the Rave: Creative Labs- by Rich Furman

I thought I would take this opportunity to rave about Creative Labs, the maker of the Sound Blaster line of sound cards. The reason that I am raving about them is that they have proven stalwart companions and trusty allies to the OS/2 community through the trials of diminishing market share and the vagaries of Plug-n-Play (TM).

Microsoft has been writing the rule book for success in this industry since the late 1980's. They have defined the standards, spec'd the architecture, and created a climate in which hardware is designed to run their software, rather than their software being designed around the hardware. But standing there, at the dawn of the multimedia age was Creative Labs, who, with their Sound Blaster line of sound cards, defined what a sound card is. And OS/2 drivers are available for them all.

This might not seem all that remarkable at first, but Creative has not merely been tossing off barely adequate OS/2 drivers to appease a loud but small market. They have taken the time to port the wonderfully rich set of apps supplied with their cards to native OS/2.

And when Plug-n-Play peripherals came along, IBM turned its back, assuring OS/2's also-ran status by waiting for Warp 4 to implement Plug-n-Play. But Creative Labs, demonstrating a degree of pro-action rare in the computer industry, released its Plug-n-Play sound card, making available drivers to support the card under OS/2.

I think it poignant that Creative Labs seems to show more dedication and support of the OS/2 market than even IBM itself. But don't take my word for it. Go check out their web site.

Rich Furman is a Technical Support engineer at Micron Electronics Inc. where he also serves as point man for OS/2 related issues. If you want to know where to get a bite to eat in the Twin Cities metro area, visit his page Good Eating in the Twin Cities.

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