Dataforge Labs


OpenVMS Shenannigans

I recently aquired a Raspberry Pi W with the intention of using it for the eventual PiDP-8 unit I’ll have. First, the PiDP-8 is a beautiful piece of art and all should support Oscar’s work. It is shear beauty.

Anyway, I decided to throw SIMH on the PiW and install OpenVMS. It’s an operating system I’ve been very curious about, but have limited knowledge and use of. The University of Wyoming had a VMS System as part of its PLAINS systems, but I can’t really remember what the university used it for. I used the UNIX stuff more, in particular the Silicon Graphics machines.

It blows my mind I’m able to emulate a system that took up an entire wall of a computer room on something the size of a pack of gum. So far I’m really enjoying it. I have all the compilers installed, including BASIC and Pascal, which were among the first programming languages I learned. I may play with COBOL since it’s technologically significant. CAPS ALL THE THINGS.

It’s a bit different than UNIX and what I’m used to, but it’s been loads of fun, and has some features I’m surprised haven’t become mainstream, like file versioning.

I may open it up for public access. IDK. I need to figure out where I can get software, like an IRC client and Pine and make it a proper University grade mainframe-thing.

Word on the street is VSI/HPE is working on an x86_64 port which would be hella bitchin’