Submitted Al MacInnis, Jan 26 2002 12:55 PM | Last updated Jan 26 2002 12:55 PM
OS/2 is an Object Oriented preemptive multitasking, Operating System. Developed for the ix86 processor-family by IBM.
OS/2 was designed with scalability in mind. It is able to run on minimum a computer with an i386 processor, 8Mb of memory and 150-200Mb og space on the harddrive.
Of course you are able to run OS/2 (16-bit and 32-bit) applications. But you are also able to run 95% of all Win16 and DOS programs and games. Also many of the most popular UNIX applications have been ported to OS/2. There are thousands of quality native OS/2 programs available for user who want to take advantage of the power of OS/2.
The system, not the applications control how much processor time the individual application get, thus eliminating "resourse hogs". Also the user is able to control the priority of the application and thereby controlling excatly how much processor time each program gets.
Each program is protected in it own "virtual machine". This gives you the ability to run misbehaving applications without having to worry about system crashes or other programs. In the case of a system crash, chances are that you will be able to save some, if not all, of your data.
The file system of OS/2 ic called HPFS. It uses the disk space more efficiently than FAT16 (DOS file system), and supports long filenames (256 characters). It drastically reducses the need for defragmentation of your partitions. Oh i forgot, OS/2 Of cause fully supports FAT16.
OS/2 has support for all industry standard networking protocols, it allows unlimited connections to other systems in a peer network, perfect for the home or small office. It comes with a full line of networking management tools and applications, such as WebExplorer, Java, FTP, Telnet3270, Ultimail (Email), and Newsreader/2 (Usenet). And of cause you can run your favorite Win16 and DOS networking applications.
The Workplace Shell or WPS for short. Is the primary shell (like the XServer in UNIX). This adds the Object-Orientation to OS/2.
The Presentation Manager Shell or PMShell for short is the secondary shell (like the Window Managers in UNIX), this one adds the Graphical User Interface to the OS/2. It is very intuitive, which means a short adaptation time. When you have gotten used to the WPS/PMShell combination, most other GUI's will seem inferior. Also the Object Orientation results in more efficient work, no more need to perform gymnastics with the mouse just to copy a file. Just drag & drop.