Looking for early versions of MicroVMS & VWS

Hölscher hoelscher-kirchbrak at freenet.de
Wed Mar 25 11:47:41 CDT 2009

On Wed, 25 Mar 2009, Zane H. Healy wrote:

> This actually brings up an interesting question with regards to the VMS
> Hobbyist License.  The Hobbyist License allows for the use of at least the
> OS (I am not sure about VWS).  However, the license keys from the Hobbyist
> License won't be valid prior to VAX/VMS V5 will they?  I believe V4.x and
> prior use a different licensing scheme and the licenses were on TK50's or
> other distribution media.

For VMS V4.x and earlier there were some "License Key Kits".
Those kits patched back in functionality that was patched out before to prevent using it without paying license fees.
I know of the following kits:

- several kits to enable more concurrent users (up to the "unlimited user" kit)
- DECnet endnode kit and DECnet full function (including routing) kit
- Volume Shadowing kit
- LAVC kit (Clustering kit for MicroVAXen/VAXstations)
- maybe there was a kit for CI-clusters, too

Layered Software was not locked by any special license keys back then at all.

You've got to have the Hobbyist-License for legal reasons to run VMS V4.x and earlier, but not for technical ones!

And some (but not all) of the kits are known to be available.

> Somewhere up in storage I have a dead RD53 with VMS 4.x on it, it died
> before I could make a backup. :-(  One of these years I want to try to
> revive the drive and get a backup of it.

Good luck - not an easy job!

> I'd love to get VAX/VMS V4.x running on a MicroVAX II, but realistically
> V5.5-2 is far more practical and useable.

IMHO it is not unrealistic to run VMS V4 on your MicroVAX I, MicroVAX II or VAXstation 2000, and boy, let me tell you: It's a lot of fun doing so!
Yes, VMS V5.5-2 is maybe the last "classic" VMS version and I like to run it on my newer VAX models, too. 
But VMS V4 has got it's very special own charme!
And if you've got more than a single disk drive you can always run several versions up to your choice.
I must admit that I even run ULTRIX-32 V2.0 on my MicroVAX II sometimes. 


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