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One-time VMS use

TC11
Occasional Contributor

One-time VMS use

I'll start by admitting I have never used VMS or touched a VAX. Recently, my boss gave me some archives of compressed data along with a custom extraction program written many years ago for VMS and told to extract the files from the archives. We no longer have any VAX systems, so an emulator is needed. This will be a one-time deal, where I extract maybe 20 archives. I'd like to avoid shelling out big bucks (but I will if need be) for a simple one-time commercial use, so I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction to accomplish this.
10 REPLIES
abrsvc
Respected Contributor

Re: One-time VMS use

This is a tricky one as many of us here provide such services. Can you indicate a location for this work? Are you talking about getting data from a flat file? indexed file? backups?

More info is required here to point you in the right direction.

Thanks,
Dan
Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor

Re: One-time VMS use

TC11,

Welcome to the HP ITRC OpenVMS Forum.

As Dan has mentioned, there are many potential variables in this problem description.

An emulator may or may not be the correct way to deal with this (and there is the question of reading the [unspecified] media from within the emulator.

It may be more effective to find someone with the right hardware and make arrangements to process the data.

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
[One of those who does provide services in this area on a commercial basis]
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: One-time VMS use

> [...] some archives [...]

Not a very detailed description of anything,
physical or logical.

> [...] custom extraction program [...]

Not much meat on that bone, either.

Forming an action plan can be easier if one
has some actual information.
Bob Blunt
Respected Contributor

Re: One-time VMS use

TC11, in all honesty you're really going to be better off trying to find someone that has hardware similar to what you need to get the data. The licensing will be the "same" for an emulated system or a "real" VAX, if you even require a VAX. If you're dealing with BACKUP tapes or savesets then the platform isn't absolutely a 100% requirement that it be a VAX. I've got some VAX tapes that have been successfully recovered on Alpha and, unless the tape hardware didn't work, it would also recover on Itanium.

So, let's talk about this in terms of what you've got in hand. Is your data on tape? What type tape? If not on tape then on what? Disk? What type? Then, what is the compressed data type? I've used several variations over the years from tools from DECUS (some were derivitives of some obscure Unix compression tool). If you want to discuss the project further, offline so to speak,

Assembling the right hardware could be a difficult task and, as mentioned before, licensing for real use would be costly and would not vary based on hardware or emulation.

bob
TC11
Occasional Contributor

Re: One-time VMS use

What I have is a program, EXTRACT.EXE, which I'm told is a custom extraction program, written in C, that was used to extract archives in VMS. I also have many files with names like ESD-Q2_F1_SG_FPROD.COP800C_$DLZ, which I'm told are archives containing several files. These are not on tape, just files that were emailed to me.

abrsvc
Respected Contributor

Re: One-time VMS use

The same issue arises. Hopefully I won't be breaking any rules here, but let me provide the folowing:

I own both VAX and Alpha machines running many versions of OpenVMS. Connected to these are many types of tapedrives. You state that you have both the program and files. Many of us here have similar setups and provide the conversion services that you require to gain access to the files within the archives. What is missing here is where you are located and whether or not you are willing to pay to have these files extracted. While you MAY be able to construct either a hardware or emulation system to accomplish this, you will still need a license for the operating system. A hobbiest license won't work as you are contractually restricted from using it in a commercial way. A conversion as you describe (for your business) is a commercial use of the software and therefore must use a standard license.

Please Email one of us contact informatio so we can assist further as this is not likely to be resolved within the context of assistance here in the forum.

Thanks,
Dan
Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor

Re: One-time VMS use

TC11,

I more or less agree with Dan.

I too have a number of systems, including several with standard commercial licenses.

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
Bob Blunt
Respected Contributor

Re: One-time VMS use

TC11 I don't recognize the filenames or format you've listed and I thought I knew and had used most of the oddball de/compression tools that circulated publicly. My suspicion is that your solution may be an in-house custom job that would be required by anyone restoring your data.

Still have the resources...

bob
Hein van den Heuvel
Honored Contributor

Re: One-time VMS use


>> I'll start by admitting I have never used VMS or touched a VAX.

You are not alone.
But it's not too late :-)

Also most of the VMS users never touched a VAX :-), and good portion, never used VMS on a VAX.
These days most are using Alpha's or Itanium's.

Do you have access to an Alpha running OpenVMS, emulated or otherwise?

>> What I have is a program, EXTRACT.EXE, which I'm told is a custom extraction program, written in C, that was used to extract archives in VMS.

Be sure to find out whether the term VAX was used casually to refer to a machine capable of running VMS or truly and specifically refers to a VAX architecture piece of hardware.

You might want to provide a hex dump of the first 2 blocks or so ( 1024 bytes ) of that EXTRACT.EXE in a TEXT file as an attachment in a reply here. Some reader will be able to confirm whether this is VAX or Alpha.

If it was a VAX image, then you might be able to VEST it and run on an (emulated) Alpha.

google: "VAX Environment Software Translator (VEST) is a DECmigrate utility that converts an OpenVMS VAX executable or shareable image into a translated image for an OpenVMS Alpha system. If DECmigrate is installed on your system, you can use it to translate OpenVMS VAX images."



>> I also have many files with names like ESD-Q2_F1_SG_FPROD.COP800C_$DLZ, which I'm told are archives containing several files.

Doesn't ring a bell, like SAV, BCK or ZIP might.

>> These are not on tape, just files that were emailed to me.

Best hope they were transferred in binary mode all along.

Stretching that DUMP thought, you might want to peak at those data files. Perhaps there is an easy pattern to spot, notably if the data happens to be straight columnar text. The you can just spin your own extract variant. If compression, crc parity protection, and/or binary (floating point?) values are in play then that becomes unlikely.

As indicated before, there is a good few participants in this forum who will gladly help you... for a fee.

hth,
Hein
Joseph Huber_1
Honored Contributor

Re: One-time VMS use


ESD-Q2_F1_SG_FPROD.COP800C_$DLZ

the ending _$DLZ may come from some name conversion in file transfers, and the original
VMS name ends in "_LZ":
if the file can't be uncompressed with gunzip or unix compress, then most probably was created with the old VMS LZCOMP program, and can be decompressed by LZDCMP.EXE.
The LZ* program source is available on various VMS SIG "tapes" e.g. on http://www.decuslib.com/DECUS/07avmslt/tools/lzw5/
.


http://www.mpp.mpg.de/~huber