OS/2 eZine - http://www.os2ezine.com
June 16, 2003

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Last of a Dying Breed

My name is Kim, I'm a Warpaholic. And that is a bad thing, judging from peoples faces when they learn that I use OS/2 - that is, after I explain to them what OS/2 is.

I was one of the applicants for the job as the new editor in chief of OS/2 eZine, but not the one that got the job - you can read more about that at the end of this article.

I'm a journalist by profession. I started writing about computers and the internet back in 1995 when "Politiken", one of the biggest danish newspapers, was looking for someone that could write about OS/2 in their weekly Computer section. I applied, as I was happy to be able to write about my favourite OS. As you all know, the interest for OS/2 waned, and I had to write about a lot of other stuff than OS/2, I even had to write about DOS and its graphical user interface. As of January 1, 2002 The weekly section was closed, and I am now writing as a freelancer for a computer magazine named "Komputer for alle" (computer for everybody), where I write about Windows programs for absolute beginners (like: grab the mouse - thats the thing with buttons and a wire).

Even though I make my living writing about Windows programs, I still use OS/2 as my main OS. Up until about a year ago I had to boot to Windows, use the program in question, write down notes and then reboot to write my article in OS/2 (using the System Editor enhanced with DragText). Today I only boot to Windows if I have to write about a program that uses 3D graphics. Thanks to Virtual PC from Innotek, I can use the Windows programs and at the same time write about them in my favourite editor.

I must admit, that I have tried to switch to Windows before Virtual PC made my life easier. But it never lasted more than a day or two before shortcomings and inconsistences in Windows made me run back to OS/2. Granted, there are probably as many shortcomings and inconsistences in OS/2, but those I am used to. I even tried to switch to Linux, but that was an even bigger disaster.

The future for OS/2

We all know OS/2 is doomed. As the headline says, we are the last of a dying breed. New OS/2 users are more scarce than snow in the Sahara, and even though Serenity Systems has released yet a new version of OS/2 we can't expect a lot of new users - only upgrades from older versions of OS/2. But that doesn't mean that we Warpaholics have to abandon OS/2.

For a while the future looked very bleak, as there was more and more we couldn't do in OS/2. Many websites were becoming hard to use, as Netscape 4.6x didn't support the standards very well and certainly had a very bad support for CSS, the "new" layout language for websites. We couldn't watch DVD's or videos in DivX format - or any of the other popular formats for that matter. Java was getting old and very slow - and OS/2 was the only platform I have heard of, where users had to pay if they wanted a newer version of Java.

But today the future looks brighter. OS/2 is still doomed, but a few companies and users with programming skills make it easier for us to stay with our favourite OS for as long as possible.

As mentioned, we have a new version of OS/2. We have a superb up to date browser in Mozilla (http://www.mozilla.org). We can watch DVD's and almost any video format with WarpVision (http://os2.kiev.ua/en/wv.php). We have support for most graphics cards (http://www.scitechsoft.com/products/enterprise/snap_os2_content.html) and we don't even have to change the driver when we change cards. We have a free up to date Java Virtual Machine (http://www.innotek.de/products/javaos2/javaos2general_e.html). And we can even run some Windows programs directly in OS/2 with ODIN (http://odin.netlabs.org/index.phtml).

On top of that we have some very powerful possibilities that you don't find in other OSes like the advanced drag and drop possibilities - and even more so when using DragText (http://e-vertise.com/dragtext/). With the WPS we have an incredible, flexible user interface that is even more flexible when using XWorkplace (http://www.xworkplace.org/). And of course we still have a stable multi-tasking and multi-threaded OS that runs on old hardware and flies with warp speed on new hardware.

And why change OS if the OS you are using is fulfilling all your needs? I for my part will stick with OS/2 as long as I can get hardware that is supported by OS/2. I won't even try to switch to the dark side anymore. I am a warpaholic, one of the last of a dying breed - and I am happy.

The future of OS/2 eZine

I was a somewhat reluctant applicant to be the new editor in chief after Robert Basler announced his retirement. I wrote to Robert because I thought it would be funny to be able to write about OS/2 again, but I was reluctant because I don't think my English is quite good enough to write articles and edit other peoples articles. So I told Robert only to consider me if he didn't get any other replies. I am somewhat relieved that he did get other replies, and at the same time a little sad that that I wasn't the only applicant.

Actually there were several promising candidates, and that is a good thing. I hope that some of the applicants will find the time to write articles for OS/2 eZine, even though they didn't get the job. And I'm sure that anybody else who wishes to write about pet projects, new ways to use OS/2 or even a commentary is also welcome. And even if you don't want to write an article, please feel free to let the new editor, Isaac Leung know what you would like to read in OS/2 eZine.

I for my part will certainly try to write more articles, even though I'm not that content with my English and even though I don't find it that easy - but it will probably be easier than to teach you guys Danish.

Kim Ludvigsen is a journalist and can write just fine in Danish, but his English is not perfect. In 1995 he made a Danish news site for OS/2 users which closed in '97.

This article is courtesy of www.os2ezine.com. You can view it online at http://www.os2ezine.com/20030616/page_2.html.

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