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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | Hobbyists and OpenVMS | How I Use OpenVMS
Author restoring the game DOOM?

Posts: 3
Joined: 15.04.07
Posted on April 15 2007 15:23

I recently re-acquired an old Alpha. I would like to get the game Doom back up and running, but for some reason, I cannot for the life of me get the BACKUP command to open this file.
The unzip creates the DOOM.BCK file, but from there, I cannot seem to get it to restore.
Any advice or directions would be GREATLY appreciated!
Actually, my older brother and I want to start playing again, and once the machine is stable, I want to make it a limited access machine on the web.
Below is the url I grabbed the game from.


Thanks for any help...


User Avatar

Posts: 277
Location: UK
Joined: 24.02.06
Posted on April 16 2007 00:23
what do you get when you do

Is this successful?

If ok the restore the contents

Author Not a 'saveset'

Posts: 3
Joined: 15.04.07
Posted on April 16 2007 04:57
Sorry about the beginner questions, but hey, it's been 20 years since I did ANYTHING with VMS <G>...

Well, your command responds that it's not a saveset.

I'm guessing that the copy I grabbed from here and saved on my little FTP isn't 'configured' right or something.
Problem is, I'm moving slowly one step at a time, and I haven't gotten a browser up yet, so grabbing direct from openvmshobbyist isn't a viable option yet. I'm having trouble with mozilla, and I just DL'd netscape, but haven't had time to get serious yet.

Is there a command to 'reset' the .zip or .bck file to VMS specs, if this is in fact the problem?

Thanks again for your patience...

Author That did it!

Posts: 3
Joined: 15.04.07
Posted on April 18 2007 18:54

If I only remembered that simple command <G>..
Found the utility, ran it and voila! perfect saveset once again!
Thanks for the directions and advice!

Now it's up and running!

Anyone want to play <G>

Actually, I'm thinking of putting the game on an open port for any who wants/asks to play. (I wonder if anyone would want to play an old game like this other than me and my brother.)

Author RE: restoring the game DOOM?

Posts: 12
Joined: 06.06.08
Posted on August 16 2008 17:15
Funny... I'd been wondering the same thing. A month or so ago, I put five or so of the old games online with a public [captive] games account. Word of mouth (thus far) has generated quite a steady stream of folks on my machine.

On that topic, yesterday I recompiled a Z-code interpreter so I could play some of the old Scott Adams games (e.g. Pirate Cove). I put them online, but the quickly pulled them offline because I was unable to locate any "freely available" documentation. Anyone know the copyright status of these games -- I believe they were part of the old Infocomm days...

Author RE: Infocom documentation status

Posts: 6
Location: Devon, UK
Joined: 19.02.08
Posted on March 14 2009 03:59
I also compiled an Infocom interpreter ('Zip') for my OpenVMS system. Regarding the copyright status of Infocom games and their documentation, Activision (http://www.activision.com - warning, lots of annoying animated stuff) probably still own them. This is very annoying to me as they haven't produced any new compilations for a long time and they're now getting rare (occasionally some of the Lost Treasures Of Infocom series appear on eBay).
15101050 http://brooknet.no-ip.com/
Author RE: restoring the game DOOM?

Posts: 9
Joined: 19.11.12
Posted on May 23 2014 06:00
Old thread, but I'm curious - I've managed to download the DOOM ZIP archive from this site and extract it on my VAXStation without issue, but I can't get the BCK file to restore properly - BACKUP claims that it's not a valid save set. I know there can be issues with VMS file attributes not getting set correctly, but since I passed the ZIP through untouched and extracted it on the VAX using a native unzip utility, I thought that should all get set correctly. Am I missing something?
Author RE: restoring the game DOOM?

Posts: 30
Location: Fort Worth, TX, USA
Joined: 15.12.05
Posted on May 25 2014 20:55
Yeah. It suffers the classic problem of a VMS save set transferred via a non VMS FTP program. You need the DCL command file that sets the RMS file characteristics back to the correct ones for a BACKUP saveset.

Check out the information here: http://h71000.www7.hp.com/openvms/freeware/backup.html

john H. Reinhardt
Author RE: restoring the game DOOM?
Bruce Claremont

Posts: 506
Joined: 07.01.10
Posted on May 27 2014 02:31
$! P1 is the specification of the BACKUP
$! This procedure resets the record format and
$! length attributes of a BACKUP saveset --
$! can get "broken" during certain sorts of
$! transfers -- such as FTP. This procedure reads
$! (undocumented) saveset record attributes
$! out of the target
$! First render the saveset readable, and
$! check that the file exists.
$ Set File /Attributes=(RFM:FIX,MRS:512,LRL=512,ORG=SEQ,RAT=NONE) 'p1'
$ Open/Error=whoops/Read BckSaveset 'p1'
$ Read/Error=whoops/End=whoops BckSaveset Record
$ Close/Nolog BckSaveset
$! Find the blocksize from within the record...$
$ BlockSize = 0
$ BBH_L_BLOCKSIZE = %x28*8
$ BlockSize = F$CVUI(BBH_L_BLOCKSIZE, 32, Record)
$ If BlockSize .lt. 2048 .or. BlockSize .gt. 65535
$ Then
$ Write sys$output "Unexpected block
$ Goto whoops
$ Else
$ Set File /Attributes=(RFM:FIX,LRL='BlockSize', MRS='BlockSize',RAT=none) 'p1'
$ endif
$ exit
$ Write sys$output "Error"
$ exit
Author RE: restoring the game DOOM?

Posts: 4
Location: USA
Joined: 22.09.09
Posted on January 12 2015 18:29
A handy command I learned to run to fixup a BCK savesets once transferred back to VMS from beyond VMS comfy confines:


$ FIXBCK saveset.bck

(works for DOOM too smiley )

BTW, often a random zip-file gets its record attributes messed up -- it needs to be Stream-LF to unzip properly on VMS, so convert it (generate a stream_lf.fdl if needed):

$ CONVERT/FDL=stream_lf.fdl zipfile.zip zipfile.zip;

Edited by fluidbyte on January 12 2015 18:30
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