First VAX-11/730 VMS Boot! Now about VMS distros

Richard Loken richardlo at
Fri Jun 12 15:51:21 CDT 2015

On Fri, 12 Jun 2015, Mark J. Blair wrote:

> > On Jun 12, 2015, at 08:48, Richard Loken <richardlo at>
> > wrote:

> > Gday Mark, it has been a long time since Rodondo Beach.

> Great to hear from you again! Still have those ARS33 teletypes? I must
> say, when I decided I needed to be an ASR33 owner again a year or so ago,
> it was a lot more expensive than those two that I got off the junkpile
> outside the EE stockroom in the Steele building at CIT! :) I seem to
> recall that you procured them for a PDP-8 restoration, but I don't recall
> which model (and it wouldn't have meant much to me at the time, anyway).

Yes, Ross is still here too and he has the model 33s sitting on a cabinet
in his office doing nothing at all.  Both Ross and I are now retirement
age so we will have to clean up the mess and take our favourite junk home
some day.

> I'd like something "contemporary-ish". So I'll experiment with 3.x if I
> can find installation media/images, but perhaps compromise on 5.x for
> something not too new, but not too primitive. Maybe I'll think about some

In that era we received all our software on 9 track take and that material
has been gone for decades.  We never ran VMS v2, the machine was delivered
that way in 1981 but ours was a Unix shop so they promptly tore it off and
installed Unix V7 to be very quickly followed by BSD4.1.  When the big boss
told us we were going from Unix to VMS for administrative systems, everybody
was quivering with rage including me and then I wound up babysitting the
VMS systems for their entire tenure of some 15 years.  I grew quite fond of
VMS and have it running on my desktop even as I write this - it has been the
last VMS system in the place for at least a decade.

> I would be interested in procuring both of those in order to put them on
> my "hopefully scan/image and send to Bitsavers and before I
> die" pile. There's already some stuff from this system in that pile,
> including a 11/730 hardware user's guide.

Sit on thought for a while, there is no need to rush.  One of us should find
out if this material is already archived some place before doing work that
might already be done.

   Richard Loken VE6BSV, Unix System Administrator : "Anybody can be a father
   Athabasca University                            :  but you have to earn
   Athabasca, Alberta Canada                       :  the title of 'daddy'"
   ** richardlo at **             :  - Lynn Johnston

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