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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | Hobbyists and OpenVMS | How I Use OpenVMS
Author I am also curious

Posts: 2
Joined: 03.03.11
Posted on March 03 2011 16:13
I've been lurking here for some time, and I have used OpenVMS in the past. I am wondering what satisfaction people get out of it as a hobby. I know there are certain advantages and disadvantages of running it especially if you are an "enterprise" and have enterprise computing needs. I can see the historical interest, but how can you sustain that interest?

I don't mean to be polemical, or to start a flame war. I am just curious what it is that people find rewarding in this hobby. It can't be the internet experience or the level of support from HP, since the graphical browser is several versions and many critical vulnerabilities behind and it's not easy to get updates as I've been reading here. I can see how certain hardcore hackers who fell in love with MACRO would want to keep going with programming in it, given the amount of work it takes to appreciate it. Is this it? Or is it that DCL has become second nature, so that it's most comfortable to compute at home in this environment?

I'm aware that people like versioning file systems, robust drivers, fine-grained privileges, and high availability from clustering etc. But is this the makings of a satisfying hobby? And if so, what is the sustaining satisfaction? Please enlighten me!


Edited by aarto on March 03 2011 16:17
Author RE: I am also curious

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Posts: 134
Location: Hopedale, MA USA
Joined: 15.12.05
Posted on March 04 2011 14:25
I consider the fine-grained privileges, and the relative security to be the most useful/attractive features of this OS. I use my hobbyist VMS system as a home file server, and I keep important family documents (mortgage documents, copies of family medical records, personal financial information, etc.) with a feeling of safety and security. As long as no one physically steals the system, our important documents remain secure.
Author RE: I am also curious

Posts: 2
Joined: 03.03.11
Posted on March 05 2011 05:46
Thanks for your response Brad, and I am very interested to hear how it can be used for personal use. Do you encrypt your private documents? Do you expose this computer to the internet? My guess would be "yes" for the first, and "no" for the second question. Just by way of reference, people in the Unix world have been using OpenSolaris (like James Gosling, founder of the Java language: http://james.gosling.usesthis.com/ ) these days for home file serving because it has a good implementation of ZFS which also versions/snapshots files (also available in FreeBSD), and prevents against bit rot. (http://www.sun.com/bigadmin/features/articles/zfs_part1.scalable.jsp) OpenSolaris also has pretty fine grained privileges for files. Is there something similar to a checksumming file system in OpenVMS now? I'm sure they'd want to match features with Sun.

I guess the broader question I had was directed to those people who use OpenVMS on their main rig, for all/most of their daily computing needs. I wanted to know more about how to appreciate the unique things OpenVMS has to offer.
Edited by aarto on March 05 2011 05:49
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