The End of the Future From the Past in the Present


For most of the mid-90’s, I labored to promote IBM’s OS/2 operating system as the wave of the future. I made a nice living for five years or so with that OS as my center of personal and career computing. In fact, occassionally, if you Google hard enough, you can still find some documentation I wrote for configuring PPP access through IBM’s Internet Connection software. It was cool stuff in its day, and kicked the butt of anything else out there. But, when you have an OS with no apps, buy Lotus, and still can’t put out competitive applications, you tend to lose your market share.

OS/2 Warp

Which is what happening with IBM, losing the war to Microsoft, and Windows 95/NT. Even IBM is giving up. Come the end of this year, you will no longer be able to buy OS/2.

After ten+ years, today in moving old data that I’ve been carrying around for a decade, storing on various OS/2, Linux, Windows and Macintosh boxen, I’m not moving one specific folder.

I’m not moving the one containing all the old OS/2 stuff. My old OS/2 CDs will also hit the corporate bulletin board tomorrow for a mere fraction of what I paid for them.

‘Tis a shame really. I know that OS/2 can be made to run on current hardware, but the hardware distance to overcome is buh-stounding. Think of the system you had in ’92 or ’93. A 386 maybe? Maybe 16Mb of 30pin DIMMs? I can’t even remember how big the drives were that I owned then, but I can’t imagine anything I had was more than a few hundred Mb.

And once I had it running, what then? The things I do daily are things that were pipe dreams ten years ago — music, video, digital photography, close to a terabyte of storage in my office, and 1000Base-T between the Linux server and the iMac. Nope, it’s time to let go.

So, with a tear in my eye, and a somewhat lighter closet, I say goodbye to OS/2, and look ahead to What’s Next. Anyone for telepathic computing? Holographic memory and displays? Scratch and sniff monitors? 🙂 It’s coming…. just wait!