This blog is devoted to the history of OS/2 and random aspects of PC software and hardware history, with emphasis on the 1987-1997 period. The past has met the future in the form of virtualization, and running vintage operating systems in virtual machines will also be discussed.

36 Responses to About

  1. Jim Leonard says:

    I just today stumbled on your blog and you’ve answered a nagging question I’ve had for a very long time — why DOS 3.1 was recommended as a minimum over other versions. I look forward to many evenings reading your well-researched articles. Please keep up the great work!

  2. Andy Flagg says:

    A nice walk down memory lane especially http://www.os2museum.com/wp/?p=1318 a dark night story..


  3. Michal Necasek says:

    Thanks! By the way, if you have anything interesting to share, please let me know πŸ™‚

  4. ths says:


    I’m very pleased to find you’re still updating and adding new articles.
    Over the holidays I tried to install OS/2 (2.11 and 3) in Linux’ KVM, but it fails with the first boot disk, and anyway, I wouldn’t know how to “change floppy disks” in the virtual environment.
    Would you mind giving me some hints whether you think this is feasible?
    Which VM product do you use to run OS/2? I’d love to have my playground back πŸ˜‰


  5. Michal Necasek says:

    I use VirtualBox, and it definitely can run OS/2. For virtualization purposes, I’d strongly recommend OS/2 Warp or later updated to support GRADD drivers. In a VM, there’s a huge difference between 16-color VGA performance (very slow) and 8/16/32bpp GENGRADD (very fast).

  6. Fritz Chwolka says:

    I worked over ten years with OS/2 and ECS but then decided to leave it behind mee and all was give away or recycled. Sometimes over the years I missed the old but well known and nice working tools so I got a new ECS 2.1 CD, installed it to the virtualbox and it runs very well. Having fun with it I remembered my connection to http://www.os2site.com. Now I have an newer hardware. A Mini PC HP Compaq dc7800 USD 1,8GHz celeron 2 GB memory and DVD-ROM/CD-RW. ECS2.1 runs very well and on this hardware and so I’m looking for Netware 4 OS/2 I had years ago.

    great that you make this this os2museum and I remembered a lot of things I see here.



  7. Charles Heinigen says:

    Does anybody know anything about this boxed WordPerfect 5.2 for OS/2 on CDROM, on ebay?


    I thought it only came on floppies (at least going by ebay auctions for WP), but that has pictures of a CDROM.


  8. Michal Necasek says:

    Buy it and find out πŸ™‚ The product seems to be from 2H93 so using CD-ROM for distribution is not that unusual.

  9. Mr. Argent says:

    Hello! Sorry to just drop a comment here but I was havin’ a hard time finding a contact email to ask directly. Would you happen to know anything about the Itronix T5000 at all? It’s a ruggedized, DOS 5.0-based portable from ’93-’94 focused on telco data acquisition, so far as I can tell. Possibly 386-based, though given the form factor and apparent release date I’d expect it to be an 80186/V20 system like the HP 200LX? Curious little device for sure, and since it’s a really niche sort of machine there’s very little info on it out there. One might be falling into my possession fairly soon!

  10. Michal Necasek says:

    I’m sorry to say that the Itronix T5000 is not something I ever saw or heard about.

  11. Mr. Argent says:

    Ah. Thanks anyway! Love the blog!

    (I recently did, in fact, snag the machine and it is in fact a V20-based XT class! Very curious little machine, especially since the CGA-grade chipset seems to take some liberties vs. what standard CGA can do. Certain machine-specific applications actually seem to mix the 640×200 and 320×200 modes, interestingly enough! That’s something I’d only heard of the 386-based japanese FM Towns computers doing up to this point.)

  12. Dylan Weber says:

    I’m having a nag of a time trying to install Warp Server V4 on a 10 year old P4. It loads the first disk, asks for the second disk, displays the splash screen. After a minute or so FDD activity stops (though the drive light stays on) and that’s it…won’t go any further.

    Anyway, while researching that problem, I came across your site. While it didn’t answer my question, per se, I found it loaded with all kinds of interesting information. I wanted to take a minute to thank you for diligently preserving the OS/2 legacy. We support a POS system designed to run under OS/2. Over the last couple of years we’ve been talking about converting to Linux, but with renewed interest in OS/2 and the scheduled release of Blue Lion, we’re getting excited about OS/2 again.

    Keep up the good work!

  13. Michal Necasek says:

    Thanks! Older OS/2 versions are notorious for having trouble on faster CPUs. Have you tried booting with Alt-F2 to see roughly what OS/2 is doing when it gets stuck? If at all possible I’d highly recommend newer IBM OS/2 releases which can boot from CD-ROM and run much better on newer systems.

  14. Dylan Weber says:

    Thanks for the advice. I have successfully installed this in a VM, but making it work on real hardware is proving challenging. Last time I had to install this was probably around 2002. I’ve forgotten a lot since then. I’m using disks that were patched for larger drives (it’s a 20GB).

    I don’t remember what ALT-F2 is supposed to do, but it doesn’t do anything at the splash screen. I press it while the white and red (orange?) logo is on the screen, but nothing happens. Actually, the keyboard stops responding, period. After I insert disk 1, and press enter, the keyboard stops working. I know this, because for the first second or two I can toggle Caps and Num Locks, and the associated lights respond. After that, the keyboard doesn’t respond at all. I’ve tried a few different keyboards, both PS/2 and USB. I suspected the patched floppies, but those are what I used to install in the VM.

    I’ll fiddle with it some more. I’d like to use a (more) current version, but I’m not sure how to get my hands on one. Also, we’ve tried the eComstation release, but can not get LanServer to run, not completely, anyway. Our application requires the rIPL server. I would REALLY like to do this in VirtualBox, but until we can find and modify the correct source modules, the software needs LPT1 to be there and needs total control of it. As I’m sure you are aware, VB has issues with parallel port support.

    If you have any suggestions, feel free to offer them.


  15. Michal Necasek says:

    Alt-F2 has to be pressed more or less immediately when the OS start booting and the “boot blob” is showing in the upper left corner (before the splash screen). Alt-F1 at the same point should bring up a simple menu but that probably won’t help much. The lack of keyboard response indicates that the system is hung pretty hard.

    Yes, VirtualBox has issues with parallel port support. It works for some users but not others. Parallel ports are so rare nowadays that I can’t say much about it.

  16. Wilco van Berlo says:


    I am wondering if you could help me, it would be much appreciated.

    I have a Gravis Ultrasound max 2.1 but one of the components is missing, it seems to have broken off. It’s component Y2, a resonator.

    Are you willing to help me by looking at yours and tell me what kind of frequency is printed on the component, or perhaps a photo.

    Many thanks for any assistance,

    Wilco van Berlo

  17. Michal Necasek says:

    I’m currently traveling, but when I’m back in about 2 weeks, I’ll look up the Y2 component for you.

  18. Michal Necasek says:

    Finally had a chance to pull out the MAX. Here are the crystals: Y1 is 19.7568 MHz (Ecliptek ECX-1689), Y2 is 24.576 MHz (Ecliptek EC246), Y3 is 16.9344 MHz (Ecliptek EC169). Hope that helps!

  19. Matus Horvath says:

    Hello Michal

    Your RSS feed stopped working recently, my RSS reader (tt-rss) is getting HTTP 403 error when getting the content. I also get 403 when getting the URL from a command line tool, but the strange thing is it works fine from a regular browser like Mozilla.

    I wonder if this is an intentional change, or something that stopped working by mistake. In case it is intentional, could you please advise how to correctly use the RSS feed without getting a 403 error?

    Thank you


    $ curl http://www.os2museum.com/wp/feed/

    403 Forbidden

    You don’t have permission to access /wp/feed/
    on this server.

    Apache/2.2.3 (CentOS) Server at http://www.os2museum.com Port 80

  20. Michal Necasek says:

    It’s sort of an intentional change. The hosting company blocked a bunch of RSS reader services that were producing in some cases not insignificant traffic. I wish there was some way to have *one* RSS “agent” poking the site and everyone else would just get the results from there.

    I’ll try to improve the situation but can’t promise a quick turnaround.

  21. MiaM says:

    Seems like I got blocket. I only read the RSS feeds for comments, and do that with the “view RSS feed” thing in firefox, i.e. reload that page now and then (usually once a day).

    It would be nice if there were some feature to get a mail each time a comment or new blog entry is posted. That way RSS wouldn’t be necessary.

  22. Wenting Zhang says:

    Hello. I’ve been subscribing your blog for a while, very well written and cover many things that have been forgotten. I recently got a IBM 5499 laptop (or probably sold as a terminal?) The machine is powered by a 80186 processor, but I am not sure what kind of graphics adapter actually comes with it (it has a 640×400 screen, capable of displaying Japanese at full resolution) I could not find much information about it, not even the user manual. It came defective, and now after some repairing it can boot into ROM DOS (Japanese MS-DOS 3.21), but I am not sure if I can do anything meaningful with it (other than seeing it boot into DOS, I currently have no idea about how to transfer file into that machine). I would like to ask if you know more about the operating system or the machine itself. Or if you want me to do any dump or test I am happy to do (if I can)

  23. Michal Necasek says:

    That’s a rather interesting machine, certainly qualifies as “very exotic”. I have never come across it before today. There’s no detailed technical information about the 5499 On-line Note that I could find. There’s this and a brief note here. In other words, Japanese only, and more than a little unusual.

    Can you run some standard DOS system identification utility on the 5499 (Norton Sysinfo, Microsoft MSD)? What does it say about the graphics?

    A ROM dump of the system might be interesting to someone.

  24. Wenting Zhang says:

    Thank you for your reply. Since all the ports on that machine except the modem port use proprietary connectors, I currently have no way to communicate with that machine. And if I do, my specific unit comes with no RAMDISK card or such software utilities, making it impossible to store any files. (The only drive available in the DOS environment is the ROM.) I will try some SRAM cards and see if they works on this machine. But just luckily enough, since it is a DOS 3.21, it comes with DEBUG utility, and I have tried to print a simple hello world using INT10,e as well as INT21,9 with no problem. So, in the worst case I would probably build some sort of keyboard emulator to “enter” programs into that machine with DEBUG. BIOS dump would be easy, it is a socketed DIP EPROM chip (and I do need to make backup in case it being erased accidentally), ROMDOS dump would probably require some more wiring but should also be easy.

  25. Michal Necasek says:

    Ouch, I didn’t know even the serial port is non-standard. That would be the easiest way to get data in and out. What kind of format do the SRAM cards use?

  26. MiaM says:

    Is the modem port a telephone port, or a serial port?

    If it is a telephone port, then just connecting another modem to it might, or might not, work. If that works, you might be able to connect them and then in a dos prompt issue MODE COM1: with the correct parametes and then CTTY COM1:
    Then you should be able to run for example debug remote via the modem link. Some kind of script on another computer could run debug to dump various contents or do whatever you might want to do.

  27. keeya says:

    I still have OS/2 3 and 4 and some CDs from Hobbes and other expansion CDs.
    Could you maybe give me an address that still uses something like this?

    Yours sincerely

  28. Zsolt R. says:

    We need more info on installing LAN MAN 2.2c on early versions of OS/2 running under Virtual Box. It’s not so straight forward, and leads to frequent errors and traps.

  29. Michal Necasek says:

    Please post on the VirtualBox forums. Don’t expect much response if you don’t explain exactly what you’re doing and exactly what errors you’re getting.

  30. Michal Necasek says:

    I tried e-mailing but there was no answer… if you have physical media, I’d love to take them.

  31. Felip says:

    I have an original of Hobbes OS/2 CD-ROM – October 1995
    With the original invoice

  32. David Bradley says:

    While wandering around the internet I came across your OS/2 Museum and subsequent discussion about the IBM PC BIOS.

    I wrote all of that code 40 years ago. It was indeed assembled on an Intel MDS using ASM86. I have no recollection of models or version numbers. It was developed in individual modules, but I put them all into a single source file for publication in the TRM.

    I might be able to answer any questions you have. Or maybe you’re tired of the IBM PC and have moved on.

    If you haven’t seen it, there’s my paper from 10 years ago on the origin of the IBM PC, published in IEEE Computer magazine, August 2011.

    Dr. Dave

  33. Nils S. says:


    I dont have the password anymore to the account I used 2 or 3 years ago, so I don’t have a email address anymore.
    I tried with admin@os2… and info@…, but these returned to sender.
    It’s about doing another guestpost(s), (I am the disk-on-chip-guy).

    Would you please send me an email so that I can forward what I tried to send to admin and info?

    [email protected]

  34. Michal Necasek says:

    Sent you an e-mail.

  35. AndrΓ© says:

    Hi, I am experiencing some rendering issues in Firefox. In Chromium the site renders right, but on firefox I get white text on white background.

  36. Michal Necasek says:

    Don’t see any problem here. Firefox 112.0.1 on Windows.

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