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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | VAX Systems Forums | VAX Hardware Forum
Author VAX enthusiast looking for hardware
kamil
Member

Posts: 3
Joined: 02.11.13
Posted on November 02 2013 17:44
Hello,

My name is Kamil, I'm a postgrad from Poland -- just defended my thesis in the field of Computer Science less than two months ago.

I was a long term GNU/Linux enthusiast and user (like 15 years) and few months ago moved to NetBSD (it supports the VAX hardware).

I'm interested in the VAX architecture and finally have the time to focus on it. I'm going to buy a few books with the assembler and architecture of this DEC's hardware.

I wish I tried and ran OpenVMS as well on this legacy hardware platform... and have farther plans (like to work on a FPGA board to reimplement the VAX processor architecture), however I cannot find any hardware in my country, neither in the neighbours' countries.

Ebay prices aren't accessible for me and the ebay hardware is normally untested, without peripherals (DEC keyboard, display monitor), often without disks and is unacceptable expensive... I think no more words are needed and everybody knows of it; to make it short: I'm looking for a working VAX workstation to be given in good hands. Shipping through a friend of mine in U.S. is possible.

With kind regards,
Kamil
Author RE: VAX enthusiast looking for hardware
Bruce Claremont
Member

Posts: 606
Joined: 07.01.10
Posted on November 03 2013 04:52
Use the SimH VAX hardware emulator. It will allow you to explore and experiment with virtual representations of real hardware and the O/S's supported by VAX.

SimH Link: http://simh.trailing-edge.com/
Author RE: VAX enthusiast looking for hardware
kamil
Member

Posts: 3
Joined: 02.11.13
Posted on November 03 2013 10:34
Bruce Claremont wrote:
Use the SimH VAX hardware emulator. It will allow you to explore and experiment with virtual representations of real hardware and the O/S's supported by VAX.

SimH Link: http://simh.trailing-edge.com/


Hello,

Thank you, yes I know SimH and I've found already a short guide to run OpenBSD inside it [1]. I will run currently the BSD systems, because I'm more familiar with Unices then unfortunatelly still unknown OpenVMS -- and it's better to get aquainted with the architecture, and later familiarise OpenVMS -- not everything at once.

I've ordered:
- "Vax Architecture Reference Manual" by Timothy E. Leonard
- "Computer Architecture and Vax Assembly Language Programming" by James E. Brink
- "VAX Assembly Language (2nd Edition)" by Sara Baase
- "Vax Architecture Reference Manual" by Richard A. Brunner

Probably they may be redundant in some extend, however they cost nothing (books are sold against $0.01 + shipping), so I will take them four paying mostly for a single shippment.

I've examined that there is VAX support in GCC (better to take an old version from NetBSD-6: 4.1.3, because newer are affected with numerous bugs [2]).

There is also VAX support in the C compiler PCC, but I don't know of it's quality.

So well this is where I'm now, hoping to success smiley

With kind regards,

[1] http://openbsd.org/vax-simh.html
[2] http://www.unixmen.com/meet-martin-husemann-and-netbsd-interview/
Author RE: VAX enthusiast looking for hardware
saq
Member

Posts: 60
Joined: 24.05.08
Posted on November 03 2013 10:56
Bruce Claremont wrote:
Use the SimH VAX hardware emulator. It will allow you to explore and experiment with virtual representations of real hardware and the O/S's supported by VAX.

SimH Link: http://simh.trailing-edge.com/


Additionally you don't have to find little bits of slightly obscure hardware or something that has the proper quirks to function with your "real VAX". Been there, done that - it's not fun to get the machine home and then find out that you need to source something odd (e.g. disk sled, SCSI cable, DSSI drive, SCSI drive that works with an '80s controller/firmware - the list can go on). With simh or another VAX simulator you can go straight into exploring the architecture.
Author RE: VAX enthusiast looking for hardware
Bruce Claremont
Member

Posts: 606
Joined: 07.01.10
Posted on November 04 2013 05:19
You will be able to take advantage of the OpenVMS Hobbyist licenses for compilers and other products.

The following links may be useful:

OpenVMS Beginner resources http://www.openvmshobbyist.com/forum/viewthread.php?forum_id=163&thread_id=1537&pid=4635#post_4635

Getting Started with OpenVMS by Mike Duffy: http://books.google.com/[/url]

OpenVMS Beginners FAQ: http://alpha.mike-r.com/VMS_beginners_faq.html

OpenVMS Introduction: http://labs.hoffmanlabs.com/node/5

OpenVMS Beginners page: http://www.openvms.org/pages.php?page=Beginner
Author RE: VAX enthusiast looking for hardware
kamil
Member

Posts: 3
Joined: 02.11.13
Posted on November 04 2013 13:36
Bruce Claremont wrote:
You will be able to take advantage of the OpenVMS Hobbyist licenses for compilers and other products.

The following links may be useful:

OpenVMS Beginner resources http://www.openvmshobbyist.com/forum/viewthread.php?forum_id=163&thread_id=1537&pid=4635#post_4635

Getting Started with OpenVMS by Mike Duffy: http://books.google.com/[/url]

OpenVMS Beginners FAQ: http://alpha.mike-r.com/VMS_beginners_faq.html

OpenVMS Introduction: http://labs.hoffmanlabs.com/node/5

OpenVMS Beginners page: http://www.openvms.org/pages.php?page=Beginner


Thank you, your links are very useful. I need time to study it out.
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