I was looking back through some of my old blog

entries today and noticed something I had forgotten about. Back in January

of this year, I mentioned how I

had just gotten and installed a copy of eComStation

1.2. I also noticed how I hadn’t posted any updates about how I’ve been

getting along with it.  That should be

SOME type of an indication right there I guess.

For those of you that have never heard of it, eComStation, also known as eCS, is

essentially an OEMed version of IBM’s OS/2 Warp operating system. Serenity

Systems has updated Warp with a bunch of new features and worked hard to clean

up the code in many places. As an old time Warp user, I looked forward to

installing and using eCS on a regular basis. It installed like a charm and

worked well. Serenity Systems included enough applications for it that it would

serve as a passable Windows replacement operating system.  The problem is, I just haven’t used it very


I reread that entry and could feel the sense of glee and

anticipation I had about getting the chance to use an updated version of Warp,

but quite frankly, I haven’t spent more than a week using it after I had it


I installed it two places: on an old HP Kayak and on an old

HP Omnibook.  Because they were older

units, they’d serve as a good baseline for comparison because OS/2 was

originally designed to run on much less hardware, so eCS should have performed

admirably on them.  It did so, and

continues to do so on the Kayak. It’s humming away under my cube right now.

The Omnibook was a different matter entirely. OS/2 never did

work well with notebooks, and even though the base machine runs well, I could

never get the PCMCIA drivers to talk to the network card. In today’s world, a

PC without network or Internet access is pretty much a paperweight, which is

what I wound up using the hard drive I installed eCS on the laptop for until I

installed Ubuntu Linux over it.

Since then, I’ve been using SuSe Linux as my Windows

alternative OS of choice. It’s limiting enough using an alt-OS in a Windows network,

and SuSe was just better at doing some things than eCS is. One minor example:

we use YM here at TechRepublic to communicate with each other. SuSe can run

Yahoo’s client natively. With eCS you had to use a Java program called Jeti

which works with Jabber. There are dozens of other examples where I just had to

make too many compromises to keep using eCS.

So for now, eCS is still installed on one of my

test machines. When I feel truly nostalgic for OS/2, I have that running on a

test machine at home. Even that, I don’t think I’ve booted in 6 months. For

their part, Serenity Systems is working on a new version of eCS called eComStation

2.0.  Where this fits in the grand

scheme of things –  Windows Vista, Mac OS

X, Linux, et al – it’s hard to tell. I might look at 2.0 when it comes out, but

for me, I think I’ll save some power and shut off the eCS machine for the last