RSTS & PDP-11/34a

From: Kevin Handy <>
Date: Sun May 18 14:25:00 2003

Rick Bensene wrote:

>Hello, all,
>I've been working for about the past three weeks on getting the PDP
>up and running under RSTS/E.

>Unfortunately, I don't have any RSTS documentation other than the HELP
>system, and a few
>tidbits that I've found on the web. Someone needs to scan at least the
>BASIC PLUS manual
>and put it up on the Web for reference.
As others may have told you

but it has documentation for V8 and V9, but not V7.
V7 is quite old, and, as I understand it, anything up to V9.6 may
be used under hobbyest license. Sorry, don't know which is the
best version for a 34, but many improvements were made on the
way to 9.6.

>A few questions for the knowledgable out there:
>1) Are RX floppy devices not file-structured devices under RSTS? I've
>tried using the standalone
>utility DSKINIT program to format one, and it won't regognize DX0:. The
>DX0: device shows up in the HARDWARE list. I can write a BASIC-PLUS
>program that opens DX0: and can write data out to it,
>but it just acts like one 'file', not a file-structured device. Is
>there any way to make the floppy drives under RSTS 7 file-structured
Were there 8 inch floppies really available to PDP11's in the V7 timeframe?
Apparently they are recognized at some level, but I think you needed to use
a program ('fit'?) to do anything with them.

I think you may just need a newer version of RSTS to get more support.

>2) I see references to BASIC-PLUS-2? What are the differences between
>BASIC-PLUS-2? I don't have any bits for BASIC-PLUS-2, but am curious
>about it.
Basic-Plus is an interperture[sp], Basic+2 is a compiler.

Basic+2 also gives you access to RMS data files, and many other
enhancements, like speed and more memory available for your program,
and the ability to use modules ompiled in other languages.

>3) Does anyone know if there was a FOCAL run-time system ever built for
Probably someone did one. Look to the DECUS archives.
Hopefully someone has recovered a atpe.

>4) Can I take RT-11 (V4 or V5.3) .SAV programs and use them under the
>RT-11 runtime system under RSTS/E? an MACRO be used to assemble/link
>programs written for RT-11 to run in the RT11 runtime
>systme under RSTS/E? I suspect not, but am not sure.
Depends on the program. RSTS/E only implements a subset of the RT11
system, but many programs should work.

>5) Is there a version of KERMIT for RSTS/E V7? Anyone know where I can
>get it?
Should be available. Look on

>6) My 11/34a doesn't have the floating point hardware option. I had to
>software-based 16-bit floating point. This certainly slows things down.
>However, I've heard
>that the FP11 significantly slows with the overall operation of the
>11/34a. Would it be worthwhile for me to find and install an FP11, or
Depends on how much floating point you do. Adding floating point
processor should allow you to reduce the size of the monitor/compilers.
(by losing the floating point emulation)

>7) I have a 16-port backpanel for the DZ11. It takes two ribbon cables,
>one cable for each
>of two DZ11's that can connect up to it. I've got the right ribbon
>cable for connecting the
>one DZ11 that I have up to the backpanel to get 8 RS-232 ports. Anyone
>know the pinout for
>the DB-25 EIA connectors on the backpanel? I can probably figure it out
>with a breakout box,
>but it someone has it, all the easier. I'm hoping to hook the 8 ports
>up to a Xylogics Annex
>terminal server, and be able to TELNET to it. That way I can play with
>the machine (which is out in the shop) from my office in the house.
Should be standard RS-232. Shouldn't be anything special about them.
Should only need pins 2,3,7 to get things started to work (assuming the
server can handle Xon/Xoff). Ad more wires as you need additional features.
Received on Sun May 18 2003 - 14:25:00 BST

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