Contrary to what you may read in the general computing press there are many computer operating systems in use today. When I work it is usually with an IBM mainframe OS(Operating System) called MVS. There are many others which are primarily run on personal computers like the Macintosh (MAC-OS), and the Power PC (AIX, BEOS, NEXT) and of course for the Intel/IBM compatible PC (DOS, Linux, OS/2, Windows95/98/ME, WindowsNT/2000/XP ). There are a lot more for other hardware platforms as well. In my world there is no MicroSoft, or at least no MicroSoft software. You see I run the premier OS for the IBM compatible PC (Personal Computer) OS/2 Warp. The OS wars ( A battle over which is the best computer operating system at the moment) go back to before Microsoft existed. Though Windows (all variants) is certainly without doubt the most widely used PC based OS, it is far from the best. For those who don't understand what an operating system is, think of it as the glue that holds the entire computer programming system together. I won't get into why I don't like windows9x, let's just say that windows9x is to OS/2 Warp as a Chevy is to a Mercedes. Both will get you where you want to go, but with OS/2 you go in style and with a lot fewer breakdowns.
OS/2 is a 32 bit, pre-emptive multi-tasking, operating system for the personal computer. It's greatest strength has always been it's connectivity. Today most bank ATM's (Automated Teller Machines) run OS/2 and OS/2 is used by most major corporations for mission-critical applications. Check out the Large OS/2 Customers List to see a few of the companies that trust their data to OS/2 - http://rover.wiesbaden.netsurf.de/~meile/los2cl.html
The latest and greatest version is eComStation, an OEM version of IBM's OS/2 Warp which includes not only everything you need to connect to the internet, but also all the software needed to network to other pc's. Also OS/2 Warp 4.0 is the first OS to have Java built in, that is you don't need a web browser to run a java applet or application.
One question a lot of windows users ask is will OS/2 run my windows software? Well for that depends. Windows is actually a number of different operating systems. MicroSoft just seems to be beating the name to death. OS/2 has support for the original DOS/Windows 3.1 applications. There is additional support for win32s applications up until version 1.25. Win32s represents applications that use the win32s API(Application Programming Interface) which is a way to run 32 bit windows apps under the original 16 bit DOS/Windows environment. These apps are Single tasking applications, at least under windows. Unfortunately MicroSoft has made this a moving target, and every time IBM upgrades the OS/2 support, MicroSoft changes it to break it again. Such is the problem of trying to support a proprietary system when you don't control it.
Next there are win32 Win95/NT apps that are also in use today. Though there is one win32 API, Microsoft has implemented it differently in Windows95 and WindowsNT. There are some WIndows95 applications that will not run under NT and vice-versa. This is not the rule, but it does exist. In time there will be Windows98 and who knows how that will implement the win32 API. MicroSoft has a poor history of supporting it's previous legacy systems. OS/2 has no current support for these applications, though IBM has made an effort to help software developers port these to OS/2 by supporting the Open32 API under OS/2. These are win32 program calls that are translated to OS/2 program calls. An interesting project by developers outside of IBM is taking place to create a tool to allow a user to create a version of his/her windows95/nt application that will run under OS/2 natively using this Open32 API support in OS/2. More information on this project can be found at http://odin.netlabs.org. Currently I am running the windows NT version of RealPlayer under OS/2. All features work fine.
If you are interested in trying OS/2 warp, here are a few links to get more information and even a demo:
If you are already running OS/2 and need some interesting sites to visit, check out any or all of the following: OS/2 Sites
For more information on WarpStock 2011 surf over to http://www.warpstock.org.
One of the great
things about the internet is the overwhelming
availability of information on just about every topic. If you are
reading reviews of OS/2 applications and reviews of how OS/2 works with
hardware as well as articles about the OS/2 community at large, check
out the following
If you need generic info on how to
configure the Warp 'DOIP' (Dial
Other Internet Provider) in the OS/2 Warp IAK,
check out the following page
. I'll try to explain
what you need to do to get started. IBM's dialer is OK, but to get alot
of the features
IBM left out, you should check out the shareware dialer InJoy.
For general tips on OS/2 communications problems check out the Warp 4 tuning page. He has some suggestions for dealing with noisey lines and other common communications problems.