My classiccmp non-retirement :-)

Zane H. Healy healyzh at
Sun Jun 19 13:01:25 CDT 2005

At 9:27 AM -0700 6/19/05, Al Kossow wrote:
>I've been ranting for a while now that people are saving the iron,
>but not the software that ran on it. It's surprising how little is

Don't forget it's not just software, the people tend to toss the 
manuals as well.

>I'm starting to think that there is going to be a pretty strange
>view of computer software in the future, since there is so MUCH
>that was saved from DEC, and almost nothing from Burroughs,
>UNIVAC, NCR, and Honeywell (the last member of the BUNCH, CDC,
>seems to have a fair amount saved, though)

How much of this though is due to availability of the systems, and 
where they were actually used?  Didn't the DEC systems tend to be 
used in much more open environments where the software could get out? 
I was lucky to have saved the GCOS-8 manuals I've got, there is 
absolutely *NO WAY* I could have gotten copies of the software, even 
if I'd have considered doing such a thing at the time.  How many of 
these systems (and everything that went with them) were on lease, and 
as a result had to go back to the manufacturer for destruction?

Let's not forget that there are huge chunks of DEC software that is 
lost or virtually lost.  Who has Pre-V4 VAX/VMS?  While it might seem 
like there is a lot of PDP-10 software, in reality, most of it's 
gone.  The early PDP-11 OS's, as well as most Layered Products are 
largely missing as well (of these RT-11 has best been archived).  I 
honestly don't know about the state of PDP-8 software, but I know 
there are definitely holes.  Other than those systems, most of the 
PDP's have little or no software that has been archived.


| Zane H. Healy                    | UNIX Systems Administrator |
| healyzh at (primary)    | OpenVMS Enthusiast         |
|                                  | Classic Computer Collector |
|     Empire of the Petal Throne and Traveller Role Playing,    |
|          PDP-10 Emulation and Zane's Computer Museum.         |
|                     |

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