Hello from New Hampshire — Birthplace of VMS

Hello from Nashua NH. This week is the OpenVMS Advanced Technical Bootcamp. We started at 7:45 AM this morning, and went until 9:15 this evening.

The Bootcamp is held in Nashua because that was where VMS was originally developed. Unfortunately, Hewlett Packard canned the entire VMS development team a couple of years ago and moved development to India. *sigh*

I directed a session titled “Risk vs. Benefits of VAX/Alpha Emulation”. I’ll be doing it again Thursday afternoon. Here’s a link in case you can’t drop by and see it in person…

CHARON-VAX and CHARON-AXP supported on VMware

The CHARON product line is now supported in VMware on top of a Windows instance. Versions supported are:

  • CHARON-VAX version 3.4 build 110 and later
  • CHARON-AXP/4100/DS/ES/GS version 2.3 Build 108 and later
  • CHARON-AXP/SMA and CHARON-AXP/SMA Plus version 2.1.26 and later

There are some requirements:

  • The CHARON virtual machine should have exclusive access to the CHARON USB license dongle. It could be achieved with a third party product, for example: http://www.digi.com/products/usb/anywhereusb.jsp#overview.
  • The CHARON virtual machine should meet standard CHARON hardware requirements in terms of Windows OS version and patch level, CPU, RAM, storage, etc.
  • On any physical server hosting a CHARON virtual machine, the total number of VMware vCPUs allocated to all active Virtual Machines should not exceed the number of host physical CPU cores. The same requirement is applicable to RAM: total vRAM allocated to active VMs must not exceed total host RAM.

Some product features are not supported:

  • The Pass Through mode in CHARON-AXP/SMA and CHARON-AXP/SMA Plus
  • Direct device access

Please note that the supported CHARON-VAX version requires a HASP dongle. The older Hardlock dongle can be swapped at no charge for customers under support.

Another successful CHARON-VAX migration

I can’t show you the name, but here’s an email I received on March 22nd from a customer. For information on CHARON-VAX, check out http://www.stanq.com/charon-vax.html.

Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 11:04:46 -0400

BEANIE$ sho mem
System Memory Resources on 22-MAR-2010 11:01:59.03

Physical Memory Usage (pages): Total Free In Use Modified
Main Memory (128.00Mb) 262144 26089 216652 19403

Virtual I/O Cache Usage (pages): Total Free In Use Maximum
Cache Memory 15997 871 15126 167677

Slot Usage (slots): Total Free Resident Swapped
Process Entry Slots 284 178 96 10
Balance Set Slots 280 184 94 2

Dynamic Memory Usage (bytes): Total Free In Use Largest
Nonpaged Dynamic Memory 16000000 10547584 5452416 10421888
Paged Dynamic Memory 8000000 6670048 1329952 6666368

Paging File Usage (pages): Free Reservable Total
PSWAP:[BEANIE]SWAPFILE.SYS;1 994472 994472 999992
PSWAP:[BEANIE]PAGEFILE.SYS;1 907387 610340 999992

Of the physical pages in use, 62343 pages are permanently allocated to OpenVMS.

and a total success…. Here it is with most people logged in and only a bit of swapping and all is well. Remember, the original system had 384MB but this system is fitting fine in 128 using the VMS OS to do what it knows what to do best, handling virtual address space.

But, since I know you would want to know, I did have a problem yesterday that I think I resolved. It was that sometimes you couldn’t log in while it got hung up in a RWMBXW but then cleared itself.
Here is my buddy, Steve Hoffman’s take on this:

However, I resolved it by doing something else that I think was causing the MBX waits… setting PFRATL page trimmer back to ZERO, where I think I will leave it.
3rd paragraph under AWSA, I realized I should NOT have this trimming as the processes on this box never grow to be very large anyway, as we now can see how little is swapped.
It was trimming and then things grew and it a kind of thrashing situation on a bored system (not-loaded at all). Now that PFRATL=0 all is well, I get no RWMBX delays anymore.

I had to leave the system as a VAX-CLUSTER even though it is now only one member as thet CLUSTER alias is used in PROXY (no password) access to PDP-11s. Don’t even ask. I could use Charon-PDPs!!!

Just thought you might want to know that it is virtually complete. 🙂

OH by the way, remember, I had to place the VAX NIC on windows to 10/half and left it there. I now get no COLLISION DETECT CHECK FAILURES in LANCP, which I got alot of when I had it set to 100full.
BEANIE$ mcr lancp show dev eza/count
0 Collision detect check failure
0 Unrecognized frame destination
0 System buffer unavailable
0 User buffer unavailable

Hello from VMS Bootcamp!

A big part of the Bootcamp is “VMS Magic”. Anyone can come up and give a story about anything related to VMS. The best story wins a prize — the first-place winner this year showed how he booted VMS on a palmtop computer.

But this post is about Ron Kaledas of CareTech Solutions. He works in a typical environment — VMS, Linux, Windows. At every opportunity, he pointed out the benefits of OpenVMS. His cluster had been up for 5 years continuously without interruption.

Clustered VMS systems can be upgraded one at a time in a “rolling reboot” without affecting the cluster as a whole. Hard to believe that this technology has been available for over 20 years, and still isn’t available on any other platform.

Anyway, his part of the data center was scheduled for a complete shutdown to upgrade the un-interruptible power supply (UPS). But he wanted to keep his cluster alive through the shutdown.

So, he downloaded PersonalAlpha, a free version of the CHARON-Alpha emulator. He loaded it on a laptop, installed VMS, joined the cluster, and shut down all the other nodes.

After an hour or so, the power was restored, and he started the other systems back up. He then had his laptop exit the cluster without impacting any users.

His uptime? 5+ years and counting!

CHARON Newsletter – October 2007

1. Introduction
2. Increased emulated memory on CHARON-VAX/6630 and CHARON-VAX/6660 Plus for Windows
3. More XMI slots available for the CHARON-VAX/66×0 Plus for Windows products
4. Beware of DEP deletion by Windows
5. New Value Added Resellers

1. Introduction

Software Resources International publishes the CHARON newsletter to keep customers, potential customers and partners informed about the recent changes in CHARON product offerings and functionality updates. The last Newsletter was published in February 2007. Back copies of the CHARON Newsletter are available from the Software Resources International WEB site:

For full details on CHARON products, see

2. Increased emulated memory on CHARON-VAX/6630 and CHARON-VAX/6660 Plus for Windows.

CHARON-VAX/6630 and CHARON-VAX/6660 Plus for Windows now both provide 3 GB of emulated memory hen running on 64 bit Windows host. Please refer to the SPD, http://www.softresint.com/charon-vax/CHVX_66xx.htm, and User Manual,
ftp://ftp.sri-gva.ch/Documentation/Manuals/30-16-018.pdf, for details
3. More XMI slots available for the CHARON-VAX/66×0 Plus for Windows products.
CHARON-VAX/66×0 Plus for Windows now implements larger memory cards, up to 2 GB.

This means hat the 66×0 configuation can be designed to use fewer XMI slots for memory freeing up dditional slots for other devices, for example additional Network cards. Refer to the User Manual for details ftp://ftp.sri-gva.ch/Documentation/Manuals/30-16-018.pdf.

4. Beware of DEP Deletion by Windows.

Warning: After applying some of the Windows security patches (e.g. upgrading Windows 2003 Server with Service Pack 2) make sure that CHARON is still on the DEP exception list. Reminder: A problem exists with the support of Data Execution Prevention (DEP).  If required switch off DEP for CHARON based programs. To switch the DEP off you should do the following: 1. Right click on “My Computer”, choose “Properties” 2. Choose “Advanced”, click “Performance/Settings” button 3. Choose “Data Execution Prevention” 4. Set “Turn on DEP for essential Windows programs and services only” or set “Turn on DEP for all  programs and services except those I select”, press “Add” button, choose the target CHARON executable.

5. New Value Added Resellers
We are pleased to announce the following new Value Added Resellers.
In Spain:
Mr. Bernard Gravez
Tel: +34 93 589 3294
Email: bgravez[at]infobrok.es
Abat Guillem d’Avinyo, 16-18,
8172 Sant Cugat del Valles, Spain
Tel: +34 93 589 3294
Fax: +34 93 589 4299

In Chile:
Mr. Fernando Rocha
Tel: +56-2-2442445
Email: fernando.rocha[at]arssp.cl
Pedro de Valdivia 1781 of 126
Tel: +56-2-2442445
Fax: +56-2-6562282

New version: CHARON-VAX/XM, XK, and XL

This note refers to supported CHARON-VAX licenses for the following products.

CHARON-VAX/XM for Windows
CHARON-VAX/XM Plus for Windows
CHARON-VAX/XK Plus for Windows
CHARON-VAX/XL for Windows
CHARON-VAX/XL Plus for Windows

Version 3.2.64 is now shipping as the production version for all of the above products and all supported customers should upgrade to this release at the first appropriate opportunity. Please read the release notes for the details of the changes applied with this release.

Contact Quayle Consulting for the release notes, the new product and an update for your license key.

The upgrade process is as follows (more detail at the QCI website):

  1. Close down VMS and exit from CHARON
  2. Save all personalized files (configuration files and disk images plus HARON parameters such as .dat and .log files) stored in the CHARON-VAX nstallation area.
  3. Uninstall CHARON-VAX using the “Add or Remove Programs” entry in the Windows Control Panel.
  4. Remove the SRI Packet driver (NDIS 5) from the assigned network adapter(s).
  5. Re-boot the host PC
  6. Only now apply the latest CHARON-VAX license key update.
  7. Install the new CHARON-VAX kit.
  8. Add the SRI Packet driver (NDIS 5) from the new kit to the Network adapters assigned to CHARON.
  9. Re-boot the host PC.
  10. Restore the files saved at step 2
  11. Restart CHARON and boot VMS.