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La Scrivania di eComStation
La Scrivania di eComStation Email this page to a friend Email this page

The eComStation Desktop

People who are not familiar with eComStation are mostly interested in how this operating system looks like and ask if is has a graphical user interface like Windows...

The answer to this is both simple and complex: yes, eCS absolutely has a graphical user interface, called "Desktop", but it surpasses by far other user interfaces like Windows or the various window managers from Linux. Consider usability, flexibility and not to forget the intuitive usage. But just these terms make it difficult to explain to people that have never used it or just learn to know it.

Besides that, there is also a very powerful way of using it via the CLI (command line interface).

WorkPlace Shell

...is the name of the graphical desktop for OS/2 and eComStation. The WorkPlace Shell, or in short WPS, is a graphical and completely object-oriented interface which gives the user access to the whole system, the data files, storage and all connected peripherals on the computer.


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As the above picture shows, the WPS uses icons to represent folders and various other objects on the desktop. The WPS also features a standard task bar, which is called the eCenter within eComStation. Moreover, a lot of other familiar objects are visible, like the Trashcan, Local Network, Programs and so on.

Folders

eComStation uses folders to logically arrange all objects you like to work with (data files, programs, etc.). The user decides which objects should be put in which folder. In principal, it doesn't really matter which name you assign to a folder or any other object. In contrast to Windows, eComStation is not limiting you in any respect in this (just use the '\' character in an object name if you like).

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eComStation is also very flexible in the way of showing folders. As you can see in the accompanying pictures, the content can be shown in three different ways, namely: Icon View, Tree View and Details View.
A folder can be displayed in one or more views simultaneously. The enormous flexibility which it provides doesn't bring a need for a file manager in eCS, like the Windows Explorer, to administer your data files.
Furthermore it is important to point out that folders in eCS are actually WPS objects, which means that they are all working in a similar way (same class), but also notice that the settings per folder can still be different.
For each folder individually you can define how its contents should be displayed, how the icons should be arranged, which background a folder should have, etc.

The eCenter

With the eCenter you get access to all the applications and data files on the hard disks, CDROMs, etc., just by one mouse click. The so called trays makes it easy to organize your applications into logical groups, by which you never need more then two clicks to start whatever program.
In addition the eCenter contains a number of handy monitors which give you an insight of the CPU usage, the free disk space on the hard disk, TCP/IP traffic, the time and date, etc.


(Click for larger image)

eCS contains also a so called Launchpad as an alternative task bar, which you can use to launch applications or to access your data files. The eComStation (and OS/2) Launchpad resembles closely the 'Dock', which Apple introduced with MacOS X!


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Internet-integration

Already since 1996, long before "Internet" was a 'buzz word' for other operating systems, OS/2 has a number of advanced options which can be described as 'desktop integrated Internet'.
Especially eCS's URL objects make it easy to maintain and access all kinds of locations on the Internet, like Websites, FTP hosts, but also audio channels directly from your desktop. For instance you can easily create and maintain Bookmarks in folders on your Desktop, without the need of starting up the browser. eComStation offers these possibilities standard on the Desktop of course.


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» This document is also available as PDF version

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