VMS End of life

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commodorejohn
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Re: VMS End of life

Unread postby commodorejohn » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:15 am

Again, though, I'm not saying there haven't been some spiffy things done, I'm saying that the Dark Ages didn't extend through the 1990s. The fact that a kid who's grown up with PCs being commonplace fixtures of daily life might see it that way doesn't make it so.
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Re: VMS End of life

Unread postby urbancamo » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:47 am

So, what medium would we be using to have this conversation across the globe if we hadn't progress? My guess is the closest thing would have been DECnet and VMS notes. Keeping it on topic of course :lol:
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Re: VMS End of life

Unread postby commodorejohn » Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:08 am

Hey, those worked just fine...heck, VMS Notes is still available on a lot of systems ;)
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Re: VMS End of life

Unread postby R-ten-K » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:56 am

commodorejohn wrote:Again, though, I'm not saying there haven't been some spiffy things done, I'm saying that the Dark Ages didn't extend through the 1990s. The fact that a kid who's grown up with PCs being commonplace fixtures of daily life might see it that way doesn't make it so.


That's not what I meant, at all.
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Re: VMS End of life

Unread postby jwp » Fri Jun 14, 2013 7:26 pm

I think the point being made is that the quality of software hasn't matched the great increases in hardware. For example, the Web is progress in some way, but it's a pretty ugly solution, made from poorly conceived "standards" all held together with duct tape. Alan Kay also has this view:

http://www.drdobbs.com/architecture-and-design/interview-with-alan-kay/240003442

The Internet was done so well that most people think of it as a natural resource like the Pacific Ocean, rather than something that was man-made. When was the last time a technology with a scale like that was so error-free? The Web, in comparison, is a joke. The Web was done by amateurs.

I think, though, that there has undeniably been some progress (consider the Internet and networking in general). We can also look at the state of Unix systems. Back in the 80's, scripting would have been done with Bourne shell and awk. These days we also have very popular interpreted languages like Python and Ruby. These can fill in the big gap between C and simple shell scripts, and help us avoid the ugliness of Perl.

Languages like Go also show some real progress made in concurrent programming, and the same might be said of Erlang as well. There is some substantial progress, but it happens fairly slowly, and most people are still happy to reinvent the wheel for the Nth time.

The big failing, in my opinion, has been in mainstream graphical programs like web browsers. It seems that there is still no elegant way to create a GUI application, no clear set of primitives from which they can be composed in a modular manner. GUI applications are still ugly, and little progress has been made on these.
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Re: VMS End of life

Unread postby edikat » Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:08 pm

A sad day...

Spent many an all-nighter back in 1996 optimizing a 3100/90 (or 95/98?) on behalf at the Thrifty Foods HQ in Victoria, BC... happy days.

Before that at Liverpool Uni.... a year of VMS, and even before that three years of VMS, RSX-11 and RT-11..... back in the early 90's they were ancient then :)

Ended my VMS experience by selling my 3100/38 for $200 back in '96 as well.. we dumped the uVAX-II (which was donated to me beforehand by the Uni... thanks Mike Senior... respect.. must have been the only student with a MicroVAX in my dorm room!)
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Re: VMS End of life

Unread postby jan-jaap » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:28 am

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Re: VMS End of life

Unread postby kramlq » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:13 am


I think David Cutler isn't retired yet, and he singlehandedly designed and wrote RSX-11m according to some. I doubt they could compete with what Microsoft pay though :-)

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Re: VMS End of life

Unread postby pentium » Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:34 pm

bluecode wrote:


Fascinating. What a dream job (guaranteed job security) for one lucky guy. Problem is, anybody good enough at PDP-11 stuff is probably not going to want to work for another 37 years.

And the people who DO want that kind of job security can't get the training professionally anymore. :(
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Re: VMS End of life

Unread postby Kira » Mon Jul 01, 2013 1:11 pm

SAQ wrote:
hamei wrote:
sgi_mark wrote: I wonder how many VMS customers will take HP up on their suggestion that they port to NSK or HP-UX ?

More to the point, how many customers will surround HP headquarters with burning torches, demanding Meg's head on a pike ?

You guys have got to quit letting these bastards pull this crap. The world will be intolerable if you keep allowing this kind of behavior.


This seems to have been HP's standard acquisitions policy for a while now (at least since Apollo). Spend a lot of money buying a company, discontinue their products at the earliest possible time, then expect the customers to move to HP's stuff. You'd think by now they'd figure out that it doesn't work that way.

Guess this means they'll never patch the y31086 problem :(


This is funny, because it's ignoring some pretty important parts of HP history. In the late 90's, HP had a well-regarded minicomputer system, with a large installed base, a deep roadmap, and a solid plan to migrate to IPF. I'm referring, of course, to the HP 3000 line and its operating system, MPE/iX. MPE was beautiful, with a high-performance, easy-to-maintain database (IMAGE) and a large number of ISV's providing software for the platform.

Then HP bought Compaq.

As soon as HP had its paws on NSK and VMS, the MPE roadmap went out the window. The IPF port was cancelled, and the half-baked VMS-on-IPF port (seriously, benchmark it side-by-side with HP-UX/aCC sometime) went ahead as HP's sole minicomputer option. MPE support and sales ended a couple of years ago, and now there's a thriving community of businesses providing support for those "homesteading" on MPE.

Meanwhile, HP's VMS development has been nothing but a chain of fuckups for the last several years. Support for new processors has lagged behind HP-UX and even Windows, performance is still behind other IPF systems, and only some Integrity systems can even run it. (No Superdomes for you, VMS users!) HP says that they know of 2500 unique customers on VMS, which, if accurate, implies some deep, deep fuckups on HP's end. I've never seen solid figures on VMS installed base when HP bought Compaq, but I'd be surprised if it was under 10000; the other major remaining minicomputer platform, IBM i, is claimed to have 100,000 unique customers.

Basically, the message here is not "oh noes, HP murders its acquisitions in favor of inhouse stuffs!!!!" but rather, "everything HP touches turns to shit."

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Re: VMS End of life

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:08 am

Always wanted to play with an HP 3000, but never got my hands on one. They sound like solid machines.
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Re: VMS End of life

Unread postby Winnili » Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:40 am

Want to try HP 3000? Well, good luck with that.
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Re: VMS End of life

Unread postby SAQ » Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:21 pm

Kira wrote:Basically, the message here is not "oh noes, HP murders its acquisitions in favor of inhouse stuffs!!!!" but rather, "everything HP touches turns to shit."


Only in the post-1996ish world of HP. They used to be really good.
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Re: VMS End of life

Unread postby commodorejohn » Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:57 am

bluecode wrote:Yeah but this is a borderline nutcase/Luddite view and aside from you and me there are obviously not enough people who subscribe to it. Time goes on whether we like it or not. Running antique (cough) vintage (cough) hardware and software is just a temporary respite. When you get up from your chair you have to face the world moved on from there. Not for the better but there's no stopping it.

First off, the fact that most people don't subscribe to a viewpoint has no relevance to its accuracy. I'm not saying that people don't think they're a million times better off now than they were in the dark ages of the '70s and '80s, I'm saying that they really weren't - no matter what they think.

Additionally, it's not as inescapable as all that yet. For the time being, we still have the choice of whether or not to be involved in a lot of things; I don't have a Facebook account, and I never will. I do have a cell phone, but only in case of getting stranded on the road in the snow or somesuch, and I don't hesitate to turn the damn thing off when I want some quiet time.

And anyway, even if it is inevitable, who says we have to approve of it?

Do you have a cite for that Stroustrup quote btw? I've read quite a few statements by him that suggest he knows which end is up notwithstanding the fact he invented C++.

Right here. That whole page is worth reading; the man is so far removed into the realm of sensible and sane from the IT industry at large that it's not even funny...
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Re: VMS End of life

Unread postby commodorejohn » Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:58 am

Indeed, Stroustrup's comments are a breath of fresh air; what I mean is that it's sad that the rest of the industry is so lost in the wilderness compared to this one prof...
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