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Reading OpenVMS documentation on Windows

 
DanMB
Occasional Visitor

Reading OpenVMS documentation on Windows

Hi,

I am in possession of an OpenVMS VAX Software Product Library documentation set on CD, circa January 1995. I believe it's VMS 6.1

Is there a way to read the CD's on Windows XP?

I have searched and searched to no avail. All the results lead me nowhere.

Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

- Dan
11 REPLIES 11
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: Reading OpenVMS documentation on Windows

Sure. Boot OpenVMS VAX under SIMH. Load the disk in. Grab either the Bookreader or BNU kit -- whichever was used then -- off the disks, and install it. Off you go.

Otherwise, just use the PDFs from the current web site.

Or load the bits into a (real) OpenVMS VAX or OpenVMS Alpha box (I don't believe that either Bookreader or BNU made it over to Itanium, though it might translate) and read it there.

Or load the bits onto a real box and translate them into a format accessible to Windows. Some stuff was HTML, and some was Bookreader. The later would need one of the freeware tools such as MGBOOK, to unpack it,

Is there a reason you're looking at fourteen-year-old documentation?

DanMB
Occasional Visitor

Re: Reading OpenVMS documentation on Windows

Ummmmm....

I believe the question was, "Is there a way to read the CD's on Windows XP?"

Thanks anyway....
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: Reading OpenVMS documentation on Windows

I know what the question was.

You might well be asking to read the Microsoft help files on OpenVMS VAX.

There's no prepackaged kit to do this directly.

I'll ask two questions back.

1: again, why? What problem(s) are you solving here?

2: how willing are you to patch together a tool chain involving various pieces and parts to achieve this goal?

If you are, dig up one of the ODS-2 readers off the freeware, and then dig up and port over the MGBOOK or such to read the Bookreader files, and see if you can fit the pieces together. (Assuming you can't find an MGBOOK port already.)

Booting OpenVMS VAX under simh running on Windows XP is going to be the easiest approach here; all the bits are there, and it works.

Or you enlist the assistance of a system running OpenVMS, and have the contents of the disk ported over to HTML and PDF and such.

There were a few dual-format disks released for OpenVMS documentation, and there were a few more that were parallel distributions. But those were the OpenVMS docs and not the LP docs. And they're later than V6.1, IIRC.

So, again, why the constraints?

Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor

Re: Reading OpenVMS documentation on Windows

DanMB,

First, welcome to the ITRC OpenVMS Forum!

FWIW, my recollection tracks with Hoff's, I suspect that 1995 (in the Windows world, Win 3.1, with Windows 95 just starting adoption) was earlier than most of the usable applications for reading documents.

Does the disk mount on the Windows system? If it does, it is an ISO-9660 CDROM. If it does not, it is highly likely to be FILES-11, in which case only an OpenVMS system (real or simulated) will be able to read it directly.

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: Reading OpenVMS documentation on Windows

> Is there a way to read the CD's on Windows
> XP?

Reading a CD-ROM should be easy. Reading
Bookreader documents on a CD-ROM will be
harder.
DanMB
Occasional Visitor

Re: Reading OpenVMS documentation on Windows

Bob: the CD shows up in Windows as file type RAW. Definitely not ISO. Probably files-11.

Hoff: Why? Nostalgia. PDP 11/40 in '75, VAX 11/780 in '83. Only Windows since '91. 'nuff said.

I guess the answer to my question is, it's more trouble than it's worth. At least right now. Hoff, I'm a firm believer in KISS.

simh does looks very interesting, though. I'll have to investigate it when I have the time. Thanks for the tip.

Thanks Bob and Hoff....

Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: Reading OpenVMS documentation on Windows

With the free Hobbyist licenses and a US$30 OpenVMS VAX hobbyist kit and an emulator such as simh, you can get seriously nostalgic.

I've been working with simh on Mac OS X, and it's (to my mind) easy to set up for this and for similar cases, and I've posted directions for the full sequence. The simh folks have pre-built binaries available for Microsoft Windows (no simh build is required), and there are directions and FAQs around for configuring that.

To see if it's an ODS-2 disk, either haul it over to OpenVMS and MOUNT it. With Mac OS X or Unix, you'd use probably use hexdump or (on a file image copied from the CD via dd) strings. I expect there's a Windows dump tool around.

Phil.Howell
Honored Contributor

Re: Reading OpenVMS documentation on Windows

Kumar_Sanjay
Regular Advisor

Re: Reading OpenVMS documentation on Windows

Thanks, sysworks is good website, you will most of VMS and Layer Products doc available.
Wim Van den Wyngaert
Honored Contributor

Re: Reading OpenVMS documentation on Windows

I used WASD HTTP server to convert VMS 6.2 bookreader to html (at run time). Thus I could browse the doc based upon the address of the VMS server running WASD.

And I still use for 7.3.

Wim
Wim
Keith Cayemberg
Trusted Contributor

Re: Reading OpenVMS documentation on Windows


Hi Dan,

Compaq had a beta-version of BNU Reader for the PC (ODL PC Reader Software). This was included in a 2 CD OpenVMS Documentation set for the PC. A complete re-install update of the reader was provided on-line. I have found this page in the Internet Archive here...

http://web.archive.org/web/20040604090211/h71000.www7.hp.com/odl/index.html

I was also able to download and install the ODL PC Reader today from the Internet Archive, although the Zip self-extraction did not work for me. I had to open the zip archive with WinZip, extract to a subdirectory, and then run the set-up from there. The software is expecting the documentation to be found on the 2 original CDs it came with. However, you can reassign which device and directory the doc collections part 1 and 2 are to be found. This allowed copying the 2 CDs to your hard drive using a specially provided Copy Utility.

I have no idea whether this software can also be used to access the standard Bookreader Files of the standard OpenVMS ODL of the era. But it appears the application was an attempt to make OpenVMS Docs available to Windows NT PCs without having to translate the Bookreader Docs to HTML.

Yes, I do have the original 2 CDs that were used by the ODL PC Reader somewhere in storage. I have no idea at the moment which version of the OpenVMS Doc set was on the CDs, although I believe it was maybe v7.1 or v7.2.

Cheers!

Keith

Keith Cayemberg
Consultant
Wipro Technologies