Gimme that ol' time commitment, but not to OS/2 2.0 platform

The Rat's recent diatribe about an Apple PowerBook Duo [GCN, Aug. 12, Page 78]
drew lots of flames from the Macintosh faithful. They accused the whiskered one of
everything from being flat-out incompetent to not being static-free.

The Rat enjoyed this spirited discourse. There's nothing better for one's soul than
getting burned at the stake by zealots--at least by Joan of Arc's standards. Of course,
religious computer arguments never have a winner, which is why the Rat remains an
operating system agnostic.

The Cyberrodent has encountered his share of fire-and-brimstone system preachers in his
time, but they never fail to surprise him with their dedication to a particular savior
cloaked in binary code. Apple zealots are among the most faithful. OS/2 missionaries are
even more militant and single-minded and, like Amway agents, they seem to be everywhere.

Once upon a time, the Rat was interviewing candidates for a network administration job
involving Microsoft LAN Manager 2.1--the agency's NOS of choice, not the Rat's. The last
IS procurement had gotten stuck in midstream at the introduction of Windows NT, and the
review committee had decided to give NT a decade or two to settle out.

In the meantime, the Rat's LAN servers were stranded on that most endangered of all
operating systems, Microsoft OS/2 2.0.

The first candidate seemed fairly promising. He had just left a private-sector post and
had excellent credentials. But the Rat was puzzled by an entry under reason for leaving
last job:"Employer failed to make OS/2 a strategic platform."

Responding to the Rat's query about exactly what had led to this departure, the
candidate said, "They couldn't commit. I've dedicated my career to the OS/2 platform.
It's the best desktop and network operating system, and they started to downplay it."

Committing one's career seemed a bit odd to the Ratster, for whom the word commitment
always brings to mind straitjackets and people in white coats.

Could one really build a career around OS/2? It seemed a narrow path to follow--even
the Buddha left a little more room for error. So the Rat probed the boundaries of the
candidate's OS orthodoxy.

"Er, so if we were to, say, continue down the path toward migration to Windows NT

"Then I would be forced to resign," said the now somewhat manic candidate.
"Bill Gates is the anti-Gerstner. Symmetric multiprocessing is the root of all
evil." He then broke out his Team OS/2 songbook and began to sing an inspirational
hymn apparently titled "Nearer My GUI To Thee."

It took two security guards to pull the former job candidate out of the Rat's command
bunker. But already the resident OS/2 faithful had been alerted by some secret signal, and
soon half the budgeting department gathered around, chanting from the OS/2 LAN Server
installation guide.

Desperate to clear his office, the Rat fumbled through his desk and pulled out an old
Windows 95 beta CD-ROM. He held it out at arm's length with the label toward the Warpies,
who hissed and scattered back to the safety of their cubicles.

The cyberrodent shook his head in disbelief. Then he glanced at his watch and sighed.
He was already late for his Cobol Programmers Anonymous meeting.

The Packet Rat once managed networks but now spends his time ferreting out bad
packets in cyberspace. E-mail him at


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