Mentec Hobbyist plans?

From: Jerome H. Fine <>
Date: Sun Jan 12 17:26:28 2003

>Bill Bradford wrote:

> Anybody know if Mentec ( has just
> dropped their hobbyist licensing/cdrom plans?
> Bill
> bill bradford
> austin, texas

Jerome Fine replies:

Form your own opinion!

Please correct any information which is wrong!

NOTE: I plan to release a Y2K/Y10K V5.03 of RT-11. I have
started on the design and will very shortly post the details. I am
looking for a web site to host the files. Can anyone help?


While the following dates apply mostly to RT-11, the dates
for the versions of RSX-11 and RSTS/E which are allowed
are probably similar.

(a) Probable date of the current Mentec hobby license:
       (i) Earliest date is probably 1994 when Mentec first
           became involved with PDP-11 software
       (ii) Latest date is probably 1997 since the hobby license
             was already known about (as far as I know)
       (iii) Actual date was probably 1995 or 1996

(b) Current version of RT-11 allowed under the hobby license is
       V5.03 released in 1985

(c) V5.06 of RT-11 was released in August 1992 - after that
      DEC disbanded the RT-11 development team and RT-11
      was frozen as far as DEC was concerned

(d) A number of individuals produced Y2K bugs fixes for various
      versions of RT-11, but none for the hobby users (I know since
      I was one of then - produced them for V5.04G)

(e) V5.07 of RT-11 was released in November 1998 - the Y2K
       bugs were fixed along with a few other bugs - NO enhancements
       at all (as far as I know EXCEPT perhaps the ether net code
       which might not have been working correctly - bug fix as well)

(f) Mentec no longer fixes any of the bugs in RT-11, let alone
      makes any additional enhancements (if Mentec attempts to
      deny that, I have a number of bugs for them to fix - a few
      of the bugs crash RT-11 and some of the bugs have been
      there for decades)

As far as I know, it seems likely that DEC/Compaq/HP still own
the copyright to the DOC set for RT-11. For V5.07, the DOC
set is identical to the DOC set for V5.06 EXCEPT that there
is a manual of Release Notes for V5.07 that is about all the
changes from V5.06 to V5.07 of RT-11. Obviously I may
be wrong about the copyright ownership of the DOC set.

I don't know anything about the DOC sets for RSX-11 and RSTS/E.

On June 6th, 2002, I first saw a web page from Mentec for the
hobby license program which was under construction - it is
NO longer there.

While RSX-11 may still produce net revenue for Mentec, RSTS/E
is unlikely to do more than break even. I can't see that Mentec is
selling sufficient RT-11 licenses at this point to make a profit from
such sales.


VMS licenses are available through Compaq/HP for the most
recent versions of VMS that run on Alpha..

HP is still making many millions of dollars from selling VMS
licenses to commercial users and VMS is still under active


Sincerely yours,

Jerome Fine
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Received on Sun Jan 12 2003 - 17:26:28 GMT

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