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Re: fc2 or not, that is the question...



At 02:24 PM 5/17/04 -0700, Joel Jaeggli wrote:

>the vax was born into the marketplace in oct 1977 which makes it a little
>younger than you, and the denizens of vax land (or is that decus) will
>come out of the woodwork to defend it until we turn the last one off. but
>the poster prior to you missed my point.

No, I got your point just fine.  I just disagree with it based on what I
know about the subject.

>people still run openvms because they fear change.

No.  Nobody in business (for long) works that way.  People still run VMS
for a number of reasons.  Among them are: cost effective for their needs,
legacy software that only runs there and which can't be ported for whatever
reason, hardware that works only in VAX systems (Q-Bus interfaces for
instance),  combination hardware/software systems that only work with VAX
and OpenVMS (like the systems that read and decode data from the analog
recorders used to grab Landsat data from the downlink signals), security is
critical to them (banks, hospitals, stock brokers, etc.), ease of
development of new software, certification requirements (I know of one VAX
that's part of a CAT scanner...change the CPU or OS and you have to
recertify the entire machine for medical use on humans...very expensive and
time-consuming).  

I know of places with each of these reasons for staying with OpenVMS on
either VAX or AXP, or (usually) both.  Many are actively upgrading AXP
systems today, and are considering, or have already decided on, upgrading
to Itanium when it's available generally, so they aren't just waiting for
the OpenVMS systems to die off.  REAL clustering, remote management, a
large base of existing software, SMP, hot-swappable parts (including CPUs,
memory and I/O boards...without rebooting, or even interrupting processing)
are other attractive aspects of OpenVMS.  Oh, and scalability that can take
you from a cheap desktop system for one to a powerful mainframe for
hundreds, without having to change your software at all (other than,
perhaps, licensing arrangements), is very attractive to business (it's one
of the places Windows falls flat...it can't scale at all like that).

Just because the average home user can't handle OpenVMS and doesn't have a
need for it anyway doesn't mean that there aren't users who can handle it
and do need it.  Its market segment is smaller than it used to be, but the
remaining users are very tenacious because it's a great solution for them.
It won't be going away any time soon (unless HP want's to lose the ability
to sell to the Federal Government...there are promises that were made about
how long it would be supported for...).

>yes development still occurs and there are still
>applications, it's not something that goes through upheavel and change,
>it's slowly osifying and dying and has been since the tipping point in
>about 86. I've done some time on datapoint, data general, and a couple hp 
>platforms that are no longer with us so I think I have passable idea for 
>what the point of no return looks like.

Is it ever going to be the standard system for almost all mini-computer
level work again?  Not likely.  Is it going to evaporate and blow away in
the next 15 years?  Not likely either.  It's been "dying" longer than
Windows has existed...and I expect it will still be dying when people are
looking at Windows the way they do DOS today (VMS was around before MS-DOS
too...).  There are some market segments that aren't served by anything
else.  Not everyone needs it, but where they do, it's still very active. 


"The national budget must be balanced.  The public debt must be reduced;
the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled.
Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't want
to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on
public assistance."

                             -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 B.C.




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