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

Mark J. Blair nf6x at
Fri Jun 12 11:08:27 CDT 2015

> On Jun 12, 2015, at 08:48, Richard Loken <richardlo at> wrote:
> On Thu, 11 Jun 2015, Mark J. Blair wrote:
>> Eventually, I'd like to run an older version of VMS than 7.3 on it.
>> Preferably, something contemporary to when the 11/730 was still sold, or
> 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).

> Our VAX-11/780 came with VAX/VMS Version 2 on it and the documentation had
> that quaint early Digital quality that looked like it had been printed on
> a Teletype Model 35.
> Our VAX 8600 came with VAX/VMS version 4.X - this leads me to suggest that
> you do not want a version contemporary to the VAX-11/730 (probably v2 or 3).
> We ran VAX/VMS version 5.5-1 for many many years on our massive great VAX
> 8820, VAX 4000 model 500s, some VAX 2000s, and my VAX 3100/30.  Later
> releases of VMS 5.X are IMHO a good version.

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 sort of drive emulation to let me easily swap OSes, and to save wear and tear on the R80? My cage is full already with the ethernet card in there, so maybe it should grow a Unibus extension? There's an unused spot in the TU80's cabinet that might fit a chassis.

> I have in my possession a Digital VAX/VMS software and documentation
> distribution on CDrom circa 1995 which includes VMS version 6.2.  This is
> the complete standard distro from the time and came in two boxes measuring
> maybe 10 x 15 by 1 inch.  I can send this to you for the postage if it is
> of any use.
> I also have a much larger complete OpenVMS VAX 7.0 distro on two TK50
> cartridges (who knew?) and 10 pounds of paper docs in its original carton.
> Anybody want it?  I think it survived because somebody thought it was an
> Alpha distro.  Shipping of that would be a bit more money.

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.

Mark J. Blair, NF6X <nf6x at>

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