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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | Hobbyists and OpenVMS | How I Use OpenVMS
Author Future of the Hobbyist program?
brad
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Location: Hopedale, MA USA
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Posted on August 18 2010 14:34
I can't find a relevant place to post this thread, so I'm posting it here.

You may have seen the announcement from HP/ITRC, that future patch downloads (after 17-September) will require ITRC access *and* a valid software contract.

Without an "exception" for Hobbyists, this effectively freezes Hobbyist activity. Yes, I know that it is possible to run VMS without patching, but this limits what can be done with a Hobbyist "license". For instance, what happens to Hobbyists when the next VMS vulnerability pops up? Or when improvements are made to the GNV "environment", a necessity for those hobbyists who might wish to assist in porting open-source software to VMS?

I will probably send an email to Sujatha, to see if Hobbyists might continue to be served, but I don't hold out much hope, unless someone here (with better connections to HP) has enough influence to change the minds of decision-makers.

I've been looking to run Linux for Alpha for a while now - this may be the impetus needed.
http://www.turquoisewitch.com/~bradh
Author RE: Future of the Hobbyist program?
malmberg
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Posted on August 19 2010 13:38
I really do not see this impacting me much.

I generally only install patches annually or less often.


As far as GNV updates go, for at least the last 4 years, the source code and binaries have been on GNV ftp directory of Encompasserve.org before they made it into the official GNV kit.

The correct work around for the mount loop bug has been on Encompasserve.org for about 4 years now, and the porting_to_vms conference is the most up to date reference on using GNV.

A software developer can not wait for a patch kit to arrive to allow a program they are porting/writing to get completed. They have to implement a solution now.

So I see this as minimal impact on hobbyist.

The risk is getting someone at HP annoyed so that they cancel the hobbyist program.
Author RE: Future of the Hobbyist program?
brad
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Posted on August 19 2010 14:47
malmberg wrote:
I really do not see this impacting me much.

I generally only install patches annually or less often.


As far as GNV updates go, for at least the last 4 years, the source code and binaries have been on GNV ftp directory of Encompasserve.org before they made it into the official GNV kit.

The correct work around for the mount loop bug has been on Encompasserve.org for about 4 years now, and the porting_to_vms conference is the most up to date reference on using GNV.

A software developer can not wait for a patch kit to arrive to allow a program they are porting/writing to get completed. They have to implement a solution now.


You've done fine work in this area - better than HP, in fact. Unfortunately, for the new hobbyist not "in the know", which GNV port will they use - an "official" (but brain-damaged) one or yours? If they make the wrong choice, and do no further investigation, what are the chances that they will dis-continue their investigation of VMS as a viable platform, and move on to other, more "interesting" platforms (like Plan9)?
:-(


So I see this as minimal impact on hobbyist.

The risk is getting someone at HP annoyed so that they cancel the hobbyist program.


Presumably, someone at HP is already "annoyed" enough to notice that folks could access patches without "paying" for them. I wrote to remind them that they've had a long-standing "commitment" to the Hobbyist program, and that the hard work of David, the Wiz, yourself, Ian, Hoff, and others that I may have forgotten to mention, may go for naught. Not that they care, but it had to be said.
http://www.turquoisewitch.com/~bradh
Author RE: Future of the Hobbyist program?
malmberg
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Posted on August 19 2010 17:02
A large part of the revenues that pay for the development of VMS come directly from the software update support contracts. It looks like HP is trying to make sure that they get revenue for that work.

Before the Internet, you had to have a support contract to get patches. You had to contact Digital/Compaq and then wait for them to be delivered.
Author RE: Future of the Hobbyist program?
Altivo
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Posted on August 20 2010 08:57
Just a small aside here. With respect to Linux for the Alpha, I've been running it for a while. It's not in much better shape with respect to the future than OpenVMS may be, though. The three distros that still had Alpha support seem to be withering on the vine. The two that I've used, CentOS and Debian, are both running out of developers, testers, and general support. The Debian group issued an intention to drop official Alpha support after the current release (lenny) and in fact, lenny still has so many defects on the Alpha that I'm not sure it is usable.

I'd hate to see H-P dump the hobbyists into the ocean, but I'd not be surprised if they did just that. At one time they might have justified our existence as free beta testers and a coding pool to supplement their own declining support of the product; but if the bean counters are taking control, we'll be out in the cold sooner rather than later.

Anyone know if you can keep VMS running by setting the clock back before the license expires? (Just being facetious. I imagine it catches the discrepancies in file dates and locks down on you.)
http://altivo.dreamwidth.org/
Author RE: Future of the Hobbyist program?
brad
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Posted on August 20 2010 14:23
Altivo wrote:
Just a small aside here. With respect to Linux for the Alpha, I've been running it for a while. It's not in much better shape with respect to the future than OpenVMS may be, though. The three distros that still had Alpha support seem to be withering on the vine. The two that I've used, CentOS and Debian, are both running out of developers, testers, and general support. The Debian group issued an intention to drop official Alpha support after the current release (lenny) and in fact, lenny still has so many defects on the Alpha that I'm not sure it is usable.


Thanks for the aside - I hadn't really looked at the state of Linux on Alpha in close to a year - and Debian was my first choice.

Back on-topic - still no reply from HP, although I didn't expect a quick response. Sorry if I seem out of sorts about this topic, and I don't mean to seem greedy (wanting something for nothing) - it's just that I love VMS, had some of the best years of my professional life using it, and now it looks as though it's going away. I just don't have much reason to run it any more, except perhaps as a local fileserver.
http://www.turquoisewitch.com/~bradh
Author RE: Future of the Hobbyist program?
Altivo
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Posted on August 20 2010 14:58
Unfortunately, I'm inclined to agree with your assessment on this. I've wondered for a while now what would happen if HP simply dropped VMS completely, the way they did the Alpha hardware. That was more or less what I thought they might do. Would they let us continue to use it by providing a "permanent" license? I suspect not. Dog in the manger attitudes about so-called "intellectual property" are too prevalent in US corporations for that outcome to be at all likely. Even less likely would be the release of the source code.

As far as I'm aware, Alpha hardware can run OpenVMS, Tru64 UNIX (no longer really available, no licensing available either,) Linux (with support on short time now I fear,) a very obsolete version of Windows NT for which no installation media or licensing is available (and for which Microsoft has withdrawn the service packs,) or a couple of flavors of BSD that don't support multiple CPUs or many of the architectural variants under which the Alpha was built. OpenVMS was already the most viable choice, if not the only choice for anything with a hope of a lifespan. If HP takes that away, we all have a lot of dead hardware on our hands. And I somehow don't think HP will care. They want to sell new hardware to commercial users, and don't expect anything from the rest of us.

Would they sue us if we hacked LMF and released the secret of "perpetual" licensing? Possibly. Could that be done? I have no idea.

Of course we might have some resources in the Alpha OpenVMS community with the knowledge of Alpha architecture to allow them to revive the flagging Linux support, but I don't know if there's enough enthusiasm for that to happen. For the moment, Gentoo continues to support the Alpha and I don't think they've said anything about stopping. But that could change any time.

If you're thinking about trying Linux, I recommend Debian anyway. Go back and pick up the etch distribution though. Lenny seems to have more bugs than a termite nest. Not that etch is perfect, but in general it is less warty.
Edited by Altivo on August 20 2010 15:06
http://altivo.dreamwidth.org/
Author RE: Future of the Hobbyist program?
imiller
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Posted on September 14 2010 22:44
People in HP OpenVMS-land are well aware of the impact on the hobbyist of the change in patch distribution.

However, what is needed is a sensible business case for why hobbyists should continue to get access to patches. Post it here and I will pass it on.
http://www.encompasserve.org/~miller/
Author RE: Future of the Hobbyist program?
abrsvc
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Posted on September 15 2010 01:40
My perspective:

Perhaps one benefit of access to the patches is the wealth of expertise provided by those of us (for free) in many forums. It is because we are hobbyists that VMS continues and grows in some areas. I for one, still have VMS running on VAX and Alpha machines that I use for research (my own) and for keeping my programming skills sharp. Yes, I do consulting as well, but more often than not, I play. 33 years of VMS are hard to walk away from. My own next purchase will be an Itanium platform machine.

Dan
Author RE: Future of the Hobbyist program?
imiller
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Posted on October 11 2010 01:13
I see arguments in favour of the hobbyist programme but need business case in favour of hobbyist access to patches.
http://www.encompasserve.org/~miller/
Author RE: Future of the Hobbyist program?
malmberg
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Posted on October 11 2010 02:28
Many maintainers of open source programs only have hobby licenses.

With out access to patches, they may only be building their products against unpatched releases of VMS.

On the other hand, I only checked for patches about once a year, and generally a developer has to make their product work on a version of VMS with out current patches.

But some features that may be desired may only work if an appropriate patch is available on a system.

I have not looked to see how much it would cost for me to become an AllianceOne (DSPP successor) member to get commercial status licenses and support.
Author RE: Future of the Hobbyist program?
astrodanco
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Joined: 04.03.10
Posted on November 10 2010 13:01
Altivo wrote:
Would they sue us if we hacked LMF and released the secret of "perpetual" licensing? Possibly. Could that be done? I have no idea.

I "hacked" LMF way back when it was first introduced. I even kept up with the changes up until early 2008 (I no longer work with OpenVMS). It wasn't difficult and I see no reason why the engineers responsible for LMF would ever want to waste their time making it difficult either.
Author RE: Future of the Hobbyist program?
somersdave
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Location: bristol,UK
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Posted on December 14 2010 00:21
I sincerely hope that the hobbyist program continues as I see it as a way of maintaining a working knowledge of VMS and for gaining new skills. Coming from the applications side where often one had the most restricted view of VMS, it has been a great opportunity to learn about system management in an environment where one is not at risk of being 'fired'.

Although I did one ECO upgrade which may have helped me get DEC windows running on my alpha 4x00 systems, I'm not sure what the overall impact might be.

I see VMS and Fortran as a possible way back into programming work as i think it may be a bit late in the day for reskilling in something like Unix and c++ though the interest in computing rekindled by getting the alphas has prompted me to start programming F95 and c++ on my Ubuntu PC which I link to the alphas using PuTTY windows - I prefer using EVE and the older DEC F77 + DEC Extensions; i like unions,maps,records, etc..
(has anyone any advice about what versions of Fortran - if any - are in demand?)

In response to Altivo: on the basis of the HP 'failover' demo where they 'waste' smiley a computer system and then show OpenVMS as the winner in becoming available on the redundant system, it would be a strange marketing philosophy to then drop VMS.smiley

"explosive video shows HP solutions are disaster proof"

http://h10144.www1.hp.com/disasterproof/intro.htm
Edited by somersdave on December 14 2010 10:47
Author RE: Future of the Hobbyist program?
taunusstein-net
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Joined: 16.10.09
Posted on January 09 2011 02:22
Some companies asked me regarding future of some pieces of open source software for OpenVMS. Maybe HP don't care about migration from OpenVMS to Intel based RedHat ES, even if hardware is not from HP. Cancellation of hobbyist program may yield into some unforeseen consequences for OpenVMS division of HP, but maybe HP will drop OpenVMS completely ?

There is an other OS with "Open" in name and Alpha support: OpenBSD may be good choice on Alpha if OpenVMS dies.
Author RE: Future of the Hobbyist program?
R Price
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Location: Canada
Joined: 09.12.10
Posted on January 09 2011 05:08
I don't have enough info to speculate on HP's commitment to OpenVMS and/or the hobbyist program so I'll leave that debate for others.

I have installed, configured used OpenBSD briefly on PPC and Alpha systems so I can offer some small insight here. OpenBSD is fine as far as it goes, as long as you are running Intel/AMD PC hardware. Hardware support on minorityboutique/obsolete platforms is pretty limited though. There is no multi-CPU support on Alpha systems. On both my G4 Mac and my DS10 having a RAID card installed crashes the installer CD during boot-up. I'm sure there are other problems and limitations.
Author RE: Future of the Hobbyist program?
tridge
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Joined: 04.01.11
Posted on January 12 2011 21:42
There is too much money in the "private" sector for HP to throw away support for OpenVMS. I know my company will need OpenVMS Support for at least the next 20 years. We will pay $$$ to keep it and HP will provide it. 1,500+ servers running OpenVMS.
Author RE: Future of the Hobbyist program?
imiller
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Posted on January 20 2011 03:54
OpenVMS is a profitable business for HP and HP will continue to support it because it is.
http://www.encompasserve.org/~miller/
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malmberg
June 26 2018
https://www.openvmshobbyi
st.com/forum/viewthread.p
hp?forum_id=10&thread_id=
2363


bhamakripa
June 24 2018
I am trying OpenVMS via SIMH. Need to get OS binaries for v7.3. Registered here but don't have any membership number yet which is needed to get license. Pls suggest what to do. I hardly know anyth

basilh
June 05 2018
Any other forum members in Perth, Australia?

LouF91
April 05 2018
ah maybe they love that!

malmberg
March 24 2018
Probably. More people hang out on the comp.os.vms newsgroup.

vaxpert
March 23 2018
I have a PE42A and other Alpha system stuff for sale. I'm in So California. Any interest out there?

goodbyespy
February 27 2018
To Prohorenko. Please, visit group OpenVMS in the ok.ru

peteherrera
February 24 2018
How much does it cost to buy a complete OpenVMS hardcopy documentation set of the latest version

prohorenko
February 17 2018
Please help to obtain the license on OpenVMS

malmberg
December 12 2017
HPE only makes the most current version of OpenVMS Alpha / IA64 /VAX available to hobbyists. When I had access to the Alliance 1 program it was the same. No public downloads are allowed by HPE.

nmbonao
December 08 2017
Is anybody knows OpenVMS 8.2 version downloadable version? or CD copy? Thank you very much

aarommes
December 02 2017
Bitcoin and Blockchain enthusiasts ( plus distributed computing ) please connec / reply: http://www.openvmshobbyis
t.com/forum/viewthread.ph
p?forum_id=130&thread_id=
2991


malmberg
September 10 2017
https://sourceforge.net/p
/vms-ports/wiki/VMSInstal
lation/ For the most part just use VMS 6.1 media instead of 7.3. But why run the older release?


DoeveR
August 07 2017
Where can I find the write up on running VMS 6.1 using the simh emulator?

Bart
March 20 2017
Happy to have found my password again!

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