VAX revival

I am into Retrocomputing. Recently I took an interest in searching for available GNU/Linux distribution for VAX systems. VAX was an instruction set architecture (ISA) developed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in the mid-1970s. A 32-bit complex instruction set computer (CISC) ISA, it was designed to extend or replace DEC’s various Programmed Data Processor (PDP) ISAs. The VAX name was also used by DEC for a family of computersystems based on this processor architecture. The “native” VAX operating system is DEC’s VAX/VMS (renamed to OpenVMS in 1991 or 1992 when it was ported to Alpha, “branded” by the X/Open consortium, and modified to comply with POSIX standards[3]). The VAX architecture and VMS operating system were “engineered concurrently” to take maximum advantage of each other, as was the initial implementation of the VAXcluster facility. Other VAX operating systems have included various releases of BSD UNIX up to 4.3BSD, Ultrix-32, VAXELN and Xinu. More recently, NetBSD and OpenBSD support various VAX models and some work has been done on porting GNU/Linux to the VAX architecture. While Open/NetBSD have a pretty mature VAX port, the GNU/Linux port for it was already made back in 1999 and it provided the basic toolset to boot up some systems. According to the Linux-Vax website, the project seemed to have stalled at around 2005, but I was able to contact the original developers which expressed the wish to continue with the port, trying to make it usefull to boot with recent 3.x kernels. I own the VAX 4000/200 server which is still loaded with the original VMS system and was once used at Slovenijales (The big company in Yugoslavia which exported/imported furniture) but I am looking forward to update it to use GNU/Linux. If you happen to be a VAX enthusiast (very unlikely) you are most welcome to contribute to our revival, we will have a public WIKI, Mailing list and GIT/CVS access. Follow my VAX related website for any updates.

May 4th, International Day Against DRM

International Day Against DRM –  While DRM has largely been defeated in downloaded music, it is a growing problem in the area of ebooks, where people have had their books restricted so they can’t freely loan, re-sell or donate them, read them without being tracked, or move them to a new device without re-purchasing all of them. They’ve even had their ebooks deleted by companies without their permission. It continues to be a major issue in the area of movies and video too. You can help raising awareness of free software within your social networks.