Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Status report

I have experienced a close relative loss in the last days, after some weeks of hospitalization, so I have not worked a lot in my pet projects. So this is going to be a very short post, just to keep this blog alive. I don't like to make online promises, but I plan to restart my work in MUXX and perhaps to post an entry about layered products installation under RSX-11M.

As for MUXX, I have stopped the work after achieving milestone 2. I plan to begin working in milestone 3 in the next days/weeks and the commits to github will resume their usual pace. So no new news about this.

On the simulators front, I have moved one of the emulated VAXen out of the Raspberry Pi. It is the uVAX-3900 simulation running OpenVMS 7.3. The Pi is too cramped to move that simulated machine with an acceptable speed, so it lives again in my old MacBook. Right now I have 5 simulations running in the Raspberry:


  • pdp11 running RSX-11M
  • pdp11 running RSX-11M+
  • pdp11 running RSTS/E
  • pdp10 running TOPS-10
  • vax780 running VMS 4.7 (and acting as level 2 router for my HECnet area)


There are two simulations running in the macbook:


  • pdp10 running TOPS-20 (Panda distribution)
  • vax running OpenVMS 7.3


The TOPS-20 system does not run directly inside the macbook (which, in turn, runs Ubuntu 10.04 LTS). I run it inside a VirtualBOX VM which runs a super-light Linux distro. The reason is I was not able to share the ethernet adapter between the host system and the pdp10. Adding a thin layer of virtualization fixed that. Now I have both TCP/IP and DECNET in the pdp10, so life is good.

Oh, by the way. The forthcoming version of simh will come with some nice surprises for us DEC-nostalgics. The current repository adds some "new" VAX machines:


  • uVAX I
  • uVAX II
  • VAX 730
  • VAX 750
  • Industrial uVAX


This, and a revamped I/O subsystem which will allow the simulators to use asynchronous I/O. Mark and the rest of contributors are doing, as always, a very good job. Thanks a lot, guys!