David Barnes Returns to IBM!- by Stacy King

This all started a couple of months ago, when I had the pleasure of experiencing David Barnes in person, as he performed for our user's group. I do not use the terms 'experience' and 'perform' lightly. His style and energy levels are definitely something to envy. His magnetic personality and charm take an audience from the auditorium into the world of OS/2 and show them the wonders that we, as dedicated OS/2 users (hey, can I use the word fanatics here... some of us are!) are used to in our everyday lives. He can take some of the most stoic persons and have them wrapped up in the performance to where even they laugh 'til tears come out their eyes.

A few months ago, we received the bad news that David was leaving IBM, but would still be 'doing his thing' for OS/2. The trade mags picked up on it, and another OS/2 is dead thread ran on the net, because of one man.

Well, I have news: David Barnes is back at IBM!!! He has a statement on his web page at the OS2BBS explaining why he came back. I know I personally ran around to everyone I know and told them just that. Have a look!

For me, this is a real treat. I get to write my very first article for e-Zine! on an interview with David! This is what I hope will be the first of a series of occasional interviews with him. Let's hope David will oblige us. I thought with so much press surrounding OS/2's number one evangelist a little background might be helpful. So I asked David a few questions...

How he got involved with OS/2:

It kind of chose him... he had been all the field positions in IBM: CE, PSR, SE for water cooled mainframes. He was asked to do a presentation for John Acres on a PS/2 model 60 (that's a 286) for OS/2 1.1. This machine was a PS/2 60 that actually had two RISC CPUs with on board memory (using Berkeley 4.2) running under OS/2 1.1 and also running an OS/2 Presentation Manager application. Shortly thereafter he was in Boca doing pitches and two weeks later was on the road and has been there ever since. All this started back in 1988, and the magic has been flourishing ever since.

BTW, the first version that David ran at home was OS/2 1.0.

His family:

David and his wife, Judy, have been married 17 years. He affectionately calls her the original mall rat. They moved in the day they met, and have been together ever since. They have two children: Marshall, 8, (who had surgery the day of our interview) and Madeline, 5. From the way he tells it, both of his children are growing up on OS/2.


David was a self described hippie, long hair, etc. The day before going for his interview with IBM, he spent his last 35 dollars on haircut and bad suit coat... he didn't even know what IBM meant at the time! When asked what brought him back to IBM, he simply replied: "They are the best!" He truly feels that they are the best employers... just about the best thing going all around.

The 1996 Olympics:

Did you know that:
He is the spokesperson for the Olympics?
That IBM will have over 6000 machines there?
Let's go one better, that the Olympics are being 100% operated by IBM hardware and software?

His bitmaps:

Yes, he does create all those bitmaps on his web page himself. At the time we spoke 3 out of his 14 machines were rendering. He uses Caligari (likes the right mouse button feature) but will eventually move to Neon which is OS/2 based, not Windows based.

End Note:

David is very personable, warm and easy-going. His style and ability to make one laugh go a long way in helping people understand the power and usefulness of OS/2. I look forward to our next discussion. I'll keep you posted!
Stacy King is a Level 2 analyst for CTG at IBM. She is married to wonderful husband, Larry, has a 3 year old son, Brandon (future computer geek), is a member of the Central Texas PC User's Group, the OS/2 Co-SIG Leader for CTPCUG and a member of Team OS/2.

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