Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available - VMS

This is a discussion on Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available - VMS ; On 2008-04-13, Arne Vajh°j wrote: > Tom Linden wrote: >> On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 18:22:43 -0700, Arne Vajh°j wrote: >>> Is writing a device driver in another HLL than C supported on OpenVMS ? >> >> Firstly I would ...

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Thread: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

  1. Re: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

    On 2008-04-13, Arne Vajh°j wrote:
    > Tom Linden wrote:
    >> On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 18:22:43 -0700, Arne Vajh°j wrote:
    >>> Is writing a device driver in another HLL than C supported on OpenVMS ?

    >>
    >> Firstly I would not characterize C as a HLL,

    >
    > Many people consider anything above assembler for HLL.


    Trick question on Alpha. AFAIK, the language choices for a driver are C
    and MACRO-32. Since MACRO-32 is a compiler on Alpha and Itanium, does it
    count as assembler or HLL?

    I don't think Alpha assembly drivers are supported. I fiddled with it a
    bit many years ago, but decided MACRO-32 was much more convenient; I had
    a really simple driver that could have gotten into and out of most of
    its routines in less code than the standard MACRO-32 prologue/epilogue,
    UNTIL I realized that some of my arguments might not be longword
    aligned. That's when I decided MACRO-32 was good enough.

    On Itanium, I'm just starting to get to the point where an E/I in ANA/CRA
    isn't total gibberish.
    --
    roger ivie
    rivie@ridgenet.net

  2. Re: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

    In article , Roger Ivie writes:
    >On 2008-04-13, Arne Vajh°j wrote:
    >> Tom Linden wrote:
    >>> On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 18:22:43 -0700, Arne Vajh°j wrote:
    >>>> Is writing a device driver in another HLL than C supported on OpenVMS ?
    >>>
    >>> Firstly I would not characterize C as a HLL,

    >>
    >> Many people consider anything above assembler for HLL.

    >
    >Trick question on Alpha. AFAIK, the language choices for a driver are C
    >and MACRO-32. Since MACRO-32 is a compiler on Alpha and Itanium, does it
    >count as assembler or HLL?
    >
    >I don't think Alpha assembly drivers are supported. I fiddled with it a
    >bit many years ago, but decided MACRO-32 was much more convenient; I had
    >a really simple driver that could have gotten into and out of most of
    >its routines in less code than the standard MACRO-32 prologue/epilogue,
    >UNTIL I realized that some of my arguments might not be longword
    >aligned. That's when I decided MACRO-32 was good enough.
    >
    >On Itanium, I'm just starting to get to the point where an E/I in ANA/CRA
    >isn't total gibberish.


    C'mon. It is not that foreign. I didn't find it any more difficult than
    it was to take the step from VAX to Alpha which was quite easy to do IMHO.

    --
    VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)COM

    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"

    http://tmesis.com/drat.html

  3. Re: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

    Arne Vajh°j schrieb:

    > And some are done for free by developers having a day job
    > doing end user software.


    I can't believe that too many developers are eligible
    for this kind of scenario.
    Somebody developing software 8+ hours a day for a living
    would hardly spend another 8 hours developing software for free.



  4. Re: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

    Tom Linden schrieb:
    > On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 15:30:43 -0700, Michael Kraemer
    > wrote:
    >>
    >> I think at that point in time IBM had already a PL/I product for NT.
    >>

    > No, they hadn't


    I think they had. I remember a colleague of mine porting
    a PL/I app from dead end VMS to NT around 1998.
    And I think the compiler was an IBM product.


  5. Re: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

    In article ,
    Michael Kraemer wrote:

    > Arne Vajh°j schrieb:
    >
    > > It was 20 years ago.
    > >
    > > The software was probably OK back then.
    > >
    > > But DEC could not have produced VAXstations to compete with
    > > those PC thingies price wise.

    >
    > Decent PCs weren't cheap either in those days.
    > And they had no OS ( unless you identify
    > the M$ floppy controller aka MS-DOS as an OS ).
    > VAXstations OTOH were ridiculously overprized
    > compared to their RISC counterparts.


    I the mid-1990s I had a customer who had bought some well configured IBM
    PS/2s with OS/2 for a project which never came to fruition. I was
    surprised when I was told what these had cost - they were definitely in
    the price region of what VAXstation 2000s had been.

    --
    Paul Sture

    Sue's OpenVMS bookmarks:
    http://eisner.encompasserve.org/~stu...bookmarks.html

  6. Re: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

    On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 20:59:19 -0700, Arne Vajh°j wrote:

    > Tom Linden wrote:
    >> On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 18:22:43 -0700, Arne Vajh°j wrote:
    >>> Tom Linden wrote:
    >>>> On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 05:46:30 -0700, Bob Willard
    >>>> wrote:
    >>>>> 2.C, in its place, is pretty good. In particular, when C is used
    >>>>> for stuff
    >>>>> that would otherwise have been written in assembly language, C is
    >>>>> IMHO
    >>>>> just dandy. Have you had good luck writing device drivers in
    >>>>> PL/I?
    >>>> Maybe I am more familiar with C than you are with PL/I?
    >>>> I haven't had a need to do so, but I easily could, and have done so
    >>>> years ago
    >>>> for unix, including replacing some portions of the kernel. The tape
    >>>> driver
    >>>> on Primos was written in Fortran, BTW.
    >>>
    >>> Is writing a device driver in another HLL than C supported on OpenVMS ?

    >> Firstly I would not characterize C as a HLL,

    >
    > Many people consider anything above assembler for HLL.
    >
    >> secondly don't know what
    >> you
    >> mean by supported. If I write a device driver that is my concern not
    >> HP's

    >
    > Consider: supported = documented.
    >
    > I am not a driver person. Far from. But as I understand it then there
    > are quite a few things you can not do in a driver and there are
    > documentation for C about what you can use of C without breaking
    > any of the rules. Does similar documentation exist in the PL/I
    > documentation or in the VMS documentation or in a book for PL/I ?
    >
    > Even if the docs does not exist then you may still be able to
    > write a driver in PL/I because you know what it does, but that
    > does not cut it as supported.


    If there is a SDL description of the interface, then it should be easy,
    otherwise translating a C prototype to PL/I is trivial.

    >
    > Arne
    >




    --
    PL/I for OpenVMS
    www.kednos.com

  7. Re: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

    In article , "P. Sture"
    writes:
    rparts.

    > I the mid-1990s I had a customer who had bought some well configured IBM
    > PS/2s with OS/2 for a project which never came to fruition. I was
    > surprised when I was told what these had cost - they were definitely in
    > the price region of what VAXstation 2000s had been.


    Well, a PS/2 machine *is* a decent box.
    They still have some value e.g. on eBay
    (I"m looking for one to load AIX 1.3 :-)
    whereas ordinary PCs of that time are simply junk.
    And they are probably faster than most VAXen out there.

  8. Re: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

    In article ,
    m.kraemer@gsi.de (Michael Kraemer) wrote:

    > In article , "P. Sture"
    > writes:
    > rparts.
    >
    > > I the mid-1990s I had a customer who had bought some well configured IBM
    > > PS/2s with OS/2 for a project which never came to fruition. I was
    > > surprised when I was told what these had cost - they were definitely in
    > > the price region of what VAXstation 2000s had been.

    >
    > Well, a PS/2 machine *is* a decent box.
    > They still have some value e.g. on eBay
    > (I"m looking for one to load AIX 1.3 :-)
    > whereas ordinary PCs of that time are simply junk.
    > And they are probably faster than most VAXen out there.


    Ah, that makes sense, and I didn't realise they could run AIX...

    --
    Paul Sture

    Sue's OpenVMS bookmarks:
    http://eisner.encompasserve.org/~stu...bookmarks.html

  9. Re: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

    Roger Ivie wrote:
    > On 2008-04-13, Arne Vajh°j wrote:
    >> Tom Linden wrote:
    >>> On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 18:22:43 -0700, Arne Vajh°j wrote:
    >>>> Is writing a device driver in another HLL than C supported on OpenVMS ?
    >>> Firstly I would not characterize C as a HLL,

    >> Many people consider anything above assembler for HLL.

    >
    > Trick question on Alpha. AFAIK, the language choices for a driver are C
    > and MACRO-32. Since MACRO-32 is a compiler on Alpha and Itanium, does it
    > count as assembler or HLL?


    Good question.

    From a general programming perspective I would say that it is not
    a HLL, because it really is an assembler language.

    But in this specific context it can be argued that one indeed
    need some guarantees about what the Macro-32 compiles actually
    does.

    Arne

  10. Re: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

    JF Mezei wrote:
    > Michael Kraemer wrote:
    >> VAXstations OTOH were ridiculously overprized
    >> compared to their RISC counterparts.

    >
    > Replace the word "ridiculously" with "artificially".
    >
    > DEC suffered from the "must not allow our high margin customers from
    > starting to buy more powerful and cheaper systems from us". They never
    > thought about attracting more new customers to compensate for the high
    > marghin customers buying cheaper systems from DEC.
    >
    > So those high margin customers ended up buying smaller, more powerful
    > and cheaper systems from companies DEC refused to admit competed against
    > itself. (like compaq/microsoft)
    >
    > DEC had had many opportunities from the early 1980s to the late 1980s to
    > really make it big. They missed them. Miseed the boat and were left behind.


    No doubt that they had high margins.

    But my guess is that the production costs were also higher.

    VAX'es was build to last for decades and did (still do in some
    cases).

    PC's are a use and throw away commodity. Nobody really cares
    if the parts start to fail after 4 years of 5x8 usage.

    Arne

  11. Re: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

    Michael Kraemer wrote:
    > Arne Vajh°j schrieb:
    >> And some are done for free by developers having a day job
    >> doing end user software.

    >
    > I can't believe that too many developers are eligible
    > for this kind of scenario.
    > Somebody developing software 8+ hours a day for a living
    > would hardly spend another 8 hours developing software for free.


    Maybe not 8 hours a day.

    But it does happen at a scale that are becoming significant
    in the industry.

    Not all open source development are funded by IBM, SUN, Novell,
    Google, Yahoo etc. (or done at universities).

    Arne




  12. Re: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

    In article , "P. Sture"
    writes:

    >
    > Ah, that makes sense, and I didn't realise they could run AIX...
    >


    they do, but it's not quite AIX as we know it.

  13. Re: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

    On Sun, 13 Apr 2008 08:59:24 -0700, Arne Vajh°j wrote:

    > JF Mezei wrote:
    >> Michael Kraemer wrote:
    >>> VAXstations OTOH were ridiculously overprized
    >>> compared to their RISC counterparts.

    >> Replace the word "ridiculously" with "artificially".
    >> DEC suffered from the "must not allow our high margin customers from
    >> starting to buy more powerful and cheaper systems from us". They never
    >> thought about attracting more new customers to compensate for the high
    >> marghin customers buying cheaper systems from DEC.
    >> So those high margin customers ended up buying smaller, more powerful
    >> and cheaper systems from companies DEC refused to admit competed against
    >> itself. (like compaq/microsoft)
    >> DEC had had many opportunities from the early 1980s to the late 1980s
    >> to
    >> really make it big. They missed them. Miseed the boat and were left
    >> behind.

    >
    > No doubt that they had high margins.
    >
    > But my guess is that the production costs were also higher.


    There was littl exchangeability of parts amongst the various models

    >
    > VAX'es was build to last for decades and did (still do in some
    > cases).
    >
    > PC's are a use and throw away commodity. Nobody really cares
    > if the parts start to fail after 4 years of 5x8 usage.
    >
    > Arne




    --
    PL/I for OpenVMS
    www.kednos.com

  14. Re: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

    Tom Linden wrote:
    > On Sun, 13 Apr 2008 08:59:24 -0700, Arne Vajh°j wrote:
    >
    >> JF Mezei wrote:
    >>> Michael Kraemer wrote:
    >>>> VAXstations OTOH were ridiculously overprized
    >>>> compared to their RISC counterparts.
    >>> Replace the word "ridiculously" with "artificially".
    >>> DEC suffered from the "must not allow our high margin customers from
    >>> starting to buy more powerful and cheaper systems from us". They never
    >>> thought about attracting more new customers to compensate for the high
    >>> marghin customers buying cheaper systems from DEC.
    >>> So those high margin customers ended up buying smaller, more powerful
    >>> and cheaper systems from companies DEC refused to admit competed against
    >>> itself. (like compaq/microsoft)
    >>> DEC had had many opportunities from the early 1980s to the late
    >>> 1980s to
    >>> really make it big. They missed them. Miseed the boat and were left
    >>> behind.

    >>
    >> No doubt that they had high margins.
    >>
    >> But my guess is that the production costs were also higher.

    >
    > There was littl exchangeability of parts amongst the various models
    >


    Little? How about none? It looked as if every machine was designed
    from scratch. If you can find a VERY OLD DEC catalog, take a look at
    the RZ26 disk drive. There were twenty or thirty different variants.
    The difference? The mounting hardware!!

  15. Re: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

    Richard B. Gilbert wrote:

    > Little? How about none? It looked as if every machine was designed
    > from scratch. If you can find a VERY OLD DEC catalog, take a look at
    > the RZ26 disk drive. There were twenty or thirty different variants.
    > The difference? The mounting hardware!!


    It would have taken a simple edict from Ken Olsen to get all the
    different kingdoms within DEC to start using standard parts instead of
    engineering thir own and to challenge Digital to make a vax workstation
    that would compete against Macs. (aka: same ballpark as PCs with with a
    small markup due to better quality.

    And just imagine if DEC had sold its DSSI drives and controllers at
    commodity prices, it might have been the one standard that was used
    insted of IDE or scsi.


    DEC was sitting on a treasure of engineers and products, but its
    business practices prevented almost all from being a commercial success.

    The only thing that survived from the late 1980s was the TK50 (aka:
    DLT). All other DEC legacies date from early 1980s (VT100 standard,
    ethernet etc)

  16. Re: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

    JF Mezei wrote:
    > Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
    >
    >> Little? How about none? It looked as if every machine was designed
    >> from scratch. If you can find a VERY OLD DEC catalog, take a look at
    >> the RZ26 disk drive. There were twenty or thirty different variants.
    >> The difference? The mounting hardware!!

    >
    > It would have taken a simple edict from Ken Olsen to get all the
    > different kingdoms within DEC to start using standard parts instead of
    > engineering thir own and to challenge Digital to make a vax workstation
    > that would compete against Macs. (aka: same ballpark as PCs with with a
    > small markup due to better quality.


    Huh?? DEC couldn't even build a PC at a competitive price. Remember
    the Rainbow? It sold for $5000 with a SMALL hard disk, 5 or 10MB.

    >
    > And just imagine if DEC had sold its DSSI drives and controllers at
    > commodity prices, it might have been the one standard that was used
    > insted of IDE or scsi.
    >


    I've used both SCSI and DSSI drives. DSSI did not offer anything that
    was worth the extra cost. There was, AFAIK no second source for DSSI
    drives. They had no hope of becoming a standard!
    >
    > DEC was sitting on a treasure of engineers and products, but its
    > business practices prevented almost all from being a commercial success.
    >


    DEC's troubles were due to a failure, or failures, of management. The
    engineering was some of the world's finest. If management had ever
    managed to get all the engineers pulling in the same direction. . . .

  17. Re: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

    JF Mezei wrote:
    > Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
    >
    >> Little? How about none? It looked as if every machine was designed
    >> from scratch. If you can find a VERY OLD DEC catalog, take a look at
    >> the RZ26 disk drive. There were twenty or thirty different variants.
    >> The difference? The mounting hardware!!

    >
    > It would have taken a simple edict from Ken Olsen to get all the
    > different kingdoms within DEC to start using standard parts instead of
    > engineering thir own and to challenge Digital to make a vax workstation
    > that would compete against Macs. (aka: same ballpark as PCs with with a
    > small markup due to better quality.


    Huh?? DEC couldn't even build a PC at a competitive price. Remember
    the Rainbow? It sold for $5000 with a SMALL hard disk, 5 or 10MB.
    >
    > And just imagine if DEC had sold its DSSI drives and controllers at
    > commodity prices, it might have been the one standard that was used
    > insted of IDE or scsi.


    I've used both SCSI and DSSI drives. DSSI did not offer anything that
    was worth the extra cost. There was, AFAIK no second source for DSSI
    drives. They had no hope of becoming a standard!

    DEC was sitting on a treasure of engineers and products, but its
    business practices prevented almost all from being a commercial success.

    DEC's


  18. Re: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

    Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
    > JF Mezei wrote:
    >> Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
    >>
    >>> Little? How about none? It looked as if every machine was designed
    >>> from scratch. If you can find a VERY OLD DEC catalog, take a look at
    >>> the RZ26 disk drive. There were twenty or thirty different variants.
    >>> The difference? The mounting hardware!!

    >>
    >> It would have taken a simple edict from Ken Olsen to get all the
    >> different kingdoms within DEC to start using standard parts instead of
    >> engineering thir own and to challenge Digital to make a vax workstation
    >> that would compete against Macs. (aka: same ballpark as PCs with with a
    >> small markup due to better quality.

    >
    > Huh?? DEC couldn't even build a PC at a competitive price. Remember
    > the Rainbow? It sold for $5000 with a SMALL hard disk, 5 or 10MB.
    >
    >>
    >> And just imagine if DEC had sold its DSSI drives and controllers at
    >> commodity prices, it might have been the one standard that was used
    >> insted of IDE or scsi.
    >>

    >
    > I've used both SCSI and DSSI drives. DSSI did not offer anything that
    > was worth the extra cost.


    When's the last time you SET HOST/DUP MY-RANDOM-SCSI-DRIVE on a PC? 8-)

    That alone could have been the difference. The ability to run internal
    formatting, bad block scans, statistics, etc. was far ahead of contemporaneous
    SCSI development. Coupled with MSCP's bad block management it could have
    taken the industry by storm. But, no marketing strikes again.

    > There was, AFAIK no second source for DSSI
    > drives. They had no hope of becoming a standard!
    >>
    >> DEC was sitting on a treasure of engineers and products, but its
    >> business practices prevented almost all from being a commercial success.
    >>

    >
    > DEC's troubles were due to a failure, or failures, of management. The
    > engineering was some of the world's finest. If management had ever
    > managed to get all the engineers pulling in the same direction. . . .



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  19. Re: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

    Arne Vajh°j schrieb:

    > No doubt that they had high margins.
    >
    > But my guess is that the production costs were also higher.


    VAXstations were overpriced by a factor about three.
    I don't think this can be justified by higher production costs.
    Just look at the in-house competition, the Mips-based DECstations,
    which were not so much different technology-wise, but were sold
    at a much more competitive price and price/performance ratio.



  20. Re: Longtime VMS system manager/programmer available

    Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
    > JF Mezei wrote:
    >
    >> Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
    >>
    >>> Little? How about none? It looked as if every machine was designed
    >>> from scratch. If you can find a VERY OLD DEC catalog, take a look at
    >>> the RZ26 disk drive. There were twenty or thirty different variants.
    >>> The difference? The mounting hardware!!

    >>
    >>
    >> It would have taken a simple edict from Ken Olsen to get all the
    >> different kingdoms within DEC to start using standard parts instead of
    >> engineering thir own and to challenge Digital to make a vax workstation
    >> that would compete against Macs. (aka: same ballpark as PCs with with a
    >> small markup due to better quality.

    >
    >
    > Huh?? DEC couldn't even build a PC at a competitive price. Remember
    > the Rainbow? It sold for $5000 with a SMALL hard disk, 5 or 10MB.
    >
    >>
    >> And just imagine if DEC had sold its DSSI drives and controllers at
    >> commodity prices, it might have been the one standard that was used
    >> insted of IDE or scsi.
    >>

    >
    > I've used both SCSI and DSSI drives. DSSI did not offer anything that
    > was worth the extra cost. There was, AFAIK no second source for DSSI
    > drives. They had no hope of becoming a standard!
    >


    No wonder. DSSI was SCSI with a couple of very minor changes; those
    changes were made specifically to ensure that cheap SCSI HDs could not
    be used in place of expensive DSSI HDs.

    KO had been convinced by the Jack Ss, who had been convinced by Grant S,
    of the importance of using proprietary stuff instead of open stuff to
    protect the revenue stream for DEC's storage group. True, in the short
    term, but counterproductive in the long term; those expensive storage
    products became another financial reason for customers to buy non-DEC
    systems. KO believed that customers were willing to pay (much) higher
    prices to get systems of higher quality; as the record shows, few were.
    --
    Cheers, Bob

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