OS/2 Back From the Grave!


There were too many banks and too many ATMs still running OS/2. Honest to God I thought IBM officially dumped it in the late 1990s. Then I read this 2007 article on OS/2. They didn’t publicly kill it until 2001 and really really really kill it by ending support in 2007 according to that article.

ATM running OS/2

OS/2 was more secure. It also did a better job of memory handling and networking, so it was the OS of choice for the ATM and quite a few other embedded system worlds. The fact it was and really still is 32-bit really doesn’t matter there.

A company called Arca Noae is actually producing new OS/2 releases with updated drivers and hardware support. It appears they have USB 3.0 support now. Still has to use MBR partitioning though, but I imagine they can fix that with enough customers.

What we really have to hope is that they got the the code for Lotus SmartSuite as well.

Lotus SmartSuite

I clung to OS/2 because of SmartSuite. Still, to this date, the best office package ever. For a personal database Lotus Approach was fantastic. I kept track of my expenses with it for many years. Wrote quite a few books using WordPro. Honestly the integrated Calendar/Address Book/TO-DO list package was to die for.

For the UI, I really liked the whole concept of desk drawers you opened up. Even had a little wood drawer open/close sound.

Every copy of OS/2 I ever owned came bundled with this. The DevCon subscription made certain you could keep current on all of the compilers/products/documentation.

What is dead may never die!

Roland Hughes started his IT career in the early 1980s. He quickly became a consultant and president of Logikal Solutions, a software consulting firm specializing in OpenVMS application and C++/Qt touchscreen/embedded Linux development. Early in his career he became involved in what is now called cross platform development. Given the dearth of useful books on the subject he ventured into the world of professional author in 1995 writing the first of the "Zinc It!" book series for John Gordon Burke Publisher, Inc. A decade later he released a massive (nearly 800 pages) tome "The Minimum You Need to Know to Be an OpenVMS Application Developer" which tried to encapsulate the essential skills gained over what was nearly a 20 year career at that point. From there "The Minimum You Need to Know" book series was born. Three years later he wrote his first novel "Infinite Exposure" which got much notice from people involved in the banking and financial security worlds. Some of the attacks predicted in that book have since come to pass. While it was not originally intended to be a trilogy, it became the first book of "The Earth That Was" trilogy: Infinite Exposure Lesedi - The Greatest Lie Ever Told John Smith - Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars When he is not consulting Roland Hughes posts about technology and sometimes politics on his blog. He also has regularly scheduled Sunday posts appearing on the Interesting Authors blog.