Upgrading through OS/2; Version 1.3

Keeping with the ping-point tradition, I’m going to upgrade IBM OS/2 1.2 to Microsoft OS/2 1.30.1, the LAN Manager 2.1 install.  At this point Microsoft basically was taking IBM OS/2 1.3 and repackaging it.  All their efforts were shifting out of OS/2 and into Windows NT.  But to support existing customers and build their enterprise market OS/2 was still very much an integral part of the strategy as Windows NT wasn’t ready by a long shot yet.

Products like Microsoft Mail & SQL Server (ported & rebranded Sybase SQL) were the companies future direction, but for now they were OS/2 applications, and they needed an update from OS/2 1.2.

And continuing on, it’s the same bland tradition.

Maybe I just have mixed feelings about the grey background thing, it just feels either military or industrial.  Then again that was what OS/2 was trying to be, industrial computing on the PC.  I suspect there was a color study done by IBM on the whole look and feel.  The schema feels like a design by committee thing.

And please, don’t format my disk!

Now this selective installer is new.  Prior to this you’d get all of OS/2 and from there you could disable or delete as you wanted… But now a selective install.  I went ahead and selected everything.  Naturally this being a ‘server’ version you may not want the MS-DOS stuff at all…

It sounds like a lot more stuff… But go through and select down the line.  It is strange that my control+c (break) on is never honored, I have to always go there and enable it.

Now we just shuffle diskettes, and let the install finish up.

And to select a printer.  I don’t know why it just doesn’t upgrade my old printer, maybe it just wants to show off all the drivers… A sharp contrast from OS/2 1.0!

So with the install done, and a quick reboot we are teleported to the OS/2 1.3 desktop.

Very cool.  And… very.. 1.2’ish.

So I thought I’d first verify my applications work.  Excel launches but Word..

Ouch.  I guess this Microsoft OS/2 doesn’t do upgrades.  Although it did preserve my groups. I’ve got to say this is kinda sad.  At least it did backup the config.sys so I could simply append the lines to the PATH & LIBPATH and get my applications running again. One can’t help but wonder if this was some passive aggressive attack on Word & Excel?

Also new in OS/2 1.3 is the ability to lock the desktop!  Good stuff to keep people out, too bad it’s just a system thing, not an account / role based thing.

The default ‘screen saver’ lockout screen is the OS/2 logo.  I’ve only seen it on the Microsoft BOX, and a few Microsoft books, but here it is.

OS/2 1.3 is said to be more stable then OS/2 1.2, and faster.  I couldn’t tell the difference, I’m sure being under emulation would be one of the reasons, the other being on a significantly faster machine.  Nobody could imagine Ghz CPUs in 1987.

I don’t have much to add to OS/2 1.3 as it really feels like OS/2 1.2.

Next up is OS/2 2.0, the first of the 32bit releases of OS/2… Operate at a higher level!

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