eComStation - What's in the Box?

By: Walter Metcalf
Date: 11/22/00

eComStation is a like a conglomerate--OS/2 Warp 4 plus a host of smaller products designed to support or enhance OS/2 in order to add value to the package. Over the last several months we've watched the list of products grow as users expressed their desire for additional features or products. This is great because it is the first time we've seen an OS/2 release whose contents were materially affected by user's desires. However, it is also a little confusing since it makes it difficult to know "what's in the box". It is only reasonable to want to know exactly what you are getting before you lay your money down.

In this article, I'm going to attempt to list every piece of software contained in the various editions of eComStations. Please note that I have taken the following information from the most recent, trustworthy documents I have been able to find. However, I do not speak for Serenity Systems. Moreover it is possible the exact contents of eCS may still change between now and the date it starts shipping. If you have a question about a specific product or feature please post a message on the forum at 588.1 and I will find out for you.


eComStation will be shipped on compact discs: Serenity Systems is aiming at two discs. The contents of each have not been finalized, but it's likely that the first CD will be a bootable CD that contains everything necessary to install the basic components of eComStation and possibly some accompanying product software such as SmartSuite 1.5. (Note: The boot CD contains programs that allow you to create installation disks that can then be used to boot and install eCS, if it is impossible or impractical to boot from CD on your computer.) The second CD will then include everything else, including the rest of the accompanying product software, freeware, and demo products.

Let me emphasize, however, that the contents of the CD's have not been finalized, and could possibly be very different from what I described above.

Basic Packages

  1. eComStation Standard Edition

    1. OS/2 Warp 4

    2. Convenience Pak. This includes:

      1. Most recent Fixpak

      2. Logical Volume Manager (LVM)

      3. New version of IBM Boot Manager

      4. Browser

      5. Note: Serenity Systems has repeatedly said that anything IBM puts into the Convenience Paks will go into eComStation!

    3. Journaled File System

    4. OS/2 Toolkit

    5. Sun Star Office 5.1

    6. Lotus Smart Suite for OS/2 Warp 1.5

    7. IBM Desktop on Call versions 3 and 4 (remote control eComStation from any Java web browser)

    8. Serenity Systems WiseMachine (manages additional and future applications)

    9. Adobe Acrobat Reader version 3

    10. IBM Voice Type

    11. IBM Bonus Pack, including:

      1. KellerGroup's Faxworks Lite
      2. Hilgraeve's HyperAccess Lite
      3. Henk Kelder's WPTools

    12. Various Drivers, including

      1. SB16 PNP Drivers
      2. Crystal ISA Audio Drivers
      3. IBM's Generic Gradd Drivers
      4. Daniela Engert's Enhanced EIDE Driver

    13. Miscellaneous Utilities, including:

      1. IniTools (Binary INI Editor)

      2. (Mini-PM Shell that can be used as a program launcher.)

      3. SysSet (Set up System Components from REXX command file.)

      4. WiseTalker (Telephony application from Serenity Systems Utilities)

      5. EMX Runtime Support

      6. XFolder (A collection of WPS replacement classes to substantially enhance Desktop performance)

    14. Installation enhancements, including:

      1. Improved CD booting
      2. Improved hardware recognition

    15. Additional Applications, including:

      1. 3rd party utilities
      2. Desktop enhancements

  2. eComStation Pro SMP Edition

    1. This version contains everything in the standard version PLUS the ability to run on multi-processor systems (up to 64) and therefore offers very high performance.

Other Packages

It should be noted that both the Basic Packages contain OS/2 Warp 4, and therefore are complete systems: they have no software requirements. However, Serenity Systems (SSI) is also releasing some other packages. The following table lists the available options as far as they are known at the time of writing.

Package List
Package Name
eComStation Basic Upgrade OS/2 Warp 4 Same as eCS Standard
eComStation for Software Choice Users IBM Software Choice Subscription eComStation plus eCS upgrade protection
eComStation Pro Upgrade OS/2 Warp 4 Same as eCS Pro less OS/2
eComStation SMP Feature Upgrade eComStation Multiple processor support.


It is impossible to do more than describe a general pattern here, because Serenity has left the specifics up to the individual distributor (or channel partner). However, the following services are currently offered by Jacaranda Business Systems--Serenity's Canadian distributors--and I believe they will be fairly representative of other distributors as the GA release time approaches.

  1. 1 Year Client Upgrade Subscription--4 CD Mailings

    1. This entitles you to 4 quarterly CD's with fixes to eComStation plus new add-on software. These fixes and changes include the contents of any IBM Convenience Paks released during that time.

  2. 2 Year Client Upgrade Subscription--8 CD Mailings

    1. Same as above except the subscription lasts for 2 years.

  3. 1 Year Client Upgrade Subscription--Online Access Only

    1. Same as Item 1. except the updates are delivered via the internet instead of physical CD.

  4. 2 Year Client Upgrade Subscription--Online Access Only

    1. Same as Item 2. except the updates are delivered via the internet instead of physical CD.
Be sure to check with your channel partner/distributor for more specific information.
In the next article, I will spell out the reasons why I decided to buy eComStation and entrust my OS/2 future to Serenity Systems instead of going with IBM and the Convenience Pak route. Please join me then.

Walter Metcalf

For Further Reading:

Serenity Systems Press Release re: SWC Users
Read the full statement from SSI about the new program for those who have already subscribed to Software Choice.

Is eComStation the successor to OS/2 or not?
See why eCS is not a new version of OS/2, but rather a new product based on OS/2.

New eComStation NewsGroups
Check out these new eCS news groups!

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