[rescue] Disposing Of OS/2 Apps

Devin Ganger devin at thecabal.org
Wed Mar 28 23:48:38 CDT 2007

On 3/26/07 7:54 PM, "Dan Duncan" <danduncan at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 3/26/07, Clemson, Chris <Chris.Clemson at softwareag.co.uk> wrote:

>> Was just a shame that the Desqview-type thingy wasn't very compatible
>> with lots of DOS programs.....
> Man I loved Desqview!   It let me avoid Windows until I got OS/2.  As long as
> I kept certain apps in ram (all 2MB of ram that I had on my 386DX/20) they
> would run in the background.  I could download full speed at 14.4kbps in
> the background and still run almost anything I wanted.  When I got my new
> system (486BL3-75 w/ 16MB) it came with Windows 3.1.  I tried to match
> the performance of my 386 by downloading a file in the background.  No
> dice.  The system slowed to a crawl and started dropping enough packets
> that even zmodem would get pissed off.  I deleted Windows and dual booted
> slackware and DOS (PC DOS 6) until OS/2 2.1 came out shortly thereafter.

Windows 3.1 came with a really crappy set of defaults for the serial ports.
I worked in a small computer shop that also sold software meant to be used
with a satellite receiver, and I got to learn all sorts of tricks on how to
tweak WIN.INI and SYSTEM.INI to make Windows actually use the serial ports
correctly, without dragging down the performance of the entire system.

That was back in the days when even though Windows was crappy, the resource
kits actually were worth spending money on, because they gave you a lot of
good reference documentation.

The only folks I knew who were into Desqview were the serious BBS operators
who wanted to run multi-line BBSs. Me, I just collected spare XTs and ran
multiple physical nodes. I couldn't afford the second phone line to keep my
Fidonet front end and my BBS on separate machines/lines, but I did scrounge
together ARCnet gear so I had a network.

Man, I miss those days. Computing was fun back then. It hasn't been that
kind of fun for a long time. I mean, I still have moments of sheer joy when
I figure out something new or stumble across something cool, but nothing
like those days, when I was hacking together over 3,000 lines of DOS batch
files (couldn't use 4DOS or other DOS shells, for reasons I can't remember
now -- probably memory) to make my collection of BBS utilities all work
together and keep the system up 24x7.

Or my first experiences with UNIX (Solaris) on my shiny new shell account,
after finally being intrigued enough with running the DOS version of Waffle
for a couple of years as a UUCP node. I still remember walking into a Barnes
and Noble and discovering the O'Reilly books.

It's just not the same these days. The most joy I get from my computing is
my MacBook Pro and my Mac mini -- I don't have to fart around with the damn
things. I turn them on, I open a document to write or a web browser or
import a video file or burn a DVD, and they just work. And then I get up
from the computer and go find something else to do.

Devin L. Ganger <devin at thecabal.org>
Homepage: http://www.thecabal.org/~devin/
Devin on Earth: http://blogs.thecabal.org/blogs/devin/

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