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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | Hobbyist Licensing | Alpha License PAK's
Author Future status of OpenVMS Hobbyist Program
petet0n76
Member

Posts: 10
Location: [World.Europe.Germany.NRW.DUS]
Joined: 08.03.12
Posted on March 06 2020 21:38
Dear members,

today I received an email from OpenVMS Customer Lab:

"...this is to inform you that HPE is concluding the HPE OpenVMS Hobbyist license program in alignment with the HPE OpenVMS support roadmap.
If you wish to understand more details, please reach out to us at the earliest through the usual license renewal webpage."

Check the current licensing page, nothing new on there. Just wondering what that means to hobbyists. Does anybody around here know more ? If my Translation and understanding of "to conclude" in this context is right, this means "the end" of the Hobbyist program.

Kind regards,
Peter
Edited by petet0n76 on March 06 2020 22:00
Author RE: Future status of OpenVMS Hobbyist Program
psmode
Member

Posts: 4
Location: New York
Joined: 04.09.10
Posted on March 07 2020 04:38
I got the same message this morning and have the same question. Is this something that VSI might pick up?
Author RE: Future status of OpenVMS Hobbyist Program
minear
Member

Posts: 7
Joined: 17.08.19
Posted on March 15 2020 04:50
Yep, received that email as well stating the program is ending and to contact HP through the normal hobbyist license request site for info. So I did. I requested a new license but stated in the comments section that I didn't need a new license (yet) as much as wanting info on the program ending. The HP Sales guy got back to me right away and said the program is indeed ending and that the purchase of a "permanent" license is now required after Dec 31st 2021. He sent me a "final" OpenVMS hobbyist license pak that expires on Jan 1st 2022. I then asked the HP Sales guy for pricing on a permanent license. He quoted me $350 for a permanent Alpha license (base), and $375 for a VAX license (base). TCP/IP and C (and everything else previously included in the hobbyist pak) are extra, but I haven't got pricing for that yet. I'm bummed. I'm just a hobbyist who is looking at the real possibility of having a couple of heavy paperweights in 2022.
Author RE: Future status of OpenVMS Hobbyist Program
davidrg
Member

Posts: 3
Joined: 15.03.20
Posted on March 15 2020 17:12
VSI has said that while they technically could produce a new VAX release there is nothing in it for them to do so. They seem quite committed to never producing a VAX release. There has also been no commitment from them to starting up their own hobbyist program (which, if they did, could only cover their Alpha release plus x86)

So its looking a lot like december 2021 is the last time any of my VAXen ever run a DEC operating system. One of my Alphas can at least run Tru64 as HP was nice enough to send me a copy of 5.1B-4 along with a non-commercial license when I asked a few years back. But probably my VAXen and Alphas will see a lot less use once they are no longer allowed to run OpenVMS.

I wonder if there is anything that can be done about this. Surely HPE could just hand out non-expiring hobbyist licenses for free (or very cheap) as their final act before abandoning OpenVMS. They can't be worried about loosing sales given they've decided to stop selling it entirely anyway.
Author RE: Future status of OpenVMS Hobbyist Program
malmberg
Moderator

Posts: 530
Joined: 15.04.08
Posted on March 20 2020 03:14
I have not found out the minimum cost of commercial licenses for SimH/VAX from HPE.

This article may be of interest https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R44590.pdf

The continued Hobbyist use of HPE OpenVMS after 2021 may or may not be covered under the fair use provisions of the act. The courts have ruled both ways on some fair use cases.

There is apparently some BSD ports that still run on VAX, and that may be provide the tools to for reviving the attempt to port Linux to VAX.
Author RE: Future status of OpenVMS Hobbyist Program
smccloud
Member

Posts: 5
Joined: 28.11.17
Posted on March 27 2020 02:15
I just attempted to get a new hobbyist license yesterday and have not even gotten a reply so I have a feeling the current pandemic caused them to end it before the end of March.
Author RE: Future status of OpenVMS Hobbyist Program
malmberg
Moderator

Posts: 530
Joined: 15.04.08
Posted on March 27 2020 14:01
India is in a lockdown right now, so it may not get processed until after the COVID 19 lockdown is clear in that area.

Hopefully this will not be more of a disaster than it currently is.
Author RE: Future status of OpenVMS Hobbyist Program
smccloud
Member

Posts: 5
Joined: 28.11.17
Posted on March 28 2020 07:15
Actually, I got it today. Along with an apology for the delay. Only got the VAX kit, requested the Alpha kit too.

The worst thing is, I was considering getting some actual hardware to run it on instead of just emulators. The decision was made for me unless HP decides to keep the Hobbyist program running.
Edited by smccloud on March 28 2020 07:17
Author RE: Future status of OpenVMS Hobbyist Program
malmberg
Moderator

Posts: 530
Joined: 15.04.08
Posted on March 30 2020 02:43
For continued free "legal" hobbyist use of VAX/VMS past 2021 would require one of two things:

1. Convincing HPE to issue a non-expiring License for Hobbyists. I have no idea who at HPE to contact even get started on trying to get that to happen.

2. Per https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R44590.pdf, if I remember reading it right, to get the Library of Congress to have some language in it to allow hobbyist / educational use of Copyright software on hardware that is no being made or serviced by the software copyright holder, including emulations of that hardware in software.

If someone has a good connection with a member of congress, especially one that is running, to get that exception put into the DMCA rules, it would be very helpful. It would likely generate a lot of good publicity for that person as supporting education and keeping old machines from adding to hazardous waste in landfills.

With out that DMCA exception, this forum of course can not endorse any of the methods alleged to be on the wild wild web for getting around licensing restrictions on copyrighted software.
Author RE: Future status of OpenVMS Hobbyist Program
davidrg
Member

Posts: 3
Joined: 15.03.20
Posted on March 31 2020 13:17
The library of congress thing is quite a long shot. It would be hard to claim a VAX or Alpha is consumer electronics even if you could get a member of congress to do something. Plus HPE might fight back and it would only help people in the USA anyway. And by the time it happens there might be no one at HPE to actually generate a license anyway so you're left with circumventing the licensing thing.

Option one seems much more realistic. For one, HPE has nothing to loose by doing this (they're discontinuing sales anyway so its not possible for free non-commercial ones to hurt sales in the future). And the effort involved in doing this is *less* than what they're currently doing. Send out one non-expiring license to everyone who received that customer lab email (or just stick one on their website somewhere) rather than generating and emailing out individual licenses to everyone who requests one.

Given HPE is rapidly currently exiting the OpenVMS business there probably aren't more than a handful of people involved in any OpenVMS decision making at this point. Probably the people currently issuing hobbyist licenses know who they are. VSI are guaranteed to know who these people are - and are probably in fairly regular contact with them.

So going via VSI may be the most realistic option as far as getting hold of someone goes. They've got a website they can be contacted through plus people who post in comp.os.vms fairly regularly. If there is any resistance from HPE to non-expiring hobbyist licenses or for some reason VSI could just offer to take the hobbyist program off HPEs hands and run it themselves.

Only challenge I see with the VSI route is that they've not committed to starting their own hobbyist program so they might not be too interested in taking over HPEs one. But VSI asking HPE for this would probably more likely get a result than some random person getting in contact via the OpenVMS Customer Lab.
Author RE: Future status of OpenVMS Hobbyist Program
malmberg
Moderator

Posts: 530
Joined: 15.04.08
Posted on April 01 2020 03:17
VSI has stated that they are planning to have a hobbyist program and are currently pointing people at their educational download that currently is bundled with running it under freeaxp, with a 6 months fixed date license. Six months from when the download was created.

However once you get A VMS host running, it can be used to create a bootable disk image with licenses that will run on other hardware or emulators. And of course that does not cover IA64.

I would hope that VSI would have a better hobbyist program in place before end of 2021.

It is possible that some of us who have visible open source project pages can get VSI to issue us free or low cost "development partner" or what ever the name of their program is. I have not checked their web pages lately about it, but it originally stated it had a modest fee that was currently waived for the first year. I have heard that so far the fee has been waived (at least for some) beyond the first year.

Even if and when VSI starts up their hobbyist program, they have made it clear that it will not include VAX/VMS.

So VSI will not be an answer for VAX hobbyists.

When HPE started their hobbyist programs, the OpenVMS division was under a "Vice President" level executive, which basically is the level that is needed to get lawyers involved to do something. And that Vice president was very accessible to OpenVMS customers. A request was made directly to that Vice President.

While I have no input at all into the current HPE structure, it looks like the structure has been change so much that it would be hard to find an executive that could do something.

So while the library of congress is a long shot, it looks like it is the one that we would have the most leverage with, and is something that other retro-computing enthusiasts have been pushing for, so it is not just a VMS issue. It affects all out of production computer hardware.

And this is an election year.

And if the U.S. Library of congress rules that an activity is legal, it would be hard for a US based company to try to pursue a case against it in another country.

VSI appears to be 110% busy in getting the x86_64 port of VMS out. And I really am not sure that they have any better contacts now with HPE than we do at this point.
Author RE: Future status of OpenVMS Hobbyist Program
petet0n76
Member

Posts: 10
Location: [World.Europe.Germany.NRW.DUS]
Joined: 08.03.12
Posted on June 25 2020 05:39
Hi,

looks like VMS Software can and will provide a Community License Program at least for OpenVMS on AXP, so good news for Alpha AXP owners but not for VAX smiley

https://vmssoftware.com/about/news/2020-06-11-community-license-updates/

Regards, Peter
Edited by petet0n76 on June 25 2020 05:55
Author RE: Future status of OpenVMS Hobbyist Program
saq
Member

Posts: 60
Joined: 24.05.08
Posted on October 01 2020 05:08
malmberg wrote:


There is apparently some BSD ports that still run on VAX, and that may be provide the tools to for reviving the attempt to port Linux to VAX.


NetBSD is still fully supported on VAX. I think I'd rather stick with that than Linux even if it was available... just seems somehow "right' to be running BSD.
And we don't have to worry about supporting new fancy hardware hanging off of the VAX.
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malmberg
August 04 2022
No more VAX hobbyist licenses. Community licenses for Alpha/IA64/X86_64 VMS Software Inc. Commercial VMS software licenses for VAX available from HPE.

ozboomer
July 20 2022
Just re-visiting.. No more hobbyist licenses? Is that from vmssoftware.com, no 'community' licenses?

valdirfranco
July 01 2022
No more hobbyist license...sad

mister_wavey
February 12 2022
I recall that the disks failed on the public access VMS systems that included Fafner

parwezw
January 03 2022
Anyone know what happened to FAFNER.DYNDS.ORG? I had a hobbyist account here but can longer access the site.

gtackett
October 27 2021
Make that DECdfs _2.1A_ for Vax

gtackett
October 27 2021
I'm looking for DECdfs V2.4A kit for VAX. Asking here just in case anyone is still listening.

MarkRLV
September 17 2021
At one time, didn't this web site have a job board? I would love to use my legacy skills one last time in my career.

malmberg
January 18 2021
New Hobbyist PAKs for VAX/VMS are no longer available according to reports. Only commercial licenses are reported to be for sale from HPE

dfilip
January 16 2021
Can someone please point me to hobbyist license pak? I'm looking for VAX/VMS 7.1, DECnet Phase IV, and UCX/TCPIP ... have the 7.1 media, need the license paks ... thanks!

Bart
October 16 2020
OpenVMS, and this website!

malmberg
September 05 2020
VSI community non-commercial licenses for AXP/IA64 are available now.

malmberg
September 05 2020
See the forum about licensing. Don't know if HPE hobby licenses still being issued. Commercial licenses still being sold.

silfox70
September 01 2020
I need the license for OpenVMS7.3. Where can I find them?

malmberg
August 29 2020
Eisner, which is currently being moved, got an SSH update and the keys were updated to more modern encryption standards.

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