How good was IBM OS/2 in 90s

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dan
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How good was IBM OS/2 in 90s

Post by dan » Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:56 pm

I knew of IBM OS/2 from the 90s but I never saw it in action nor worked with it. I see it on YT.

How good was IBM OS/2 compared to windows 3.1, 95 and NT 4.0?

Was the hardware requirements too steep back in the day?

I am well aware that M$ had a role in preventing OS/2 success.

How does OS/2 compare with Mac OS 7?

edh
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Re: How good was IBM OS/2 in 90s

Post by edh » Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:39 am

OS/2 shares most in common with Windows NT. Remember of course that it wasn't until Windows 2000 that Windows NT was really ready for the everyday user. Before then it's hardware requirements were also too steep and lack of DOS compatibility was also a major problem. In some ways OS/2 was too early but they had to launch early to try and see off Windows NT. If things had worked out a little differently I'm sure many people would be using a descendant of OS/2 now.
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Pappnaas
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Re: How good was IBM OS/2 in 90s

Post by Pappnaas » Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:20 am

OS/2 had a lot of improvements and advantages to bring to the table, even when compared to NT 3.5.1 or NT4. But it had one fatal disadvantage: It wasn't adopted into business client pc world, because it didn't fit within the Soft- and Hardwarearchitectures back then.

You couldn't just take the advantages of OS/2 and integrate it into your NDS oder NT environment and profit.

If you compare OS/2 on it's own to WfW 3.11, W95 or NT4, it's the better system, flat out. But commercial success didn't happen.

dan
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Re: How good was IBM OS/2 in 90s

Post by dan » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:35 am

edh wrote:OS/2 shares most in common with Windows NT. Remember of course that it wasn't until Windows 2000 that Windows NT was really ready for the everyday user. Before then it's hardware requirements were also too steep and lack of DOS compatibility was also a major problem. In some ways OS/2 was too early but they had to launch early to try and see off Windows NT. If things had worked out a little differently I'm sure many people would be using a descendant of OS/2 now.
Pappnaas wrote:OS/2 had a lot of improvements and advantages to bring to the table, even when compared to NT 3.5.1 or NT4. But it had one fatal disadvantage: It wasn't adopted into business client pc world, because it didn't fit within the Soft- and Hardwarearchitectures back then.

You couldn't just take the advantages of OS/2 and integrate it into your NDS oder NT environment and profit.

If you compare OS/2 on it's own to WfW 3.11, W95 or NT4, it's the better system, flat out. But commercial success didn't happen.

reminds me of an 80's pop star Tiffany's could've been, along with Amiga, Apple IIgs, Atari ST, Tandy 1000 and IBM PS/2.

noee
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Re: How good was IBM OS/2 in 90s

Post by noee » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:59 am

We ran Gupta's SQLBase (client/server SQL server) and 3Com's LAN Manager on OS/2 in the early days, and I mean early days. We developed one of the very first true Windows-based client/server apps using Gupta's SQLWindows as the client-side front-end on Windows 2.0 and Windows386....ah the good old days. When SQLBase came for Netware, it was screaming fast compared to OS/2, but not as stable. We moved to ORacle shortly thereafter.

OS/2 as the database platform was amazingly solid for what we were doing then (OLTP), I wish I could say the same for real-mode DOS network drivers in Windows. HIMEM.SYS was your best friend. Thx for the memory-jog of the past (no pun intended), been a while since I've thought back to any of that.

dan
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Re: How good was IBM OS/2 in 90s

Post by dan » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:46 pm

noee wrote:We ran Gupta's SQLBase (client/server SQL server) and 3Com's LAN Manager on OS/2 in the early days, and I mean early days. We developed one of the very first true Windows-based client/server apps using Gupta's SQLWindows as the client-side front-end on Windows 2.0 and Windows386....ah the good old days. When SQLBase came for Netware, it was screaming fast compared to OS/2, but not as stable. We moved to ORacle shortly thereafter.

OS/2 as the database platform was amazingly solid for what we were doing then (OLTP), I wish I could say the same for real-mode DOS network drivers in Windows. HIMEM.SYS was your best friend. Thx for the memory-jog of the past (no pun intended), been a while since I've thought back to any of that.
is it true the UI of os/2 is the least user-friendly?

btw do u remember GEM, deskmate, pc tools?

noee
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Re: How good was IBM OS/2 in 90s

Post by noee » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:29 am

dan wrote:
is it true the UI of os/2 is the least user-friendly?
I guess that would depend somewhat on your point of reference. I found it suitable for the times, given what we were doing with it. When NT4 came out (the Win95 GUI on top of NT), I remember thinking OS/2 and NT4 "felt" very similar, fwiw.
btw do u remember GEM, deskmate, pc tools?
GEM - maybe, was that a front-end tool? Was deskmate a PC-based database? That sounds familiar. I remember doing research on where the tech was going back in the late 80's and almost nobody was doing true client/server, SQL backend. Not even Oracle, at the time. Certainly not Sybase. Everyone was moving that direction, but no one actually had it except, strangely enough, Gupta.

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Re: How good was IBM OS/2 in 90s

Post by mkk » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:10 am

I only used OS/2 in its short prime that was version 3(Warp), but I used it a lot because it was great. It came out before Windows 95 and with a little extra RAM in the machine it ran almost all Windows 3.1 applications as well or better than Windows itself. I even ran some CD based DOS games better than under pure DOS. While technically superior to Windows 95 and at least to me as easy to use, the explosion of applications developed specifically for Windows 95 made it almost necessary to switch as a regular user. After that it was pretty much done as a home OS. I never even tried version 4.

One user inteface aspect that OS/2 heralded as feature of core importance was drag-and-drop, that might seem like nothing special today but I actually see less and less drag-and-drop interoperability in between software today than I saw in the OS/2 days. Developers don't care because Microsoft doesn't encourage them to do anything in that field anymore. In fact with Windows 8 they're practically killing drag-and-drop as a concept.

dan
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Re: How good was IBM OS/2 in 90s

Post by dan » Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:40 pm

noee wrote:
dan wrote:
is it true the UI of os/2 is the least user-friendly?
I guess that would depend somewhat on your point of reference. I found it suitable for the times, given what we were doing with it. When NT4 came out (the Win95 GUI on top of NT), I remember thinking OS/2 and NT4 "felt" very similar, fwiw.
btw do u remember GEM, deskmate, pc tools?
GEM - maybe, was that a front-end tool? Was deskmate a PC-based database? That sounds familiar. I remember doing research on where the tech was going back in the late 80's and almost nobody was doing true client/server, SQL backend. Not even Oracle, at the time. Certainly not Sybase. Everyone was moving that direction, but no one actually had it except, strangely enough, Gupta.
i am thinking of end-user. gem desktop was an alternative to DOS as was deskmate.

thing is, they both used 640k dos limit and they each used like 100-200k for the gui leaving like 300k for the program.

dan
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Re: How good was IBM OS/2 in 90s

Post by dan » Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:41 pm

mkk wrote:I only used OS/2 in its short prime that was version 3(Warp), but I used it a lot because it was great. It came out before Windows 95 and with a little extra RAM in the machine it ran almost all Windows 3.1 applications as well or better than Windows itself. I even ran some CD based DOS games better than under pure DOS. While technically superior to Windows 95 and at least to me as easy to use, the explosion of applications developed specifically for Windows 95 made it almost necessary to switch as a regular user. After that it was pretty much done as a home OS. I never even tried version 4.

One user inteface aspect that OS/2 heralded as feature of core importance was drag-and-drop, that might seem like nothing special today but I actually see less and less drag-and-drop interoperability in between software today than I saw in the OS/2 days. Developers don't care because Microsoft doesn't encourage them to do anything in that field anymore. In fact with Windows 8 they're practically killing drag-and-drop as a concept.
it seemed to me though that the best os experience was os/2 prior to 95 if u could afford the ram

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Re: How good was IBM OS/2 in 90s

Post by Blood » Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:40 pm

dan wrote: pc tools?
Whoa.... Throwback... I remember using it a lot, but don't remember why.... that predated OS/2, Win 95 though.
edh wrote:OS/2 shares most in common with Windows NT. Remember of course that it wasn't until Windows 2000 that Windows NT was really ready for the everyday user.
That was OS/2's biggest problem. Hardware compatibility. IBM made OS/2 to sell its own hardware. Microsoft made win 95 to sell win 95. It was hard to get non-IBM hardware to play nice with OS/2. Heck, a lot of hardware did not work on the NT kernel until Win XP.

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Re: How good was IBM OS/2 in 90s

Post by mkk » Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:52 pm

Blood wrote: It was hard to get non-IBM hardware to play nice with OS/2. Heck, a lot of hardware did not work on the NT kernel until Win XP.
Yeah, I had a painful realisation that I had to move from Windows 2000 to Windows Millennium back in the day. Win2000 was so nice not having used any previous versions of NT at home, but it was just a bit too early. I've been in love with the mouse pointer shadow ever since. ;-D

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Re: How good was IBM OS/2 in 90s

Post by dan » Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:02 pm

Blood wrote:
dan wrote: pc tools?
Whoa.... Throwback... I remember using it a lot, but don't remember why.... that predated OS/2, Win 95 though.
edh wrote:OS/2 shares most in common with Windows NT. Remember of course that it wasn't until Windows 2000 that Windows NT was really ready for the everyday user.
That was OS/2's biggest problem. Hardware compatibility. IBM made OS/2 to sell its own hardware. Microsoft made win 95 to sell win 95. It was hard to get non-IBM hardware to play nice with OS/2. Heck, a lot of hardware did not work on the NT kernel until Win XP.
mkk wrote:
Blood wrote: It was hard to get non-IBM hardware to play nice with OS/2. Heck, a lot of hardware did not work on the NT kernel until Win XP.
Yeah, I had a painful realisation that I had to move from Windows 2000 to Windows Millennium back in the day. Win2000 was so nice not having used any previous versions of NT at home, but it was just a bit too early. I've been in love with the mouse pointer shadow ever since. ;-D
i'm not entirely sure os/2 will work w/ ps/2 since ps/2 includes 8086 and 286, and memory expansion limitations as well.

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Re: How good was IBM OS/2 in 90s

Post by blackworx » Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:46 am

You can't get a sun-tan on the moon, but I wouldn't mind a holiday there.

dan
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Re: How good was IBM OS/2 in 90s

Post by dan » Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:17 am

blackworx wrote:El Reg ran an excellent set of articles on OS/2 round about this time last year.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/23 ... _part_one/
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/26/os2_final_fail/ (part two)

Also

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/27 ... years_old/
back in the day in the 80s i used dos win 3.0 and mac os on a mac se

all were very crash prone. i heard of os/2 and how it was crash proof but my pc and others didn't have the mem to run it and it was a time when vga monitors were like $800 and memory was like $800 per mb

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