20 Questions: Stan Sidlov - by Pete Grubbs
OS/2 e-Zine!

Go to a Printer Friendly version of this page

Lash Back! - Join in the ongoing public discussion with our interactive forum. Be frank, be vicious, you can even be anonymous.

- or -

Blast Back! Send a private message directly to Pete Grubbs with your thoughts:

Contact OS/2 e-Zine!

Sponsored links:

Stan Sidlov was instrumental in making Warpstock '98 Chicago happen. He stepped in when the original host group bowed out -- amidst a flurry of controversy -- and put everything back on track... despite the fact that the event was in Chicago, and he lived in New York. At Warpstock '99, Pete tracked him down and wouldn't let him leave until he'd answered our questions...

OS/2 e-Zine! -- How long have you used OS/2?

Sidlov -- [I was] introduced [to it] at 1.3EE, [but I] liked 2.11.

OS/2 e-Zine! -- What new products do you think are vital to the OS/2 market?

Sidlov -- I think we have to understand what the OS/2 market is today. I don't feel in my gut that OS/2 is for the home market any more because it's too far from the main stream. Give me all the browser plug-ins, the latest hardware drivers, the newest games.

OS/2 e-Zine! -- Do you think the Y2K bug will have any affect on the OS/2 market?

Sidlov -- IBM has really not gotten out the word that OS/2 is fully compliant. [Since the win programs under OS/2 aren't being upgraded, the fact that win/os2 is compliant isn't an issue.]

OS/2 e-Zine! -- Assuming that it ships during your lifetime, what affect will the release of Windows 2000 have on the OS/2 market?

Sidlov -- I probably will end up upgrading to it and my office will probably take a look at because we're forced to. You have to know your enemy, if that's what you call it. But I think that battle's already been fought. The mind share is Windows. And its only from [the] experience of Windows failures that any IST department will want to look at alternatives.

OS/2 e-Zine! -- Sum up your assessment of OS/2's viability now that Stardock's proposed client has been rejected?

Sidlov -- I do not believe that it is relevant one way or the other. As people keep forgetting, there are other companies who are still pursuing the same thing.

OS/2 e-Zine! -- Does OS/2 need another client release? Is this really important to the platform's future?

Sidlov -- Yes. Absolutely. It needs a new install that doesn't require upgrading diskettes -- a better out-of-the-box experience. It shouldn't require downloading fix packs right after the install to make it Y2K.

OS/2 e-Zine! -- If you could send one message to IBM that you know would be read by everyone directly involved with OS/2's engineering ~marketing, what would you say?

Sidlov -- I don't think that those are the people at IBM I have to talk to. The message I would send to IBM management is: If you're going to say you're platform agnostic, you have to be platform agnostic across the board. If you're going to fund and release something on one platform, you have to fund and release it on all platforms with equivalent functionality.

OS/2 e-Zine! -- There has always been a sense of community among OS/2 users. What do you attribute that to? Is it sufficient to keep the platform alive?

Sidlov -- People online have always gathered around their own interests: computers, books, music, fetishes, etc. I think that there's a difference between live and viable. OS/2 is viable. There will always be hobbyists who love the OS. I think that, there's always room for that, but, there is a point, just as with my original Apple II, that you can't do what you need to do anymore. You have to move on, though I'm not saying that that time has come yet.

OS/2 e-Zine! -- Do you have any frustration with regards to IBM? If so, how do you deal with it?

Sidlov -- My frustration with IBM as a home user is that they appear to be trying to push me off the platform; as a commercial user of OS/2 I don't feel that as strongly. The whole thing is, as both a home user and a office user, I can do 99% of the things that I (personally) need to do on a day-to-day basis on OS/2. As new things come up that I can't do on OS/2, I will have made the transition that IBM keeps asking me to do. They're not giving me updates that are equivalent to the Windows functionality that makes home computing 'fun.'

OS/2 e-Zine! -- How important is IBM's adoption of the Scitech Display Doctor Drivers? Will this have a measurable impact on our community?

Sidlov -- I don't know because I haven't actually used their driver. It should, in theory, give us access to more video cards. . . It may help us use new video hardware.

OS/2 e-Zine! -- What are your favorite apps to run under OS/2?

Sidlov -- MidiDB by Cornel Huth; Object Desktop by Stardock, Netscape, PMMail/2 -- my home needs are simple .

OS/2 e-Zine! -- What are the hottest new OS/2 native apps?

Sidlov -- Pass. I have reached my saturation point: Everything that I need to do with my PC, I have the software [for] but I did buy Armin Schwartz's Home/2 this year and I always seem to buy something.

OS/2 e-Zine! -- Do conventions like Warpstock, SCOUG's WarpExpo West and Warpstock Europe have any real impact? What ~how much?

Sidlov -- As someone who's lived in a virtual community for some time (I was online and virtual in the mid 80's) I think it's nice to meet people for real. In that aspect, I think that they're very good because they'll bring the most serious people together. The level of participation from the true professionals among us who are willing to enlighten the rest of us [who aren't professionals] is always welcome. But I don't see why, at some point, you couldn't have a well-done set of presentations over the web with everyone virtual.

OS/2 e-Zine! -- Of all the suggestions you've heard for increasing OS/2 market share, which, if any, seems most reasonable?

Sidlov -- It's still applications, It's the same issue it was 6 or 16 years ago. What you need to do? When personal computers first came out . . . we always said, 'find the application that you want to run to do what you need to do and then buy the machine that ran that application.'

OS/2 e-Zine! -- Should we, as a community, try to boost mind- and/or market-share for OS/2, or should we accept it as a niche OS and get on with our lives?

Sidlov -- Everyone should be an OS/2 advocate but no one should be an OS/2 bigot.

OS/2 e-Zine! -- How does this year's Warpstock differ from others you've attended?

Sidlov -- Warpstock has been an evolution and a growth process. I think that every Warpstock has grown on the preceding one. The 1st showed that it could be done. The 2nd proved that it could be done in a professional space with fees and rents. I think the 3rd is proof that we can keep doing it until we get it right.

OS/2 e-Zine! -- What is the single most interesting item on the weekend's schedule? The 3 most interesting?

Sidlov -- Meeting Peter Coffee and the things he had to say and his new comparison of the cars on the Internet highway. WSOD for Windows, Warped Jeopardy.

OS/2 e-Zine! -- What differences do you see between OS/2's position in the market this year as compared to last?

Sidlov -- From the server perspective, IBM has answered the needs of their corporate clients who require windows on the desktop and their server's ability to interoperate on an NT domain; their Workspace On Demand for Windows continues to make OS/2 viable in a business environment.

OS/2 e-Zine! -- In a world filled with FUD ~vaporware, is there any hope for a future w/o them? Will the computing industry ever be reliable? Please respond to this quote: 'The most important problem facing this community is rampant dishonesty. We lie about schedules; we lie about features; we lie about functionality; we lie about budgets; we lie about costs; we lie about measurements; and then we lie about how much we are lying.'

Sidlov -- In the last few months, there's been a marked change in the trade papers that I've read where the writers, the opinion makers, have started to say, 'We cannot have computer failures due to software or OS incompatibilities, bugs and outright failures.' No MSNBC show, no mention of computers in any media is without the joke [which ends], 'and then the computer crashed,' and that crash is where we all relate to our popular culture's computer experience. As the public has grown more comfortable with computers, those crashes have become less acceptable. Professionally, being an IBM AS/400 programmer, manager of AS/400 apps, failure of either a program or an operating system is never acceptable. To tell my users that 'you'll have to wait for the next release,' is not an acceptable answer. The acceptable answer is, 'We'll fix it now.' IBM operating systems have unparalleled reliability; they were designed for the enterprise customer. Microsoft operating systems were not designed for those people but for the general public. Now the public wants the reliability that was once only attainable at the enterprise level.

[Previous]  [Index]  [Feedback]  [Next]
Copyright © 1999 - Falcon Networking ISSN 1203-5696 December 1, 1999