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Now that August 24,1995 has come and gone, enriching all of our lives, how do we adjust to the Windows '95 era? If you are one of the fortunate ones, with a new state of the art system, you buy Microsofts latest edition and continue life as per usual. And, I'm told, at a faster pace. You won't have long to wait until your favorite software is available to allow you to take advantage of M$' "new" 32 bit OS. If the preceeding was your description, "HAPPY COMPUTING!", you need read no further. If, on the other hand, you are unfortunate and have an out of date 486, 386 or (Lord forbid) lesser computer, read on. If you have a significant amount of software or a budget that won't allow you to buy the 4 or more Megs of RAM you need to compete with the fortunate ones, read on. If you don't have the money to spend on the upgrade hardware needed to compete with the fortunate ones, read on. If you simply just like to finish what you start, read on. I have a few alternatives that will give you a less expensive more stable upgrade opportunity. If you have an fairly generic system (as far as compatability), then OS/2 Warp might be your answer.
Before I continue let me first say that I find the quasi-religious devotion of a few OS advocates to be quite humorous. These are, after all, machine Operating Systems; tools to serve us, the consumers. My devotion isn't to any company (none of which pays my salary) but to my own productivity! It's in the interest of that productivity that I chose Warp as my main OS. And, maybe, a mild frugal streak that's a part of my personality. Anyway, whatever's the reason, I'll use OS/2 Warp.
Now let's determine whether or not Warp is right for your needs. As I said before if you have a significant amount of software, a budget, older equipment, or you want a stable working environment, then OS/2 Warp is a good alternative for you. Not to get too "techie" I'll just say that in a test of the major OS' done in the August issue of Computer Shopper magazine, OS/2 Warp ran Windows and DOS programs the best! (the OS' tested: M$ Windows: 3.11, NT, '95; OS/2 Warp) The two best features of OS/2 Warp were its multitasking of 16 bit programs and its stability. (All do run in protected mode;Sorry about getting "techie"!)
By all accounts Win '95 is a much superior product to Win 3.* and is tighter, smaller in size, and faster than Win NT. (Windows NT is M$' current 32 bit OS for networks and servers.) The problem you might have with '95 is mostly one of economics. You need a 486 with 8 Megs of RAM minimum to run this system to a noticable advantage. (16 Meg with a DX100 or Pentium prefered) At $40+ per Meg RAM is not cheap. For the price of only 2 Megs of RAM you can add Warp to your Win 3.* and get better performance with your existing system!
At ACCUG we have a SIG of OS/2 users who would be happy to show you how to get the most out of what you already have and not only how to compete with, but also how to beat, the fortunate ones. With a 486 and 8 Megs you will use multitasking, the Internet, and a lot of other high end computing solutions. The biggest drawback to using Warp is the same as the problem with '95, and that is a non-generic system. ('95 does have fewer compatability issues than Warp) However, other than known conflicts, I've never seen a system that I couldn't get Warp installed on. There is a slight learning curve, in order to get adjusted to all of the "new" features, such as long file names and the Object Oriented file system. ("new" to Win '95) For easy transition OS/2 has an on-line tutorial program that not only will help beginners and expert users alike, but it will even describe things in Windows" terms for easier understanding if you so desire. All in all, the best bargain in the computer software upgrade world is, IMHO, OS/2 Warp.
M$ = Microsoft
SIG = Special Interest Group
IMHO = In My Humble Opinion
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