Air and Space stays with OS/2
He also liked it because it ran on 25-MHz 386 PCs with 8M of RAM. More
than 75 percent of the museum's computers are 386 or 486 machines. "OS/2 works
beautifully on a 33-MHz system with 16M of RAM," he said. It can run most Windows 3.1
The museum employees attended short group-training sessions. "Most of the users
learned very quickly," he said. They consulted documentation and reference guides to
answer some of their questions, and learned to work with a mouse and a graphical
Pratt finds OS/2 Warp Server's software distribution capability to be a huge
time-saver. The users themselves change configurations and install or upgrade their
software from the server. "I don't have to waste time going manually from desktop to
desktop, and every install is standardized," Pratt said.
The OS/2 Warp Server machine is dedicated to software distribution, he added. Two
Novell NetWare file and print servers handle the everyday networking.
The Smithsonian bought the IBM software from General Services Administration
schedule. Prices ranged from $39 per seat for Version 2.1 to about $70 per seat for OS/2
3.0 through a volume discount program, Pratt said.
More recently, the Air and Space Museum has bought Version 4.0 upgrades from
Indelible Blue Inc., a Raleigh, N.C., GSA reseller.
The museum standardized on Novell WordPerfect for MS-DOS 5.1 for word
processing, Lotus Development Corp.'s cc:Mail for e-mail, Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet, and
Lotus Freelance Graphics 96 for OS/2 for presentations.
Lotus Word Pro 96 for OS/2 could succeed WordPerfect as the museum's standard word
processor because it is available in volume discounts through the purchase of Lotus
SmartSuite. About 17 users have Autodesk Inc.'s AutoCAD Release 12 for MS-DOS.
Budget constraints have meant slow upgrades to the desktop hardware, Pratt said. The
museum bought most of its PCs from Dell Computer Corp., but the users were dissatisfied
with the technical support. The museum recently purchased IBM PC 350 machines with 133-MHz
Pentium processors, at least 16M of RAM and 1G hard drives, he said.
Other federal OS/2 Warp users are the Bureau of Land Management, Defense Information
Systems Agency, Federal Aviation Administration, National Institutes of Health, Navy,
Office of Personnel Management and U.S. Geological Survey, said Indelible Blue's Sine
Thieme, director of corporate and government sales.
Pratt intends to stay the course with OS/2, even though the PC industry has become
Windows-centric. He predicted that embedding Java applets into OS/2 will breath new life
into the operating system. "I don't see it being abandoned" by IBM, he