OS/2 eZine - http://www.os2ezine.com
16 December 2001
Pete GrubbsPete Grubbs is a self-described OS/2 wonk, a former doctoral candidate in English literature at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a former part-time faculty member at Penn State and is still mucking about with a copy editing/creation service, The Document Doctor, which tailors documents for small businesses. He has also been a professional musician for 20 years.

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OS/2.org - where I want to go.

20 Questions with Joachim Benjamins of Mensys

As I mentioned in the interview we ran in last month's edition, despite the financial turmoil and general, worldwide uncertainty, a number of Europe's OS/2 faithful were in attendance at this year's Warpstock. Joachim Benjamins, a Mensys employee, was gracious enough to spend part of Sunday afternoon in the hotel restaurent with me and I thoroughly enjoyed his company. At first, we were quite distracted by the bombing of Kabul and found it difficult to think of anything else, but we eventually were able to turn our thoughts to other matters.

PG: Who are you?

JB: Joachim Benjamins

PG: Where do work? What do you do?

JB: Mensys.

PG: Why did you come to Warpstock?

JB: Partly because I was paid to come. To communicate in real life. It was also an excellent holiday.

PG: Is this your first Warpstock?

JB: No. Atlanta was my first. This is my second in America.

PG: How is this year's convention different than previous years? How is it the same?

JB: Less vendors. Less general interest, I'm afraid. Less attendance.

PG: Why do you think it's changed?

JB: Economic reasons; it's a steep entrance price.

PG: How long have you used OS/2?

JB: Since I started with Mensys in March '95. It took me one week to be totally into it.

PG: Where do you see OS/2 heading?

JB: I see two directions. I think OS/2 will remain strong in the large entereprise where eCS will never set foot and I hope that eCS will enter the SOHO market with current OS/2 users and maybe Linux users.

PG: What is your opinion of eCS?

JB: It's not where I would like it to be; the GA is not what I would have liked but it's a great improvement over MCP or OS/2 Warp. We're definitely heading in the right direction, the direction we're going to is just great.

PG: What do you use OS/2 for?

JB: Everything. Mainly internet, surfing or developing. Not games. I don't play games at all.

PG: Is there anything you'd like to do on your OS/2 box that you can't do?

JB: Yeah. The real thing I'm missing is a decent WYSYWIG web design app.

PG: While earlier Warpstocks had sessions dealing with OS/2 advocacy, this year's schedule seems totally devoted to product information and technical issues. Is this significant? Why/why not?

JB: I would think it says [Warpstock is] more serious, more product-oriented in a way.

PG: Do you have an OS/2 wish list?

JB: Of course. Most of my wish list is going into eCS.

PG: Where should OS/2 go and how should it get there?

JB: Use the solid base and go from there. It would also really shine in embedded versions.

PG: Is it going in a direction you can follow?

JB: Yes.

PG: What is the most signifcant issue facing the OS/2 community?

JB: You [all] should remember that it's just a computer and it's just an operating system; don't take it too seriously.

PG: Can OS/2 users influence the direction that the operating system takes? If so, how?

JB: Definitely. The community can be actively involved in development. [Mensys and Serenity Systems] are not that large. We need people.

PG: Does IBM still have a significant influence on our community?

JB: No. I'm afraid not. [If it does,] it is through Serenity. Not directly any more.

PG: Any parting thoughts?

JB: We're getting somewhere and the community is still great and events like Warpstock show it. And I highly appreciate it and so does the company I work for.

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