The Hobbes OS/2 Archive Will Shut Down In April

The Hobbes OS/2 Archive is a large collection of OS/2 software that has been publicly available for many years, even as OS/2 itself has mostly faded into obscurity. Yet now it would appear that the entity behind the Hobbes OS/2 Archive, the Information & Communication Technologies department at the New Mexico State University, has decided to call it quits — with the site going permanently offline on April 15th, 2024.

Fortunately, from a cursory glance around the comment sections over at Hacker News and other places, it seems that backup efforts have already been made, and the preservation of the archive’s contents should be secure at this point in time. Regardless, it is always a shame to lose such a central repository, especially since IBM’s OS/2 operating system is still anything but dead. Whether for hobbyist, industrial or commercial use, there is still a vibrant community around today, as we noted in 2019 already in relation to the NYC’s subway system.

Beyond downloaded copies and boxed CDs bought on EBay, you can even get a modernized version of OS/2 called ArcaOS, which even comes with commercial support. Whatever the fate is of the Hobbes OS/2 Archive’s data, we hope it finds a loving new home somewhere.

Thanks, Microsoft.

I can probably host a mirror if there’s a torrent. It’s a bunch of old software, it’s probably not that big.

Still have my Walnut Creek CD-ROM.

Dang. I used to run this archive back in the 90s, when I was a student at NMSU and it was one of my ancillary duties when I worked part-time for the IT department. I wasn’t a fan of OS/2 myself but I appreciated how much of a community there was around it and how excited people were to continue to use it. When I inherited it the website was put together with duct tape and paperclips, and the files were pretty inconsistently-organized.

I spent a few months building a new website and tooling to make it easier to manage and then completely reorganized the archive, and while other students replaced the underlying code over the years (eventually replacing my not-very-great C++-based bespoke-CGI system with a much more robust PHP-based one), my design was largely intact, as was the file structure I’d established.

I’m kind of amazed it kept running for this long, but this is a personal end of an era for me. I still held a lot of nostalgia for it and my time working on it.


Jason Scott (of posted on Mastadon “Nobody should worry about Hobbes, I’ve got Hobbes handled”. Given his track record, I’m quite willing to take him at his word on that one.

OS/2 was a real multitasking os. I used it in the late 80’s to create a nice industrial data acquisition system on 386 based PC. It was solid and reliable.





Hackaday Hobbes OS/2

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