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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | OpenVMS Hobbyist Media Kits | OpenVMS Alpha Media Kits
Author suggestion: DVD media?

Posts: 1
Joined: 23.03.08
Posted on March 23 2008 12:53
so i was wondering: now DVD drives are pretty common, why not offer a DVD along with the hobbyist CD, that contains a larger selection of layered products that won't fit on the CD?

this way, people can still use the CD for installing, but use a DVD drive (perhaps in another machine, for older VAX/Alpha systems) to load the additional layered products.

i always thought it was a shame that the hobbyist PAKs included so much software that wouldn't fit on the hobbyist CD, and some of it's not all that easy to find. even if there was an extra fee to cover the cost of pressing the DVD, i'd definitely pay for it.
Author RE: suggestion: DVD media?

Posts: 2
Location: Germany
Joined: 07.03.08
Posted on March 27 2008 06:07

just wanted to agree! While this (not all Software on CD) might/will not be a Problem for people working in OpenVMS-Data-Centers (who get chance/permission to copy the required Media) it's definitely a Problem for "pure Hobbyists" who don't work in VMS-Shops.

Author RE: Not as common as you think
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Posts: 126
Location: Plano, TX
Joined: 20.02.08
Posted on March 27 2008 07:48
Unfortunately, for OpenVMS Alpha hardware in the hands of Hobbyists, DVD drives are not as common. And some of the older hardware may not support much of the newer DVD gear, either. So, in order to be as compatible and usable to as many people as possible, I've stuck to CD's. Now, I had gone from 650MB to 700MB CD's, since it's unlikely that any of the Alpha equipment will have an issue with that. Some of the older VAX CD drives might still choke in it, though.
Author RE: suggestion: DVD media?

Posts: 7
Location: Deventer, Netherlands
Joined: 11.12.07
Posted on March 28 2008 13:02
HobbyistOne, I must agree with river en rfolkerts. When you have a DVD with all the other software (for which is a hobbyist license available), then you can copy the software from a PC with a DVD-drive using FTP to you Alpha (assuming the PC and Alpha are connected by a LAN).

When I downloaded de freeware-sets, i did almost the same, only I got the sets from the internet instead of a DVD. Buth the method is equal. from my PC copying using FTP to my Alpha.
Edited by ermo on March 28 2008 13:05
Author RE: suggestion: DVD media?

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Posts: 102
Location: Goslar, Germany
Joined: 02.10.07
Posted on March 29 2008 07:23
When you have a DVD with all the other software [...], then you can copy the software from a PC with a DVD-drive using FTP to you Alpha [...]

And exactly how would you read an ODS-2 formatted DVD on a PC?

Remember that the Hobbyist CD/DVD first and foremost contains a bootable VMS system (which will only work with ODS-2 format).

Author RE: suggestion: DVD media?

Posts: 7
Location: Deventer, Netherlands
Joined: 11.12.07
Posted on April 08 2008 10:21
I understand that to boot a VMS-system, a CD must be ODS-2 formatted. But an extra DVD in a normal 'PC'-format with the software copying using the method i described before should be a possible solution. Or am i talking nonsense?

Author RE: suggestion: DVD media?
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Posts: 126
Location: Plano, TX
Joined: 20.02.08
Posted on April 08 2008 13:03
The issue comes down to cost. Is it worth it to produce an extra DVD for Hobbyists, and will it be convenient to use? Now you have two media kits, one (the DVD) which includes software which may not be popular enough to merit mastering a DVD release. I think I've struck a good balance at providing as much as possible, at a reasonable cost.
Author RE: suggestion: DVD media?

Posts: 19
Joined: 23.04.08
Posted on April 23 2008 06:23
Getting hold of OpenVMS media is a royal pain in the rump!

HP are really dragging the chain on this issue. I read that HP sort of blame export restrictions bla bla bla (is this true?) - Oracle have no such issues at all and you can freely download their database software with no issues.
If true, I feel this is just a lame excuse by HP because they are still not comfortable with giving away OpenVMS to the home market.

Lets face it - the whole process of registering with organisations etc just to obtain licences is just putting hurdles in people's way. Linux continues to march forward towards success based on obtaining the media/software easily and freely.

I got all excited when I saw the software list available via the hobbyist program yet my excitement turned to frustration and disappear when I then tried to obtain the media via HP :-( Going round and round HP's site till I realised that HP didn't have it available and were not making it available :-(

I'm running the Alpha personal edition software and how I got my OS going on a PC that doesn't have a CD/DVD drive was to mount up an ISO image via PowerISO (you can substitute a myriad of other programs here if you want) - so the need to have ODS2 formatted media at least in the PC realm isn't necessary. (hope this is correct - I'm assuming here that because it worked for me that it will work for others).

Why not distribute the software as Nero images/ISO images and allow people to then create original CD's from these? - this is another method is it not?

Just distribute a DVD full of ISO image files that people can then take and burn a proper CD from it? This method covers both the PC camp running OpenVMS as well as those lucky enough to have the actual hardware.

No one's rubbishing the current method and it is appreciated but people have expressed a need for more - one can either explore all possibilities to see if the 'more' can be satisfied or one can maintain the status quo. I'd love to see all the licence PAK software made easily obtainable.

Personally, I wanted to get ACMS etc running as this is what we are running where I work and I wanted to try some stuff on my own to prove a concept (no - I will not be transferring code etc between the two! Just proving something). Sadly, by this time next year our OpenVMS platform will be totally decommissioned and moved off to a Unix based system due to the stampede towards Unix and the open source software potential of reduced costs for businesses – wether a reality or not isn’t the point – it’s what businesses perceive).

The hobbyist program really is the last shot at keeping OpenVMS alive and growing IMO - the groundswell for open source type software is growing fast. Ubuntu has been immensely popular at getting people to take a second look at Linux, MySQL is growing like crazy and Sun will add it's stamp of corporate legitimacy to it now that it's acquired it. OpenVMS is getting left in the dust and HP is not making it any easier by making it too hard for the average punter to get hold of the media/software easily and cheaply.

Below is a classic example of what making it hard for people to get the media/software works against OpenVMS.

I posted a thread about OpenVMS and how to get it running on a PC on a forum and received a fair amount of interest from it - however, the enthusiasm quickly turned to 'not interested' when it was revealed just how dam hard it is to get hold of the media/software without cost - any interest from new comers quickly turned to nought :-(

Here’s some question to those in the know…

Is HP prepared to allow the hobbyist program the right to distribute the media themselves electronically? (i.e. via a download off the hobbyist site?, FTP between members?).

What about HP/hobbyist site running a bittorent tracker allowing registered members access to software amongst themselves?
Very little storage required and the traffic is not huge as only the torrent is initially downloaded and tracking updating.

Have we really explored all possibilities and ways of making it easier (and cheaper i.e. free!) for people to get hold of the media/software? – It’s the difficultly of getting the media/software that is thwarting the whole hobbyist program IMO.

Sorry if this has come across as a gripe – it’s just that I found it very annoying trying to get hold of the media/software etc myself. I still only have the OS and will have to beg to obtain anything else. The hobbyist CD is of no use to me as I wanted ACMS :-(

I still cannot obtain ACMS for example unless I beg a distant contact that I hardly know – after our systems are decommissioned next year I will have no further access to the media/software – at that point even I after all these years of enjoying OpenVMS may throw in the towel too…
Author RE: suggestion: DVD media?

Posts: 19
Joined: 23.04.08
Posted on May 03 2008 03:07
Stephen Hoffman wrote:
What strikes me most from your posting is that -- all comments around a lack of downloads and around the general licensing hassles as compared with the norms on other platforms -- there still exists a PC in service without a CD drive.

Whoa; those configurations exist? :-)

But seriously, if Solaris, Linux, one of the *BSD variants, Mac OS X/Darwin or otherwise meets your requirements, then by all means load and run that.

'Correct' and 'No'.

Correct because that's exactly right - I was comparing other distributions of media because they are very successful, for the purpose of seeing wether that can be duplicated with OpenVMS.
Easy access has helped the other OS's grow.

No - because I don't want to run the other OS's, which is why I came to the OpenVMS hobbyist forum.

Stephen Hoffman wrote:
As for the FTP download site open for hobbyists, HP has not provided nor authorized nor sanctioned that -- you're about the gazillion-and-a-half person to point that out. Sure, most of us would be happy with FTP, and a torrent would be very nice. (A number of folks around don't know what a torrent itself is, but that's another discussion.) Borrow the disks, make friends with folks that have disks, borrow the distro disks from your employer, and have at. Or watch eBay or such for distribution media.

Shame I didn't find a 'sticky' or something on the site that clearly stated you cannot obtain the Media via HP's site etc nor via the Hobbyist program - that would have saved me a lot of time!

Surely, if I am 'Quote:' The gazillion-and-a-half person to mention this issue, then perhaps this forum needs to clearly post it somewhere? Maybe I missed it? (wouldn't be the first time I've missed important information).

The 'borrow' suggestion is fine for those working in shops with OpenVMS, even then, there is confusion over wether the media is allowed to be copied. Imagine an outsider who's not even in an OpenVMS shop rocking up and asking for a copy of the media - I can hear the footsteps of the security guards now. Seriously, that really isn't an option for most people.

Stephen Hoffman wrote:
Or look into the HP commercial developer program (DSPP), and see if that meets your needs.

Thanks - I had no idea such a program existed.

I'll check it out - it looks promising indeed.

Grrr - looks like if you are not a fully fledged company then you cannot gain access to most of the media either. :-(

Stephen Hoffman wrote:
I do not know if lobbying HP more directly would help here, but (as mentioned earlier) there will be a discussion of this topic at the upcoming Bootcamp. But I do know that as cathartic posting here might be, the folks here aren't the ones that own the software involved nor that make the business decisions involved. We know it's a hassle. Yes, we know.

That was indeed part of the reason for my post also.

I cannot attend the boot camp :-( However, if people that do who have read users frustration at trying to obtain the media go, then maybe, just maybe, those in attendance may be a voice for those that cannot attend?

The mention of bittorent wasn't just to fling buzzwords around :-)

I was trying to relay the fact that if HP used the bittorent protocol, they could run a simple tracker that limited the sharing of the media with registered users - much the same as how they limited licences. It was again an attempt to pass on information to those attending the bootcamp etc.

Stephen Hoffman wrote:
the folks here aren't the ones that own the software involved nor that make the business decisions involved. We know it's a hassle. Yes, we know

Ah, this I didn't know :-)

I wrongly assumed that this forum was monitored by HP and therefore they took onboard suggestions posted here etc. My mistake!

I think it's more than a hassle actually :-) It's a roadblock!

Now, as for the DVD ISO idea.

Is there really any reason why it cannot be implemented?

What about people accepting say a $20 cost for a DVD filled with ISO's and that they understand that it's a burnt DVD and not a pressed one?
If they get a dud DVD then maybe they can order another one for $5? (adjust figures to cover true costs of course).

I assume the numer of media requests isn't that high anyhow?

Personally - I think the bittorent dsitribution method is the best - no physical media to worry about and it's easy to lock down to hobbyist members.

If this isn't the best place to put forward these ideas - then who/what/where is? I'm happy to voice ideas to the powers that be on the chance that we can make it easier for others coming after us to try out such a great OS.

I enjoy using OpenVMS but I'm more than concerned that it's vanishing fast. It needs people to get behind it and for that to happen, people need to try it and that is being hampered by it being hard to gain access to the media.

If HP have endorced CD's being sold, then why not DVD's or even FTP access then? It's just a media type change after all isn't it? But, as you said, this isn';t the place to voice those frustrations.

I'm just trying to find ways to make it easier for others to try it as well.


p.s. Please don't think I'm having a go at yourself.

I'm just trying to express from an outsiders point of view the frustration and trying to find a way forward rather than just accept the status quo.
The CD's are ok but I wanted 'more' (insert Oliver Twist comment here) and when I saw someone else asking about DVD's, I thought I'd put my comments forward too. This surely is what a firum is about isn't it?
Author RE: Thanks for the insightful feedback

Posts: 19
Joined: 23.04.08
Posted on June 05 2008 06:40
Stephen Hoffman wrote:
Welcome to the forums and to OpenVMS.

Based on your feedback here, I've taken a look at the general organization of the hobbyist web site here, and I see some issues here in the sequencing and the documentation around getting the license PAKs, as the present structure allows you to avoid the web pages that instructs you to order the distribution media kit. Thank you for making that enhancement suggestion.

Thanks - and sorry for being a little naive on how the whole hobbyist program fits together! I was so incredibly excited about running OpenVMS at home etc that I got a little ahead of myself and some of my disappointment spilled over.

Simply put, it's not my web site.

Yep - eventually understood by myself once I dropped many of the wrong assumptions I made! :-)

And in general, there's not that much that anybody can do about what HP has authorized, being that they own OpenVMS. We can ask (nicely), but that's about the limit. And HP is a commercial entity, and clearly not looking to directly compete with Linux and such.

Ah yes, once again my naivety of the whole setup shinning through!

At least I know understand how the hobbyist program fits into the bigger picture.

Asking for media from a local shop works more often than you might think, too.

Too true. I have a request in with someone I remotely know, so we will see what happens. The request was met with a bit of scepticism unfortunately, so I had to do some fancy footwork over the legalities of supplying the media (I kept stressing that I had hobbyist licences).

Perhaps an 'official' (as much as the hobbyist program can endorse) message on the hobbyist site may put people's minds at ease when satisfying a media supply request? For some people, they just have to have it authorised by someone else it seems :-)

If they could hit a page that stated that HP endorse the supply of the media? (I suspect we are not going to get HP to agree to a statement like this?).

If you'd like to volunteer to master, test and replicate the DVD you're proposing here, then I'd suggest coordinating that with the folks here at Montagar. As part of this, I'd suggest sending a message to HobbyistOne here.

I was giving this some more thought and unfortunately I just don't have access to the facilities necessary :-(

However, I did have the idea that perhaps I could offer to distribute media via PC of home burnt DVD's in Australia only (I simply couldn't afford to be supplying media external to Australia). It would have to be say DVD cost + postage and would have to be subject to volumes of course (I'm making the assumption that the number of media requests would be fairly low - say 100 odd per year in Australia? (this is a total wild guess) and it wouldn’t be proper mastered disks:-( I wonder if people would be prepared to accept a disk like this anyhow?

If someone requires certified media as masters etc, then they can pay the higher price and go through the existing channels. Just some wild thoughts I guess on this topic.

Eventually this model of distribution could advance to the point where people can mix/match what software they require and download it and burn it themselves? A bit like online shopping but it could be done via simple FTP password access etc once people had contributed a little something to the upkeep of the server hosting the kits etc? So as to not incur the costs of merchant banking fee's, a simple direct deposit into an account to handle payment etc?

Naturally, this would be a home run operation and people could sign up to be ‘alternative kit’ distributors?

So, you could have an ala-cart distribution method that's done via volunteers prepared to either burn DVD's with requested software or allow FTP access etc on say a home based server (all very low key). This method of distribution would be the el-cheapo version and would be specific to particular geographical areas to keep the cost of distribution down (although FTP access etc bypasses this limitation).

Then for those needing the fully fledged masters, there the current method of distribution.

Not at the media replication volumes seen. The disk itself is cheap. (Or do you have a disk replication mill and business?)

Very true and unfortunately I don't have access to any of the nice media replication devices

(I know only some of what HobbyistOne is doing here, and have respect for the effort involved in that, and for the many unknown tasks undoubtedly going on behind the scenes.)

So so true. What's on face view is often like an iceberg - the majority of substance is behind the scenes and hidden from view.

I certainly didn't mean to be-little anything that currently is in place for the hobbyist program - I just thought it might be good to explore whether a DVD would be possible - in fact, I really came in on someone else’s suggestion as I didn't start the thread – I just saw that the current method had some limitations around the actual kits being offered and thought it would be good to explore whether it could be expanded.


Thanks - much appreciated and over time I hope I can become more of a contributor.

Kind Regards



At the Boot camp convention, did the topic of obtaining the OpenVMS software under the Hobbyist program come up at all? I’m just curious…
Author RE: suggestion: DVD media?

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Posts: 277
Location: UK
Joined: 24.02.06
Posted on June 08 2008 23:26
I was at the bootcamp and I don't remember any discussions about hobbyist media unfortunately. There appears to be a couple of suggestions in this thread
- clearly post a statement from HP that borrowing the media or acquiring it from eBay or whatever is legal.
- make it easier to find the page that describes how to buy the hobbyist media kit
- allow people to duplicate hobbyist DVD distributions locally
- allow download of disk images via ftp or other protocol

[is that the whole list?]

The first two could be done by he who runs this site. The others would require, at least, blessing from HP.
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