DEC Runoff to any modern format conversion or DEC MSCP protocol specs

Paul Koning paulkoning at
Thu Jun 4 14:17:36 CDT 2015

> On Jun 4, 2015, at 1:47 PM, Tom Gardner <t.gardner at> wrote:
> Hi
> I have multiple DEC Runoff (.rno extension) files for the manual on DEC's
> MSCP protocol.  I'd like to convert them to a modern format.  The manual is
> dated circa 1992 incorporating ecos thru MSCP23-4 and is revision 2.4 (or
> later) of MSCP.  What appears to be an early version (Apr 1982 rev 1.2) is
> at
> s_82.pdf 
> I've searched for a convertor without much luck,  there is a VMS Pascal
> converter at which
> converts to LaTex which can then be converted to pdf, but I don't have any
> DEC equipment.

There are Pascal compilers for Unix, for example gpc.  It has its limitations but it may be sufficient.

> ...
> DECs Runoff is a markup language that sort of looks like an early HTML, so I
> suppose I could try a grep conversion to HTML, or just strip out the markup.

A much closer relative is Unix “troff” format, which apparently goes back to something in Multics called “runoff”.  Fancy that.  So you might dig up a troff manual (here’s one: and convert to that.  It looks like that wouldn’t be hard.


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