RT-11 / PDP-11 Software Users

From: Jerome H. Fine <jhfinexgs2_at_compsys.to>
Date: Mon Aug 2 08:12:08 2004

The reason the subject is for "Software Users" is that ""Hardware Users"
will probably want to use ONLY standard DEC distributions of RT-11
which sufficiently exercise the real PDP-11 hardware. The goal of this
post is to reach and elicit comments from all of those hobby RT-11
Users who want the bugs fixed and / or want some enhancements.

I suppose that it might even be possible that there are some commercial
RT-11 users who might be interested, but at this point I am not aware
of any and doubt very much that any commercial RT-11 users would be
sufficiently interested. BUT, if you are still there, it might still be possible
to accommodate the commercial side.

The ISO file for a CD with 13 RT-11 distributions is available for download at:
The file is: RT11DV10.ISO.zip
The CD contains 13 RT-11 distributions from V01-15 up to V05.03 under
both the ISO9660 file structure along with 4 RT-11 directories for the
4 RT-11 partitions on the CD. A rather unique aspect of the CD is that
none of the files in the ISO9660 file structure are duplicated. The RT-11
directory entries point to the same location on the CD for the same
file in each case. In addition, if SIMH is able to ATTACH the CD as
as single file, then it will be possible to actually BOOT the CD under
RT-11. Otherwise, just BOOT the container file RT11DV10.ISO, after
it is copied to the hard drive (UnZipped actually), under RT-11 as in:
It is STRONGLY recommended that NO changes of any kind be
made to the ISO file under RT-11, even by experienced RT-11 users.
The reasons are explained in the 2 README files.

NOTE that all of the images for the RK05 and RL02 media have been
truncated - all of the contiguous blocks with zeros at the end of the
file image have been removed. The primary reason was so that more
of these file images would fit on each RT-11 partition. Specifically,
since all RL02 file images are 20,450 blocks, ONLY 3 would fit on
each RT-11 partition. In addition, even if the full image of 20,450
blocks were present, it would still not be possible to use each file as
a correct file image in all situations under SIMH since the system
area needed for the INITIALIZE command under RT-11 would
NOT be present. IF the RT-11 user wishes to copy the truncated
file image to a "fully functional" RL02 container file to be used under
SIMH, then copy the file ZEROSDL.DSK at the end of the CD as in:
simh>ATTACH RL0: D:RTV5RL.03
simh>SET RL0: LOCK
simh>ATTACH RL1: C:RT11V5.03
simh>BOOT RL0:

NOTE that the file ZEROSDL.DSK was created by using PUTR to:
A big thank you to John Wilson at: http://ww.dbit.com/pub/putr/

For those RT-11 users who have a legal license to run RT-11 under
E11, there are two alternatives. If the user has a DVD drive or CDROM
drive which allows the first 64 blocks (16 CD sectors) to be read under
E11, the it is possible to MOUNT the complete CD as an image as in:
Of course, it is also possible use the actual ISO image file of the CD as in:
OR, if the files are on a CD and the user prefers:

Depending on the option that the user prefers, the complete text would be:
E11>MOUNT DL1: C:RT11V5.03

If anyone requires any help in using V1-0 of the CD, please ask!!!!!!!!

I am an RT-11 software addict. I don't know why, but maybe a partial
answer is because I have OCB (Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour). In
any case, I have used RT-11 off and on for almost 30 years (mostly ON)
since I started with V02 of RT-11. I can't remember a single year, since,
when I did not use RT-11 some of the time and some years I probably
spent more than 4000 hours designing, writing and debugging RT-11
software. I am presently in the midst of fixing bugs and making some
of the enhancements mentioned below.

This point is to ask if there are any RT-11 users, either active or inactive,
who want to see any of the RT-11 bugs fixed along with enhancements
added. While I believe that these news groups are the best means of
making contact, perhaps others exist as well. PLEASE mention any
other method of contacting RT-11 users. INDEED, PLEASE forward
this message to them if you know of any other RT-11 users who may
still be interested.


(a) Bugs! There are a (large??) number of bugs, some of which are
able to crash RT-11. Identifying them (probably the biggest part of the
problem) as well as fixing them will be a large part of the effort.

(b) Enhancements are also very important. Just a few are:
- A Path Handler
- Enhancements to the MSCP device driver
- Enhancements to the SL: (Single Line Editor)
- Y2K for older versions followed by Y9K
- Enhancements to the BINCOM program
- Enhancements to the VBGEXE program
- Allow use of SET commands with ANY file
- Increase the precision of the TIME command to 1 tick followed by 1 msec
- Being able to BOOT an LD: file

While I am aware of a VERY small number of RT-11 users, the
more that are still interested, the more ideas that can be generated.
Please reply, either by private e-mail (first fix my munged e-mail
address since the original e-mail address is no longer active) or
else send a post and I will reply privately if so requested.

I am also sending this post to classiccmp.org, so if you are a member
of that list, you can reply either to that list or directly to me in a private
manner if you so choose.

Sincerely yours,

Jerome Fine
If you attempted to send a reply and the original e-mail
address has been discontinued due a high volume of junk
e-mail, then the semi-permanent e-mail address can be
obtained by replacing the four characters preceding the
'at' with the four digits of the current year.
Received on Mon Aug 02 2004 - 08:12:08 BST

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