BYTE rag 'Review'

BYTE rag 'Review'

Post by Barry Ki » Sat, 25 Apr 1992 15:50:00



Did you catch the recent BYTE review of OS/2 v2.0?  The writer (I'm sorry
but I cannot recall his name and do not have the article here) was using
LA code.  He was spewing forth the doom of OS/2 based on LA.  Much of
what he said was justified.  However, what he failed to point out (it
wasn't obvious to me anyway) that LA was really beta code and clearly
_not_ 'the real thing'.

Furthermore, BYTE timed this review of what is now ancient history to
coincide roughly with the release of GA...simply put, this is a
boneheaded move...

It is terribly naive of me to think that journalists should be somehow
responsible...but it continues to bug me. (I edited th expletives...)

I agonized over my PC Mag susbscription and chose not to renew it based
primarily on (your favourite derogatory term here) liek Seymore and
Dvorak and their often ridiculous unfounded opinions.

i dropped my personal BYTE subscription years ago due to the dirth of
useful information -- I still get it at work.

Anyway, this BYTE article will be read by millions (possibly) of anxious
PCers who may form ill-conceived opinions about a product that they
cannot buy  -- OS/2 LA.  They'll extrapolate the review and apply the
criticisms to GA (not knowing the difference) and write it off based on
gross misinformation.  Maybe I'm over-reacting somewhat but, hey, what
are emotions for anyway...

There.
/exit
...stage left...


Edmonton Remote Systems:  Celebrating 10 years of service to Northern Alberta

 
 
 

BYTE rag 'Review'

Post by Andrew Hilm » Sun, 26 Apr 1992 04:32:25



>I agonized over my PC Mag susbscription and chose not to renew it based
>primarily on (your favourite derogatory term here) like Seymore and
>Dvorak and their often ridiculous unfounded opinions.

>i dropped my personal BYTE subscription years ago due to the dirth of
>useful information -- I still get it at work.

So what IS a decent computer rag? I don't see much choice beyond
the generic Ziff-Davis magazines and Byte. Z-D magazines give so
much space to Dvorak and Seymour that they cannot possibly put
out something that won't*me off mightily. Those two guys
must write nearly ten articles a month each. Perhaps that is why
so much of their stuff seems to me to convey more character than
substance. They seem to be better writers than industry
investigators.

I personally have not had much of a problem with Byte. They
might be a little irritated at IBM because they dedicated their
December '91 cover to 2.0, and wrote a highly complimentary
review of it--and then it didn't get released. Since then there
has been little coverage of OS/2.

I realize that Byte might not be what it used to be, but until I
know of real leader in the field, I will continue my
subscription with them.

Does anyone know of a computer magazine that is adequately non-
reactionary and in depth?

--
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freeware; no registration or fee is required to copy it into your own.
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BYTE rag 'Review'

Post by Larry Morr » Sun, 26 Apr 1992 05:18:29


Yeah, and I was also impressed with another article (I believe it was Ciarcia)
which briefly mentioned that OS/2 was out, that IBM had not been on the ball
enough to send the journalist a free copy, and then jumped right into a long
discussion of how he had gone to great lengths and spent a large amount of time
getting a system going to try out the nice free Win 3.1 copy he received from
MicroSoft.

Mixed emotions.  On one hand, IBM really ought to get review copies out to
the columnists for major rags.  On the other hand, if this guy had spent 5
minutes to call IBM and get a copy he probably could have given a fair
review.  At least he didn't really slam OS/2, but rather brushed it aside as
not worth his precious review time.  (Of course no problem spending days getting
that slick Win 3.1 package up.)

One thing to always bear in mind with Byte is their 3-4 month lead time.  For
some articles, they would be lucky to have info on the LA release out by now.
--

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BYTE rag 'Review'

Post by Chad Pri » Mon, 27 Apr 1992 00:24:12



>Yeah, and I was also impressed with another article (I believe it was Ciarcia)

It was Jerry Pournelle

Quote:>which briefly mentioned that OS/2 was out, that IBM had not been on the ball
>enough to send the journalist a free copy, and then jumped right into a long
>discussion of how he had gone to great lengths and spent a large amount of time
>getting a system going to try out the nice free Win 3.1 copy he received from
>MicroSoft.

Yeah, but f I was considering installing Win 3.1, I'd sure hesitate considering
the problems he had. And there are still URAE's  (sic)

Quote:>Mixed emotions.  On one hand, IBM really ought to get review copies out to
>the columnists for major rags.  On the other hand, if this guy had spent 5
>minutes to call IBM and get a copy he probably could have given a fair
>review.  At least he didn't really slam OS/2, but rather brushed it aside as
>not worth his precious review time.  (Of course no problem spending days getting
>that slick Win 3.1 package up.)
>One thing to always bear in mind with Byte is their 3-4 month lead time.  For
>some articles, they would be lucky to have info on the LA release out by now.

True. I keep hoping some of the mags will realize readers want NEWS in a field
this fast moving and will reserve a few pages for last minute insertions

chad

 
 
 

BYTE rag 'Review'

Post by Bill Unr » Mon, 27 Apr 1992 08:47:16



Quote:>>One thing to always bear in mind with Byte is their 3-4 month lead time.  For
>>some articles, they would be lucky to have info on the LA release out by now.
>True. I keep hoping some of the mags will realize readers want NEWS in a field
>this fast moving and will reserve a few pages for last minute insertions

Yes, their lead time is long- The review in this May issue is of OS2 LA.
 Teh reason they prob. never sent out a review copy was because the product
 was still intransistion until Mar 30 ( which is also why the retail channels
 are not full of copies now.) I would hope that by the Aug issue or so
*elle will have a copy to tell us about.
 
 
 

BYTE rag 'Review'

Post by Dave Andre » Tue, 28 Apr 1992 12:29:04



>Yeah, and I was also impressed with another article (I believe it was Ciarcia)
>which briefly mentioned that OS/2 was out [...]

What?  Ciarcia is back?  I unsubscribed to Byte a couple of years ago
when Ciarcia beat feet.  Guess I'll have to look at 'em again.

- David Andrews

 
 
 

BYTE rag 'Review'

Post by Kevin J. Slat » Tue, 28 Apr 1992 21:40:20


One thing to consider in the Byte article.  (It was NOT a review, but was
Doug Hamilton's column.)  I've been following the ibm.os2/2.0 conference
on bix for as long as it's been there.  Doug Hamilton, author of the
article in question and author of Hamilton's C shell, has become
battleworn in relation to OS/2.  He placed a considerable wager on OS/2
as a developer (re-mortage, withdrawn retirement, etc.) and has yet to
see it pay back.  As such, he's lately become more and more of a critic
of OS/2 and less of a chearleader for it.  I watched this happen over a
period of about 9 months.  Therefore, anything he writes concerning OS/2
will reflect this change in attitude of his.  (IMO)  Doug recently stated
that IBM was NOT supporting him as a small ISV.  And at spring comdex he
was featured in the Microsoft NT booth.  This kind of stuff happens and I
certainly don't hold any of it against Doug.  He's just trying to cover
all the bases and feed his family.  Sorry for rambling a little, but I
thought it might help people understand the whole situation.

...K

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BYTE rag 'Review'

Post by Thomas Michael Sorens » Thu, 30 Apr 1992 11:46:03


Quote:>So what IS a decent computer rag? I don't see much choice beyond
>the generic Ziff-Davis magazines and Byte. Z-D magazines give so

There aren't many mainstream (read: popular) mags that AREN'T by one company
or another (Ziff-Davis or McGraw-Hill), but there are a lot of small ones, just
go to your local computer store and leaf through. If, however, you are looking
for a magazine that will always agree with you, never*you off, etc. then
why bother? The entire point is to stimulate- and if they get it wrong in the
process then do some reverse stimulation :)

Quote:>Does anyone know of a computer magazine that is adequately non-
>reactionary and in depth?

I just scanned over the May issue of PC/Computing and it looks like they did
a good job of reviewing OS/2- even though Win 3.1 is splashed all over the
cover.

Headlines include: OS/2 2.0, Alive and Kicking
  OS/2 2.0 Does the Job

They do a pretty good job of "Is OS/2 for You?", the main reason NOT to buy
it is insufficient hardware. Right behind it is if you only use a few DOS apps.
In such a case DV or a task switcher is better (I agree). Reasons for: If
you run DOS & Windows apps, or if there are OS/2 versions of your favorite
apps already or in development.

Decent job of the differences in protection, multitasking, and memory management
in DOS & OS/2. There's also a guide to the WPS, which I haven't really looked
at yet. Looks good though- lots and lots of screen shots w/ descriptions, etc.

All in all it looks good at first glance. I'll have to take the time to read
through all of it soon. I haven't looked at the rest of the mag (esp. the Win
3.1 review).
           Tom Sorensen

--

Georgia Tech
And no, I don't like this .signature.

 
 
 

BYTE rag 'Review'

Post by David R. Gill » Thu, 30 Apr 1992 13:22:01



Quote:>I just scanned over the May issue of PC/Computing and it looks like they did
>a good job of reviewing OS/2- even though Win 3.1 is splashed all over the
>cover.

>Headlines include: OS/2 2.0, Alive and Kicking
>  OS/2 2.0 Does the Job

>They do a pretty good job of "Is OS/2 for You?", the main reason NOT to buy
>it is insufficient hardware. Right behind it is if you only use a few DOS apps.
>In such a case DV or a task switcher is better (I agree). Reasons for: If
>you run DOS & Windows apps, or if there are OS/2 versions of your favorite
>apps already or in development.

For anyone not quite sure about the 'intangible' (I quote myself here)
benefits of OS/2, This issue has an excellent, IMHO, explanation of Os/2's
benefits for the technical and non-technical readers.  It's also objective,
meaning that it's biased neither towards nor against OS/2.  It shows
several pictures of the WPS for those who have never seen it, and mentions
that to really understand the WPS, you have to sit down and use it for a
while.

Other, advocating commentary on the article follows.

Interestingly, one might notice the Windows 3.1 article.  While it makes no
reference to OS/2, take a look at the '10 Features Missing From 3.1 and
Where to Get Them'.  Interestingly, OS/2 answers almost all of them.

1. Long Filenames.  Try HPFS.
2. Hierarchical Program Groups.  WPS goes far, far beyond this.
3. A Command-Line Interface.  With OS/2, any character-mode app can be run
        either full-screen or in a window.  OK, some very old ones can't be
        run in a window, but generally, it's true.  This includes the standard
        command shell, Rommel's sh port, MKS ksh....
4. Undelete.  OS/2 has an undelete.
5. A Trash Can.  Another WPS object.
6. A File Viewer.  Would be nice.
7. Content-based Text Searching.  OS/2 does not have this.
8. A recall list for the File Run dialog.  Not really applicable, though OS/2
        could use a simple program launcher like the File Run dialog.
        note, however, that it's just as easy to start up a command shell
        and start up programs from there.  OS/2's CMD.EXE has all the
        functionality of DOSKEY built-in.  In fact, DOSKEY is essentially
        the command-line editing code from CMD.EXE.
9. Inits, or Startup programs.  I'm not really sure what they are asking for.  
        Any program that could be put in the startup folder or as a device
        driver under either OS/2 or Windows could do the same as a Mac INIT.
10. Systemwide Command Language.  OS/2 goes one step beyond here.  Not only
        is there a language, REXX, but REXX is a standard language available
        on almost all micros and mainframes, and OS/2 programs can tap into
        the REXX interpreter so that they can use it as their own script
        interpreter.  Wouldn't it be nice if every program that used a script
        language used the same one?  OS/2 has some nice programming features
        to allow this to happen.

In addition, the '10 Best Things About Windows 3.1' are almost all in OS/2,
also.

1. Better File Manager.  Try WPS.
2. Greater Reliability.  This is one of Os/2's strongest points.  In addition,
        The Windows 3.1 error management code is already in Win-OS2.
3. More efficient printing.  In OS/2, printing is a true process, so the
        problems associated with Windows printing don't even come up.
4. Revised SmartDrive.  Thanks to Gordon Letwin, we have HPFS, with its
        own cache.  In addition, we have a FAT cache that does its job
        quite well, without ever touching it.
5. 32-bit disk access.  Windows' 32-bit access is only on certain controllers,
        and only used for swapfiles.  OS/2's FAT is fully 32-bit, and the
        HPFS, though only 16-bit, is faster yet.  Imagine when the HPFS
        code goes 32-bit.
6. TrueType.  OS/2 has ATM.  Plus or Minus wither way, depending on your
        preference.
7. Drag-and-Drop Interface.  Windows direct manipulation is pathetic compared
        to WPS.
8. OLE.  Time will tell, but SOM has the ability to far surpass OLE technology.
9. Startup Group.  OS/2 has had startup items since 1.1, and v2.0 has
        a Startup Folder.
10. Improved Installation.  OS/2 installation is long, but a no-brainer, bar
        hardware incompatibility.  I've done installation on three machines.
        One was a no-go (didn't even read the first disk, but could have
        been an alignment problem), and the other two went flawlessly.

If you have additions or objections, please e-mail.  I'll summarize and post.

-Dave
--
David Giller, Box 134 | Q: How many Oregonians does it take to*in a light
Occidental College    | bulb?  A: Three.  One to replace the bulb, and two to
1600 Campus Road      | fend off all the Californians trying to share the

 
 
 

BYTE rag 'Review'

Post by Ng Pheng Sio » Thu, 30 Apr 1992 18:42:38




>It was Jerry Pournelle

>Yeah, but f I was considering installing Win 3.1, I'd sure hesitate considering
>the problems he had. And there are still URAE's  (sic)

From what Pournelle wrote in his column regarding his problems
with installing Win 3.1, it simply showed he knew nuts about it. Most
of the things he said he didn't understand were pretty elementary.

Now, about OS/2 : does it use .ini files like Windows? Many?
More than Pournelle can handle? (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

- PhengSiong

 
 
 

BYTE rag 'Review'

Post by David R. Gill » Sat, 02 May 1992 04:06:31



Quote:>From what Pournelle wrote in his column regarding his problems
>with installing Win 3.1, it simply showed he knew nuts about it. Most
>of the things he said he didn't understand were pretty elementary.

>Now, about OS/2 : does it use .ini files like Windows? Many?
>More than Pournelle can handle? (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Well, yes and no.  OS/2 uses INI files.  But, they're not human-readible.
Everything is set via control panels and settings pages.

-Dave
--
David Giller, Box 134 | Q: How many Oregonians does it take to*in a light
Occidental College    | bulb?  A: Three.  One to replace the bulb, and two to
1600 Campus Road      | fend off all the Californians trying to share the

 
 
 

BYTE rag 'Review'

Post by Gordon Letw » Mon, 04 May 1992 05:47:22



Quote:>One thing to consider in the Byte article.  (It was NOT a review, but was
>Doug Hamilton's column.)  I've been following the ibm.os2/2.0 conference
>on bix for as long as it's been there.  Doug Hamilton, author of the
>article in question and author of Hamilton's C shell, has become
>battleworn in relation to OS/2.  He placed a considerable wager on OS/2
>as a developer (re-mortage, withdrawn retirement, etc.) and has yet to
>see it pay back.  As such, he's lately become more and more of a critic
>of OS/2 and less of a chearleader for it.  

You should be aware that the equations:

        cheerleader = friend
        critic      = enemy

are invalid.  I don't think that Doug is in any way "against" OS/2, but
he doesn't feel that just because he likes a product, or has an interest
in it, it can do no wrong.

Around here we consider a blind cheerleader to be a waste of our time.
When we love our products we want to keep our eyes open as to their
warts and weakenesses.  Just saying how great it is will never improve
the product; improvement comes from identifying weaknesses.

So it would be very shortsighed for OS/2's friends to say that Doug
was "blasting" the WPS and is therefore an OS/2 turncoat.  Someone who
points out OS/2's major weaknesses, clearly and calmly, is one of the
best friends that OS/2 has.

        gordon letwin
        not a spoesperson for microsoft.