HPE OpenVMS Hobbyist license program is closing

Peter Corlett abuse at cabal.org.uk
Tue Mar 10 04:48:50 CDT 2020

On Tue, Mar 10, 2020 at 10:07:45AM +1100, Doug Jackson via cctalk wrote:
> At the end of the day there are three paths.

> 1.  Accept that HP doesn't give two hoots about hobbyists and patch the
> abandoned operating system to fix the problem.

Welcome to the eyepatch-and-parrot approach of the rest of us on closed-source
platforms which never had a hobbyist programme to start with and/or the IP has
been scattered to the winds and it's unclear who to approach for a licence.

> 2. Declare that we need to develop an open replacement.

There is FreeVMS, but there also doesn't seem to have been any progress on it
in the last decade and its domain has been lost and taken over by a squatter.

Writing an operating system is *hard*, way beyond a weekend's hacking which is
how most open source projects get going. Cloning an existing one is doubly-so
because it has to be bug-compatible.

Linux has taken thirty years to get this far. It's arguable what is "major" but
to a rough approximation, there are no good open source clones of other
operating systems of similar complexity: I'm aware of FreeDOS, AROS, EmuTOS and
a few others, but they're relatively simple.

> 3. Accept that HP actually owns the rights to our VAX 11/785 machines and
> arrange for them to be dropped off at their corporate headquarters because
> they can't do anything without software.

Will this "drop off" be by B-52? :)

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