[vcf-midatlantic] VMS question

Jason Howe jason at smbfc.net
Fri Oct 20 13:32:13 EDT 2017

On Fri, 20 Oct 2017, Brian Schenkenberger via vcf-midatlantic wrote:

> william degnan via vcf-midatlantic writes:
> <snip>
>> I am trying to "take over" from where they guy that set this machine up
>> left off  and learn how this particular server was set up and why.  I
>> want to fix, but I also know System administration tends to reflect the
>> personality of the admin, people have reasons for things.  I am making
>> the assumption that given this was a production system there must be
>> some reasons for things.  Eventually I can try to improve.
> Never make assumptions!!!  I have seen more systems in production in my
> career that look like they were managed and or configured by brain-dead
> chimps.  I see people that when told "don't do this" will "do this" and
> then, contact me and want their error corrected.  I tell them "you did
> what I told you not to do" and "don't do it again!"  Guess what?  They
> do it again and again and again.
> <snip>
> Personally, if you really are hell bent on keeping the system as it
> was delivered, I'd suggest you backup all the volumes and then, init
> and start from stratch.  Then, once you know how it all works, you
> can go back and see what a mess the prior system's owner(s) left you.

When I got my DEC 3000 I was determined to keep it intact as well.  The 
best thing that ever happened was that the system disk crashed and I was 
forced to build the system up from scratch. That taught me more about how 
to deal with VMS than the years I spent dinking around with the existing 

I wish I had done what Brian suggests here initially. Drop a different 
system disk in there, install and configure the system, then install and 
configure any interesting piece of software you can get your hands on. 
Then once you have a good handle on some of the arcane VMS paradigms, go 
back and investigate the current setup.  I think I would have gotten more 
out of it personally had I taken that approach.

(I really need to get my VMS box off the shelf and fired up)


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