VAX file format conversion

Dave Mitton dave at
Fri Aug 12 22:13:40 CDT 2016

If you are importing files into VMS, you need to become familiar with the
EXCHANGE command.
(found via 
It can do stream and carriage control conversions on various RMS fixed formats.

When we first brought up DECnet-DOS network file transfer, we had 
some "discussions" with the VMS RMS
engineers that didn't like us doing auto conversions.  This was their 

Oh and if you are doing serial transfers, yes, keeping the baud rate 
low is a good strategy.
I had to spend some time working on the DECnet-DOS DDCMP driver 
developing better character overrun recovery strategies. Yes, you may 
be coming in via a terminal line, but that line can hiccup from time to time.


On 8/12/2016 01:00 PM, cctech-request at wrote:
>Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2016 16:08:39 -0400
>From: Douglas Taylor <dj.taylor4 at>
>To: "General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts"
>         <cctalk at>
>Subject: VAX file format conversion
>Message-ID: <d54db4aa-efc8-d332-971f-57250d5fd0f5 at>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed
>I have a MicroVax 4000 that I am trying to update the license PAKs on,
>the last time I had valid PAKs on this machine was in 2002 (Hobbyist
>I registered and have received the new Hobbyist License PAKs.
>I connected a laptop and transferred the text file using C-Kermit on the
>VAX and hyperterminal on the laptop.
>When I go to execute the file, I get an error:
>%RMS-W-RTB 512 bye record to large for user buffer
>It appears that when the file was transferred it showed up on the vax
>with fixed length records of 512 bytes, not variable length.
>Can I convert the file on the VAX?
>Is there a setting for C-Kermit that I need to change?
>Is Hyperterminal screwing things up?

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