in Technology

VAX/VMS on Linux using SIMH

Some of you are aware that I’m into vintage computers. Sadly, my basement cannot hold all the computers I wish I could actually have – and some of them are forever going to be too big to fit in any man’s house (not to mention “make it past a man’s significant other“).

But why would one actually need a VAX when, these days, one can emulate one on a Linux PC using SIMH? Not only can one emulate a VAX (take your pick: MicroVAX or VAX 11/780) but also a PDP-11, Data General Nova, some ancient Honeywell mainframes I’ve never heard of, or a bunch of other old mainframes or minicomputers.

I have a special nostalgia for the VAX, since I accessed my first real e-mail account at the National Capital Free-Net via a VAX in my dad’s office. On the anniversary of my Dad’s retirement, I’ve decided I’m going to try to get a VAX running in emulation under SIMH – running OpenVMS, no less. Do I know anything about running OpenVMS? Nope, I do not – but I’m going to find out. Yes, I know it’s a nearly obsolete operating system, and DCL is not the most intuitive. But hopefully it should prove to be a little bit amusing at least – wish me luck!

(On a completely unrelated note: People are still writing in to comment on the blog post where I got yelled at by Drew of Toothpaste For Dinner for offering an RSS feed. Haha! I’ve moved onto reading xkcd these days … that fellow seems far less uptight, and his comics are more reliably funny. And yes, xkcd has an RSS feed, if you had to ask.)