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Re: New Vax - future directions :-)

On 2021-07-07 01:54, Paul Koning wrote:

On Jul 6, 2021, at 5:55 PM, Alexander Schreiber <als%thangorodrim.ch@localhost> wrote:

...Come to think of it, there are even people who earn a living, or part of one,
from PDP-11 systems.

IIRC a lot of those are often deep inside industrial systems - you don't
throw away millions of $ of perfectly serviceable industrial hardware
because the control system doesn't run the newest OS. In fact, _not_
running the newest, shiniest, cloud-connected OS on your industrial
control plane is probably a plus wrt to operational stability these days.

And its close relative, system security.  You don't have to worry much about Putin's cronies if you're running RSX or RSTS/E.

About 25 years ago, I did have Magica (11/70 running RSX, and on the Internet) crash once. The fun part of the story was that I got a mail with an apology from a russian guy who told me that he had been responsible for causing the crash.

He knew RSX from the old Soviet days, and the Soviet copying of hardware and software. Back then, he had found a bug in the Soviet version of RSX, and he was curious if that same bug existed in the official DEC version, and if it was still around.

So he tested on Magica, and yes, it was. And so Magica had crashed. He apologized profusely for causing that crash, and told me all the details.

I reported it on to Mentec, and the last RSX release did contain a fix for that bug. I thanked him a lot. :-)

I'm always amazed when I hear people complaining about the "security issues" of old mainframe systems that "urgently need to be replaced by modern systems".   You don't find viruses in OS/360, but they are a dime a dozen in the most popular modern OS, and new holes are created daily by hordes of modern sloppy programmers.

Yeah. As some people might know, I do keep a couple of RSX systems online and very open on the Internet, and they are indeed getting probed and attacked every minute, but I haven't had a single issue in many years now. Hard to find anything safer. :-) (Not that there aren't the occasional security hole, but they are few and far between, and the modern cracker are totally clueless about the system, so he will never find them.)


Johnny Billquist                  || "I'm on a bus
                                  ||  on a psychedelic trip
email: bqt%softjar.se@localhost             ||  Reading murder books
pdp is alive!                     ||  tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol

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