Summary: Craig Miller introduces you to our new regular hardware help column: The Hard Stuff
The only thing I love more then OS/2 is the hardware I run it on. I'm a speed freak when it comes to my hardware. If it's not the fastest thing out there I don't want it. To get the right answers though takes a long, long time, because everybody is saying their product is the fastest nowadays. Well, there can only be one "Fastest", so who? But for an OS/2 user, sometimes the fastest is not always the "best" because of drivers and such. Their is a balance, and that's why "The Hard Stuff" is now part of OS/2 e-Zine!
Now, your probably wondering about my experience in hardware and OS/2. I've been using OS/2 since ver 2.1 and have never looked back. I love the WPS and how flexible it is. The stability, of course, was a big factor. To me OS/2 is the only operating system, but I've also used Win95, 98, NT as well and just plain hate all three of them. At this time I'm running Warp 4 / Fixpack 6 and having zero problems.
At the time of writing my hardware looks like this:
I have been working with computer hardware for over seven years. I do it everyday because it's part of my job, so I get to see all the problems hardware can throw. This hands on approach is the only way for me, with reading only able to take me so far. I've done networking for several companies and have a considerable of knowledge on the Internet (I own an ISP).
I have dual boot enabled with Linux (Red Hat 5.0), Win98, and of course, Warp 4. I use Linux around .1 percent of the time, Win98 at 5 percent (for games), and the rest is OS/2. I have several printers networked including a Lexmark 5700 and HP office pro 500. I also have a color Quickcam the is in my LPT1 right now.
Most web sites that talk about hardware never talk about OS/2 and most sites that talk about OS/2 never talk about hardware. To me this is so odd. I've found there are three types of OS/2 users when it comes to everyday usage on their computers.
The Driver: This guy knows OS/2 and can move around fine. He can get on the Internet, type a paper out, and even fix a few nagging problems in the OS. He's heard of the hard drive, knows how much ram he has and the speed of the CPU. He's never or almost never opened up his own computer and pulled out the modem to upgrade it (or even clean it out.) This person is happy just running OS/2 and knowing the software.
The Mechanic: The person who can tear down a computer and then rebuild it in a half an hour. Doesn't think twice about rolling up his sleeves and upgrading his master hard drive. His knowledge in OS/2 is good but nowhere as close as the driver. The Mechanic still hasn't used templates for anything except make a new folder, and Rexx is something he heard about once in a newsgroup.
The Owner: The best of both worlds. The owner is not shy to crack the case of a computer to change out the video card, nor afraid of the config.sys. The owner is a rare person indeed because most people like to stay on one side of the fence. To make the most of OS/2 a person needs to be an owner, for if you just picked up a AGP Diamond Viper V330 and it has no driver support for OS/2, all the knowledge on OS/2's WPS won't help jack.
There is a big problem with not knowing about the hardware you are about to purchase, especially as an OS/2 user. A prime example is when I got rid of two of my Western Digital four-gigabyte hard drives for one Quatom eight gig drive. Now this was around six months ago before IBM made a upgrade to the install disks to handle these large drives. I sat there for awhile and wondered why OS/2 couldn't see the whole drive (8 gigs). We'll the brain started producing smoke and decided to jump on the Internet and find out about the problem. That was a joke, nothing. Went to the news groups and posted my problem, nothing (too new of a problem, I guess). I finally broke down and decided to call IBM and ask them, I mean they made OS/2 right? I called and was placed to a woman who was quite nice but said if I wanted IBM to help me with an OS/2 problem it would cost $150.00 per question!
I think I blacked out for at least half an hour.
After I woke up, I got back into my chair and decided to call Quantum for help. A gentleman answered the phone after a minute or so of that elevator music. I told him I just bought a new hard drive from his company and was having some problem with OS/2 seeing the whole drive. I was happily surprised that he heard of the problem and showed me where to get the fix from. I think it took a whole twenty minutes to fix the problem. After I got OS/2 running fine in it's new home I jumped onto the net and posted it to the news groups, hoping to save someone some time and some heart ache.
This is when I really noticed that OS/2 users did not have a reliable, up-to-date site to jump to and find out about the newest hardware and how it would run on OS/2. To show people what the difference between AGP and PCI video cards, or the difference between socket 7 and socket 1, and more importantly what it meant to OS/2. I believe that OS/2 e-Zine! is the perfect spot for people to get up to date knowledge on the stuff the run under the hood.
With that last note, I would like to say I have a lot of work ahead of me. In two weeks I will be going over video cards. I will talk about PCI and AGP, and also review different cards for speed, drivers, and OS/2 compatibly as well as contacting each company to see where their future support of OS/2 lies. If you have any questions about hardware under OS/2, then I want to hear them. Send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Copyright © 1998 - Falcon Networking||ISSN 1203-5696||November 16, 1998|