Discussion:
Reading OpenVMS SPL disks on something other than a VAX
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Three Jeeps
2020-10-26 04:22:38 UTC
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Am cleaning out/organizing corner of my basement where my mVAXes are and came across a set of about 50 CDs (DVDs?) that are for OpenVMS June 1996 (AG-QWUYA-XE).
I didn't remember even having these.

Both of my machines are mothballed so I am wondering if there is anyway to read them on a mac OSX machine, or windoz or linux machines?

Never had the reason to ask the question about them being readable on another OS (with the right helper program)but I'd like to see if these disks are readable.

Thank
John
Three Jeeps
2020-10-26 04:26:22 UTC
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Post by Three Jeeps
Am cleaning out/organizing corner of my basement where my mVAXes are and came across a set of about 50 CDs (DVDs?) that are for OpenVMS June 1996 (AG-QWUYA-XE).
I didn't remember even having these.
Both of my machines are mothballed so I am wondering if there is anyway to read them on a mac OSX machine, or windoz or linux machines?
Never had the reason to ask the question about them being readable on another OS (with the right helper program)but I'd like to see if these disks are readable.
Thank
John
after I made the post, the thought occurred to run openvms under simh - would that work?
John H. Reinhardt
2020-10-26 07:08:59 UTC
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Post by Three Jeeps
Post by Three Jeeps
Am cleaning out/organizing corner of my basement where my mVAXes are and came across a set of about 50 CDs (DVDs?) that are for OpenVMS June 1996 (AG-QWUYA-XE).
I didn't remember even having these.
Both of my machines are mothballed so I am wondering if there is anyway to read them on a mac OSX machine, or windoz or linux machines?
Never had the reason to ask the question about them being readable on another OS (with the right helper program)but I'd like to see if these disks are readable.
Thank
John
after I made the post, the thought occurred to run openvms under simh - would that work?
They would be CD disks. 1996 vintage would be OpenVMS ODS-2 format and not readable by normal methods on a Mac or Windows or Linux system. Linux may or may not have a userland file system tool which can read ODS, seems like there might be but I can't place it at the moment.

You really have 50 disks from the one date? Normal SPL (Software Products Library) from that era would be around 10 to 12 disks. The ODL (Online Documentation Library) might be 1 or 2 disks.

It's possible you could make simh use your Mac's CD drive. I haven't tried it, but the more recent versions (V4) probably could.

If not, then you could rip the CD to an image file and attach it as a virtual disk to simh.

I've used something like this:
# OpenVMS Alpha V7.3-2 Operating System
hdiutil create -srcdevice /dev/<your CD drive> -format UDTO <CD_Image_file_name>

You end up with a .CDR file but you can rename it to .ISO or .IMG if you like. Technically it's not a true ISO file but that's what a lot of people call them.
--
John H. Reinhardt
j***@yahoo.co.uk
2020-10-26 12:56:36 UTC
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Post by Three Jeeps
Am cleaning out/organizing corner of my basement where my mVAXes are and came across a set of about 50 CDs (DVDs?) that are for OpenVMS June 1996 (AG-QWUYA-XE).
I didn't remember even having these.
Both of my machines are mothballed so I am wondering if there is anyway to read them on a mac OSX machine, or windoz or linux machines?
Never had the reason to ask the question about them being readable on another OS (with the right helper program)but I'd like to see if these disks are readable.
Thank
John
There are two (or maybe more) questions here:

1) can the media be physically read in a drive readily
available?

2) if the media can be physically read, can the on disk
structures and data (potentially including all the fun
of the RMS metadate) be meaningfully interpreted by some
reasonably widely available software?

3) is the on-disk data really what it claims to be?

4) what useful purpose might it serve?

I can't usefully answer many of those questions, but trying
one or two of the CDs in a drive known to work with SIMH
VAX could be a good starting point.

Another starting point might be one of the small number of
ODS-2 readers which used to be freely available around the
Interweb.

AG-QWUYA-TE seem to have been part of the OpenVMS VAX
Consolidated Software Distribution for June 1996, which
would appear to be a set of 10 CDs (details below). Add
some more CDs for the Consolidated Online Documentation
(CONOLD) and maybe some more for the VAX/VMS OS itself,
maybe that might make quite a lot of CDs, but 50???

See e.g. the readme at
http://hecnet.eu/archive/vax_media/1996_jun_vaxbinjun96/
which starts with
%DISC_PRODUCT_NAME1 OpenVMS VAX Consolidated
%DISC_PRODUCT_NAME2 Software Distribution
%KIT_PART_NUMBER QA-VWJ8A-W8. AT01
%SPINE_PART_NUMBER AV-PR58X-RE
!
%DISC_PART_NUMBER AG-PZ3PT-XE,AG-Q6PAL-XE,AG-QAN5J-XE,AG-QRAZC-XE,AG-QWUYA-RE,AG-PR57X-RE,AG-PRSZX-RE,AG-PUKLV-RE,AG-PUKMV-RE,AG-PYFUS-XE,AG-Q0WWP-XE
!
%DFARS Y
!
%LABEL VAXBINJUN961,VAXBINJUN962,VAXBINJUN963,VAXBINJUN964,VAXBINJUN965,VAXBINJUN966,VAXBINJUN967,VAXBINJUN968,VAXBINJUN969,VAXBINJUN960,VAXBINJUN96A
%TYPE CONDIST
%RELEASE_DATE June 1996
%TOC_PART_NUMBER AV-PZQAR-RE
!

Have a lot of fun.

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