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First post, by ncmark

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OS/2 is something I have always enjoyed reading about. What went wrong? How did windows beat it? That was a pivotal moment when the pendulum COULD have swung the other way (but didn't).
As anyone here ever messed with it? How good/bad was it? (just curious)

Reply 1 of 9, by leileilol

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Most of the research was put into threading, DOS compatibility, and multitasking than making the interface more accessible. It's kind of like a weird, Platinum'd Win3.1 (which also requires Win3.1 if you expect to run the Windows apps they advertised compatibility for). It's probably better compared to beOS. It also wasn't marketed towards casual consumers computer users.

Also... all those disks?!

also OS/2 doesn't have a good ring to it as Windows in the brand game. 😜

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long live PCem

Reply 2 of 9, by digger

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I remember briefly running OS/2 (not sure whether it was 2.x or 3.x Warp) on my Pentium 100 PC and being amazed how solid and snappy it felt. I also rembee downloading this BBS client for OS/2, and whenever I would download a JPG image from a BBS with it, it would pop up a preview window, gradually drawing the picture as I it streamed down my dial-up connection (in addition to saving it to disk). It may even have been the preview window of the picture viewer of the OS, which the BBS client might have used through OLE or something. Functionality like that may not be a big deal these days, but back then it simply floored me. How practical! How seamless! Why doesn't Windows have anything like this? Not sure what made me go back, but it was probably a lack of software and games support, combined with the hassle of having to dual-boot.

Reply 3 of 9, by digger

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Speaking of BBSes, OS/2 was popular with BBS hosters in particular, exactly because of its robust multitasking. It was quite suitable for hosting a BBS with multiple dial-up lines on a single computer.

Reply 4 of 9, by Caluser2000

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OS/2 2.0 up had the option for CDs as well. Like any OS it has it's good and bad points. The sales agreements of OEMs to bundle MS Windows with their systems is what really did the damage overall it'd image. As well as the lack of consumer grade software because it ran Dos and Windows 3.x applications.

I've got a 486DX2/66 with 32megs of ram and OS/2 v3 just flies on it. Ram still wasn't cheap either at the time. Ok to lowest amount specified was 4megs but the more you gave it the better. Like most pure 32-but OSs.

The GUI was a bit odd with everything as a object. I don't think anyout since has created a graphical user interface like it. Amiga developers helped out with that in exchange for the REXX programming language.

A couple of systems I've broken down have had OS/2 on them. One was running a serial Novell Netrworks serial ling tho somewhere. Also my old IBM PC 300GL multi booted between OS/2 v4 with FP14 and the original MS Windows 98.

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 5 of 9, by Cyberdyne

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Marketing, marketing, marketing.... and little bit of Microsoft good old FUD. IBM had a good product, but just did not know what to do with it. And it was too intertwined with DOS and WIN16 and well it did not support WIN32 in the end. And Microsoft had NT. So OS/2 was doomed. And well Windows 9x was a toy, but a nice intuitive and popular toy.

I am aroused about any X86 motherboard that has full functional ISA slot. I think i have problem. Not really into that original (Turbo) XT,286,386 and CGA/EGA stuff. So just a DOS nut.

Reply 7 of 9, by Caluser2000

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OS/2 is still being used in niche areas still I believe.

ArcaOS is it's current handle. https://www.arcanoae.com/arcaos/

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 8 of 9, by appiah4

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I ran OS/2 Warp while running a BBS between 1994-1997, it was a magical OS from the future IMO, kind of like Workbench was at the time.

What killed it was WIN32. OS/2 was sooo good at running DOS and WIN16 (better than the original OSs actually) that it was never a platform anyone felt the ned to port to. It had some amazing software, but not many ports of the software everyone was accustomed to. In the end, when most commercial and consumer software migrated to WIN32, OS/2 was left without developer support, and slowly died.

Rise of 3D gaming, DirectX and OpenGL and OS/2's complete lack of support for these was also a reason.

Last edited by appiah4 on 2021-08-04, 11:43. Edited 2 times in total.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 9 of 9, by weedeewee

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OS2 Fixpacks... sigh, I never seemed to have enough free disks available whenever a fixpack came out.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2021-08-04, 20:25. Edited 1 time in total.

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