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

From: Christian Fandt <cfandt_at_netsync.net>
Date: Wed Jul 28 15:15:54 1999

Upon the date 12:22 PM 7/28/99 -0400, CLASSICCMP_at_trailing-edge.com said
something like:
>Hi -
> Some of you may recognize me - an occasional contributor

Who??! ;)

>to CLASSICCMP - as the maintainer of the PDP-11 freeware archives
> http://metalab.unc.edu/pub/academic/computer-science/history/pdp-11/
>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.

Dang it Tim! Some of us really can't thank _you_ enough for your effort at
maintaining the metalab (ex-sunsite) archive!

> 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

SCSI host adaptor?!? Whazzat??!

Seriously, although this is actually the ideal way for many of us to go
with enjoying our Q-bus or/and Unibus PDP-11's (MicroVAXen et al, too), we
cannot easily find such host adaptors nor could justify paying a couple
hundred (or more) for them from the used market. For me, this is a hobby.
To you, and maybe a couple of others here, working with the good old PDP-11
gear is part of your job and needed costs can be passed onto the customer.

>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?

Yes, I feel it would be worthwhile. Someday I will either get a bunch of
extra money that I don't know what to do with and hunt up one or two each
of Q-bus and Unibus SCSI host adaptors and appropriate HD devices or luck
into a rescue like some of you lucky stiffs have already done :) Can't
hold my breath for either though but I'm determined to somehow upgrade my
storage on the several systems I plan to keep, especially my MVII and

Cost per unit for somebody other than an original manufacturer to make up a
new batch of, say, 100 to 200 each Qbus and Unibus host adaptors probably
would still be very high even from an existing design from which rights to
build had been obtained. Of course, an original manufacturer might also do
it for a price. Relatively extreme price, that is.

>Would folks be willing to pay, say, $15 each for duplication and
>distribution costs, or is this completely out of line? Of course,

$15 is fine. You are putting your own effort into setting up for and
burning the proposed CD's and should get what you feel is correct for this

>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

Cheapskates? CHEAPSKATES!!! . . . I resemble that remark!! :-)

>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!

Thanks for the offer of your service.

Regards, Chris
-- --
Christian Fandt, Electronic/Electrical Historian
Jamestown, NY USA cfandt_at_netsync.net
Member of Antique Wireless Association
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Received on Wed Jul 28 1999 - 15:15:54 BST

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