Got a DEC 2000 Alpha server, need help

From: Antonio Carlini <>
Date: Wed Feb 11 12:13:20 2004

> I would asssume that it would be illegal if caught, but would
> it run. I
> know the latest versions of vms need a valid cluster, vms and decnet
> license to run. What version did this start at, or did all versions
> require a license before starting.

Before the LMF came in (V5.0 for VMS, I forget what version
of Ultrix it started with), the OS would install and run
but not allow logins from anywhere other than the console
until you installed a licence key tape. This was a kit
that just patched LOGINOUT.EXE to change the maximum number
of users that would be allowed in. A similar kit changed
DECnet functionality from (IIRC) no external connections,
through "end node" to "full routing node". I don't think
there was anything to stop you handing the kit over to
someone else who could then reuse it (other than prison,
of course).

Remember that in those days trhe smallest machine was a
VAX-11/725 and a VAX-11/750 was a more practical minimum
size. By the time you'd paid for the hardware (and the
air-conditioned room and the 50MB winchesters etc.)
you were unlikely to run risk your business and/or
University department to save a little added cost.

I think the LMF stuff came about for a few reasons
that all coincided. The MicroVAX stuff meant smaller
departments would begin to buy machines and they would
be quite likely to be stuffed into a corner and not
managed much (if at all). The advent of the CDROM
for distribution meant that there was a need to
find a way to stop someone "accidentally" installing
everything under the Sun and then claiming that
they'd forgotten it was there and noone ever used
it anyway. As a security mechanism, LMF is pretty
poor. As a way of forcing you to go out of your
way to break the law in a way that it is hard to
later acknowledge your actions, it is pretty good!

Antonio Carlini   
Received on Wed Feb 11 2004 - 12:13:20 GMT

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