From: Jan Vorbrüggen on
> OK, then my question goes back to Jan and Barb. Why was a full sysgen
> required or recommended for the situations you guys were talking about?
> Wouldn't partial gens do the job without the need for the large
> resource commitment Jan talked about?

At least for the first 10 years or so, VAX/VMS wasn't structured in a
sufficiently loose way to make this feasible, IMO - we're talking the core of
the OS here, of course, not all of the utilities etc. that constitute the bulk
of the code. However, if you needed to make an interface change at the syscall
level, you'd need to recompile everything.

And anyway, I can't think of a problem that would have required a rebuild.
Significantly upgrading a subsystem, like the batch or print job management,
would have been much easier with the source - but as I said, DEC customers
never considered such things until (too) late, in contrast to IBM's customers.

From: Jan Vorbrüggen on
>>Yes, that's the issue where I see the -10/-20 crowd have a valid point: the
>>8650 took much too long to arrive.
> First they had to figure out how to erase the 4 extra bits.

Say what? I've always heard, if you are referring to Jupiter, that that
project was running way behing schedule and way over budget and significantly
contributed to the PDP-10 cancellation. Or is that FUD and urban legend?

Anyway, after the 780 which was at the lower end of reasonable,
performance-wise, when it came out, the next two VAX models were _slower_, by
a factor of 2 and 3. Then came a small upgrade of the 780, which we skipped
because it wasn't cost-effective, the ASMP 782, and then it still took some
time for the 8600/8650 to arrive - much too late.

>>AFAIK, even the Alpha is not only being supported but being actively
> BWAH-HA-HA-HA! You should go find a good archive of comp.os.vms and read it.

I see I left out an important qualifier: Alpha VMS. Hardware has been dead for
a long time, of course.

>>Even VAX/VMS was being updated, not just supported, just a few years ago. A
>>significant number of people a running VMS virtual machines on their PCs
>>because they never ported their applications to something else. It seems
>>likely that these VMs are the fastest VAXen ever built 8-).
> Yes, they seem to have stopped OpenVMS/VAX development with v8.

Good enough for me!


From: Jan Vorbrüggen on
>> VMS has a WATCH facility which lets you monitor reads or writes of
>> given system addresses, and will report the places from where they are
>> happening, in symbolic form. Yes, that's really a nice thing,
>> sometimes it even helps you to diagnose those ugly race conditions.
> Is that hardware or software?

Software, using the normal VM mechanisms. With the small VAX pages, it's bearable.

From: Morten Reistad on
In article <MPG.20760de9a9d4aca98a261(a)>,
krw <krw(a)att.bizzzz> wrote:
>In article <xJ6dnXEY0JL_ipHbRVnyigA(a)>,
>am.swallow(a) says...
>> krw wrote:
>> > In article <Mu2dnV2jQ7yzn5HbnZ2dnUVZ8ternZ2d(a)>,
>> > am.swallow(a) says...
>> >> Jan Vorbr�ggen wrote:
>> >> [snip]
>> >>

>> >> VAX/VMS the reliable alternative to Windows PCs.
>> >
>> > You're dreaming. That bus left a long time ago.
>> Probably, it is Linux that will have to clean up the mess Microsoft
>> makes.
>Maybe, but I rather doubt it.

From my observations of Linux, Linux is pretty infected
with the problems of low quality fixes, blob support, bloat,
eye candy before sunstance, and blatant insecurity.

The difference is that it is open, so the worst offenses
are fixed, and the degree of problems are lower than with
MS software.

It is part of the problem, not part of the remedy.

-- mrr
From: Nick Maclaren on

In article <MPG.207618b63de545b498a265(a)>,
krw <krw(a)att.bizzzz> writes:
|> You got the horse after the cart. You figure out (or define) how the
|> I/O works before you design the processor to drive it.
|> Put another way, you'd better know what it is that you're designing
|> long before you start.

Oh, but it's so much more interesting[*] trying to make something work
when you don't know what it was designed for - try most GUIs, for a

That is why so much software design makes Heath Robinson's drawings
look positively logical.

[*] As "May you live in interesting times."

Nick Maclaren.