Egregious VMS newbie questions

From: Andreas Freiherr <>
Date: Sun Jan 11 14:45:29 2004


Your Ethernet question has already been answered. Besides the solution
suggested by Sellam, there are "media converters" designed specifically
for this purpose. DEC used to deliver Allied Telesyn models with early
Alphas that had a native Cat.5 interface only, but needed to be matched
to the then-common thinwire networks.

For the software question, I do have a grey wall, but only one, and you
wouldn't want to break my heart by taking this away, would you?

The startup procedure is in one of the directories referred to by the
logical name SYS$MANAGER (since you don't run a cluster, you needn't be
concerned about which of them), so you can get your hands at it using

If your system wasn't stripped down too far after installation, you may
also have the original template of the file - SYSTARTUP_VMS.TEMPLATE -
in the same directory.

(A file type of .COM means a DCL command procedure on VMS, so it
contains readable text like a .BAT file or a shell script - it is not a
binary file like a DOS .COM.)

Less frequently used and even among system administrators somewhat less
known is the startup database, managed with the SYSMAN utility. If this
is what you are looking for, try


to see the "components" (scripts or binary programs) to be executed upon
startup. On most systems I have seen, however, this list was empty. If
there are files, the SHOW FILES command can show more detail if you add
the /FULL option. To see what there is besides the STARTUP command
level, try HELP inside SYSMAN, too.

If you want to see how the system itself is initialized, specify STARTUP
SET DATABASE STARTUP$STARTUP_VMS instead of the above. One of the files
None of these files is ever changed by any system administrator - these
files "belong" to DEC - xxx - COMPAQ - xxxxxx - HP.

All components listed in the startup database must be located in the
SYS$STARTUP directories (again: no cluster, don't worry about which

The "too few servers" message is typical for DECnet/OSI: this message is
issued when the system wants more time servers (at least three per LAN)
to synchronize clocks. Yes, it *can* be annoying, but with a single node
configuration, it's harmless. As a quick workaround, try REPLY/DISABLE
to turn all operator communication (OPCOM) messages off.

If you are looking for VMS documentation, try to search German ebay for
articles offered by "mandirali". He recently had several documents to
sell, and I bought a pile of books from him (not the ones offered at
ebay). Other than as a happy customer, I am not connected... yada yada

Besides that, if you have more questions, let me know.


John Lawson schrieb:
> Thanks to Mr. Finnegan - I have a nice VAXstation 3100 Mod 38 running
> Hobbyist VMS V7.2 - sitting here whirring away. As I observed to him -
> it's interesting to have a DEC machine in my collection that weighs *less*
> than I do.
> So now my untutored Quesions am:
> Can this be done:
> VAXstation --> Ethernet -->[???]<-- Ethernet <-- cablemodem <-- the Net.
> What adapts Thin Ethernet coax to Cat5?
> More specifically to download/install freeBSD perhaps...
> And, furthermore: MY VMS experience was sketchy at best, mostly
> desultory playing with a uVAX II that Hans now has - and I have no doc at
> all right now.
> What is the system called that VMS uses to chain all the DCL commands to
> auto-execute at startup? I wanna edit a lot of them out - especially
> right now it's looking for a cluster it can't find, and periodically
> (every 15 mins) complains of "too few servers".
> Thirdly/finally: Anyone got a VMS Grey Wall they'd like to unload cheap?
> I'll pay for the books, packing and shipping to zip 89706 (Carson City,
> NV).
> Cheers!
> John
Received on Sun Jan 11 2004 - 14:45:29 GMT

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