Wednesday, January 16, 2008

DEC 3000 - later that evening

After listening to the OpenVMS install churn away for somewhere between 2 and 3 hours, it finally stopped.  As I eagerly approached the machine in hopes of seeing something like "install complete - press any key to boot from dka0:", the image of utter failure formed in front of my eyes in the shape of a single add-on package that failed to install.  It happened to be the TCP/IP package, so I would have thought it could have finished everything else so that I could do TCP/IP later on myself (since it's not a required package).  Sadly, that was not the case.  That single failure was enough for the install to give up completely and leave me with a completely useless system.  There's one strike against OpenVMS.

Not really wanting to sleep anway, I decided try the install one more time and hope for the best.  This time, I did NOT select the TCP/IP package to be installed, and I sent it off churning again for a couple more hours.  What would it choke on this time?  Believe it or not, nothing!  Install finished, I booted into my shiny new OpenVMS 8.3 OS.  I installed the hobbyist licenses, and I eventually figured out how to install TCP/IP manually, which installed just fine on the first try.  Go figure.

A little history: One of my current goals in the retrocomputing scene to to reacquire as many of various types of hardware and/or OS platforms as I've used regularly over the years.  VMS happens to be one of them that dates back to my college years.  We had a VAXCluster running VMS that was the university's primary general purpose system.  People read their email, chatted, play games, did homework, etc. on all the VT nodes set up across campus.  Since acquisition of a VAX mainframe really isn't practical, the DEC 3000 will have to do. :)

Besides getting the 3000 generally set up and networked, I have been playing with a number of random utilities, building a few from scratch, using it to browse the web and hit IRC channels on occasion, etc.  Also, since the existing hard drive is only 1 GB, I also just added a second 2 GB drive to use for extraneous utility programs and user data.  Things seem to be running smoothly.

More later, after the other machines catch up!

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