Team OS/2 Frequently Asked Questions List

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Team OS/2 Frequently Asked Questions List

Version 2.4 (20th May 1996)


Available on the World Wide Web at:

   * USA:

   * UK + Europe:



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: (preferred),


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

               for help?

            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

            1. Fidonet

            2. Internet / Usenet

            3. Prodigy

            4. CompuServe / CIX

            5. GEnie

            6. Delphi

            7. America Online

            8. WWIVnet

       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?

            1. Fidonet

            2. Internet

            3. Others

       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

            4. Others

       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

       a. History

       b. Versions

  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

limited to:

   * 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 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

section 1(b).3.

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):

Internet (PC User Group Support):

Telephone:        1-905-316-2468

Fax:              1-905-316-2535 (Attn: Arylnn Poczynek)

Post:             IBM Team OS/2 Relations,

                  c/o Richard Woolsey

                  PO Box 81946

                  Austin, TX 78758


International contacts:

Caveat: This information is very old, and I have no idea how accurate it is.

Argentina:        Juan Sortheix -

Australia:        Peter Kelley -

Austria:          Georg Hascheck -

                  Ludwig Eder -

Belgium:          Frank Vandewiele - <address unknown>

Canada:           Arylnn Poczynek -

Denmark:          Carsten Joost -

Germany;          Andreas Claus Kistner - KISTNER@FRANVM2.VNET.IBM.COM

Ireland:          Scott Myles -

Japan:            Kaoru Sudo - <address unknown>

Latvia:           Harry Bush -, Fido 2:51/2

Netherlands:      Jeroen van den Horn -

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 -

Sweden:           Mats Pettersson -

Switzerland:      Thomas Straumann -


UK:               Andrew Agerbak -

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, 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 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:

     Subtype: TEAMOS2


          WWIVnet: @5555

          WWIVlink: @19984

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

(subscribers only) and the WWW at

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

(01454) 633197.

3(a).2 - Internet

Several OS/2 related anonymous ftp sites are available on the Internet. The

two main sites are               Directory: /os2                  Directory: /pub/os2

IBM's own official OS/2 FTP site is located at        Directory: /pub/os2

The IBM OS/2 device driver repository is at              Directory: /psmemea/os2drivers

These sites are mirrored in several places around the world, including (England)      Directory: /computing/systems/os2 (Finland)  Directory: /pub/os2   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 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:                 IBM's own WWW site

                            IBM's OS/2 page          IBM Europe             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

version number).

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

really mean.

3(b).6 - OS/2 2.1 performance improvements

An INF file describing Workplace Shell performance improvements in OS/2 2.1.

Filename: WP21PERF.ZIP

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

and OS2CFG11.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 = dsn4j.asc                           106

         =              dsn4j.inf


 11    14 Sep = 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,

                Suite 135,

                Raleigh, North Carolina, 27615


Phone:          800-776-8284 (USA only), 919-878-9700

Fax:            919-878-7479

Office Hours:   8:30am - 7:00 pm EST Monday-Friday.

CompuServe:     70670,2352


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)

                (914) 273-6755

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,

                Barton House,

                Barton Lane,



                GL7 2EE


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

                Maggs House

                78 Queens Road


                BS8 1QX

                United Kingdom

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

     corporate market.

   * 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

     code included.

     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

     in 1995.

   * 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

     sale' release.


     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.

Operating System

     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

     marketing OS/2.


     See recursion (qv).

Service Pack

     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).

Team OS/2

     Informal organisation dedicated to promoting OS/2 at a grass roots


Web browser

     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.

Windows NT

     Microsoft's alternative GUI operating system intended originally as a

     competitor to OS/2, but more recently marketed as a high end server


Windows 95

     Microsoft's latest upgrade to Windows (qv) and replacement for DOS (qv)

     including some of the features and improved stability of Windows


Workplace OS

     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).


Appendix A

Revision History

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.

Exciting, eh?

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 /


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