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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | Alpha Systems Forums | FreeAXP
Author idleloop.vdisk and Idle loop program

Posts: 5
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Joined: 30.04.14
Posted on January 29 2016 17:29
Hi !

Does anyone know if idleloop.visk is still available ? It looks like Personal Alpha cannot be downloaded anymore, or I couldn't find it on the Stromasys site.

I also saw that someone here mentionned the product / patch was available as a download at HP, and I checked under patch management (I have a support contract) and could not find it.

Any help appreciated - my CPU is so busy and needs some rest !

Author RE: idleloop.vdisk and Idle loop program

Posts: 5
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Joined: 30.04.14
Posted on January 31 2016 12:03
After searching some more, I found this website jonesrh.info which gives a lot of info regarding Alpha virtualization and DCL implementations on Linux/Windows. He explains PersonalAlpha can still be gotten from the Wayback Machine and he has a link to it on his site.

Anyone looking for the idle loop can look up there to find and download it. Pick any of the 3 available versions (32 bits, DS10 or DS20), install the software, and you will find a file named idleloop.visk in the installation directory. This software is suitable for use with FreeAXP.

I'm currently running FreeAXP v2.64.595. So I went into the Virtual Alpha COnfiguration Utility, added a new disk device to the configuration ad selected idleloop.visk as the image file. Upon reboot the server had a new disk that could be mounted with $ MOUNT/OVER=ID ddcu:. The package is contained in ddcu:[IDLE012]SRI-AXPVMS-IDLE-V0102--1.PCSI;1

Install with $ PRODUCT INSTALL IDLE and voilà! The host CPU usage will drop instantly, just as the installation completes. I really noticed my server's fan quiet down immediately. Before, I had the FreeAXP process on the host server running at close to 100% (of 1 CPU) non-stop, and now it's down to 0.01%. Once I start using VMS to do some work it goes up as normal, and goes back down to idle when the VMS server has no workload again.

It really worked like a charm for me.

Thanks to jonesrh for providing that useful information and helping me complete a successful installation of FreeAXP.
Author RE: idleloop.vdisk and Idle loop program

Posts: 5
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Joined: 30.04.14
Posted on February 15 2016 15:27
If anyone ever comes here, and is running Stromasys PersonalAlpha, do you also observe that the gain from running IDLELOOP is minimal ? The same running on FreeAXP gives much better results. This is odd as it was designed by Stromasys...
Author RE: idleloop.vdisk and Idle loop program

Posts: 10
Location: USA
Joined: 14.02.08
Posted on January 13 2017 08:29
This may be a lifesaver for our freeAXP instance.
The OS hosting our freeAXP has been de-supported by our continuous-backup vendor.
After moving freeAXP to an existing supported server, the CPU use was unacceptable.
The idle loop driver fixed that.
Author RE: idleloop.vdisk and Idle loop program

Posts: 4
Location: New York
Joined: 04.09.10
Posted on May 01 2021 16:56
This past weekend, I updated my FreeAXP from a truly ancient version (1.x, I believe) to the latest/greatest 64 bit. Out of necessity, I also update the OS to the current VSI 8.4 variant for the sake of the hobbyist licenses.

In doing this, I was not able to get the IDLE kit working. Is this still viable with the current emulator and OS, or has the time for this come and goine?
Author RE: idleloop.vdisk and Idle loop program

User Avatar

Posts: 104
Location: Germany
Joined: 02.04.10
Posted on May 01 2021 19:39
The Stromasys IDLE V1.2 tool still works with FreeAXP (just tested with OpenVMS E8.4).

But I'm pretty sure - didn't check - that you can't install it on VSI OpenVMS.

SRI-AXPVMS-IDLE-V0102--1.PCSI$DESCRIPTION has the following statements:

if (not <software DEC AXPVMS VMS version minimum V6.2>smiley ;

You could try to take the kit apart and manually move the pieces to their correct location. It might work...

Edited by VolkerHalle on May 01 2021 19:44
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August 04 2022
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