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Thread: Hackin' it old school with VMS

  1. #1
    Senior Member cwk9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002

    Hackin' it old school with VMS

    For me computer OSís began at dos 6.0, anything prior to that was before I started using computers so Iím always interested when I come across some trivial and other wise useless bit of computer history. In this case VMS. Thought Iíd post this link because Iím sure that there are tons of people who donít have a clue what VMS is witch is fine because most of us will never see a VMS system let alone use one. For those of you who have some time to kill I encourage you to read this: http://www.neworder.box.sk/newsread.php?newsid=5424

    Just out of curiosity has anyone here used a VMS system? In witch case we could probably pin down your age at being some were around 45+

  2. #2
    The Iceman Cometh
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    I haven't ever worked on VMS (I started with computers as a kid with DOS 2.0 and was absolutely thrilled when Windows 3.0 came about ) but I saw a VAX system running VMS at a university I visited for a conference. I don't remember what conference it was, nor what school it was, but when I think of it, I'll post it. I know there are still a few around, I just don't have any idea where. When I saw it, no one was working on it, but the professor who was showing me around the department said that it was sometimes used by students for various research projects. I didn't inquire as to what kind of projects, but I'm assuming they probably needed to do some calculations which their standard workstations (which were quite out of date as well) couldn't handle.


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    i used some parts of VMS while I was doing some old contract work at IBM..
    Never really "used" it.. as in getting to know it per-se. For a while my place of employment
    used DEC's pdp-11's (VAX) for a server.. so i fiddled with that a bit.

    now in the same vein.. here's something even older that, an amusing tale to say the least. He was writing machine code for computers that most have never heard of.. the Royal McBee Computer Corp's LGP-30 and RPC-4000
    The Story of Mel, a Real Programmer

    some other interesting links can be found at http://www.srijith.net/ as well...

    one real good one is Linus Torvalds Quoted

  4. #4
    Disgruntled Postal Worker fourdc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Vermont, USA
    I'm I the only old guy on this board? I'm only 43 and I used VMS's predecessor.

    VMS wasn't bad, it had version control. It also networked with protection. It was bulky and you had to remember switches ( was that a \h or a \H?)

    I worked on Dec PDP11s befor the VAXes came out.

    Thanks for the walk down memory lane

    "Somehow saying I told you so just doesn't cover it" Will Smith in I, Robot

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    VMS is wonderful.. honest..

    I'm much younger than 40 odd and have used version 4 through to 7.3. From PDP11s the whole vax range and on up to the modern alpha es45 systems.

    If you have worked on VMS then you can see a lot of it in the way NT works. (although i would still put my money on VMS).

    about 3 years ago we tested 3 systems running an active database (1 unix, 1 VMS and 1 NT)
    While they are running 1000+ transactions we pulled the power, waited 10 secs and powered up again.

    VMs goes.. Ops, i lost power... Lets 'rebuild that drive' and off we go (boot time +1 min to return to service)

    NT goes.. Crap... i lost power. lets run checkdisk and hope its all kewl (boot time +30 mins to return to service)

    Our Unix.. forget it.... go get your backup tape (check drives, restore files from tape+ restart)

    The point... for data integrity VMS is the strongest system i have every used.... and it should be being ported to the next gen intel 64bit processors

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Just another "Old Fart" checking in. I started out on an IBM 360 running Fortran, Cobol and RPG. Programs were coded on punch cards. Then the Community College acquired a DG Nova 1200 running BASIC using a Teletype ASR-33 with paper tape reader/punch (I still own an ASR-33). My first job was working on DG Nova 1200s and PDP-8's both loading from high speed paper tape readers and Glass Teletypes AKA Dumb Terminals. The 8080 and Z80 were on the market and people were building IMSI and Altair S-100 bus systems some of which ran CP/M and 5 1/4 inch hard sectored floppies that held a whopping 128kb. The Apple I and II soon followed. I then started to work on PDP-11 series systems running RT-11, RTSE, VAX-VMS. The IBM PC hit the market in the early 80's and we thought we were seeing the ultimate computer system with an 4.77mhz 8088 processor, 640kb ram, 360k floppy and a 5mb hard drive and able to run Lotus 123 spreadsheet software in less than 128k of ram. Things have certainly changed in 20 years. Now nothing less that a 2ghz processor will do along with 500mb ram and 60gb hard drives and the darn thing is still not fast enough!

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