VAX file format conversion

Peter Coghlan cctalk at
Mon Aug 15 16:45:57 CDT 2016

> On vms say something like this:
> 	 $ help analyze
> 	 (pay attention to the parts about /rms and /fdl)
> 	 $ help convert
> build and and edit an fdl file and then say something like:
> 	 $ convert /fdl=foo.fdl foo.old
> sigh.

CONVERT is great for taking a file with the proper content and changing
it into an equivelant with a different record type.  However, it's not
going to do anything useful in this case.  The original poster transferred
a text file to his VMS system and got this error:

>%RMS-W-RTB 512 byte record to large for user buffer

Using CONVERT on the file will change it from a fixed record length file
into a variable length record file or a stream file but in all cases, all
of the records will remain 512 bytes long and they will continue to
contain bits and pieces of the original text and the file will not work
as required.

The most likely to work solutions are to use $ SET FILE /ATTRIBUTES or
Joe Meadows' FILE utility to change the file attributes from fixed 512 to
stream format.  The CR-LF pairs in the file will then be treated as record
delimiters and the file will then be usable.  Alternatively, delete the
file and transfer it again selecting a text transfer mode rather than
a binary transfer mode.

Peter Coghlan.

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