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Revitalizing the Internet and VMS 267

Da Beave writes "Similar to the "Going Back to the Past of the Internet" /. post, these guys want to not only revitalize the Internet, but the OpenVMS Operating System (Started by Digital, then to Compaq, now to HP....). They have a cluster of VAXen (32 bit) and Alphas (64 bit) for public (non-commercial) usage.... With more compilers than you can shake a stick at, and it's considered one of the most secure OS's around....." VMS was one of the first operating systems I learned to use. This page really brings back some memories, both good and bad.
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Revitalizing the Internet and VMS

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  • by dhogaza ( 64507 ) on Saturday August 31, 2002 @12:11PM (#4176754) Homepage
    RSTS/E was DEC's 16-bit BASIC operating system. You're probably thinking about RT-11. You could run an RT-11 emulator as an alternative to the BASIC interpreter under RSTS/E, thanks to a group of us in Oregon who made this available in the early 1970s. Perhaps you had the opportunity to do so. But RSTS/E out of the box announced itself as being "Ready", just like any other BASIC interpreter environment at the time (like the one I wrote for the PDP-8). RSTS/E had a relatively modern design, though, with the kernel and shell (if you will) fully separated. This design is what made it possible to dispense with the BASIC interpreter ("shell" in Unix terminology) and replace it with an RT-11 one. It also supported shared read-only executable segments in 8KB chunks (matching the memory mapping hardware of the PDP-11) so one copy of the RT-11 or RSTS/E BASIC "shell" was shared by all users. Not bad for 1970 technology on a 16-bit mini-computer.

    All of these owe the basic structure of the CLI and file naming conventions (forward slash for parameters, 3-letter file extensions, etc) to the older PDP-10 operating system which dates back to the 1960s. The same basic CLI and file naming conventions were also supported by OS/8, DEC's PDP-8 operating system written mostly by Richie Lary.

    OS/8's sources named it the "*bleep*" operating system, otherwise known as the First Upward Compatible Keyboard Monitor, or FUCK'M, operating system for the PDP-8. When Richie first proposed writing a PDP-8 operating system that was command-level compatible with the 36-bit PDP-10 timesharing operating system (thus the "upward compatible keyboard monitor" moniker), he was told "no" so wrote the first version of OS/8 on the sly. The acronym described his personal feelings towards management at the time, and later it became the standard single-user PDP-8 operating system.

    Personally I think all of Dave Cutler's OS's more or less sucked, starting with RSX-11M and still true today with NT.
  • by Querty ( 1128 ) on Saturday August 31, 2002 @12:32PM (#4176837) Homepage
    "Incredibly smart" guys at kernel hacking tend to be incredibly stupid/naive when it comes to things like contracts.
  • Re:but VMS lives (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 31, 2002 @02:21PM (#4177342)
    The NT command interpreter is a fucking piece of shit, dude. Sure it works, but Christ does it ever suck dick.

Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle. -- Steinbach