offer - OS/2 for the PDP-11

madodel madodel at ptdprolog.net
Sat Jan 5 14:24:03 CST 2008


jd wrote:
> Jules Richardson wrote:
>> jd wrote:
>>> Jules Richardson wrote:
>>>> (Having said that, some ATM machines in the UK ran OS/2 for years after
>>>> it was a dead OS elsewhere - [snipsnip] )
>>>>
>>> It's been used in some ATM's in the States, too. People have mentioned
>>> getting to the desktop or a shell and manipulating ATM's from there,
>>> somehow.
>> Weird. I've certainly seen at least one UK ATM fall over and break out
>> of its program (this was quite a few years ago) - but I'm amazed that
>> anyone would design an ATM in such a way that the keypad buttons were
>> directly readable by the native OS for just that reason.
> 
> Considering how naive about physical and electronic security just
> about everyone was then, I would not be at all surprised. This was at
> about the time OS/2 first came out and found it's way into industrial
> equipment, I think. The KISS mentality was still in full effect and
> hardware design for ATM's still consisted of collecting off-the-shelf
> components and tossing them together. An ATM would have just one
> console and that would be the front monitor and keypad, often by
> default, and the rear monitor and keypad or keyboard, if so equipped,
> that would require using a hardware or software switch, like those old
> Inmac KVM-without-the-M switch boxes. Of course, for convenience, it
> was possible to do stuff from the front keypad, such as use a
> maintenance menu. Eventually, when ATM design evolved, such convenient
> features faded into oblivion.

I have never seen an OS/2 based ATM at a command prompt.  It must have been 
a windoze based ATM.  And many ATMs still run OS/2.  It is only being 
replaced by windoze on new models since IBM refused to support the hardware 
any more.

> 
>>> Apparently there's nothing better on the shelf. 
>> I'd heard that too, but I don't know how much of it's folklore. I
>> suspect these days they all just run MS Windows, and any increase in
>> failure rate is seen to be cheaper to handle than trying to support a
>> 'dead' OS.
>>

> 
> If experience is any indication, I would say it's true. Windows is so
> ubiquitous and people are so accustomed to it breaking that it doesn't
> seem to matter anymore: They're inured to the pain. Or perhaps numb.
> Some people would be helpless without the pain, I suppose, even if it
> saved tons of money to cast the demon out. It's very costly in terms
> of cost of ownership and lost product.
> 

Do a google on BSOD and ATM for lots of photos of windoze based ATMs.

> Word was that IBM was going to give or sell some customers what they
> needed to maintain their copies of OS/2. Since some of their customers
> have invested a lot in installing OS/2 in their
> quarter-to-half-million-dollar-plus-plus-plus products, it does not
> seem likely that they would care to abandon OS/2 for at least a while.
> Especially not after they got things working so nicely. They would at
> least want maintenance--bug fixes, etc. Haven't heard since whether
> IBM actually did give the customers anything.
> 
> ==
> jd

Large IBM customers have contracted for their own OS/2 source code line 
support.  IBM refers smaller customers who just need to purchase new 
licenses or get support for new hardware to Serenity Systems for their OEM 
version of OS/2.

Mark


-- 

  From the eComStation Desktop of: Mark Dodel

  Warpstock 2007 - Toronto, Ontario, Canada: http://www.warpstock.org
  Warpstock Europe - Valkenswaard close to Eindhoven, the Netherlands: 
http://www.warpstock.eu


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