OS/2 2.11 under Virtual PC

OS/2 2.11 under Virtual PC

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One of the skeletons that I keep in my closet is that a long time ago - I was an OS/2 zealot.  Soon after using Windows 3.0 - I got to play with my first copy of OS/2.  OS/2 2.11.  I immediately fell in love with it.  It was much more stable than Windows, had a nicer interface, and did a better job of running DOS / Win 3.11 programs than Windows did.

Conveniently enough - OS/2 2.11 is the earliest version of OS/2 that runs under Virtual PC:

OS2 2.11 under Virtual PC   OS2 2.11 under Virtual PC   OS2 2.11 under Virtual PC

Ahh... The nostalgia. 

OS/2 2.11 did not ship with networking capabilities, nor does it support the IDE CDROM used by Virtual PC - but this is not really a problem - as you can use the DOS network and CD drivers under the OS/2 Dos Command Prompt sessions (a rather cool trick if you ask me).  There is no other special configuration needed to get OS/2 2.11 up and running under Virtual PC - except to keep the memory and disk size low (my OS/2 2.11 virtual machine has 16mb ram and a 50mb hard disk).

As the 'OS/2 Guru' on the Virtual PC team - I feel obliged to run over all the versions of OS/2 - and the pitfalls involved in running them under Virtual PC.  So you can expect to see a couple more posts to turn up about the various versions of OS/2 under Virtual PC, as well as the details of my personal experience with the releases - and how I felt they stacked up against Windows at that stage.

Given the choice between Windows 3.0 and OS/2 2.11 - OS/2 won hands down.  I will however sum up this post with a couple of hard learned pieces of wisdom from my time with OS/2:

'Operating System Zealots alienate more people than they convert' - this has always been the case.  It was in the days of OS/2 vs. Windows - and it remains the case today.

'Time makes fools of us all' - need I say more? :-)

Cheers,
Ben

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  • Ohhhh, that was sooooo coool... Sweet old times. But why not OS/2 v3.0? That was a real killer.
  • didn't OS/2 kind of spawn Windows NT, as some sort of break between MS and IBM occurred?

    I remember seeing OS/2 on the shelves of stores back in my Windows 3.x days, and dreaming of being able to run such a great looking operating system. :)
  • Ah, OS/2.

    I was an OS/2 2.0 zealot. I beta tested 2.1 for IBM. I even have a copy of 3.0 that has only ever been installed in a VirtualPC session - I got it used after Win95 came out and primarily bought it on emotion. I didn't get around to installing it on anything until I got VirtualPC. I couldn't bring myself to buy 4.0 since I knew I'd never actually use it.

    Hey Ben. I'm glad you're blogging now. I was in the VPC for Windows betas so I saw your name an aweful lot in the forums. Good to be able to find out what you're doing now.
  • Hey Ben, I'm looking forward to when you start working with OS/2 warp v4 in a VPC. I have been trying to set this up and have hit a road block during the install. After the second install disk, I get the error "sys0039 The Device C: is not ready" and from that point the only option is to terminate the install. I'd really like to hear if you have simalar issues.
  • Oleg - I will get to OS/2 v3 in a couple of days

    Derick - Yes - in fact the first version of OS/2 was 'Microsoft OS/2 1.0'

    Mark - I will get to OS/2 v4 as well. The first thing I would check is to make sure that your virtual hard disk is under 2GB in size

    Cheers,
    Ben
  • I'm posting this from OS/2 Warp 3 (non-Connect) with FreeTCP and Firefox 1.0, under Connectix (now Microsoft) Virtual PC 5.2. I've used OS/2 Warp 3 exclusively in 1994 and 1995 (I got introduced by a friend and later a copy of Warp 3 was provided by my father).
    Now I am finally going to develop serious software for it as well as for Windows and Linux (and BeOS).

    Note/tip for people attempting a similar thing: I found out that to successfully run TCP/IP networking under OS/2 the NIS driver DC21X4.OS2 must be used, The similar DLKPCI.OS2 or the generic NE2000 won't work. This is not explicitly mentioned in the FreeTCP instructions.
  • OS/2 2.x...Yea, I had a email thread with Larry Osterman of MS on that topic, where I proved that the drawbacks of MS abandoning OS/2 2.0 and the MS-IBM JDA outweighed the benefits (Yes, MS did a lot of early development of OS/2 2.0). It delayed widespread adoption of 32-bit programming by years (after MS wasted years on the real mode based Multitasking DOS 4.0 when Intel announced the 80286 in 1982).  Things to look up: "OS/2 Microsoft Munchkins", DR-DOS (OS/2 did not depend on DOS)

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