OS/2 Advantages List

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Here's a list of OS/2 advantages compiled from several sources, including a similar list by Stephen M. Smith (smsmith@magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu). While I've tried to eliminate errors and duplications in previous lists, I'll appreciate suggestions for improvements.

(CLI=Command Line Interface; GUI=Graphic User Interface; VDM=Virtual DOS Machine)

  1. Preemptively multitasks, i.e., this op. sys. allocates CPU time to apps based on user-selectable priorities.
  2. Protects apps from overwriting or crashing one another.
  3. Provides at least 633k of RAM to each DOS app.
  4. Offers over 700k of RAM to each DOS app in CGA/Mono mode.
  5. Offers 16M XMS, 32M EMS, and 512M DPMI to each DOS app.
  6. Manages memory without 3rd party managers like QEMM and 386Max.
  7. Runs DOS, Windows 2.0-3.0, and both 16 and 32 bit OS/2 apps.
  8. Runs DR DOS, 4DOS, Desqview, CP/M, Minix, or any other real mode op. sys. in each VDM.
  9. Offers each VDM its own device drivers, config.sys, and autoexec.bat.
  10. Offers up to 240 VDM's.
  11. Offers choice of GUI, CLI in a window, or CLI without GUI loaded.
  12. Automatically distinguishes DOS, Windows, and OS/2 apps when invoked from the command line, and runs them.
  13. Allows background starting of programs from the command line.
  14. Allows simultaneous or conditional starting of programs from the command line (e.g., 2nd program starts if 1st program fails).
  15. Offers detailed help from the command line.
  16. Recalls command lines (for the OS/2 CLI) without use of a TSR.
  17. Offers 1 pass DISKCOPY from the command line.
  18. Can use the CLI to move files and directories without first copying and then deleting them.
  19. Offers over 100 lines for scroll back in CLI windows (mode co80,102).
  20. Offers huge fonts in full screen text mode sessions (mode co40,12) for visually impaired.
  21. Offers disabled users "sticky keys" for one finger operation.
  22. Reliably supports background communication and printing.
  23. Prints output correctly from programs running concurrently.
  24. Offers the powerful REXX batch language meeting SAA standards.
  25. Allows the wildcard '*' at any point in a word, even in DOS sessions.
  26. Keeps a first-in-first-out wastebasket of deleted files for latter recovery.
  27. Uses extended attributes for files, programs, and directories.
  28. Uses Installable File Systems, either FAT or HPFS.
  29. With HPFS, speeds disk access by reducing head motion.
  30. With HPFS, avoids fragmenting of files.
  31. With HPFS, saves disk space with 512 byte clusters.
  32. With HPFS, applies hot fixes when encountering bad sectors.
  33. With HPFS, supports hard disks up to 512 GB in size.
  34. Has built in 387 emulation.
  35. Offers extensive system diagnostics for trouble shooting.
  36. Buffers the 16550A UART in DOS sessions.
  37. Uses threads.
  38. Uses semaphores.
  39. Uses named pipes, with output to DOS, Windows, and OS/2 apps.
  40. Allows 32 bit apps without needing a 32 bit/16 bit translation layer.
  41. Uses the watchdog timer in 32 bit bus motherboards.
  42. Runs detached processes.
  43. Allows use of two free 32 bit C compilers, one with debugger and one with C++, and a free 32 bit Fortran compiler (claimed to halve run time).
  44. Allows booting from an extended partition.
  45. Allows user to choose op. sys. at bootup, using Boot Manager.
  46. Allows user to change op. sys. from the command line, using Dual Boot.
  47. Allows boot-from-disk games.
  48. Includes "applets" and games, e.g. chess playable over networks.
  49. Reliably starts apps or batch files at scheduled times, using the included Alarms applet.
  50. Offers scalable, industry standard typefaces in Windows and OS/2 applications, without purchasing an additional utility.
  51. Can restrict or set times for printing.
  52. Can include custom header sheets with print jobs.
  53. Allows a 768x1024 portrait mode for the desktop, using a Trident adapter.
  54. Allows "pan and scan" video drivers (e.g., Tridents 800x600x256 virtual desktop driver) to create a large virtual desktop which scrolls both horizontally and vertically with mouse movement.
  55. Scrolls the desktop, without needing additional utilities.
  56. Offers different color schemes for each window, border, background, buttons, text bars, etc.
  57. Offers different fonts in each pull-down menu, icons, text bars, etc.
  58. Offers different pictures or solid colors for the background in each folder.
  59. Allows user created color schemes to be dragged and dropped at any time on any window or folder.
  60. Allows user to select border width of each window.
  61. Can restore the original desktop (icons, fonts, windows, colors, etc.) at bootup if desired.
  62. Allows icons directly on the desktop.
  63. Allows shadow objects, so changing one changes all.
  64. Resizes DOS graphics in VDM windows.
  65. Can "explode" and "implode" windows when opening and closing them, a la the Mac.
  66. Allows use of icons before other icons in the same window have finished displaying.
  67. Allows selection of several icons with a single mouse click, and then a single action on them all.
  68. Creates files and directories via drag and drop.
  69. Allows dragging and dropping folders into other folders.
  70. Allows making folders into "work areas", so that closing one closes all its files and programs.
  71. At boot, automatically restarts apps and restores desktop to their state at last shutdown.
  72. Automatically updates icons when files and directories are moved.
  73. Changes window lists and status bars to show which executable is running within each VDM.
  74. Retains mouse access to desktop from within each windowed VDM.
  75. Alters the look of icons when programs are started and folders opened.
  76. Save the keyboard state (e.g. NumLock) for each application.
  77. All past upgrades and CSD's have been free.
  78. Comes with a 30 day money-back satisfaction guarantee.
  79. Comes with a 90 day money-back compatibility guarantee.
  80. Comes with 60 days of toll-free technical support.

Please send me your suggestions for additions, deletions, or corrections for future listings.