Hobbyist program and using a vaxstation 4000 VLC with OpenVMS for vintage computing purposes


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Hobbyist program and using a vaxstation 4000 VLC with OpenVMS for vintage computing purposes

Post by floogy » Sat Dec 30, 2023 9:07 am

Hi, I yesterday bought a vaxstation 4000 with a running OpenVMS 6.1.

It's headless, and I eventually buy a Terminal like Televideo tvi 912b, to connect it via serial line and rs232 to the vaxstation.

I tried to register to the OpenVMS hobbyist forum, but that registration seems to go nowhere, and I get a blank page after sending the form and no email was sent I think.

I read, that there are no longer vax licenses for the hobbyist program.

So can I upgrade with the license that will be shipped with that purchased vaxstation for free to newer OpenVMS versions?

As far as I understand, only alpha, itanium, x86_64 and NOT vax is supported by the successor of the hobbyist program.

So what can I do?

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Re: Hobbyist program and using a vaxstation 4000 VLC with OpenVMS for vintage computing purposes

Post by arne_v » Sat Dec 30, 2023 11:18 am

The old HPE hobbyist license program that supported VAX is dead.

The new VSI community license program does not support VAX because VSI can only issue licenses for VMS versions they create and support - and VSI has clearly stated that they have no intention of ever providing a VAX version.

So a VAX requires a traditional VMS license.

I believe the two common ways to get that are:
- when buying VAX hardware to pay HPE to legally transfer the license belonging to that system to the new owner
- buy a VMS VAX license from HPE leasing (apparently they get licenses back with old VAX'es being returned at lease end and some smart lawyers realized that those licenses could be transferred "sold" for money)

Neither option is hobbyist friendly.

I believe a VMS license is usually not tied to a specific VMS version, so if you have a VMS license and you can get hold of the media then you can upgrade to latest (7.3).

There are other OS that run on VAX than VMS.

Regarding terminal then why not get a VT320 or VT420?
Arne
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Re: Hobbyist program and using a vaxstation 4000 VLC with OpenVMS for vintage computing purposes

Post by sms » Sat Dec 30, 2023 2:25 pm

Code: Select all

> So what can I do?

   If you're not concerned with legality, a Web search for terms like:
      VLF PAKs
might find some, uh, "unofficial" PAK collections, including one for
VAX.  But, as the saying goes, a PAK is not a license, and a license is
not a PAK.

   There's a comp.os.vms thread from about two years ago:

      https://groups.google.com/g/comp.os.vms/c/ordFMsxo2sg

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Re: Hobbyist program and using a vaxstation 4000 VLC with OpenVMS for vintage computing purposes

Post by martin » Sun Dec 31, 2023 4:40 am

I'm not sure we should be hosting anything that encourages law breaking.
Martin
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  • Started on a VAX 11/782 in 1984 with VMS 3.6.


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Re: Hobbyist program and using a vaxstation 4000 VLC with OpenVMS for vintage computing purposes

Post by floogy » Sun Dec 31, 2023 12:18 pm

Thanks a lot for your answers!

I'll try to get more into the system when the vaxstation will arrive.

I'm currently try to find some "cheap" used terminals to choose one.

I like the vintage look of the Televideo tvi 912b, but that said,it got only 82 keys and newer terminals ate capable to emulate a set of common terminals.

But I got the impression, they are hard to find. I missed one on the German Craig's list, a dec vt52. It was announced for 290€, and later for 450€. It was untested and was sold for 250€, which I didn't expected due to the early increase of the price by the seller, who seemed even didn't know that it's a terminal. Also I didn't want to get it delivered by package, but I don't have a car at the moment. So unfortunately I didn't achieved to make it my own.

Maybe I got the occasion to get a newer dec, an ITT or a FALCO 5600.

Will the IBM InfoWindows (3477, 3486, InfoWindow II, ...) also work with the vaxstation?

I wish you a great start into the New Year!

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Re: Hobbyist program and using a vaxstation 4000 VLC with OpenVMS for vintage computing purposes

Post by cct » Sun Dec 31, 2023 6:08 pm

You may be able to use putty on a PC over a serial line
--
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Re: Hobbyist program and using a vaxstation 4000 VLC with OpenVMS for vintage computing purposes

Post by sms » Mon Jan 01, 2024 3:12 am

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> [...] dec vt52. [...]

   A VT52 might work for some things but it's older than I'd want.  The
VT100 was a big advance over the VT5x series.

> Will the IBM InfoWindows (3477, 3486, InfoWindow II, ...) also work
> with the vaxstation?

   I know nothing about them.  If they're designed for use with IBM
mainframe systems, then I'd guess not.


> You may be able to use putty on a PC over a serial line

   I'd expect that to be the usual method for this sort of thing.  You
need some kind of terminal emulator on a system with a real serial port. 
I'd expect PuTTY or an Xterm under Windows or GNU/Linux on ordinary
PC-like hardware to do the job.  (Finding a serial port on a Mac would
be more of a challenge.)


> I'm not sure we should be hosting anything that encourages law breaking.

   I don't offer the file on my server, but I can see its potential
value.  I don't see much chance of its use causing any actual loss to
the copyright owner.

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Re: Hobbyist program and using a vaxstation 4000 VLC with OpenVMS for vintage computing purposes

Post by martin » Mon Jan 01, 2024 6:16 am

One quick word of caution, the VT52 does not support ANSI escape sequences. Generally the codes are just <ESC> X where X is a single letter (eg CUU [cursor up] is <ESC> A) whereas in ANSI the sequences tend to be <ESC> [ <params> <terminator> (eg CUU is <CSI> Pn A ). From years back when we used an old VT52 to control a plotter system it was a right royal pain having to accommodate both VT2xx and VT52 sequences. I've a feeling that SMG$ doesn't support VT52, but I could be wrong there.
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  • Retired System Manager: VMS/UNIX/UNICOS/Linux.
  • Started on a VAX 11/782 in 1984 with VMS 3.6.


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Re: Hobbyist program and using a vaxstation 4000 VLC with OpenVMS for vintage computing purposes

Post by sms » Mon Jan 01, 2024 10:38 am

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> [...]  I've a feeling that SMG$ doesn't support VT52, but I could be
> wrong there.

   You could be.  I've a document:

      https://docs.vmssoftware.com/vsi-openvms-rtl-screen-management-smg-manual/#non_dec_terminals

ITS $ search SYS$SYSTEM:SMGTERMS.TXT vt5
!07-Mar-1995    LAL     Update VT500 to include ANSI_COLOR and DEC_CRT_5.
!05-Oct-1993    JSY     Add VT500_SERIES terminal
!                       Added VT55, VT101, VT105, and VT131.
!                       Fixed misteaaks in VT100 and VT52 definitions.
! The VT520 is described by /DEVICE=VT500_SERIES.  
NAME = "VT500_Series"
NAME = "VT52"
NAME = "VT55"

   But the VT52 _is_ pre-ANSI, and I'd expect to get more use from a
terminal which could meet the ANSI standard.  (If I could find any of
those things which still work.)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VT52

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Re: Hobbyist program and using a vaxstation 4000 VLC with OpenVMS for vintage computing purposes

Post by arne_v » Mon Jan 01, 2024 11:03 am

If the goal is to get something that "match" then a 4000 VLC and a VT 420 are about same age. And a VT 420 will work great with VMS.
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