OS/2 eZine - http://www.os2ezine.com
September 16, 2003
Isaac Leung (P.Eng.) got a degree in Engineering Physics followed by a Master's in Electrical Engineering after which he promptly got a job as a product engineer at a company which makes high speed datacom chips. Following the dot-com meltdown, he's back at school studying biophysics and optical properties of semiconductors. He is old enough to have cut his computer teeth on Commodore 64's and first played with OS/2 1.3 EE while at a summer job with IBM. The first PC he ever owned came with Windows 95, but he soon slapped on OS/2 Warp 3 and has been Warping ever since. In between looking for a new job, he plots to take over the world.
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From The Editor

Who's using OS/2?

Some of you may have seen a little press release on the web where a Sun executive stated that there are about 20 million OS/2 users. And that was a "conservative" estimate, apparently.

Given that Apple seems to be touting that its number of users have recently topped 7 million, that's no small number to sneeze at. (Imagine, even if that number is out by an entire order of magnitude, a couple of million users is almost 30% of Mac OS X users. That's a tempting pot of users to add to your base). If those numbers are accurate, we outnumber the Mac users by about 3 to 1. That's not a small market if you could get them to buy your stuff!

What do you think? Is it true? Or has that Sun executive had too many beers?

Home or Office?

I can tell you one source of the users, and that must be (still) the big banks. Just the other day, I walked into a TD-Waterhouse branch (one of the big 5 banks in Canada). What was running their computers? Good old OS/2 Warp 4!

Less recently, I have wandered into the Bank of Nova Scotia and HSBC (this is actually UK-based and one of the bigger banks in the world) and they also used OS/2. In fact, I think the only Canadian bank I know for sure to not run OS/2 is the Royal Bank, which is the largest bank in Canada.

Actually, a while back, when those "worms" were busy clogging up the Internet, guess who's ATM's went down? Yes, the Royal Bank, they have NCR machines running Windows. This time, one of the bigger names to go down (2 business days!) was our national carrier, Air Canada. Yes, it is because they run Microsoft Windows. That's a minor problem, what's worse was the nuclear power plant that got shut down due to the Slammer worm. Good thing it wasn't in active duty!

If you were the head IT guy at a Windows shop, I bet you'd be quaking in your boots right about now. How are you going to explain to the CEO why the computers went down, while your competitors didn't? Why millions of dollars worth of business was lost? What about next time? Are you sure you patched all the machines? Are you absolutely certain you didn't miss cleaning one of those machines?

Meanwhile, if you're handling a Linux, *NIX or Mac system or like some of the big banks, OS/2, you'd be sleeping like a baby. And if you were a Windows fan at a big OS/2 shop, I suspect you might have a difficult time to justify the millions you will spend converting to Windows and getting less security in the process.

I'm not worried. OS/2 has still a while more to live yet. And you can never tell what happens in the future!

Not a one man show

Lastly, I know there will always be some quiet months and some were I'm deluged with articles. But don't let OS/2 e-Zine be a one-writer magazine! This isn't intended to be a personal soap box for the editor (i.e. me). While I could probably fill up enough content each month, having only one point of view and catering only to my narrow interests can't be any good.

Don't worry about the quality of your writing and don't worry about not having enough time to format things nicely. Just send whatever you have, I can always edit and format it for you.

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