The final beta for ArcaOS 5.0 is due for release to beta testers within hours. We’ve spent considerable time nailing down the last of what we consider to have been critical issues (likely installation pitfalls) to ensure that our users are able to get the operating system installed and get on with using and enjoying the new version as soon as possible. While our intent was to provide more details along the way, our focus has remained on the software, and as we are all engineers here, in one form or another, we’ve all been engaged in developing and testing.
Meanwhile, some announcements:
Pricing for ArcaOS 5.0 will be in two tiers, set apart by the level and length of support and maintenance bundled with each. The personal license will retail for $129, with an introductory price of $99 for the first 90 days following release. This includes six months of support and maintenance updates and fixes. The commercial license is priced at $229, and includes one year of support and maintenance. Subscription services will be available for each version and it will be possible to bundle extended support and maintenance subscriptions at the time of ArcaOS license purchase.
Volume discounts will be available, as well, with different discount levels for personal and commercial licenses.
Per Arca Noae’s revised release schedule, and as announced at Warpstock 2016, Blue Lion (ArcaOS 5.0) moved into beta testing stage today. The first beta release has been made available to the test team, and we anticipate a rigorous round of installation, modifications, formatting, deletion, disk wiping, and all that other fun stuff which accompanies a healthy beta test.
We do not anticipate a public beta cycle nor are we planning a gamma release or an untold number of release candidates. Instead, we fully expect ArcaOS 5.0 to emerge from beta testing at the end of March and to become generally available at that time.
We wish to thank our loyal supporters, our beta testers, and our development team for their dedication to the Blue Lion project, and look forward to the next 60 days as we ready the next release of OS/2.
Pricing will be made available in the near future. Expect two tiers, much like our subscription service (Personal and Commercial), with the latter including prioritized support and a longer bundled maintenance period. Volume discounts will also be available.
As announced at Warpstock 2016, ArcaOS 5.0 (codenamed Blue Lion) is currently scheduled for general availability March 31, 2017.
The movement into 2017 was necessary to ensure a finished product with the slate of planned features, including:
New XWorkplace (just released) with ArcaOS exclusive branding and features (e.g., the new Arca Noae Removable Device widget);
New desktop productivity apps, including DVD Tools, Archive Tool, Dynamic Icons, ArcaBar, Lucide Document Viewer, and much more;
New network filesystem connectivity;
New operating system kernel, with fixes and enhancements to better manage today’s larger applications, including Firefox, Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, and Apache OpenOffice;
New kernel loader to address shortcomings in IBM’s last version, and to provide some useful new features, such as use of installed system memory above 4GB as a RAM disk;
New installer, completely built from the ground up for ArcaOS;
New installation options, better suited to today’s systems, both bare metal and virtual;
Integration of latest RPM-provided content;
Integration of latest Arca Noae device drivers;
Updated SNAP accelerated video driver;
Much, much more…
The above list is not final, nor are all components assured to be in the release of ArcaOS 5.0, but they have been in the plan and in the works for some time.
We know that everyone is anxious for this release, and we share your enthusiasm! All we ask is that you bear with us a little while longer while we get things fully assembled and tested to better assure a smooth installation and operating experience.
Many happy returns of the season from the team at Arca Noae, and best wishes for a truly bright 2017!
In order to make the installation of Blue Lion as smooth and intuitive as possible, we need to update and maintain an extensive database of hardware we are likely to encounter during installation and the drivers associated with the various devices installed in current machines.
Luckily, during the installation of eComStation, a file is created: MACHINE.CFG, stored in <boot drive>\ecs\install\rsp. This file contains all of the relevant data we need to update our current database.
We are asking for community assistance to gather as many MACHINE.CFG files as possible. If you have installed eComStation systems, please attach the MACHINE.CFG file from each one to an email (you may attach multiple files to a single email or send separate ones) addressed to hardware-info at arcanoae dot com. This file should not contain any personally identifiable information, but to be sure, please review before attaching.
Many thanks from the Blue Lion Dev Team for your assistance!
It all started when James Sanders wrote this piece in Tech Republic, which among other bits of Blue Lion news, correctly reported the official product name of Blue Lion as ArcaOS 5.0.
As was to be expected, this news took on a life of its own, and pretty soon, we were slashdotted.
Try a quick web search for “ArcaOS 5.0” and you’ll see what we mean…
Some of the comments which follow these articles can be quite humorous. Many people have fond memories of OS/2 (2.0? 3?), but have never had an opportunity to run it on modern hardware or even on a gigabit LAN, nor have they had the experience of running modern software on the platform, such as Firefox 38.8.0 ESR or Apache OpenOffice 4.1.2. (Both of these current applications have been ported and made possible on the OS/2 platform by our good friends and strategic partners, bww bitwise works, GmbH. You may find more great stuff from bitwise in our store.) For those of you who do take the time to post and respond in these venues, our heartfelt thanks for updating some of the users who seem a little out of step.
Of course, there are some great comments by well-respected people in the tech arena, like Brian Proffit and Brian J Dooley (thanks, guys).
Whatever your preferred language, enjoy the read, and be sure to add your own comments, including your more recent experience with OS/2 and the difference modern drivers and software make.
There will be plenty of information on hand at this year’s Warpstock Europe event. Here’s a sampling of what to expect from Arca Noae:
Saturday, David Azarewicz will be presenting on device driver progress and plans for the future (Blue Lion will be a milestone, but not the end of the road, by any means).
Also on Saturday, Lewis Rosenthal will be discussing what to expect in the Blue Lion package. While all of the details have not been set, we have a pretty good idea of what will be included.
Later in the afternoon, Steven Levine will pick up on Arca Noae SNAP. Learn what is coming next for this accelerated video driver.
We will return on Sunday with an update on YUM and RPM and how these technologies play an important role in Blue Lion by Lewis Rosenthal, as well as future plans for the well-received Arca Noae Package Manager.
Arca Noae’s last presentation on Sunday will be from Alex Taylor via Skype, discussing printing and fonts.
Between Arca Noae staff and the other presenters, there should be something for everyone. Arca Noae is the exclusive source for Warpstock Europe tickets. If you haven’t yet purchased your tickets, please visit our store today.
Blue Lion – A First Peek was a presentation given by Lewis Rosenthal via Skype to the Dutch OS/2 Users Group (eCS-gg), Saturday, January 9. The discussion focuses on Blue Lion’s new Preboot environment, including screenshots of current alpha builds, and references some planned features of the new installation media and maintenance environment. The presentation is provided as a PDF.
We’ve been getting so many great questions about Blue Lion, along with some really positive feedback to the product, our mailbox is overflowing! We’re most grateful to the OS/2 community for this input.
To help answer some of the most frequently asked questions, we’ve started updating our FAQ page with some Blue Lion issues concerning content, scheduling, pricing, and logistics. We’ll add more as we move forward with development.
Meanwhile, if you have a question about Blue Lion which isn’t listed in the FAQ, or a comment or request you’d like to share, please feel free to contact us.
If you have had experience coding for OS/2, we want to hear from you. Arca Noae is actively seeking new devs for various phases of Blue Lion and related development. All positions are for independent contractors (no employees), some are volunteer, and some (for more detailed, technical work) will be compensated.
Please send an email of inquiry to dev-info AT arcanoae DOT com, and we will respond with a brief questionnaire including a request for references. If accepted, you will be asked to execute a standard non-disclosure agreement.
If there is something which you’d like to see in Blue Lion, whether as a desktop enhancement, an included application, or a device driver, and you feel competent to provide it, please let us know!
We’ll be posting progress on Blue Lion as we move ahead, so keep watching our blog for updates. In the meantime, if you have an OS/2-based infrastructure, and you are concerned about the age or stability of your current equipment, we’d love to hear from you.