Jerome H. Fine jhfinedp3k at
Fri May 20 08:46:16 CDT 2016

 >Rod Smallwood wrote:>

> On 20/05/2016 05:19, Jerome H. Fine wrote:
>> >Rod Smallwood wrote:
>>> I'm not overly worried about it being on TK50 other than knowing 
>>> that was one of the distribution mediums.
>>> So a quick rephrase of the question. I have an 11/83 system with an 
>>> RX50 and an RD54. How do I install RSTS on  it?
>> Why do you want to use the PDP-11/83?  Do you want
>> to run RSTS/E or just exercise the PDP-11/83 hardware?
>> If your answer is running RSTS/E, there is much more
>> convenient hardware than a PDP-11/83.
>> If you want to exercise the PDP-11/83, the solution I
>> understand is to use a hammer when you only have a nail.
>> If you don't know how to prepare a TK50 tape that self boots
>> and then does a restore of RSTS/E, then you might resort to
>> using RT-11.  Backup each RT-11 partition under either
>> SimH or Ersatz-11.  The restore using the RX50 drive and
>> copy each RT-11 partition to the RD54 from the TK50 file
>> images.
>> Of course, you need to be able to write to a TK50 tape
>> under SimH or Ersatz-11.  You also have to take care
>> of block 65535 for each RT-11 partition since I don't
>> know if RT-11 will backup it up.  If you need some help
>> with this, I will try and figure it out as long as you test
>> to determine if you can write to a TK50 tape in the first
>> place.
>> Jerome Fine
> Hi Jerome
>         Thanks for the answer.
> 1. The system is going into an exhibit. There will be an assortment of 
> DEC terminals attached
> 2. The guy who is going to look after it has years of RSTS user 
> knowledge.
> 3, There are several systems available all 11/83.  All with RD54
> 4. They are working and boot RSX .
> 5.   I cant remember how to remember how to prepare a bootable RSTS 
> install tape (I last did the course in 1983)
> 6. I do have a copy of RSTS V9 and I know the version supports TK50.  
> Its a .tap image
> 7.  So its a case move the image over to my VAX  from my PC. My 
> network can do that.
> 8.  Then make the tape boot and install RSTS
> 9 . How do I do that?

As I mentioned, the ONLY advice that I can offer is what to
do with an image file on a system that supports SimH and / or
Ersatz-11.  AFTER RSTS/E is installed on such a system
within an image file that is the same size as an RD54, then
assuming you can copy file images to physical TK50 media
on that same system, I can probably figure out how to do it
under RT-11, i.e. how to copy each RT-11 partition of the
RD54 (actually the image file the size of an RD54) with the
installed RSTS/E files to TK50 images although in the past
I have never used TK50s under Ersatz-11, just under a real
DEC PDP-11/83 (actually TK70s, but the software is the

Are you that far at this point?

Maybe if you can find someone who knows how to produce
a bootable TK50 media would be easier.  One thing that I
would be concerned over is that a TK50, if I remember
correctly, can't hold much more than 50 MB, so if the image
file of the RD54 holds more than that many files, you will
need more than one TK50 media of data.

If you go the RT-11 method, each TK50 will need to hold
32 MB at most, so there will not be a problem.

Jerome Fine

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