Tuesday, December 11

3 Things Elvis and OS/2 Have In Common

By The VAR Guy

Name three things that Elvis and OS/2 have in common. Don’t rush your answer. Think about it for a minute or two. OK, ready? Here’s the answer…

… First, Elvis and OS/2 both are dead. Second, both are badly decomposed. And third, thousands of fanatics won’t let these two deceased entities rest in peace.

A case in point: More than 180 Elvises were spotted running a marathon earlier this month in Las Vegas. Alas, The VAR Guy remembers reading about Elvis’s death 30 years ago.

OS/2 has been dead nearly as long. Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But seriously, former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner buried OS/2 before the turn of the century. Then Lou threw some more dirt on OS/2’s coffin by betting $1 billion on Linux in 2001.

Admittedly, IBM didn’t issue OS/2’s official death certificate until 2005. But everyone knew it was dead and buried. Well, almost everyone…

So here we are in 2007. Most of the old OS/2 news sites have shut down. (Though some, like this one, are still around.) And most niche software developers have abandoned the long-deceased operating system.

OS/2 is finally resting in peace … except for the fact that nearly 3,000 fanatics have signed a petition to have IBM release the operating system as open source. You know, because the world needs yet another open source operating system.

Dozens of Linux variants aren’t enough. It would be nice to dust off OS/2 and have it sit somewhere between the low-end stuff (OpenDOS and FreeDOS) and Linux in the open source hierarchy.

Maybe instead of a penguin, OS/2’s mascot can be a zombie: Sure it’s dead, but can you really kill it?

Wow, here comes the hate mail. Elvis and OS/2 defenders unite. Perhaps together you can silence The VAR Guy — or at least sneak some OS/2 source code onto his Mac and Linux PC.

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