One of the skeletons that I keep in my closet is that a long time ago – I was an OS/2 zealot. Soon after using Windows 3.0 – I got to play with my first copy of OS/2. OS/2 2.11. I immediately fell in love with it. It was much more stable than Windows, had a nicer interface, and did a better job of running DOS / Win 3.11 programs than Windows did.
Conveniently enough – OS/2 2.11 is the earliest version of OS/2 that runs under Virtual PC:
Ahh… The nostalgia.
OS/2 2.11 did not ship with networking capabilities, nor does it support the IDE CDROM used by Virtual PC – but this is not really a problem – as you can use the DOS network and CD drivers under the OS/2 Dos Command Prompt sessions (a rather cool trick if you ask me). There is no other special configuration needed to get OS/2 2.11 up and running under Virtual PC – except to keep the memory and disk size low (my OS/2 2.11 virtual machine has 16mb ram and a 50mb hard disk).
As the ‘OS/2 Guru’ on the Virtual PC team – I feel obliged to run over all the versions of OS/2 – and the pitfalls involved in running them under Virtual PC. So you can expect to see a couple more posts to turn up about the various versions of OS/2 under Virtual PC, as well as the details of my personal experience with the releases – and how I felt they stacked up against Windows at that stage.
Given the choice between Windows 3.0 and OS/2 2.11 – OS/2 won hands down. I will however sum up this post with a couple of hard learned pieces of wisdom from my time with OS/2:
‘Operating System Zealots alienate more people than they convert’ – this has always been the case. It was in the days of OS/2 vs. Windows – and it remains the case today.
‘Time makes fools of us all’ – need I say more?