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

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Fri Jul 15 12:52:11 CDT 2016

On 15 July 2016 at 07:37, Ethan Dicks <ethan.dicks at gmail.com> wrote:
> I think TCP networking on VMS is a bit of a bodge, but back when I
> used it every day in the 1980s, we didn't _have_ any Ethernet
> interfaces in the entire company - *everything* we did was via sync
> and async serial.  How well do you think it would go if all you had
> was SLIP and PPP?  We did a lot.  Yes, other people had high-speed
> networking and VAX clusters, etc.  We did not.  Not even our VAXen
> running UNIX.  All serial, all day.  We still got a lot done.

Same for me when I started out on Unix with Xenix in 1988 or so.
Multiport serial cards were the rule, and most of my office wasn't
connected up with Ethernet yet.

When I was on PC Pro magazine in London (1995-1996), there was an
editorial office LAN (4th floor) and a Labs LAN (basement), but they
weren't connected and neither had an Internet connection. In '96!

I was the sysadmin for both. The editorial server was a PC with NT
Server 3.51, serving both Macs (production team) and Windows PCs
(editorial team). I put in an email server and got us all Internet
email, before we had any kind of WWW connection on the desktop -- but
whereas now I'd do that with Linux, back then, it seemed way too hard
and we got a free eval copy of a commercial MS Mail to Internet mail
connection app and ran it on the server.

Looking back now, it seems ludicrous, but it wasn't then.

A few years later, probably about '97 or '98, as a freelance
consultant, I put in my 1st web proxy server for one of my clients,
doing dial-on-demand over a 56K POTS modem on the server. That seemed
very high-tech at the time! Within the next few years I put in a few
of those. Indeed I was peripherally involved in the development of


... as tools like WinGate were so clunky. At the end of the '90s,
having a DoD modem on a Windows NT4 server, a proxy server for WWW
access on the workstations and simple POP3 email was sophisticated and
I put in a lot of such systems.

MailGate, combining POP3 email distribution and a proxy server in one,
was _way_ easier than a separate proxy server and email server. It was
also approximately *fifty times* cheaper than Exchange Server and
Windows Proxy Server, and easier to configure.

Liam Proven • Profile: http://lproven.livejournal.com/profile
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