RT-11/RSX-11/RSTS freeware CD-ROM

From: CLASSICCMP_at_trailing-edge.com <(CLASSICCMP_at_trailing-edge.com)>
Date: Wed Jul 28 11:22:10 1999

Hi -

        Some of you may recognize me - an occasional contributor
to CLASSICCMP - as the maintainer of the PDP-11 freeware archives


In between the RSX-11, RT-11, RSTS/E, and PRO stuff there, there's
well over a gigabyte of PDP-11 freeware available for downloading,
spanning 3 decades of sources. Others on this list have contributed
software to the archives, and I can't thank them enough for their efforts.

        Recently, the idea of distributing a collection of the PDP-11 freeware
on multiple CD-ROM's has come up. (It'd be at least 2 CD-ROM's,
possibly more.) In part, this idea is motivated by the easy
distribution that CD-ROM affords (it sure beats lugging around
a few hundred 9-track reels), and it is also motivated by the fact that
CD-ROM drives are easily connected to Q-bus or Unibus PDP-11's through
a SCSI host adapter. I frequently make PDP-11 filesystem CD-ROM's
for my commercial customers who are converting from old media to
emulator disk images, and freeware tools for PC's (such as
John Wilson's PUTR) allow convenient access to RT-11 filesystems on
CD-ROM's. Of course, it's also possible to burn ISO9660 CD-ROM's
with disk or tape images, and it is in fact I have made "mixed
format" CD-ROM's that have both a ISO9660 directory structure
(for access on a PC-clone or Unix/VMS workstation) and a PDP-11
directory structure (in the higher-numbered partitions of the CD-ROM.)

        My question is: would it be worthwhile for me to package up
the PDP-11 freeware collection on multiple CD's (probably one CD for RT-11,
one CD for RSTS/E, and two CD's for RSX-11 & POS) and distribute them?
Would folks be willing to pay, say, $15 each for duplication and
distribution costs, or is this completely out of line? Of course,
the network-accessible archive at metalab.unc.edu will still be
available for free. While it's clear that CD-ROM is a convenient
distribution medium, it's also clear that most folks on the 'net are
cheapskates and won't pay a dime to get something they could download
for free, so it's not obvious that if I had a batch of CD-ROM's made up
that anyone would ever actually pay a nominal amount for them.

        If anyone has any comments, experiences, suggestions, etc.,
I'm all ears!

 Tim Shoppa                        Email: shoppa_at_trailing-edge.com
 Trailing Edge Technology          WWW:   http://www.trailing-edge.com/
 7328 Bradley Blvd		   Voice: 301-767-5917
 Bethesda, MD, USA 20817           Fax:   301-767-5927
Received on Wed Jul 28 1999 - 11:22:10 BST

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