The Hobbes OS/2 Archive logs off permanently in April
Fans of the tech dinosaur have a few months to fill their drives with software
Updated Bad news for OS/2 fans: the Hobbes OS/2 software archive is to be shuttered once and for all in April.
The Hobbes OS/2 Archive, run as a service by the Department of Information & Communication Technologies at the US New Mexico State University, has announced its impending demise. As of April 15, the site will no longer exist.
According to a warning on the site: "After many years of service, hobbes.nmsu.edu will be decommissioned and will no longer be available. You the user are responsible for downloading any of the files found in this archive if you want them. These files will no longer be available for access or download as of the decommission date."
The Hobbes OS/2 site has been around for decades and contains a vast array of software for IBM's doomed operating system. For enthusiasts of the operating system, the website is the go-to place to find software. As such, its impending demise is bad news for the OS/2 community, although efforts are under way to preserve the archive. The service may also be continued elsewhere.
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OS/2 was initially conceived as a series of operating systems by Microsoft and IBM. The two tech giants fell out over where the operating system stood in relation to Windows 3.1. While OS/2 was arguably technically superior to Windows 95, it was eventually overtaken by Windows NT. IBM finally threw in the towel in 2001.
The operating system, or versions of it, continue to be developed.
The Register contacted the Hobbes OS/2 Archive for an explanation of the decision, and we will update should a response be forthcoming. In the meantime, we'd have to assume it's a budget thing.
Unsurprisingly, the site became a little unstable overnight as users hurriedly attempted to download what they could. Since the end isn't until April, there is plenty of time to make alternative arrangements.
The sunsetting of the Hobbes OS/2 Archive is an unwanted milestone on the OS/2 journey. Users took the opportunity to share their own IT travels involving the operating system, with many noting that OS/2 represented a gateway into the Linux world. ®
Updated to add on January 16:
A representative from the New Mexico State University told The Reg: “We have made the difficult decision to no longer host these files on hobbes.nmsu.edu. Although I am unable to go into specifics, we had to evaluate our priorities and had to make the difficult decision to discontinue the service. “We tried to pick a date far enough out to provide the community time to gather the files and find a new home. It has been fascinating to see the stories people have shared about this server. “The NMSU team that is currently supporting [the] server is trying their best to meet the needs of the community. We have provided additional resources for Hobbes as there was a clear spike in traffic after the announcement. If we have additional information, we will update Hobbes.nmsu.edu.”