Team OS/2 Frequently Asked Questions List
Version 2.4 (20th May 1996)
Available on the World Wide Web at:
* USA: http://www.teamos2.org/faq
* UK + Europe: http://www.aber.ac.uk/~ccs95/teamfaq.html
This document contains a list of questions and answers about that wholly
remarkable organisation, Team OS/2. It is maintained by Christian
Scarborough. Corrections, as well as constructive criticism, suggestions for
improvement and additions, and large sums of money are all welcome, and can
be submitted to the following addresses:
Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred), email@example.com
Disclaimer and Copyright Notice
This document is based entirely on my personal opinions about Team OS/2, and
any inaccuracies are therefore my fault. In no way does this document
constitute the official opinion of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth (who
probably don't even know what OS/2 is), or IBM itself.
The document is provided AS IS, without warranty of any kind. The author is
not liable for any loss or damage resulting from use of information
contained herein, correct or otherwise.
All trademarks are copyright of their respective owners.
Copyright Christian Scarborough 1994-1996 (except where otherwise stated).
License is hereby granted to freely distribute this document in any form,
provided no fee (other than a reasonable distribution charge, where
applicable) is charged, and that this copyright notice remains intact. This
document may not be reproduced in any way, either in full or in part, as
part of a commercial venture (including but not limited to CD-ROM
distribution and magazine articles) without my express written permission.
An explicit exception to the above license is hereby granted to the
producers of the Walnut Creek OS/2 Shareware CD ROM, who may include this
document on their distribution.
1. General Questions
a. What is Team OS/2 about?
1. What exactly is Team OS/2?
2. How did Team OS/2 originate?
3. What does Team OS/2 do?
4. I'd like to do one of the things mentioned above, but I'm a
bit nervous about going it alone. Is there anyone I can ask
5. What is Team OS/2's position on Windows, Windows 95, NT, and
other competing software?
6. Are Team OS/2 membership and using or supporting a different
OS mutually exclusive activities?
b. IBM and Team OS/2
1. What is IBM's relationship with Team OS/2?
2. Do I have to work for IBM to be a Team OS/2 member?
3. How do I contact IBM's Team OS/2 support?
c. How do I join?
1. How do I join Team OS/2?
2. How do I get my name placed on the register of Teamers?
2. Where to contact Team OS/2 members
a. Electronic conferences
2. Internet / Usenet
4. CompuServe / CIX
7. America Online
b. Face to face
1. User groups
2. Computer shows / store demos
3. Team OS/2 sources of information
a. Where are the principal sources of Team info?
b. What general documents are available?
1. The Team OS/2 FAQ
2. The OS/2 FAQ
3. The Team OS/2 membership list
4. OS/2 installation help file
5. Trap error guide v1.01
6. OS/2 2.1 performance improvements
7. OS/2 performance tuning
8. Stupid OS/2 Tricks
9. APAR lists
10. CONFIG.SYS documents
11. OS/2 shipping applications
12. OS/2 BBS list
13. Hardware compatibility table
14. The Good, Bad and Ugly hardware list
15. Workplace Shell keys reference
16. OS/2 Awards
c. What newsletters are available?
1. Team OS/2 newsletter
2. San Diego OS/2 User Group newsletter
3. IBM Developer Support News
d. Where can OS/2 promotional items / software be obtained?
1. Indelible Blue Inc. (USA)
2. Lees-Keystone (USA)
3. The OS/2 Solution Centre (UK)
4. OneStop Software (UK)
4. A brief history of OS/2
5. Team OS/2 related jargon
A. Appendix - Revision History
1) General OS/2 questions
1(a) What is Team OS/2 about?
Question 1(a).1 - What exactly is Team OS/2?
Team OS/2 is a highly informal organisation dedicated to telling the world
about the advantages of Operating System/2 (OS/2), an advanced operating
system for personal computers. Faced with a large amount of ignorance and
misinformation about OS/2, Teamers respond by demonstrating the operating
system to others, and educating them about its strengths and weaknesses.
Teamers are all volunteers with a genuine enthusiasm for OS/2 that
translates into a wish to spread that enthusiasm to others.
Question 1(a).2 - How did Team OS/2 originate?
Shortly before the release of version 2 of OS/2, an IBM employee called Dave
Whittle had an idea. He, like many others at that time, could see that OS/2
was an excellent program, but like many others, he was frustrated by the
lack of attention that it was receiving in the computer press and elsewhere.
As a result, he decided to form a group of OS/2 enthusiasts who would help
each other to promote OS/2 at the grass roots level. This organisation grew
beyond his wildest dreams to encompass Teamers both inside and outside of
IBM. Currently, Team OS/2 has more than six thousand members worldwide. Less
than 5% of these are IBM employees.
Question 1(a).3 - What does Team OS/2 do?
Anything that promotes OS/2 to other people. Examples include, but are not
* Showing OS/2 to friends and workmates.
* Demonstrating OS/2 to local stores, sometimes "adopting" a store.
* Participating in electronic conferences discussing OS/2.
* Helping exhibitors at computer shows to set up OS/2 demonstrations, and
answering OS/2 questions.
* Promoting OS/2 at user groups, possibly starting Special Interest
Groups dealing with OS/2, or starting OS/2 user groups.
* Running OS/2 BBS systems, carrying OS/2 files.
Not to mention anything else that springs to mind, often on the spur of the
moment. Above all, Teamers do what they do because it is fun.
Question 1(a).4 - I'd like to do one of the things mentioned above, but I'm
a bit nervous about going it alone. Is there anyone I can ask for help?
Yes. Many Teamers are willing to offer advice through electronic
conferences, and you may be able to find Teamers local to you this way. For
demos, you might like to get in touch with IBM's Team OS/2 support group
(see Section 1(b) below), or your local IBM office, if you have one. If you
are setting up an OS/2 User Group, then IBM can also offer some help;
contact firstname.lastname@example.org via the Internet. In particular, the Fidonet
Team OS/2 echo has many contributors that also run user groups.
Question 1(a).5 - What is Team OS/2's position on Windows, Windows 95, NT,
and other competing software?
Well, Team OS/2 is an informal organisation, and as such has no views on
anything. In my experience, and yours may differ, the majority of Teamers
feel that OS/2 is good enough that we can promote it on it's own merits,
rather than resort to rubbishing competing products, which can often give a
bad impression, alienating people who might otherwise enjoy using OS/2.
Question 1(a).6 - Are Team OS/2 membership and using or supporting a
different OS mutually exclusive activities?
Absolutely not. Being a fan of OS/2 does not mean that a Teamer has to avoid
all other OSes. There are now a wide range of other PC and non-PC operating
systems such as Linux, Windows NT, Windows 95, NextStep, and System 7, and
all of them have different strengths and weaknesses, so it's possible to
like more than one.
1(b) IBM and Team OS/2
Question 1(b).1 - What is IBM's relationship with Team OS/2?
IBM has no control or authority over the activities of Team OS/2. It does
provide formal support for Team OS/2 activities, such as the loan of
computers for demonstrations, OS/2 store packs, etc, in a similar way to the
support it offers to OS/2 user groups. IBM also maintains a register of Team
OS/2 members (see Section 1(c) below), and produces a Team OS/2 newsletter,
both distributed electronically.
IBM's support for Team OS/2 is strongest within the USA, but they now have
liasons in sixteen other countries. Their email addresses are listed in
Question 1(b).2 - Do I have to work for IBM to be a Team OS/2 member?
The answer to this question is a categorical NO. Although Team OS/2 contains
many IBMers who are active participants, the vast majority are users,
programmers, students, and other enthusiasts from outside of IBM.
Question 1(b).3 - How do I contact IBM's Team OS/2 support?
Any of the following may be used, but electronic mail is preferred
Internet (Team OS/2 Support): email@example.com
Internet (PC User Group Support): firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: 1-905-316-2535 (Attn: Arylnn Poczynek)
Post: IBM Team OS/2 Relations,
c/o Richard Woolsey
PO Box 81946
Austin, TX 78758
Caveat: This information is very old, and I have no idea how accurate it is.
Argentina: Juan Sortheix - email@example.com
Australia: Peter Kelley - firstname.lastname@example.org
Austria: Georg Hascheck - email@example.com
Ludwig Eder - firstname.lastname@example.org
Belgium: Frank Vandewiele - <address unknown>
Canada: Arylnn Poczynek - email@example.com
Denmark: Carsten Joost - TEAMOS2_DK@vnet.ibm.com
Germany; Andreas Claus Kistner - KISTNER@FRANVM2.VNET.IBM.COM
Ireland: Scott Myles - firstname.lastname@example.org
Japan: Kaoru Sudo - <address unknown>
Latvia: Harry Bush - Harry@castle.riga.lv, Fido 2:51/2
Netherlands: Jeroen van den Horn - HORNE@vnet.ibm.com
Portugal: Pedro Soares - <address unknown>
Singapore: Jason Ho Yong Sing - <address unknown>
South Africa: Faridah Hoosen - <address unknown>
Glenn Fermoyle - <address unknown>
Francois van der Merwe - <address unknown>
Spain: Xavier Caballe - email@example.com
Sweden: Mats Pettersson - TEAMOS2_SV@vnet.ibm.com
Switzerland: Thomas Straumann -
UK: Andrew Agerbak - TEAMUK@vnet.ibm.com
1(c) How do I join?
Question 1(c).1 - How do I join Team OS/2?
Joining Team OS/2 is very simple. There is no formal membership application
process. All that is necessary is to do something that promotes OS/2 to
others, no matter how large or small, and you are entitled to call yourself
a Team OS/2 member. Once you have done this, you may wish to place the text
"Team OS/2" in any electronic messages you send, and you may wish to have
your name placed on the register of Teamers kept by IBM, but neither of
these steps are essential to becoming a Team OS/2 member, just a willingness
to promote OS/2 to others.
Question 1(c).2 - How do I get my name placed on the register of Teamers?
The Team OS/2 membership database has been undergoing a bit of a facelift
recently. If you would like to join, then the easiest way is to use the
World Web Web - point your browser at http://www.teamos2.org/jointeam, but
for those without WWW access here are some (rather out of date)
The following is quoted from a document by Janet Gobeille
The Team OS/2 Support group keeps a database of members that we then sort
and upload to the electronic networks so that you can find each other. For
this database, please send the following information to one of the addresses
in section 1(b).3 above:
1. Your Name
2. Mailing address (only the city, state, and country will be published)
3. May we release your address to vendors who wish to do mailings to Team
OS/2 members? (Yes or no)
4. userids and networks / email addresses
5. Optional: you can include a short (1-2 line) description to be included
with your name. Sometimes software developers like to mention which
products they've written or BBS operators include how to reach their
6. Also please let us know what you've been doing so that you feel you
qualify for Team OS/2.
2) How to contact Team OS/2 members
2(a) Electronic conferences
Teamers frequent many electronic conferences, some of which are listed
below. If there is a conference that you know of that is not listed below,
please let me know.
2(a).1 - Fidonet
The Fidonet echo TEAMOS2 is on the echo backbone in Zones 1 and 2, and is
also taken by sites in zones 3 and 6. It serves as a meeting place for
Teamers worldwide to discuss issues relating to Team activities, as well as
serving as a point of contact for many OS/2 user groups.
There are also several national Fidonet echoes in existence, for example
Germany and France both have national language Team OS/2 echoes.
2(a).2 - Internet / Usenet
The newsgroup alt.org.team-os2 is specifically devoted to Team OS/2,
although many Teamers also follow the newsgroups in the comp.os.os2
hierarchy. Of particular interest to Teamers is the comp.os.os2.advocacy
newsgroup, also frequented by several staunch NT supporters. some of the
posts in this newsgroup are rather extreme in nature - you have been warned!
There are also a couple of OS/2 related mailing lists. To subscribe to one
of these lists, send mail to the address specified with a blank subject line
and the text
sub <list name> <your first name> <your surname>
in the message text, filling in your details as appropriate. Do not include
an explanation or signature, as the request will be processed automatically.
List name: os2users
Location: McGill University in Canada
Topic: general OS/2 discussion
List name: os2-l
Location: the Netherlands
Topic: general OS/2 discussion
List name: team-os2
Location: the Netherlands
Topic: Grass roots promotion of OS/2
List name: teamhelp
Location: the Netherlands
Topic: Team OS/2 help desk
In addition, there are several Team OS/2 related mailing lists running off
the Team OS/2 World Wide Web server. Details of these can be found at
2(a).3 - Prodigy
Seek out the OS/2 club, which has both files for downloading and message
2(a).4 - CompuServe / CIX
'Go OS2USER'. Section 9 is dedicated to Team OS/2.
2(a).5 - GEnie
The OS/2 roundtable (page 1400) is the place to look here. Look out for the
announcements of upcoming Realtime Conferences (RTCs) in the Upcoming
Bulletin Board conferences section.
2(a).6 - Delphi
The Teamers here are to be found hanging out on Custom Forum 41.
2(a).7 - America Online
Head for the Computing icon, OS/2 topic. AOL has regularly-scheduled OS/2
chats on Tuesdays at 11:30 p.m., Thursdays at 9 p.m., and Saturdays at 9:30
p.m. EST (Grenwich Mean Time minus 5 hours.)
2(a).8 - WWIVnet
Dave Allen Walker hosts a Team OS/2 subboard on WWIVnet, which can be
subscribed to from WWIVnet or WWIVlink as follows:
2(b) Face to face
Often it's nice to meet fellow Teamers in the flesh too. There are two main
places where there is a good chance of meeting Teamers face to face.
2(b).1 - User groups
OS/2 user groups usually have a large contingent of Teamer members, and
there may be one near you. These are mostly found within the USA, although
the International OS/2 User Group is based in Cirencester, UK and many other
countries (such as Germany) now have their own user groups. A list of OS/2
User Groups is regretably beyond the scope of this document.
2(b).2 - Computer shows / store demos
If you are planning to attend a computer show, it is possible that you will
find a group of Teamers helping out there. If you would like to help out
with Team activities at the show, then contact IBM's Team OS/2 support, who
will probably be able to put you in touch with those organising Team OS/2's
presence. Also, Teamers will often help out at store demos of OS/2.
3) Team OS/2 sources of information
This section is concerned mainly with the electronic distribution of Team
OS/2 and general OS/2 related information, although the final sub-section
covers OS/2 promotional items and software by mail order.
3(a) Where are the principal sources of OS/2 information / software?
This section is classified by electronic network.
3(a).1 - Fidonet
An extensive selection of OS/2 related material is distributed on file echos
called the "Fernwood Collection" and is maintained on the Bear Garden BBS in
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. FWOS2INFO is the place to look for Team
OS/2 info, much of which can also be FReqed (see glossary) from Janet
Gobeille's BBS (1:382/902).
Also worth a mention is the OS/2 Shareware BBS (sysop Pete Norloff, node
1:109/347), located in Fairfax, Virginia, USA, phone number 703-385-4325,
carrying one of the widest selections of OS/2 related files and echos in the
the world. The BBS is also connected to the Internet at bbs.os2bbs.com
(subscribers only) and the WWW at http://www.os2bbs.com.
In England, Monusci, the BBS of the International OS/2 User Group is a good
source of OS/2 information and files, and access is not restricted to User
Group members. The Sysop is Mike Gove, node number 2:255/100, phone number
3(a).2 - Internet
Several OS/2 related anonymous ftp sites are available on the Internet. The
two main sites are
ftp-os2.nmsu.edu Directory: /os2
ftp.cdrom.com Directory: /pub/os2
IBM's own official OS/2 FTP site is located at
software.watson.ibm.com Directory: /pub/os2
The IBM OS/2 device driver repository is at
ftp.europe.ibm.com Directory: /psmemea/os2drivers
These sites are mirrored in several places around the world, including
src.doc.ic.ac.uk (England) Directory: /computing/systems/os2
ftp.funet.fi/pub/os2 (Finland) Directory: /pub/os2
ftp.informatik.tu-muenchen.de Directory: /pub/comp/os/os2
A more comprehensive list of FTP sites can be found in the OS/2 FAQ.
For information about ftp, consult the glossary in Section 5
In addition, IBM operate an experimental gopher server at
index.almaden.ibm.com containing many OS/2 related files.
There have been an enormous number of OS/2 related World Wide Web sites set
up recently, so much so that it is impossible to list them all here.
However, a couple of sites worth looking at, from which you should be able
to find the rest, are:
www.ibm.com IBM's own WWW site
IBM's OS/2 page
www.europe.ibm.com IBM Europe
www.teamos2.org Team OS/2's home on the Web
The MIT OS/2 home page
3(a).3 - Others
Any details of OS/2 sources on other networks would be greatly appreciated.
3(b) What general documents are available?
3(b).1 - The Team OS/2 FAQ - TMFAQ24.ZIP
Well, you are reading it at the moment. Anything I could say about it seems
slightly superfluous in the light of that fact.
3(b).2 - The OS/2 FAQ - WARPFAQ3.ZIP
This is a list of questions and answers related to OS/2 generally,
maintained by Timothy Sipples. It is posted at regular intervals in the
comp.os.os2.advocacy newsgroup, and can be found on many ftp sites, as well
as some BBSes. There are a small number of FAQs concerned with more specific
aspects of OS/2, such as programming. For a list of these, please consult
the OS/2 FAQ.
3(b).3 - The Team OS/2 membership list - TEAMOS.ZIP
This document, widely distributed on BBSes, is a list of all the Team OS/2
members worldwide who have submitted their names to IBM, along with their
location (city and country), and any electronic addresses, enabling Teamers
local to each other to get in touch. The filename is TEAMxx.ZIP (xx being a
This list is fairly out of date at the moment, and IBM are planning to
release a new list "real soon now".
3(b).4 - OS/2 installation help file
A list of problems and fixes for use when installing OS/2 2.1, in INF
format. Filename is probably INSIN2.ZIP.
3(b).5 - Trap error guide v1.01 - TRAPINF.ZIP
INF file containing a brief description of OS/2 Trap messages and what they
3(b).6 - OS/2 2.1 performance improvements
An INF file describing Workplace Shell performance improvements in OS/2 2.1.
3(b).7 - OS/2 performance tuning.
INF file containing tips to allow you to fine tune your system settings for
better OS/2 performance. Filename: OS2PERF.ZIP
3(b).8 - Stupid OS/2 Tricks - TRICKS6.ZIP
A list of useful (and not so useful) things you can do to your OS/2 system
in INF format.
3(b).9 - APAR lists - 30APR1.ZIP
APARs are known problems with OS/2 that IBM is in the process of fixing. The
lists contain details of the bugs that IBM know about.
3(b).10 - CONFIG.SYS documents
There are currently two ASCII documents explaining what the sometimes rather
cryptic statements in the OS/2 CONFIG.SYS file mean. These are CFGS_11.ZIP
3(b).11 - OS/2 shipping applications - OS2_APPS.TXT
Just that. A list of currently shipping applications for OS/2. Often useful
when countering rumours that there are no OS/2 applications available.
3(b).12 - OS/2 BBS list - OS2WORLD.ZIP
Contains a list of BBSes that carry OS/2 files and echos throughout the
3(b).13 - Hardware compatibility table - PCMTAB.ZIP
Contains a list of hardware that has been tested by IBM and found to be
compatible with OS/2. This can be very useful when buying new hardware, or
for finding out if OS/2 will run on a friend's machine.
3(b).14 - The Good, Bad and Ugly hardware list - GBU109.ZIP
Similar to the hardware table above, but is compiled from feedback from
users who tried to get their hardware running under OS/2. It is in INF
format, and is organised by peripheral type (e.g. 'soundcards').
3(b).15 - Workplace Shell keys reference - WPSKEYS.TXT
A concise reference containing keyboard shortcuts for various operations.
3(b).16 - OS/2 Awards - OS2AWARD.ZIP
An IBM produced listing of awards that OS/2 has won
3(c) What newsletters are available
3(c).1 - Team OS/2 newsletter - TNEW09.ZIP
This electronic newsletter from IBM in INF format aims to keep Teamers
worldwide informed and up to date on Team activities worldwide. This is now
defunct, but back issues should be widely available. Available from many
BBSes as TNEWxx.ZIP (xx is the version number).
Any Teamer wanting to take on the task of creating a newsletter should get
in touch with IBM Team OS/2 support (see section 1(b).3 above).
3(c).2 - San Diego OS/2 User Group newsletter - SDIN9410.ZIP
An extremely well presented and professional INF format newsletter produced
for the San Diego OS/2 User Group, but distributed worldwide via Fidonet and
the Internet. Edited by Dave Sichak, each edition contains OS/2 related
articles and reviews, as well as a worldwide list of OS/2 User groups. This
is worth checking out. The newsletter has now gone print only, but
electronic back issues are still available.
3(c).3 - IBM Developer Support News - DSN95AA.ZIP
An INF format magazine produced by IBM and aimed at programmers working with
OS/2. This magazine tends to contain articles of a more technical nature.
The latest filename can be calculated according to the following archaic
formula, reproduced from the newsletter itself:
Issue Date Zipped ASCII .INF .PS Pages
10 15 Aug dsn4ja.zip = dsn4j.asc 106
dsn4ji.zip = dsn4j.inf
dsn4jp.zip = dsn4j.ps
11 14 Sep dsn4ka.zip = dsn4k.asc 54
Explanation of names of zipped files for 1993 Issue 7 and later:
DSNymA = Developer Support News 199y issue m ASCII (plain-text)
DSNymI = Developer Support News 199y issue m .INF (use OS/2 VIEW)
DSNymP = Developer Support News 199y issue m .PS (PostScript)
where y = last digit of year (3, 4, ...)
m = issue represented as alpha (1=A, ..., 7=G, 8=H, ...)
For example, DSN3GI is 1993 issue 7 (=G), the 15 October issue, in .INF
format (after being unzipped).
3(c).4 - Others
Here is a short list of some of the other newsletters available:
CON1195.ZIP - OS/2 Connect
EDMI3_6.ZIP - Electronic Developer's Magazine/2
PROS1295,ZIP - PROS/2 - Tampa Bay OS/2 Users Group Newsletter
3(d) Where can OS/2 promotional items / software be found?
3(d).1 - Indelible Blue Inc. (USA)
Indelible Blue is an OS/2 only mail order vendor with a large stock of
applications. They also have franchises worldwide. Any details on these
would be much appreciated.
Address: Indelible Blue, Inc.,
3209 Gresham Lake Road,
Raleigh, North Carolina, 27615
Phone: 800-776-8284 (USA only), 919-878-9700
Office Hours: 8:30am - 7:00 pm EST Monday-Friday.
3(d).2 - Lees-Keystone (USA)
Lees-Keystone stock a wide range of OS/2 trinkets and promotional items such
as mouse mats, car stickers etc. They also stock Team OS/2 specific items
such as T-shirts.
Lees-Keystone are known for having high shipping costs. Be sure to check
these before ordering.
Phone: (800) 717-7666 (USA only)
Fax: (914) 273-9187
3(d).3 - The OS/2 Solution Centre (UK)
An offshoot of the International OS/2 User group, based at the same address,
this mail order vendor stocks a large range of OS/2 products and services,
aimed primarily at business customers.
Address: The OS/2 Solution Centre,
Phone: +44 (0)1285 641175
Fax: +44 (0)1285 640181
3(d).4 - OneStop Software (UK)
OneStop Software aim to be the most comprehensive source of OS/2 products in
Europe. They will ship outside the UK.
Address: OneStop Software
78 Queens Road
Phone: +44 (0)117 985 3370
(9.30 - 5.30 Mon. - Fri. - answering machine out of hours)
Fax: +44 (0)117 985 3373
4) A brief history of OS/2
This section is intended to give an introduction to the history of OS/2, as
well as a brief explanation of the rather confusing splintering of OS/2
versions that has occurred recently.
4(a) - History of OS/2
In 1987, IBM and Microsoft released OS/2 version 1.0 as the successor to MS
DOS, the PC operating system shipped with the original IBM PC. OS/2 ran on a
286 or better processor, and required a minimum of 2MB of RAM.
OS/2 version 1 was enhanced and improved jointly by IBM and MS, and for
version 1.1 a GUI (see Glossary below) was added. Version 1.2 introduced the
High Performance File System (HPFS), and also a plethora of bugs.
At about this time, MS and IBM started to disagree over the future of OS/2,
and Microsoft pulled out of the project, leaving IBM to develop a more
stable OS/2 1.3 on its own.
OS/2 1.x never sold in great volume, and enjoyed only a moderate success in
the corporate market for a variety of reasons. It did not run on most
non-IBM manufactured hardware, was not really backwardly compatible (having
very limited DOS program support), and suffered from a lack of applications.
In 1991, IBM released OS/2 version 2.0, a new version of OS/2 for 386 and
higher processors requiring a minimum of 4MB (6MB for practical purposes) of
RAM, and featuring a redesigned object oriented GUI called the Workplace
Shell. It also introduced multiple DOS sessions that would run the majority
of old DOS applications, as well as built in support for Windows programs
through a licensed version of the Windows 3.0 code.
Version 2.1 added improvements in performance and usability, as well as
Windows 3.1 support and built in multimedia. IBM then followed this up with
OS/2 for Windows, which would take users' existing copies of Windows, and
modify them to allow them to run under OS/2. The next release of OS/2,
called OS/2 Warp version 3, built on this with substantial an improved
install process, reduced memory requirements, and support for many more
hardware devices. This was followed by OS/2 Warp Connect, which added full
TCP/IP support and Peer to Peer networking to the Warp bundle.
4(b) - The OS/2 family
There are a number of versions of OS/2 about. Hopefully this will explain
the differences. Where products have not yet been released, details are
obviously sketchy and subject to change.
* OS/2 1.x - The original release of OS/2
* OS/2 2.0 - The first release of OS/2 specifically for 386 or better
* OS/2 2.1 - An enhanced version of 2.0 with multimedia and Windows 3.1
* OS/2 for Windows - A version of OS/2 that is functionally the same as
OS/2 2.1, but comes without any Windows code, and can use genuine
Windows 3.x code that the user has already purchased from Microsoft
instead of making her pay for a new Windows license. Surprisingly
enough, OS/2 for Windows does not require Windows to run. Windows is
only needed to run Windows programs under OS/2. Users of OS/2 2.x
cannot upgrade to OS/2 for Windows.
* OS/2 SMP - SMP stands for symmetric multiprocessing. This is a version
of OS/2 that is capable of using the greater power of PCs that have a
number of processors in them. As a rule, such PCs are normally used as
file servers on large networks, so this product is aimed at the
* OS/2 2.99, Warp, Performance OS/2 - These names were all used to refer
to the beta test version of OS/2 Warp version 3 (see below).
* OS/2 Warp version 3 - The current mainstream release of the OS/2
family. It is reported to be faster and more responsive than earlier
versions of OS/2 (although not in some systems - particularly those
with slow disks), with smaller memory requirements. It also includes a
number of usability enhancements, such as a LaunchPad for quickly
launching applications. The first version of Warp to be released was
based on the OS/2 for Windows code, and so did not ship with Windows
Warp comes in four flavours: OS/2 Warp, OS/2 with Win-OS/2, OS/2 Warp
Connect and OS/2 Warp Connect with Win-OS/2. The 'with WIN-OS/2'
versions include Windows code from IBM (as well as the cost of a
Windows license, naturally). Users of OS/2 2.1 can upgrade to 'with
Win-OS/2' versions of OS/2 Warp. The Connect versions are designed to
allow easy connection to local area networks, and come with built in
peer to peer networking facilities.
* OS/2 for PowerPC - A version of OS/2 for the PowerPC platform, released
* OS/2 Warp Server - OS/2 Warp Connect integrated with IBM LAN server
4.0. This version of Warp is designed for networked computers serving
files and printers to other computers on the network.
* Merlin - OS/2 version 4 (?) beta. Currently in early development with a
possible public beta program occurring sometime after the start of June
1996, and eventual release in mid/late 1996. this will be the last
release of OS/2 that is specific to Intel processors, and promises more
performance and stability improvements. It may not run on 386 processor
5) Team OS/2 related jargon
This section is intended to explain some of the terms used by Teamers and in
this document. The world of computing in general seems to be rife with
jargon, and this can be confusing for the newcomer. Hopefully, things will
be a little clearer after having read this section.
APAR stands for Authorized Program Analysis Report. An APAR is a
problem or bug (qv) in OS/2 that IBM has officially recognised and
either has fixed, or is in the process of fixing. Fixpacks (qv) usually
come with a list of APARs that have been fixed.
A pre-release version of a program. OS/2 was subject to one of the
widest beta tests ever, with many copies being shipped to customers.
Beta products are often unstable and usually contain many bugs (qv),
but allow the user to test out the product ahead of its release.
A problem with a piece of software that causes it to operate
Central processing unit. The part of the computer that does the work.
OS/2 runs on computers containing Intel (qv) 80386, 80486, and Pentium
Corrective Service Diskettes. The same thing as 'Service Pack' (qv).
The Disk Operating System. This was the operating system (qv) shipped
with the original IBM PC in 1981. It has since gone through seven major
Yet another name for a Service Pack (qv)
Fidonet term. File Request. A netmail (qv) message sent directly to a
BBS system requesting files from them.
file transfer protocol. A method of transferring files from a remote
machine to your machine over the internet. For details of how to use
it, type 'man ftp' or 'help ftp' on your local system.
Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Term used to describe certain
unscrupulous marketing techniques whereby large amounts of incorrect
information are disseminated to the public in order to aversely effect
sales of a product.
General Availability. The GA release of a product is the first 'for
A Graphical User interface. This is a method of interaction with the
computer (usually using a mouse - an electronic device used to move a
cursor around the screen) that is theoretically more intuitive than the
command line interface used in DOS, because it uses graphics to
represent various tasks to the user. Sometimes described as a WIMP
(Windows, Icons, Menus and Pointers) system. Windows (qv), and OS/2's
Workplace Shell are both graphical user interfaces.
Hypertext markup language. Confusing piece of jargon that is used to
describe the language in which World Wide Web (qv) documents are
The hypertext transfer protocol. Another confusing piece of jargon that
just means that a World Wide Web (qv) document is in the standard form
for Web browsers (qv).
The International Business Machines corporation, manufacturer of OS/2.
A file extension used to denote IPF files readable by the VIEW program
supplied with OS/2. INF files have the form <filename>.INF. The VIEW
program presents these files in a user friendly and intuitive manner,
allowing the user to manipulate the information contained easily.
A manufacturer of CPU (qv) chips.
Fidonet term. Private mail transferred between Fidonet systems.
The software that allows a computer to run other programs.
IBM's (qv) Operating System/2 (or OS/2 for short) is an advanced 32 bit
Operating System (qv) for IBM PCs and compatibles with an 80386, 80486,
Pentium, Pentium Pro, or other compatible processor, and also the
PowerPC (qv). Amongst the advantages of OS/2 are pre-emptive
multitasking, DOS and Windows compatibility, an advanced object
oriented GUI (qv), multimedia support and much more.
A new kind of PC based on a CPU (qv) developed jointly by IBM (qv),
Apple and Motorola.
Personal Software Products, the division of IBM responsible for
See recursion (qv).
A collection of OS/2 bug fixes that are distributed together to allow
users to get rid of several fixed problems.
see Service Pack.
Member of Team OS/2 (qv).
Informal organisation dedicated to promoting OS/2 at a grass roots
A piece of software, such as WebExplorer (which comes with OS/2), that
is used to access the World Wide Web (qv). Other popular browsers
include Netscape and Mosaic.
A GUI (qv) for DOS (qv). OS/2 was originally designed as the successor
to Windows by IBM and Microsoft, but Microsoft have since decided to
follow a different path with their Windows NT (qv) product.
Microsoft's alternative GUI operating system intended originally as a
competitor to OS/2, but more recently marketed as a high end server
Microsoft's latest upgrade to Windows (qv) and replacement for DOS (qv)
including some of the features and improved stability of Windows
A portable version of OS/2 that will run on several different types of
computer, currently being designed by IBM.
World Wide Web
Term used to describe a way of providing linked information over the
Internet. OS/2 (qv) now comes with software that enables users to
access the web.
Abbreviation for World wide Web (qv).
Version 2.4 contains more updates (mostly IBM contact information) plus a
new question (again about Team OS/2 and other OSes). Since I no longer
moderate the Fidonet Team OS/2 echo, I've handed over maintainance of what
used to be Appendix A (information specific to that echo) to the new
moderator. As a result the Revision History now becomes Appendix A.
The long overdue version 2.3 involves a few cosmetic changes, a load of
updates (sigh, the world moves too fast for me), and a complete translation
to HTML. The text version is now generated from the HTML version. (anyone
who has an HTML to IPF source converter would make my day if they'd send me
a copy). I've also added a couple of new questions (on other operating
systems, and appropriate topics in the Fidonet Team OS/2 echo). OneStop
Software was also added to the software sources list.
Version 2.20 is an attempt to make the information contained here more
Version 2.10 updates some information that has become out of date since
version 2.01. The section on sources of information has been greatly
expanded (thanks to Byron Huang for this info), and a new section on the
history and versions of OS/2 has been added. Question 1(a).5, dealing with
Teamers and Windows, is also new. OS/2 Internet mailing list details are now
included, in section 2(a).2.
This document is intended to be a universal source of Team OS/2 related
information, but does contain a few gaping holes, notably relating to
electronic networks that I do not participate in. In particular, I must
apologise for the US/anglocentric focus of this document, as these are the
areas for which such information is readily available to me. It is my hope
that individuals with knowledge in areas that I lack would send it to me for
inclusion in the next release. Thank you.
Team OS/2 FAQ v 2.4 / Christian Scarborough / firstname.lastname@example.org