[vcf-midatlantic] Found: VMS Hobbyist CDs

David Riley fraveydank at gmail.com
Mon Jun 5 09:48:31 EDT 2017

On Jun 4, 2017, at 8:23 AM, Brian Schenkenberger via vcf-midatlantic <vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:
> Just to be pedantic, the VMS distribution kit CDs are not ISO-9660!  One
> can make an image of the CD's contents -- call it an ISO if it makes you
> feel better -- but its contents are not ISO-9660.  This image can then be
> burned to recordable CD media by an appropriate burner but then, they'll
> only be useable on VMS.  Also note that some of the older hardware many
> of you may be playing with will have early generation CD-rom drives that
> may be onerous when trying to read newecordable CD media.

Also of note: if you're running a generic SCSI CD-ROM drive, VAXen in particular can be really picky about the drive model.  I had a Pioneer CD drive that I could force to 512 sectors, but it would hang midway through the installation because something was slightly nonstandard about its SCSI implementation. Plextor drives are usually a pretty good bet; I got one for about $20 off eBay and it worked just fine with my MicroVAX III+ and CMD CQD-220 combo.

On the other hand, if you're able to do a MOP boot, you may have better luck schlepping the disk image to another VMS machine (even one running under SIMH) and doing a networked install.  It was the only way I could get it installed on my uVax 3100, which didn't like any of my CD drives at all.  The procedure for doing this is left to the user and isn't always the easiest thing to do depending on your host machine and DECNet/InfoServer combo.

- Dave

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