VMS stability back in the day (was Re: NuTek Mac comes)

Swift Griggs swiftgriggs at gmail.com
Fri Jul 15 10:35:01 CDT 2016

On Fri, 15 Jul 2016, Ethan Dicks wrote:
> Indeed.  As you've seen, I use both.  No need to be all "Commodore vs 
> Atari" about it.  ;-)

Hehe, I forgot about that. Here I am liking both of those, now too. I 
think I was playing with Hatari yesterday and eUAE last week ! 

> I mean vs ethernet-type networking.  The physical layer stuff has fewer 
> variants to worry about with Ethernet vs serial (3mbps vs 10mbps vs 
> 100mbps, and 10Base5 vs 10Base2 vs 10BaseT vs flavors of fiber as 
> opposed to all the parameters one has to match up to get any two 
> machines talking over a serial link).

OH oh oh. Then, sure! I see your points. I remember the days before CAT5 
ruled everything and you had "hubs" that didn't do autosensing very well 
etc... Yes, as you say, serial is much more simple. It also sounds like 
it's advantaged because of how closely tied to the OS that particular type 
of networking is. Ie.. what Mouse already said with more elegance.

> Sure.  Absolutely no argument.  Just pointing out that comparing DCL to 
> shell isn't exactly apples-to-apples either.  If anything, measured in 
> arbitrary units, DCL is a half-step over shell scripting and a half-step 
> below Perl (etc.) scripting.

Heh, okay, I see what you mean, then. Since I don't even know DCL that 
well, I'm totally going to take your word for it.

> Have you ever seen a string of ''' used to dereference DCL args? 
> Definitely the hardest thing about getting a working complex DCL script.

Yes! I have seen that. That's one thing that jumped out at me, too.

> I don't mean file permissions, I mean system privileges.  Some UNIX 
> filesystems have ACLs (VMS has _very_ well developed ACLs, but that's 
> not what I mean).

Ah, okay, you were talking about what I'd call "capabilities" (in Linux 
parlance) and the whole VMS kit and kaboodle. I was thinking just 

> Want to mount a disk?  In Unix, a user is told "must be root".  In VMS, 
> you need MOUNT.

Yes, and I do wish this was the default mentality in UNIX, too. I think it 
makes more sense and gives an admin more flexibility. It's flat-out better 
in most cases.  As I said, capabilities are fairly similar, but they 
didn't come along until WAY after most UNIX variants were set in their 


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