OS/2 eZine - http://www.os2ezine.com
January 16, 2003
Bas Heijermans has been using computers for 24 years - since he was 12. Bas lives in Belgium and has used OS/2 since version 1.1. He ran The OS/2 BBS and was the Belgium OS/2 Fido moderator. IBM awarded him Official OS/2 Ambassidor in 1992 for his support efforts. Today he repairs computers for a living.

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OS/2 is Boring Part 6

Yep here is yet another OS/2 is Boring article :-) To be honest, it's not boring, it's fun, but I like the title, and I'm going to keep is as long as Robert sticks it on top :-) This time I want to talk about OS/2 running under another OS, how about that? I have tried many other PC emulators in the past, Bochs, Virtual PC (older versions) and such. None of them would run OS/2 in an emulation! I read the latest OS/2 eZine article about running Windows within OS/2, that made me wonder. Would it be possible to do the opposite? So I asked a friend to supply me with a version of Virtual PC for Windows 2000, he was gladly willing to give me a copy. And to my surprise, it does run OS/2 in fact, as you can see in the screen shot. Cool isn't it?

I haven't tested sound or the printer, but who cares, the network connection works, so it will be easy to get it working. I did encounter some serious things that would puzzle anyone who tries it. WSeB doesn't want to start from the CD-ROM, no matter what you try, so it's floppy building time again :-)

You just say it must take the floppy and CD-ROM and it does install, except: If you want to use the SET COPYFROMFLOPPY command, it wants to read the floppies but it doesn't know that the floppy has changed! So you have to dismount the floppy, change the floppy-disk and mount it again, then press enter and OS/2 sees the change. After you have done this a couple of times, it will install like crazy.

My workstation contains the following:

  • Athlon XP-1700+
  • 512 MB ram DDR 266
  • MSI KT4-Ultra-ARU-FISR (Gigabit lan adapter onboard)
  • MSI GF4Ti4600
  • 13 GB Maxtor 7200
  • Windows 2000+SP3

On this workstation, OS/2 within Virtual PC runs like a PII-300 with 128 MB ram. If you have such a rig, you could imagine how fast it really is. It's pretty fast.

OS/2 will tell you there is a S3 videocard, just leave it the way it is, but select a monitor that can handle the resolution you like. It works fine. OS/2 will also tell you it's using a DEC 21x4x card, that's just fine, I mentioned somewhere in the forum that this card has the best OS/2 support, well it does. (Today this card is called Intel/DEC.)

Anyway, with this Virtual PC stuff, even when run under Windows, will allow you to see and test OS/2 without the need of formatting your system and to see what it is all about. I wouldn't run OS/2 under it as a server, as Windows isn't stable enough to do that, but in order to get to know OS/2 it's a good way to start.

That's it from me this time, Have fun testing it! Why is OS/2 still boring? Darn, it even runs under Windows :-(

P.S. If you want to try this, you can download a limited trial copy of VirtualPC.

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