35 years ago this week - DECUS San Diego, VAX/11-780 and VAX/VMS Introduced
Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 09:29 AM
Posted by Administrator
Yes, that's right we have the 35th Anniversary of the introduction of VMS (or as HP now calls it "HP OpenVMS"). Where were you? What were you doing?
At that time I was a graduate student in Computer Science at San Francisco State University. I was also employed as a Research Engineer and working for the Dean of Science at the University on his research projects - studying ocean upwelling. We used PDP-11's, RSX-11M, RSX-11S, RT-11 and IAS in our projects. We ran the world's largest non-military portable computer system - an air-conditioned 20 foot shipping container with a raised floor and shock mounted racks for the "time-shared" PDP-11/45!
On going to DECUS that year we already knew what was happening by way of on-going discussions with DEC Software Engineering. But we had not be able to get exact details. Out of an interest in what was happening and how this "new" system would handle existing software I took a tape containing a MACRO-11 program - CHESS-11.
During the week I arranged to get some time on the system. A friend and former colleague of mine - Eric Pollack was in Software Engineering although his interest was in another area but he helped me get the time. And so we loaded the tape.
Sorry, no MTAACP yet!
But we could DUMP the tape to a file with ASCII format. Ok, but it was still a mess.
Hey, TECO - I was such a TECO hack. Had taken the IAS TECO written a TECO program to process a HELP file format for our "time sharing" system used by the scientists all across the country. So with a bit munging here and there we finally had clean MACRO-11 source.
The RSX emulation code of the VAX-11/780 (also known as the Application Migration Executive - AME) was working. So we had MACRO and TKB and PIP - hey it was still early the system did not ship for another 4 months.
We did assemble and build the image and ran it. Just like it was supposed to do. True we did not do it in native mode but we as students and customers did not yet have exposure to the MACRO-32 or LINKER. On the other hand we also showed that the 32-bit ports of the VMS were there and running. The device drivers, the disk ACP, the job scheduler were definitely doing their job as the new and interesting computer and operating system were born and introduced to the world.
To the best of my knowledge this "port" was the first other than what I am sure had been happening behind the scenes with large institutions and those universities who were known to have close relations with Digital Equipment Corporation.
So, where were you 35 years ago this week?
Tell your story. Join the celebration. Check out the OpenVMS 35th Anniverary Memory Page
Also there is live audio session on Thursday, 25 October 2012:
On the occasion of the 35th anniversary of HP OpenVMS, HP invites you to join us for live audio session as we proudly mark the beginning of the celebration.
Opening Remarks John Egolf, OpenVMS Lab
Keynote Shobha Benakatti, Director, OpenVMS Lab
Guest Speakers Susan Skonetski
When: 9:00pm 9:45pm India Standard Time
(10:30am-11:15am EST, 11:30pm-12:15am SGT, 5:30-6:15pm CET)
To determine the delivery time of the session in your local time zone:http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html
Logistics for attending:
Dial-in Numbers: 877.675.4345 (USA)
(See "Bridge 2" list for others)
Conference Code: 8840257