Multitasking in OS/2 Warp



OS/2 Warp is the only operating system for the desktop computer which was designed from the ground up as a true multitasking operating system. OS/2 relies completely upon itself for multitasking. It is in control of all applications running under it, even those which were not designed for multitasking. OS/2 will preempt any program which takes a predefined maximum amount of time and allow other programs access to the processor. OS/2 controls multitasking, not the application programs.

Here is what OS/2 Warp does for me. I do a lot of my work on a five year old computer – an IBM P75, 80486, 33 MHz system with 16 MB of RAM and a 400 MB hard drive. I also have a 1.2 GB external hard drive, a CD-ROM, a rewritable optical drive, and two 14,400 external Fax/Modems. This system is not state of the art, and it is not nearly as fast as most systems available today, but does have a lot of disk capacity. The hardware RAM capacity is maximized at 16 MB and cannot be increased further.

When I turn on my computer in the morning, OS/2 boots up and I start my personal information manager (PIM). This PIM consists of a clock/calendar with alarms, an appointment book, a to-do list, a phone book, a contact list, and a very flexible note pad. I also start my fax software which allows me to send and receive faxes while I work on other things. Since much of my day is spent writing, my word processor is usually the next application I start. I like to connect to the internet or CompuServe to check my E-mail and search for news and files of interest.

On one typical day recently, I was working on an article using DeScribe for OS/2 as a fax started to come in. FaxWorks OS/2 responded and accepted the fax. I started to print the document on which I had been working. I needed to send a message on CompuServe so I composed the message off line using Golden CommPass for OS/2. I sent the message while the print job was being sent to the printer and the fax was still coming in. While it was connected to CompuServe, Golden CommPass searched my favorite forums for new messages and downloaded the titles so I could select the ones I wanted to read at a later time. And while all of this was taking place, IBM AntiVirus/2, which is timed to scan my system for viruses every Friday at 4:00 PM, started up automatically and did so – without affecting anything else in progress.

This was admittedly a somewhat busier time for my computer than usual, but it does illustrate the potential of OS/2 to allow me to do everything I need to do without being hampered by limitations imposed on my computer by old operating system technology. It also shows that older, somewhat limited computer systems can have an extended life when OS/2 Warp is added to them. OS/2 Warp can do the same for you and your computer. The rest of this book shows you how.

Note: This example was written before I had purchased a couple new computers, but it serves to illustrate the capabilites of Warp quite well. My new computers are faster and more powerful, but I have them doing the jobs of Warp Server and Lotus Notes Server, along with the Notes Domino Server which feeds this DataBook to the World Wide Web.