Download CD images for RSX-11 and RT-11 Freeware CDs from TimShoppa

From: Jerome H. Fine <>
Date: Tue Apr 16 14:57:16 2002

>"Douglas H. Quebbeman" wrote:

> > Jerome Fine replies:
> > Seriously, I don't want to have to maintain my own internet system
> > since I am much more interested in RT-11. Also, since Ersatz-11
> > runs under DOS/W95/W98, the W98 (Yeck) environment has become
> > a default last resort.
> Are/were you an Ersatz-11 beta tester, or are you rich? I thought
> it cost US$3K.

Jerome Fine replies:

There is a hobby version of Ersatz-11 which can be downloaded
for free:
You will want to download at least /e11/ and /putr/ followed by
those portions that you want to initially focus on.

Even the hobby version of Ersatz-11 is able to run all versions of
RT-11, but a license is required to legally do so. On the other hand,
SIMH is available and there is a hobby license from Mentec which
allows the 1985 V5.03 of RT-11 to be legally run by a hobby user.

The hobby license from Mentec which allows the 1985 V5.03 of RT-11
to run just under the SIMH emulator might be compared with the hobby
program from Compaq which allows hobby use of current versions of
VMS. It is my understanding that Mentec MIGHT have been considering
allowing a hobby license for the 1992 V5.06 of RT-11 with all hardware
and emulators, but that seems to have been dropped. From all indications
(I sent a request to Mentec recently in respect of support and have not
even received a reply, let alone a YES answer), Mentec has also dropped
support for V5.07 of RT-11 since there are many bugs in both the
operating system and the utilities which require fixing. Thus far, only
one bug has been made available, as far as I can tell from the web site
at Mentec:
As far as I am concerned, dropping support for V5.07 of RT-11 (even
Mentec states there is NO support for any prior versions) is not only
expected but entirely justified when the revenue stream from RT-11 is
as low as I assume it is at the moment - which means that RT-11 probably
is already running at a loss - and we know what almost all companies do
when their software runs at a loss.

The commercial version does cost $ US 2999 for DOS/W95/W98/NT.
However, when running the RT-11 operating system, there are sufficient
resources (about 300 KBytes of emulated PDP-11 memory) and hard
disk devices (up to 32 MBytes) to be sufficient for almost all applications.
So while I admit that having the commercial version is extremely convenient,
the extra features (all 4 MBytes of memory and unlimited hard disk devices)
only make things easier to do and test.

In particular, I am allowed to use a raw SCSI hard disk drive by:
where "5" is the SCSI ID of the SCSI hard drive. This allows me to
use the same SCSI hard disk drive with both Ersatz-11 and on
a real PDP-11 system.

I am in the process of making up a Current Bug List for RT-11. It
would be appreciated if any known bugs for either V5.03 or V5.07
could be detailed. If I am able to fix the bug, I will place a patch
for HOBBY users of V5.03 of RT-11 on the classiccmp web site at:
I will also produce patches for V5.06 and V5.07 of RT-11, but
until these distributions are made available to hobby users, there
will be only limited licensed distribution available of these bug fixes
for hobby users.

Note that in general, I see no demand for bug fixes for RT-11 in
any case. When I offered to sell commercial users a set of Y2K
patches for RT-11 at a prices which was much less than what Mentec
charges, no one wanted to buy them after Mentec released V5.07
in November of 1998.

Finally, any reader who actually reads this far will also note the lack
of any comment on what I have stated above. This is the situation
and it is why I realize that RT-11 is almost forgotten except for the
few individuals who still like to run RT-11 on their real PDP-11
hardware just for fun - but in almost every case are not interested
in any software bugs in RT-11 itself.

Sincerely yours,

Jerome Fine
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Received on Tue Apr 16 2002 - 14:57:16 BST

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