Really Random - IBM OS/2 Warp 4.5


#1

So I had some spare-time on my hands, so I found some files, and built IBM’s OS/2 Warp 4.5. It runs in Virtualbox with 512MB of RAM, and 2GB of storage space…

So, I think (IMHO) that OS/2 Warp 4.5 is brilliant. Windows was just working on 3.1, and OS/2 already had multitasking, and a plethora of handy software - including a web browser!

Here is a picture of it running

I hope you all like it! Random, I know… but brings back good memories, and it’s just plain fun to run old OS’s! :smiley:

cheers


#2

So, I think (IMHO) that OS/2 Warp 4.5 is brilliant. Windows was just working on 3.1, and OS/2 already had
multitasking, and a plethora of handy software - including a web browser!

Ah, I think you have your years muddled up. OS/2 Warp 4.5 dates to 1999 on servers, and a little later on the desktop.

By 1999 Microsoft had moved on some way from Windows 3.1 they released Windows 98SE that year and were in final testing for Windows 2000.

The browser Warp 4.5 comes with is, IIRC, Netscape Communicator (also available at the time for Windows, Mac OS, Linux etc.), but by this point Netscape had given up the battle against Microsoft’s superior Internet Explorer browser and handed their source over to the new Mozilla organisation. There it would eventually become the Mozilla browser suite and much later, Firefox.


#3

@NoHaikuForMe

That’s stretching it a bit calling Internet Explorer superior to anything browser related. Maybe more like a superior presence through bundling :slight_smile:


#4

@el.tigre.20: OSFree needs youre help, then !

http://www.osfree.org/

:wink:


#5

Neat!

I have the OS/2 version that pre-dated the Warp version (mine is version 2.1 - circa 1993) I also have Windows NT 3.51 (circa 1993) and Windows 95. Since you have OS/2, you might be the sort of fellow to dink around with this old stuff. I have a question.

I use VirtualBox in FreeBSD, and can run all of these OS’s. I’ve had some difficulty finding network drivers to work with the VBOX emulated NICs (even on Windows 95). Did you have that problem with Warp?


#6

Gee - I almost forgot the best part. I have the really old Visual C++ that works on NT 3.51, and can build apps with the old (Windows 3.1) style interface that 3.51 was supplied with … Hot Dogs! I even have the original boxes for most of these things (I inherited my wife’s pack-rat-ism)


#7

I really don’t know what the fuss is all about with OS/2. I tried it when it came out and I didn’t like it much then. The interface was arcane, with lot’s of things to memorize. And writing software for it was a real pain. For some reason IBM decided to throw all the Microsoft Windows standards out and start over. Like for instance the screen coordinates were opposite those of Windows.

So in case you were wondering why such a great OS floundered in the marketplace, one of the reasons was because there wasn’t any software for it. Because IBM made it incompatible with Windows.

Shudder…


#8

[quote=AndrewZ]For some reason IBM decided to throw all the Microsoft Windows standards out and start over. Like for instance the screen coordinates were opposite those of Windows.

So in case you were wondering why such a great OS floundered in the marketplace, one of the reasons was because there wasn’t any software for it. Because IBM made it incompatible with Windows.[/quote]

Windows 3.1 never was a standard. There were many window systems around back then if any was used at all, and the implementations varied a lot. Amiga was ahead of its time if you want to talk about a modern, popular de facto standard windows system. OS/2 predates Windows NT, and VMS predates both. You may want to look into the history of Dave Cutler and VMS. It’s actually VMS that became the standard in a manner of speaking…

Also, IBM did not make OS/2 incompatible with DOS or Windows 3.1. Not only could one run multiple DOS applications at the same time, but it was stable and solid enough to run Windows 3.1 applications as well, because Windows was a DOS extender. The virtual machine DOS among other things allowed masking of hardware interrupts, and used a deadlock watchdog. In the end this meant that it handled DOS and Windows applications rather well. Unfortunately all of this required a lot of RAM. When Windows 95 came out, it required 4 MB of RAM, which was common for machines in stores at that time, and it quickly gained momentum, making way for Windows NT.


#9

You are correct on all these technical details. And you have also outlined the demise of OS/2. It won all the technical wars, but it lost the software battle. Yes it was a better DOS than DOS, it was a better Windows 3.1 than Windows 3.1. But all that was backwards facing. OS/2 did not have the support of the software developers, because the software developers were busy writing software for Windows 95, which had a modern GUI. And IBM made it damn near impossible to be source compatible between Windows and OS/2. You had to pick one, and since everyone was making money on Windows, why switch and lose money on OS/2?

You mention VMS. VMS was amazing and wildly popular on minicomputers but it was not a desktop OS. I’m not sure if any of the later versions even had a GUI. And let’s remember than Dave Cutler went on to write the internals of Windows NT.

Amiga was cool and had some technical advantages, mostly in graphics. But it did not have protected virtual memory to save itself from poorly written applications that violated memory addressing. It did not has the support of any major business software, and as such was never adopted in corporations. Some of it’s GUI ideas live on in Haiku.


#10

It seems for me that everybody forget that actually OS/2 was born as a cooperation between IBM and Microsoft. So, when you say IBM did this and that design decision, actually some of them were coming from MS itself…
More about OS/2 history is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OS/2