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whm1974
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OS/2 is coming back.

Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:53 pm

OK I found this:
https://www.arcanoae.com/blue-lion/
A new version of OS/2 is going to be released this year by Arca Noae, and all of this time I thought it was almost dead. And it is supposed to be able to run ported Linux apps as well. Now I will probably keep an eye on this, but I really don't see the point of this considering that IBM pulled the plug on OS/2 back in 1996. Is there a market for this product?
 
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:03 pm

The best part of OS/2, just like Novell NetWare 3.x, is its absolute rock-solid stability and refusal to go down short of power failure (from which it gracefully restarts). One of my regulated entities still offers telephone touch-tone banking (on-line, just through Ma Bell and the keypad). The box that handles the little traffic that service gets runs OS/2 and has been sitting like an abandoned puppy in a corner of the server room for about 20 years. It's paid for many times over, so there's no business case to kill the service.

OS/2 was a damn good project/product that ran into the fundamental dichotomy between the IBM vision of software selling hardware (or, preferably, leasing it) and the MS vision of universal software just as Win 3.0 started grabbing market share, causing MS to pull out of the joint development project.. It was one of the early wake-up calls to IBM's command/control mind set.
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:27 am

whm1974 wrote:
https://www.arcanoae.com/blue-lion/
A new version of OS/2 is going to be released this year by Arca Noae, and all of this time I thought it was almost dead. And it is supposed to be able to run ported Linux apps as well. Now I will probably keep an eye on this, but I really don't see the point of this considering that IBM pulled the plug on OS/2 back in 1996. Is there a market for this product?

OS/2 never really left. After IBM effectively abandoned it, it was re-branded as eComStation, and has seen a steady trickle of releases ever since.

It is unclear to me who actually owns the rights to it these days; according to that Wikipedia article, ongoing development is by XEU.com, and it is marketed by Serenity Systems. OTOH there doesn't seem to be any information regarding an actual transfer of ownership to either of those entities by IBM, so perhaps IBM has simply licensed it to (or partnered with) them. (Serenity was already an IBM business partner, so the latter is probably the case.)

Looks like Arca Noae is picking up where Serenity/XEU left off. Or maybe they're affiliated with those companies somehow; I have no idea.

Sure, there's a market for it, albeit a relatively small one. As Captain Ned points out, there are legacy vertical applications (originally written for DOS or OS/2) which are still in use behind the scenes. Eventually the hardware those legacy applications are running on will die, and the companies using them will need to migrate the apps to more modern hardware; in order to do that, they'll need a version of the OS which will install and run on that hardware.

Aside from the above mentioned use case, I don't see why you'd want to run it. No 64-bit support, and limited support for modern desktop applications.

The site says Linux support is for "ported Linux applications"... which I interpret to mean, they need to be tweaked and recompiled to get them to work. I'd be surprised if you can just drop a .rpm or .deb file on there and have it work, and the build scripts for most Open Source applications have likely never been tested on OS/2 (and so will themselves need debugging and modification to get them working). You'll also need a lot of patience to get anything that uses libraries beyond the basic C runtime built, as you'll quickly descend into library dependency hell (this can easily happen even on native Linux distros, and it sure ain't gonna be better on an oddball legacy platform like OS/2).

Captain Ned wrote:
OS/2 was a damn good project/product that ran into the fundamental dichotomy between the IBM vision of software selling hardware (or, preferably, leasing it) and the MS vision of universal software just as Win 3.0 started grabbing market share, causing MS to pull out of the joint development project.. It was one of the early wake-up calls to IBM's command/control mind set.

...and while IBM was late and slow to heed those wake-up calls, they are working very hard (still) to turn the ship. They know their future depends on it, as their traditional businesses continue to wither away. They've been taking the axe to (or selling off) a lot of their legacy divisions, went on a buying spree of "Big Data" and Cloud-centric businesses, and have been playing up Watson/AI and Cloud services big-time.

POWER is still a thing too; POWER9-based HPC systems are slated to come online soon, and a POWER10 architecture is on the roadmap. POWER looks like a solid product, but it remains to be seen whether it is a viable long-term player in the datacenter/HPC space. I don't think it'll ever take over, but I think there's a niche for it.

As an employee of one of those Cloud businesses they recently Hoovered up, I'm cautiously optimistic that they've turned the corner, since my job depends on their turnaround strategy now... :wink:
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:00 am

OS/2 is coming back!

No it ain't!

I used os/2 v2 and v3 and while it was a good OS there really wasn't anything you could DO with it if you were a teenager wanting to play games.

It was definitely more stable at running windows 3.0 and 3.1 apps than windows was.... :D
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whm1974
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:44 am

Well I knew about EcomStation and I've used OS/2 Warp for about a year until IBM "dropped it". Went to Windows 95 OSR2/Win98, give BeOS a shot, and then moved to Linux back 2001/2002. I finally ditched Windows back in late 2014 completely.

There is no way I'm going to be using a closed source Alt-OS after what happen with OS/2 and BeOS. And it will be cold day in Hell before I buy a Mac. So I'm sticking with Linux as it fits my needs perfectly.

That said, I do wish Arca Noae the best of luck with their version of OS/2.
 
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:52 pm

I used OS/2 all the way up through Warp 4. I reluctantly switched over to Windows NT somewhere around 1994 and after that; well, NT was pretty stable both for work and the few strategy games I played. After that NT and Windows 2000 Pro were my gaming rigs. Did not switch to XP until Vista came out and went with XP64 Pro instead and now finally, to Win 7 Pro. Gonna have another look at a Linux. Suse Linux with the KDE interface was not too bad in the long ago.
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:56 pm

OS/2.. awwwwww yeeeeehhh

So what what cool about OS/2? The WPS (workplace shell) (the desktop environment) was neat. You could do all sorts of customization that even Win10 won't do. Bitmaps for folder backgrounds for instance. Cool ****.

What was not cool? The SIQ (single input queue) hanging the OS for trivial ****. I think that was resolved in ECS but I've never seen it.

I loved OS/2 back then. Not sure it's still up to prime.
 
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:57 pm

Until about five years ago one of the science labs had an honest-to-Eris PS/2 running OS/2 3.0 to interface with some instruments. I've still got the Model M that was attached to it.
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:49 pm

hansmuff wrote:
OS/2.. awwwwww yeeeeehhh

So what what cool about OS/2? The WPS (workplace shell) (the desktop environment) was neat. You could do all sorts of customization that even Win10 won't do. Bitmaps for folder backgrounds for instance. Cool ****.

What was not cool? The SIQ (single input queue) hanging the OS for trivial ****. I think that was resolved in ECS but I've never seen it.

I loved OS/2 back then. Not sure it's still up to prime.
I heard it was not hanging the OS but just the workplace shell. I never did find out how to restart the shell without rebooting the entire OS.
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:47 pm

Isn't OS/2 still used in some data center hardware devices?
 
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:04 pm

Aranarth wrote:
OS/2 is coming back!

No it ain't!

I used os/2 v2 and v3 and while it was a good OS there really wasn't anything you could DO with it if you were a teenager wanting to play games.

It was definitely more stable at running windows 3.0 and 3.1 apps than windows was.... :D
I found this to be true also. I could host two instances of Win3.1 to run two different instrument AD cards both receiving 60 data points per second from two instruments and it was far more stable than trying to run both instruments from within one Win3.1 session.

That gives me an idea. I have a couple of win95 boxes running two old 5890 series ii GC instruments in my lab. I wonder if I could get better response/stability hosting the Win95 from OS2/v4. Hmmmm...
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:04 pm

Unless I misremember, OS/2 was only capable of running Win16 applications.
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:01 pm

OS/2 Warp 4 was 32 bit where it mattered and was intended to also host win95 applications. However, on the rollout date of Warp 4, MS made changes to its win95 release that made it slightly incompatible with OS/2 Warp 4. I was running Warp 4 from 94 to 96. But then WinNT 4.0 came out in 96. It was so much easier to run with hints from the 'Windows NT 4 Administrators Black Book'; that I went with Windows from then on.
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Sun May 07, 2017 10:22 am

funny you mention POWER - Canada's largest grocery chain uses it a ton on the backend powering Oracle DBs - was my first job out of college supporting that, I felt so cool.
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Wed May 24, 2017 3:21 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
The best part of OS/2, just like Novell NetWare 3.x, is its absolute rock-solid stability and refusal to go down short of power failure (from which it gracefully restarts). One of my regulated entities still offers telephone touch-tone banking (on-line, just through Ma Bell and the keypad). The box that handles the little traffic that service gets runs OS/2 and has been sitting like an abandoned puppy in a corner of the server room for about 20 years. It's paid for many times over, so there's no business case to kill the service.

OS/2 was a damn good project/product that ran into the fundamental dichotomy between the IBM vision of software selling hardware (or, preferably, leasing it) and the MS vision of universal software just as Win 3.0 started grabbing market share, causing MS to pull out of the joint development project.. It was one of the early wake-up calls to IBM's command/control mind set.


One thing I *hated* about Netware 3.x was that bindery. I absolutely adored the NDS tree they used for 4.x, but we occasionally had to use bindery emulation to incorporate legacy systems into the NDS tree (In fact, I think it was on at least one of the CNE exams). All I'll say about Netware 5.x is that I was not a fan.

If that OS/2 project wasn't charging money for it, I'd give it a shot, just to see what it's like (like I did with Plan9 and OpenIndiana). At least with Cloanto, I didn't mind paying for it, since I could try the amiga versions of all those games I bought when I was an idiot kid, and didn't read the "Amiga Screens Shown" text under the awesome screenshots on the back of the box. I'd get home, and the game would be in CGA or EGA. Blech!
 
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Wed May 24, 2017 3:26 pm

pikaporeon wrote:
funny you mention POWER - Canada's largest grocery chain uses it a ton on the backend powering Oracle DBs - was my first job out of college supporting that, I felt so cool.


Didn't one of Google's Chief Data Center Architects (or maybe the CTO) go on record as saying they'd LOVE to switch over to Power-based systems?

Speaking of Oracle, I didn't have to deal with it, but my then-girlfriend used to be an assistant manager at a now defunct pharmacy chain (Eckerd), and they were still using ancient versions of SCO Unix for their backend.

At my first tech job, I was sorta bummed, since they got rid of their AS/400 within a week of me working there. :(
 
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Wed May 24, 2017 3:49 pm

Doctor Venture wrote:
Didn't one of Google's Chief Data Center Architects (or maybe the CTO) go on record as saying they'd LOVE to switch over to Power-based systems?

Well, they're a member of the OpenPOWER Foundation, so they're definitely interested in the ISA at more than just a casual level.

I suspect that AMD's re-entry into the datacenter market is going to drive down prices of enterprise x86 gear and make these alternative architectures less attractive from a cost/performance perspective though.
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Wed May 24, 2017 6:21 pm

Due to the lack of support and the really ancient hardware OS/2 runs on, wouldn't it current users be way better off getting new hardware and switching over to BSD or Linux? Hardware support wasn't all that great to begin with and it is a huge nightmare trying to find still working 90's era systems that will run OS/2.
 
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Wed May 24, 2017 9:51 pm

whm1974 wrote:
Due to the lack of support and the really ancient hardware OS/2 runs on, wouldn't it current users be way better off getting new hardware and switching over to BSD or Linux? Hardware support wasn't all that great to begin with and it is a huge nightmare trying to find still working 90's era systems that will run OS/2.

You've completely missed the point. The only compelling reason to run it is because you've got legacy OS/2 apps that won't run on anything else. BSD or Linux won't help you with that.
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Wed May 24, 2017 10:01 pm

just brew it! wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Due to the lack of support and the really ancient hardware OS/2 runs on, wouldn't it current users be way better off getting new hardware and switching over to BSD or Linux? Hardware support wasn't all that great to begin with and it is a huge nightmare trying to find still working 90's era systems that will run OS/2.

You've completely missed the point. The only compelling reason to run it is because you've got legacy OS/2 apps that won't run on anything else. BSD or Linux won't help you with that.

Maybe I did, but they be better off developing applications for BSD and Linux that can read data formats used by OS/2 applications? It just a matter of time before hardware that old quits working.
 
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Wed May 24, 2017 10:11 pm

whm1974 wrote:
Maybe I did, but they be better off developing applications for BSD and Linux that can read data formats used by OS/2 applications? It just a matter of time before hardware that old quits working.

In the sole space in which I see OS/2 boxen, namely 1st-gen touch-tone telephone "e-banking" platforms, the boxen and software are long depreciated and the volume of activity doesn't in any way warrant porting the apps (as in the cost will never be recouped). It truly is the forlorn box in the corner that never goes down and is but maybe a KWh or 2 per day. The expense of closing the accounts if you shut down the boxen would be more than their annual cost, so just shut up and let them run. The telephone vendor keeps the interface to the main server up to date, so just let it ride.

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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Wed May 24, 2017 10:13 pm

whm1974 wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Due to the lack of support and the really ancient hardware OS/2 runs on, wouldn't it current users be way better off getting new hardware and switching over to BSD or Linux? Hardware support wasn't all that great to begin with and it is a huge nightmare trying to find still working 90's era systems that will run OS/2.

You've completely missed the point. The only compelling reason to run it is because you've got legacy OS/2 apps that won't run on anything else. BSD or Linux won't help you with that.

Maybe I did, but they be better off developing applications for BSD and Linux that can read data formats used by OS/2 applications? It just a matter of time before hardware that old quits working.


Tell that to the people who investigated the Pioneer anomaly. They had a standing offer to buy 1970s era hardware even up until just a few years ago so they could analyze the data they had. Chances were very poor that they were going to get any more data back from the spacecraft, and they would have needed the old hardware to verify that any new applications worked properly anyway.
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Wed May 24, 2017 10:28 pm

@whm1974 - You're still missing the point. I give up.
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Wed May 24, 2017 10:42 pm

just brew it! wrote:
@whm1974 - You're still missing the point. I give up.


You can't reason someone out of a position they weren't reasoned into.
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Wed May 24, 2017 11:21 pm

All is good in OS/2 util you decided to press ctrl-alt-delete to close a hanged program and to your surprise the PC rebooted without even a prompt :)
 
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Wed May 24, 2017 11:27 pm

Redocbew wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
You've completely missed the point. The only compelling reason to run it is because you've got legacy OS/2 apps that won't run on anything else. BSD or Linux won't help you with that.

Maybe I did, but they be better off developing applications for BSD and Linux that can read data formats used by OS/2 applications? It just a matter of time before hardware that old quits working.


Tell that to the people who investigated the Pioneer anomaly. They had a standing offer to buy 1970s era hardware even up until just a few years ago so they could analyze the data they had. Chances were very poor that they were going to get any more data back from the spacecraft, and they would have needed the old hardware to verify that any new applications worked properly anyway.

Boy they don't make them like they used too.
 
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:26 am

Just watched a video review of the new ArcaOS:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PZE_swqO5U
38 minutes long however. I have half a mind to buy a copy and either run it in a VM or buy one of those cheap refubs from Newegg to check out it. Reportedly this thing flies on the low end and/or old hardware we tend to sneer at.
 
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:42 am

whm1974 wrote:
Just watched a video review of the new ArcaOS:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PZE_swqO5U
38 minutes long however. I have half a mind to buy a copy and either run it in a VM or buy one of those cheap refubs from Newegg to check out it. Reportedly this thing flies on the low end and/or old hardware we tend to sneer at.

Unless you've got old OS/2 applications you want to run, I don't see much point other than historical curiosity.
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:02 am

just brew it! wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Just watched a video review of the new ArcaOS:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PZE_swqO5U
38 minutes long however. I have half a mind to buy a copy and either run it in a VM or buy one of those cheap refubs from Newegg to check out it. Reportedly this thing flies on the low end and/or old hardware we tend to sneer at.

Unless you've got old OS/2 applications you want to run, I don't see much point other than historical curiosity.

Yeah I know what you mean. The apps I did have I threw out a long time go, and the only reason I would buy this is just to see what they managed to with it.
 
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Re: OS/2 is coming back.

Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:07 am

whm1974 wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Just watched a video review of the new ArcaOS:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PZE_swqO5U
38 minutes long however. I have half a mind to buy a copy and either run it in a VM or buy one of those cheap refubs from Newegg to check out it. Reportedly this thing flies on the low end and/or old hardware we tend to sneer at.

Unless you've got old OS/2 applications you want to run, I don't see much point other than historical curiosity.

Yeah I know what you mean. The apps I did have I threw out a long time go, and the only reason I would buy this is just to see what they managed to with it.

It's going to be difficult to do much of an evaluation if you don't have any apps to run on it.
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