likely... (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 4 years ago | (#31972038)

I am waiting since over 10 years that IBM takes the best out of OS/2 and puts it on the top of Linux or another Unix. Gnome, KDE, and Windows are still missing some features available in OS/2. The only thing rivaling the consistency of the GUI may be the Apple desktop.

Re:More likely... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31972422)

MacOS is certainly consistent and flashy (much more so than the WPS). But it is way less configurable.

Re:More likely... (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 4 years ago | (#31972934)

Yes. the out-of the box configurability of the WPS was *great*. once you educated the PEBKACs to just use the template file to create a new text document of a certain type, this text document could get a context menu like "Copy to Floppy", "Send to x", etc. I liked the possibilities which the consistent implementation and use of the EAs created.

Moreover: DeScribe for OS2 is still the most reactive word processor i have seen. Even nowadays MS Office (not to speak about OO) makes more breaks in which it does react to user input. Programs really written for OS2 made use of threading like on no other system i saw.

For what application? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31969986)

I loved OS/2 back in the old days, it was rock solid and took advantage of the hardware you gave it ( both for servers and workstations ), but this is 2010, is there still a market?

Re:For what application? (3, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970098)

this is 2010, is there still a market?

Short answer, no.

Long answer, nooooooooooooooooooooo.

Re:For what application? (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970136)

This isn't really the OS/2 from the 90s. It looks like it's been configured for a corporate environment. [wikipedia.org]

Thin clients - even just terminals - updated drivers, wide spread deployment, Java, and there's a few other things.

It also looks like it's still pretty much built on the Warp kernel from what I can find. Which means, all of those OS/2 development books I gave away are still good - except for maybe the Workplace shell development.

Re:For what application? (2, Informative)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970210)

Nope... it still has all the functionality of OS/2 2.x, 3.x, Warp, etc... it just adds more functionality, as well as support for newer hardware, more apps, etc.

As for the WPS, though it has changed somewhat, the core is still the same. That was the beauty of it's design. You could either subclass or even superclass any WPS class to add functionality without changing the core WPS code at all.

That includes transparencies, additional controls, additional status bars, different window/folder styles, added sort criteria or a plethora of other features; such as the "multimedia" folders where one could create music playlists that never break when you move around the actual media files and read ID3 info, added play/pause/stop/FF/REW/etc control buttons and sliders, etc... all to a standard folder class.

So... the WPS books are still quite relevant.

Re:For what application? (3, Informative)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970164)

Wrong. Short answer, yes. Long answer, definitely yes.

There are still a lot of large companies out there using OS/2 installs who are attempting to replace aging hardware without having to have all their specialized software ported to something else. One such company is a Fortune 50-ish (it's in the 50-55 range) company that has a massive OS/2 install to this very day.

Do you have any idea how many specialized pieces of equipment out there are controlled by OS/2? Or the MASSIVE cost involved in having the software ported to Windows or Linux? Or the large amounts of time testing the stuff because it cant EVER fail while running? I, on the other hand, have some idea about that sort of thing... there are lots of such setups.

People dont hear about those types of setups, or even know about them, because they aren't desktop clients where some 9-5'er is running Word or whatever on it. They are systems that sit quietly in the background and run entire production lines, run automated machinery, run power plants, run transit systems, run elevators and so on.

In addition, there are new companies that are using OS/2 for specialized apps or as servers that have gotten fed up with Windows, and find the various fragmented releases of Linux to be too daunting. I know... I install eCS boxes at a few of them. And, they couldnt be happier. I install em... come every few months to clean em (of dust and stuff) and otherwise no one ever touches them. They never had that type of a positive experience on their Windows server/app server boxes.

Re:For what application? (2, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970178)

That's not a market. It's an installed base. There may be a handful of people out there interested in buying new OS/2. No more.

Re:For what application? (3, Insightful)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970218)

That's true, but there are only a handful of people out there interested in buying new Windows.

It's the installed base that forces the issue.

Re:For what application? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970614)

That's true, but there are only a handful of people out there interested in buying new Windows.

That is so ridiculously untrue that I am left almost speechless. 90% of the people who buy a new PC buy new Windows along with it.

Re:For what application? (2, Insightful)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31971028)

Do you think any/many of them actually want a new version of Windows? Short answer: no. In fact, every new release is a gamble for Microsoft. If they change things too much, users might as well switch to Mac OS X, or Linux, for all their retained knowledge will be worth.

Re:For what application? (2, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31971056)

And most of those people don't care what OS comes on their new computer as long as they can figure out how to get to google and play farmville.

How many people out there are explicitly buying windows 7? Hardly anyone.

Re:For what application? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31972882)

And most of those people don't care what OS comes on their new computer as long as they can figure out how to get to google and play farmville.

Which is why it still isn't the year of Linux on the desktop.

Re:For what application? (1)

edack (152979) | more than 4 years ago | (#31973158)

You mean they are forced to buy Windows. Dell was running an ad right hear touting their netbook with Ubuntu. click on the add all you get was a machine with Windows, and yes I tried to reconfigure it without any OS, not possible. Tried to find the advertised product also not available. I don't want Windows yet if I buy a new PC/laptop/netbook guess what I get.

Re:For what application? (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#31974156)

That's true, but there are only a handful of people out there interested in buying new Windows.

It's the installed base that forces the issue.

Unless it's a rebel base.

Re:For what application? (2, Informative)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970316)

No, it's not (just) an installed base. It's a market - as in those who are tired of Windows and the need to get a ton of hardware to throw at a task to handle it well, who then switch to something better. That market grows the installed base of whatever their alternative choice is (whether MacOSX, Linux, or eComStation).

It would be an installed base if they were running OS/2 and decided to keep running OS/2.

Re:For what application? (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970324)

Ooops... thought your response was attached to a different post of mine. My response should have been:

Yes, it's an installed base. BUT, it's also a market. It's those who need to procure new operating systems to run on new hardware who choose (due to their needs) an updated version of OS/2 over the expense and headache of switching to another operating system.

Re:For what application? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970322)

I was in a rather large OS/2 shop at one point and just before I moved on they migrated everything to windows. ( blah ) This was in the late 90's. our facility had about 1000 machines running it, and there were several hundred facilities. We also had a bunch of machines running dos as print servers, all on PC/Net. ( bonus points if you figure out who i worked for :) ).

They were PS/2 machines so there was a bit of a hurdle for the custom micro channel cards, but they did it.

I would have assumed by now most others would have as well.

Re:For what application? (1)

Unoti (731964) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970352)

There may be a market, but it's most definitely a dying market.

...fed up with Windows, and find the various fragmented releases of Linux to be too daunting...

The vibrant Linux community, with all of its options, daunting, while the OS/2 community which died like a decade ago before BeOS was even around, looks better? If your shit needs OS/2 to run, that is what we call obsolete. Port it to Linux. If that's too daunting, find a vendor that sells stuff made some time in the last ten or 15 years.

Re:For what application? (4, Informative)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970522)

There may be a market, but it's most definitely a dying market.

...fed up with Windows, and find the various fragmented releases of Linux to be too daunting...

The vibrant Linux community, with all of its options, daunting, while the OS/2 community which died like a decade ago before BeOS was even around, looks better? If your shit needs OS/2 to run, that is what we call obsolete. Port it to Linux. If that's too daunting, find a vendor that sells stuff made some time in the last ten or 15 years.

Ummm... what version of Linux do you select to run a bunch of specialized hardware? What GUI? What development toolkit(s)? Who will write the drivers necessary? What happens if the current OS/2 apps are simply WPS extensions for which Linux has absolutely NO equivalent? Or even simply just true OS/2 GUI apps?

On top of that, the OS/2 API hasnt really changed. No need to select one of... how many? APIs/toolkits used by the various Linux implentations/dev tools.

Gotta remember, porting a Linux app to OS/2 is "pretty easy" (Apache, PHP, MySQL, VLC, KMP, mPlayer/mEncoder, FFMPEG, Squid, Rsycn, ISC Bind, Scribus, Quassel, Postgres, GutenPrint, CUPS, Ghostscript, cURL, Python, Subversion, GCC, Cmake, GNU Core Utils, bzip, wGet, Perl, OpenLDAP, STunnel, Tar, VirtualBox - and those are only a FEW of the ports maintained by ONE OR TWO people - and a small list of the total Linux to OS/2 ports (GUI and non-GUI).

Porting an OS/2 GUI app to Linux? If it's a true OS/2 app that utilizes the WPS, it's near impossible to totally impossible. Most of these older specialized apps for the types of systems I was discussing fit that category.

I'd call that daunting. Wouldn't you?

Re:For what application? (1)

tkjtkj (577219) | more than 4 years ago | (#31973346)

"Porting an OS/2 GUI app to Linux? If it's a true OS/2 app that utilizes the WPS, it's near impossible to totally impossible. Most of these older specialized apps for the types of systems I was discussing fit that category. I'd call that daunting. Wouldn't you?"

*** Well, no i wouldn't .. cuz the safest thing to do would be to port apps to OS/2 , which you admit, rightfully so, is not difficult. The result is that one then uses OS/2 (with its recognized benefits in safety/performance. The small market share that OS/2 has is also a benefit when one considers that malware authors go for the biggest impact-for-the-buck possible: Windoze .. and to a lesser degree, linux. 'Laying low' is a classic approach to avoiding problems, and ya can't lay much lower than by using OS/2. Besides, if one hAS a good OS/2 app , why even bother porting in the 'nearly impossible' direction of Windoze?? From a programmer's POV, yes, to get bigger market share for the app. But for the guy who just needs to run the app, it'd be stupid to port it. tkjtkj@gmail.com

Re:For what application? (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31975014)

Exactly, and agreed... those were the points I was trying to make. It is also what makes eComStation v2 attractive to a lot of businesses with such specialized setups. No porting to anything at all... and they can run a fast growing set of Linux apps as well.

And the Windows point... I'd never ever suggest porting to Windows. If porting was absolutely necessary, I'd recommend the business port the "back end" stuff to Linux and rewrite (as porting would not work) the GUI portion of the code to whatever windowing toolkit selection seemed appropriate. But, as you also noted, there are those developers who wanna try to gain bigger market share. But there's more than that too... it ensures the company developing the software has nice, lucrative support contracts. I mean really... think about it... run the stuff on OS/2 and rarely have a customer that needs support... port and rewrite the stuff for Linux and rarely have a customer that needs support... or port/rewrite it for Windows and... make more money on support.

A prime example of this (though not necessarily the motivating factor), when an IBM team I was involved with was bidding on the support contract for Bank of America/RIGGS Bank back in the late 90's, I (and I alone) was supposed to be the support tech for a large chunk of the eastern seaboard of the US. BoA has of course since (in the mid 2000's) moved to Windows. I can guarantee you that the support staff is many many times larger. I betcha the company that provides that support and set up that new infrastructure is very very happy with the switch to Windows. I wonder how much money BoA would have saved either staying on OS/2 or switching to Linux?

Re:For what application? (2, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31972364)

There are people who use what works, and there are people who hawk tech for the sake of it. I don't bitch that my house is 100s of years old, or that the trees at the back of my garden are decades old, or that some of my furniture was built in Empire Asia, or that the workhorse car is a decade old, or that my landline telephone is 15 years old, or that my mouse is 8 years old, or that some of the medications in my cabinet were formulated half a century ago or that the general coverage receiver on my desk was built in the '80s... you know why?

They're all good shit which does the job and lasts.

And I couldn't give a fuck if you want to sell me some second rate mass market junk which will be shinier on the surface but be built to last a tenth as long and not do the actual job nearly as well.

BTW, have you actually tried to develop hardware for the Linux kernel? Something driven on OS/2 15 years ago works on OS/2 today. But Linux has this perpetual habit of changing the API with the excuse that someone will be available to update and recompile driver source. So, unless you're planning to hire some guy to maintain all custom hardware drivers, a Linux install will be quickly behind the state of the art in features and security.

Re:For what application? (1)

terjeber (856226) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970460)

I know of several of those, I even replaced a disk on a PDP-11 in the mid '90s for a system like that. I would recommend people make the investment in moving on though.

This, btw, is one of the very, very important reasons that so many business apps are written in Java. Not only is the Java environment, with a significant margin, the most useful environment for developing LOB apps, it is also reasonably future proof as operating systems come and go.

Re:For what application? (2, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970916)

Dude, most of the java code I've run into isn't even future proof to the next subversion of java. It's seriously a significantly larger headache for us than going from Office 2000->2003->2010 or XP->Win7.

Re:For what application? (2, Informative)

terjeber (856226) | more than 4 years ago | (#31972524)

You have clearly never seen a Java app then. I have moved a very large LOB app through Java from 1999 through 2006, no major issues. This means that either you have done something very odd, or your competence level simply isn't what it should be.

Re:For what application? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31972734)

I've lost track of the number of Java-based packages I've installed that have installed their own JRE, and furthermore, which fail if run under a more recent JRE. What's your angle in spewing this irrelevance?

Re:For what application? (2, Insightful)

terjeber (856226) | more than 4 years ago | (#31972790)

My angle? Are you SERIOUSLY claiming that it is MORE DIFFICULT to port a LOB app written in Java from one OS to another than it is to port one that is written in C or C++ or CICS/Cobol or Delphi or something like that? Really?

Re:For what application? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31972862)

As far as I can tell, people seem to have approximately equal amounts of difficulty writing portable Java code and portable C code. It's distressing how many times I've been unable to run some simple web applet on my latest machine, but gone back and had it work on my most antiquated. And I think literally every large Java app I've ever installed (that is, not through my Linux distribution's package manager) has come with its own JRE, and every time I've tried exploring a later JRE have had some kind of problem... on the same platform.

P.S. Delphi? Is that even cross-platform?

Re:For what application? (1)

terjeber (856226) | more than 4 years ago | (#31972950)

Clearly, some people apparently have some problems writing portable Java code, but LOB apps today are usually based on some sort of app server, and the app servers are easily cross-platform, making the LOB app cross-platform. For larger LOB apps, developing in Java gives you ample performance and somewhere between easy and trivial amounts of work in porting. Most LOB Java apps today are server-side with a web interface, and the main issue with portability is whether it runs in both IE and Mozilla.

If a Java app comes with its own Java run-time, so what? Is that a problem? I have at least four Java environments on my dev boxes at any point in time, and they cause no problems for each other.

Re:For what application? (1)

terjeber (856226) | more than 4 years ago | (#31972960)

Maybe we just have better coding practices than others, but we develop on personal windows boxes, build and test on Linux, AIX and Sun and deploy mostly on Linux and Sun. We have never had to do any work at all moving to a new platform, and that is with a Java app that now has a few million lines of code.

Re:For what application? (1)

terjeber (856226) | more than 4 years ago | (#31972938)

Oh, and do you have ANY idea what a LOB app is?

Re:For what application? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 4 years ago | (#31971152)

In addition, there are new companies that are using OS/2 for specialized apps or as servers that have gotten fed up with Windows, and find the various fragmented releases of Linux to be too daunting.

It's a struggle to understand why anyone would choose OS/2 over Windows or the two mainstream Linux distributions.

Unless, of course, they're being misled...

What compelling features for a new installation could OS/2 possibly have over Windows Server 2008, RHEL, or SuSe ?

Re:For what application? (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31975084)

Over Windows Server 2008? Are you joking? When it comes to web serving, application serving, video transcoding (assuming one can do that stuff without a decent GUI interface to ffMPEG or mEncoder), it outperforms every version of Windows Server ever written.

Here's my earlier post on my real world experiences on the matter:

Well, one decently large site I run for a client runs on Warp Server for e-Business. It runs on an ancient box (10 years old) with a whoppingly fast set of 550MHz CPUs (Quad XEON 3's) and 4GB of RAM. It runs at an average of 3% CPU utilization. The site was originally hosted on a Windows Server 2003 box 4 or 5 years ago when traffic was one tenth of what it currently is. The Win2003 box was 4 times more powerful - and either bogged down or crashed repeatedly due to load.

When I do the final video transcoding for Star Trek New Voyages: Phase 2, it's generally done on an OS/2 box using mEncoder or FFMPEG... even on a much slower box than the one Windows machine here, those apps run far better, and even faster than the equivalent Windows versions (ie: it seems Linux ports run much much better on OS/2 than on Windows) and unlike on the Windows box, where the desktop becomes near unusable, OS/2's WPS is still snappy (even though the OS/2 box has 1/4 the CPU power). When I start using a "bunch" of threads on the Windows box (a "whopping" four) to do the transcodes, Windows slows to a crawl. Simple web pages in Firefox take 10 times as long to load. Windows takes forever to launch apps. The apps become unresponsive... all while the transcoder is set to normal priority. No such problems on OS/2. Windows XP and Windows Vista do not alleviate these problems - I dont know about Windows 7 as I have not tried it on that... but that still indicates that OS/2 seems to have a far better thread scheduler (coupled with the possibility that Linux ports simply run a lot better on OS/2).

So... as the site I host keeps gaining popularity, I could either get a FEW big 8 way state of the art system each running Windows Server 2008 to serve the web requests for it (and a bunch more IP addresses)... or I can simply keep running the website on ONE ancient Netfinity 7000 M10 and Warp Server for e-Business.

I've got a few clients who were tired of their Windows Server boxes... those boxes were replaced with eComStation, and run custom server side web based apps. For four years now. You have no idea how thrilled they are that they never have to call me because of a problem. And they only see me once every 3 months to clean the boxes out (ie: remove dust, clean fans, etc).

They dont care what such things are running. The only thing they care about is that they dont need to call me to fix some new issue that has arisen (server infected, machine restarted on it's own because MS forced an update even though automatic updates is disabled, some idiotic WGA error and limited functionality because some new WGA update was broken, machine is running horrendously slow for some reason, and on and on - those are actual problems the clients had with their previous installation and their previous support team).

Now Linux on the other hand, is a viable alternative... though I enjoy the use of REXX (a lot) and enjoy it's integration with the OS (eComStation/Warp) that cannot easily be duplicated on other operating systems... if I ever retire my OS/2 boxes, Linux is the direction I will move... but definitely NOT Windows.

Re:For what application? (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31971568)

"Do you have any idea how many specialized pieces of equipment out there are controlled by OS/2?"

It's probably far fewer than the number of devices controlled by DOS or Windows or Linux.

Re:For what application? (2)

drfreak (303147) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970118)

Yes, the supermarket. Many of them still run it on their cash registers.

A lot of ATM machines run OS/2 as well, and I wish more still did. The day Bank of America replaced their ATM machines I heard the familiar Windows "Ding!" as my card popped back out. A part of me died that day, but it was replaced with a love for .NET, so oh well... :)

Re:For what application? (1)

Thrashing Rage (157543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31972202)

Personally the scariest thing i've seen was cash registers at a major department store running Windows 98.

At the time they were also replacing their wireless credit card/ATM readers with ones that had encryption (real scary eh?)

This was 6 years ago, it was around the same time a major fast food chain was still running their stores off an NT 4.0 server and wasn't going to change any time soon.

Re:For what application? (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 4 years ago | (#31975780)

This was 6 years ago, it was around the same time a major fast food chain was still running their stores off an NT 4.0 server and wasn't going to change any time soon.

Wouldn't be referring to Jack in the Box, would you?

Re:For what application? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31975750)

but it was replaced with a love for .NET, so oh well... :)

For real? Damn. How about this, since you love .net so much. Why don't you explain to me why my main 2 business critical applications have to be run in 2 separate virtual machines because one requires one version of .nyet and the other requires another version. If I have the one version, the first app refuses to start, if I have the other version, the other app pukes. Seriously. This shit is ridiculous. .nyet is a steaming turd. Why can't sorry ass MS just let multiple versions of it exist on a single machine? You can do that with Python, Java, and every other interpreted or byte code compiled language I can think of. But not the great and powerful dotfuckingnet. I'd rather use a program delivered in gwbasic than that shit.

Re:For what application? (1)

ibbie (647332) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970144)

For its time, Warp 4 was neat.

That said, in this day and age, I'd rather play with haiku [haiku-os.org] than some musty, old IBM OS. IMHO there's more novelty to it.

To each their own, though.

Re:For what application? (3, Informative)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970274)

Well, one decently large site I run for a client runs on Warp Server for e-Business. It runs on an ancient box (10 years old) with a whoppingly fast set of 550MHz CPUs (Quad XEON 3's) and 4GB of RAM. It runs at an average of 3% CPU utilization. The site was originally hosted on a Windows Server 2003 box 4 or 5 years ago when traffic was one tenth of what it currently is. The Win2003 box was 4 times more powerful - and either bogged down or crashed repeatedly due to load.

When I do the final video transcoding for Star Trek New Voyages: Phase 2, it's generally done on an OS/2 box using mEncoder or FFMPEG... even on a much slower box than the one Windows machine here, those apps run far better, and even faster than the equivalent Windows versions (ie: it seems Linux ports run much much better on OS/2 than on Windows) and unlike on the Windows box, where the desktop becomes near unusable, OS/2's WPS is still snappy (even though the OS/2 box has 1/4 the CPU power). When I start using a "bunch" of threads on the Windows box (a "whopping" four) to do the transcodes, Windows slows to a crawl. Simple web pages in Firefox take 10 times as long to load. Windows takes forever to launch apps. The apps become unresponsive... all while the transcoder is set to normal priority. No such problems on OS/2. Windows XP and Windows Vista do not alleviate these problems - I dont know about Windows 7 as I have not tried it on that... but that still indicates that OS/2 seems to have a far better thread scheduler (coupled with the possibility that Linux ports simply run a lot better on OS/2).

So... as the site I host keeps gaining popularity, I could either get a FEW big 8 way state of the art system each running Windows Server 2008 to serve the web requests for it (and a bunch more IP addresses)... or I can simply keep running the website on ONE ancient Netfinity 7000 M10 and Warp Server for e-Business.

I've got a few clients who were tired of their Windows Server boxes... those boxes were replaced with eComStation, and run custom server side web based apps. For four years now. You have no idea how thrilled they are that they never have to call me because of a problem. And they only see me once every 3 months to clean the boxes out (ie: remove dust, clean fans, etc).

They dont care what such things are running. The only thing they care about is that they dont need to call me to fix some new issue that has arisen (server infected, machine restarted on it's own because MS forced an update even though automatic updates is disabled, some idiotic WGA error and limited functionality because some new WGA update was broken, machine is running horrendously slow for some reason, and on and on - those are actual problems the clients had with their previous installation and their previous support team).

Which do you think gets my market share?

Re:For what application? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31972716)

it seems Linux ports run much much better on OS/2 than on Windows

The big difference is that NT has a pathetic joke of a POSIX version 1 emulation layer while OS/2 has a vaguely credible version of a POSIX version 2 layer. Porting Unix stuff to Windows in a timely fashion basically means porting it to Cygwin, Services for Unix, or similar. I've found Cygwin to become more stable over the years, but not more performant.

Re:For what application? (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#31974280)

New Voyages looks reasonably watchable (no offense, it's tough with a low budget), but (sorry) having to download the episodes piecemeal in six parts was just too off-putting. If you can't stream it (understandable), at least provide a simple torrent link; that's what bittorrent was designed for. You're probably losing a ton of potential new fans just because the downloads are too much hassle.

Re:For what application? (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31974880)

CarpetShark:

You can always click the massive "VIEW ONLINE STREAMING" link on the front page, or the very prominent "View Online via DNA" (or however it's labelled) link on the episodes page.

Additionally, every episode except TSAMD1969 is available via Torrent. That too is indicated on the episodes pages.

Sorry you didnt notice all those links. I thought I made them more than prominent enough. I'll keep this in mind though the next time I do a site revision.

incoming! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31969994)

looks like rusty finally pulled the plug on k5 and nothing of value was lost. "So what?", you say? Well, Michael Crawford will probably start spamming /. with incoherent articles about how awesome he is. And just wait until blastard starts ranting about shit.

Re:incoming! (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970014)

Who are you, now?

Re:incoming! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31974584)

well there's only 5 kurons. Assuming I'm not you, blastard, or crawford, you have a 50% chance of guessing correctly.

they should call it "OS/2 Warp Forever" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31969996)

Finally released just 13 years after the last person stopped caring, maybe there's hope for DNF.

Re:they should call it "OS/2 Warp Forever" (1)

drfreak (303147) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970128)

Why not? I still fire up Amiga Forever sometimes.

could ya... (2, Interesting)

Nyder (754090) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970088)

... give it a lamer name?

Re:could ya... (2, Funny)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970126)

The Gimp
Casio G'zOne
Chumby
Sumvision Squircle
iPad

Re:could ya... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31970206)

Possibly derived from "ECOMCON", (Emergency COMmunications CONtrol), a top-secret telephone/TV switching center in Colorado that the US military plotted to take over as part of a coup d'etat against the POTUS in the novel/film "Seven Days in May".

Re:could ya... (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#31974198)

eCumStation 1.99 always-beta 3 patchlevel 7, Unlimited** Release (** some features only available in Complete Release)

?

Oh my God, my Eyes! (2, Interesting)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970102)

I am sorry if it seems overly shallow, but looking at the (awful) Flash demo, the UI design hasn't been upgraded at all from the last time I ran OS/2. I was hoping they had someone spend some time getting rid of the Win 3.1 look and feel, or are they hoping for some upswelling of nostalgia for the old look and feel?

I should be open-mindedly welcoming the return of an old friend, and looking at the functionality available, but I am afraid I can't look past the awful look and feel of the UI long enough to find out. It just looked terrible - at least as long as the terrible flash demo ran before the whole thing seized up on me and I gave up.

I *loved* OS/2 when I used it, it was superior to Win 3.1, allowed me to run DOS programs (like my BBS software) in the background while I ran something else in the foreground, etc etc. It had an amazing future - until IBM dropped the ball and completely failed to promote it. I would far rather than modern OS design had drawn more from OS/2 as a heritage than from MS Windows, but its a tad late now.

Now, I am sure there is a market for this - all those POS software packages that look like DOS and are still used all over in small stores, ATM applications that are similarly primitive etc - but I can't see it having much appeal beyond the legacy support type environment.

Now, if the arrival of eCommstation heralds the return of BBSing, I might be inclined to buy it. I loved the old BBS days prior to the availability of the Intertubes, but I don't think anything is going to bring that back :(

Re:Oh my God, my Eyes! (2, Insightful)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970172)

Ummm... what Win3.1 look and feel? You actually need to use the WPS before you make such an erroneous comment. In EIGHTEEN YEARS, Microsoft STILL has not been able to correctly duplicate the functionality of the WPS - even though they had a cross license agreement that allowed them access to (and rights to use) the code.

Re:Oh my God, my Eyes! (2, Interesting)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970242)

I don't think it is a case that they aren't able to copy it rather than that they don't want to copy it. They are doing a reasonably good job of copying OSX's funcionality in Windows 7, and that has always been the way they've done things.

Re:Oh my God, my Eyes! (0, Troll)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970296)

I don't think it is a case that they aren't able to copy it rather than that they don't want to copy it. They are doing a reasonably good job of copying OSX's funcionality in Windows 7, and that has always been the way they've done things.

They have copied OSX's look, and tried copying OS/2's functionality is what you mean. It's spelled out pretty clearly in the DOJ docs.

Regardless of your believe on that, they have not copied the functionality very well from either operating system.

Re:Oh my God, my Eyes! (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31974850)

Ummm... this isn't trolling.

It is simply the truth. Windows 95 was patterned off OS/2 2.x with the addition of a close button.

Functionality wise (NOT eye-candy wise), symbolic links still suck and dont work properly (unlike on MacOSX and OS/2), the interface is getting MORE confusing (XP -> Vista -> Win7), the GUI is still prone to explorer errors (all versions from Win98 onwards - and though they have made massive improvements in this area, they still have not gotten that functionality to the point of MacOSX or OS/2).

You don't have to like my above post - but it's still true.

Re:Oh my God, my Eyes! (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970180)

eComStation isn't for home users. It's for corporate users that really don't care how stylish it looks.

Re:Oh my God, my Eyes! (2, Informative)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970388)

eComStation isn't for home users. It's for corporate users that really don't care how stylish it looks.

Sadly, how it works should always be more important - but in this day and age, in most markets (cars, computers, and so on) that is not the case. Another prime example are the people who would buy a Toshiba piece of shit over a Thinkpad because of the looks - even though the Thinkpads have always been more reliable and better built. Yes, there are those who made that purchasing decision based on price, but (having worked in retail at CompUSA) there were numerous people who, having the money to spend, stil chose the Toshiba because of how it looked.

As I was a technician, I was happy with that - it was guaranteed work (ie: I got to keep my job - at least till they closed the stores). I'd work on about 200 machines a month... roughly 70% of those were Toshibas. I saw a total of five Thinkpads in two years. CMOS battery (8 year old machine), broken chassis (customer was moving and packed a couple thousand pounds of stuff on top of the Thinkpad), cracked screen (left a pencil on the keyboard and closed the screen - when it wouldnt close all the way, they tried forcing it to), user forgot their "BIOS"/"BOOT" password and had enabled the TPM module, and finally; dead hard drive. Inotherwords, two real repairs (CMOS battery and dead hard drive) with the rest being ID-10-T errors.

Re:Oh my God, my Eyes! (2, Interesting)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970586)

Sadly, how it works should always be more important - but in this day and age, in most markets (cars, computers, and so on) that is not the case. Another prime example are the people who would buy a Toshiba piece of shit over a Thinkpad because of the looks - even though the Thinkpads have always been more reliable and better built. Yes, there are those who made that purchasing decision based on price, but (having worked in retail at CompUSA) there were numerous people who, having the money to spend, stil chose the Toshiba because of how it looked.

To be fair, price and appearance are about the only factors that the "average" consumer can figure out when buying laptops. Things like "quality of build," "reputation," or part quality aren't easily discernable.

Heck, when I go into a CompUSA/TigerDirect wherever and look at laptops, unless I've read reviews lately, I feel pretty helpless (and rarely stmble across a salesperson like you who actually knows their stuff)...

Re:Oh my God, my Eyes! (2, Informative)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970636)

Sadly, how it works should always be more important - but in this day and age, in most markets (cars, computers, and so on) that is not the case. Another prime example are the people who would buy a Toshiba piece of shit over a Thinkpad because of the looks - even though the Thinkpads have always been more reliable and better built. Yes, there are those who made that purchasing decision based on price, but (having worked in retail at CompUSA) there were numerous people who, having the money to spend, stil chose the Toshiba because of how it looked.

To be fair, price and appearance are about the only factors that the "average" consumer can figure out when buying laptops. Things like "quality of build," "reputation," or part quality aren't easily discernable.

Heck, when I go into a CompUSA/TigerDirect wherever and look at laptops, unless I've read reviews lately, I feel pretty helpless (and rarely stmble across a salesperson like you who actually knows their stuff)...

Very true. And very difficult with places like Consumer Reports that rate brand new laptops on quality (how do you rate the quality/reliability of something only a few days old? Why do they even pretend that's possible? Why dont they simply open a new Toshiba and take a look at the fact that Toshiba has entirely removed any frame/rigid structures in the machine, melted the hinges to the plastic bottom case, moved the jack to a harness (good move but...) BUT secured the harness by a couple flexible, easily broken pieces of plastic that it slides into, and on and on).

It's just my first question would be "is this thing reliable?" or even better (as some of our customers would do) "can I speak to a tech? I've got questions about the reliability of this brand and about the support by the manufacturer" - which is where I'd come in to the equation.

It's not something I usually thought of either (in non-computer markets - obviously in the computer area, I had my own experience as a technician to draw from), but learned from a few of our (CompUSA's) customers who actually thought things out and realized "hey, the technicians are gonna know what's reliable a lot more than a salesperson is" - so, even being very savvy in that area, it's not something I woulda thought of either until CompUSA had customers asking for techs to ask such questions...

Re:Oh my God, my Eyes! (2, Interesting)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970192)

Am I the only person in the world to prefer the UI of classic Mac OS and Windows 3.1 to the shiny of Windows 95 / Vista (bleugh) / OS X (arghgh) ? I like clean simplicity, not decorations which distract me from using and enjoying the machine. Oh, and there's nothing enjoyable about a textured close button.

Re:Oh my God, my Eyes! (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970236)

I don't think you're alone.

I am downright reactionary about user interfaces. On my NetBSD desktop, I run FVWM2. I have a well maintained ~/.fvwm2rc file and see no need to scrap it and move to some kludge desktop that sucks memory and disk space for no practical purpose.

Re:Oh my God, my Eyes! (1)

spikeb (966663) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970336)

i'm with you on the classic mac look, but windows 3.1? ew.

Re:Oh my God, my Eyes! (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970472)

Everyone has a UI that was "just right" while everything since just hasn't been quite... right. Mine was AmigaOS 2.04. They made changes in Workbench 3 that were probably aimed at at fixing some inconsistencies (ie everything you had to push was 3D in 2.04, except the scroll bars, so they made them 3D in 3) that, to my mind, just didn't really work out. And Workbench 1.x was godawful.

The best Mac OS/Mac OS X look, to me, was Jaguar's. Very clean. But it was flawed in some ways, and Apple tinkered with it and came up with something a little more usable but, alas, missing much of the beauty of Jaguar.

Now, GNOME seems to be heading in the opposite direction. I've not seen a version of GNOME under Ubuntu that wasn't better looking than the previous iteration.

Re:Oh my God, my Eyes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31971612)

The best Mac OS/Mac OS X look, to me, was Jaguar's. Very clean. But it was flawed in some ways, and Apple tinkered with it and came up with something a little more usable but, alas, missing much of the beauty of Jaguar.

I thought Tiger was just about perfect -- they had gradually gotten rid of the fancy transparent stuff and made it more subtly elegant. And then they threw it all away with Leopard. I initially thought it was another joke about Vista when Jobs first revealed the new look.

Re:Oh my God, my Eyes! (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31971344)

I'm kind of inbetween on the issue. I've used 3.1 through to Win7 and OSX. I've found the OS X GUI has some neat features that *Can* help with productivity - file previews of PDFs using coverflow for instance is neat, but it gets cluttered pretty quickly. OS X finder is really nice - I'm hoping someone can clone it as a filemanager for Linux.

I'm using Windows 7 right now which isn't too bad, but I'm getting around to switching to Linux sometime soon. E17 is by-far my favorite GUI out of any OS or shell I've used and I haven't really learned (or spend time) to tweak it as much.

Re:Oh my God, my Eyes! (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31971602)

Sure. Being able to sort a list by clicking on the column name really sucks.

Re:Oh my God, my Eyes! (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31972438)

That widget definitely a point for '95 over 3.1, and TBH straight '95 (or, similarly, NT 4) isn't bad and maybe I shouldn't have gone as far back as expressing preference for 3.1 (classic Mac OS, OTOH, <3). But, like all modern UIs, there's a lack of uniformity: why aren't all lists appearing in various forms in the UI headered and why can't I always sort by clicking the header?

So... I downloaded the demo CD and.. (1)

gearloos (816828) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970306)

Its just a good as the old OS/2 ! Loaded up VMWare and poof... installation failed... MISERABLY FAILED. I really want to thank the project team for the nostagia! Bringing back the true feel of what it was like to install OS/2 !! I remember it well now.

Re:So... I downloaded the demo CD and.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31970338)

You know, you could try Microsoft's Virtual PC. That is, if you run Windows. I've installed many versions of OS/2 on VPC, and it all worked.

Re:So... I downloaded the demo CD and.. (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31970398)

You could simply follow the instructions and BOOT off the Demo CD like it was intended for. Or read the VMWare info online about running OS/2 in a VM session.

Either way, the problem and fault are yours.

Re:So... I downloaded the demo CD and.. (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 4 years ago | (#31971092)

I think you missed his point.

Many of us tried to use OS/2, and found that it wouldn't install because it was much more picky about hardware than Windows. That's probably a big part of why it died.

At the company I was working at, we wanted to switch, but after attempting installs on three machines and having three different kinds of failure, we stuck with Windows.

Re:So... I downloaded the demo CD and.. (2, Interesting)

gearloos (816828) | more than 4 years ago | (#31971420)

Thats exactly my point. IBM Hardware and your golden but anything short like a different atapi cdrom and you had to edit the config file on the floppy install and you better hope your good at remembering hardware addresses, IRQ's, DMA, etc... I did try and boot on a regular PC directly, but it's a Corei7 and figured that would be a bit much. tried anyway and it failed there too. I just don't feel like trying to get OS/2 working if it's that much trouble. Yes, I'm sure it wouldn't be that hard, and I do know how to get most things working, I just don't think the end result is going to be worth it...

Re:So... I downloaded the demo CD and.. (1)

reallocate (142797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31974730)

I ran three versions of OS/2 on non-IBM hardware without tweaking any config files. Initial versions of the OS were tied too tightly to IBM hardware, but releases 3 and 4 ran on a wide variety of platforms.

Re:So... I downloaded the demo CD and.. (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31974956)

Your point only applies to ancient versions of OS/2 though. Warp 3 and 4 didnt care what ATAPI CD ROM you used. Older versions eComStation worked with faaaar more SATA setups than Windows XP. The newer eComStation (the version this article discusses) works on the latest hardware.

Oh - and they were all available with CD based install.

Your comparison and experiences are like comparing trying to install Win95 on new hardware.

So... to install on new hardware... get the new version. And just install... that simple.

Re:So... I downloaded the demo CD and.. (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31975110)

I think you missed his point.

Many of us tried to use OS/2, and found that it wouldn't install because it was much more picky about hardware than Windows. That's probably a big part of why it died.

At the company I was working at, we wanted to switch, but after attempting installs on three machines and having three different kinds of failure, we stuck with Windows.

No, YOU missed the point. The DEMO CD does NOT install. It is a LIVE BOOT ENVIRONMENT... kinda like WinPE/BartPE/etc... He was NOT having installation issues as NO installation was taking place.

Re:So... I downloaded the demo CD and.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31970484)

VirtualBox offers an OS/2 setup option with choice of versions Warp 3/4/4.5(!)/eComStation/Other OS/2. Damn - I might have to check my old Warp 3/4 CD's (if I can find 'em). What memories of Windows freedom before Linux got to be a serious desktop contender!

Too bad M$ was able to get away with the extortion documented in the recent DOJ trial to bring IBM to its knees to get Win95 for its PC's ...

RO

Re:So... I downloaded the demo CD and.. (1)

ckblackm (1137057) | more than 4 years ago | (#31973396)

You might want to wait for the demo CD to be updated to the 2.0 product.

From the website:

"The current Demo CD is based on the eComStation 1.2 product and does not reflect the current state of the eComStation 2.0 product. For example, the only supported virtual machines for this Demo CD are Parallels Desktop and Microsoft Virtual PC. An updated Demo CD will be published shortly."

Drat, I have to work. (-1, Troll)

Shag (3737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31971094)

Since I once upon a time actually used OS/2 at the office (MCI, Iowa City, 1993-1994) I briefly considered going over there and camping out for the release, but unfortunately I have to work all those days. But I'm sure there are plenty of OS/2 users who have free time in their calendar due to unemployment, retirement or commitment to mental hospitals...

Ecom Station? A new SciFi (SyFy?) Movie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31972070)

Made in, let me guess, Bulgaria? Romania? Austria? Hungaria? Serbia? Bosnia? Herzegovina? Czechoslovakia? Slovenia? Transylvania? Pennsylvania?

Re:Ecom Station? A new SciFi (SyFy?) Movie? (1)

fred911 (83970) | more than 4 years ago | (#31972706)

"Pennsylvania?"
To this day.. there is a machine shop, a rather large and profitable shop with a number of cnc machines, that runs a serial network and has an os/2 server archiving and feeding the operators programs to whatever machine they are assigned.The system works flawlessly, 'cept when a new GM calls a MCSE to "repair" it. When I was local, it was a sure couple of hours to clean up the mess...

*The early nineties called.. (1)

crunzh (1082841) | more than 4 years ago | (#31972484)

they want their OS back!

Re:*The early nineties called.. (1)

AVryhof (142320) | more than 4 years ago | (#31973748)

NEVER!

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