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Re: [vox] OS/2 and Linux, why has IBM changed?
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Re: [vox] OS/2 and Linux, why has IBM changed?

Kevin Hooke wrote:

> Quoting Tim Riley <timriley@timriley.net>
> >I think the problem was technology because OS/2 was FUBAR
> >shortly after I installed it around 1995.
> Surely you can't mean that?

Oh yes. It was a while ago, so I can't remember what I installed to break
other things (maybe Framemaker, dBASE, Borland Pascal or C), but it
was a nightmare until I restored Windows 3.1. I do remember trying to
get the "Yellow note sticky pad" to function, and it stuck too hard to the
screen, even across reboot.

> As a PC based operating system OS/2 was (around
> 94-95) light years ahead in terms of technology compared to Windows at the
> time, purely because it had been written from the ground up to be scalable
> and reliable, unlike the Windows3.1/DOS legacy code that crept into Win95
> that led it to be so unreliable.

I think OS/2 was a continuation of PC-DOS. At any rate, when I worked in
Miami, we hired an ex-IBM developer who worked at the Boca Raton center.
He didn't talk nicely as to the quality of the OS/2 source code.

> OS/2 had full pre-emptive multitasking, and ran ( I think I've got the terms
> right ?) purely in x86 protected mode, which meant badly written apps and/or
> drivers did not crash the whole OS and PC - Windows3.1 at the time only had
> co-operative multitasking and ran in x86 real mode.

Yes, in theory this would work better.

> I believe even 95 when
> it appeared still had a mix of real mode and protected mode code (do hw
> drivers on 95 run in real mode?) which I beleive is why 95 is so unstable -
> its easy to write buggy hw drivers that have unlimited access to the
> underlying hardware and crash the whole os.
> Why didn't OS/2 take off? In my opinion, lack of support from IBM itself,

Well, IBM had a huge investment at the multi-acre center in Palm Beach County,
employing thousands.


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