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OpenVMS, it isn't as dead as you may think


As much as HP would like it to go away, OpenVMS still has a strong foothold in many niche computing sectors.  While my background is mainly in Unix and Windows, I've had a chance to dabble a bit in OpenVMS over the years.  It wasn't really my cup of tea, but it is pretty amazing what kind of longevity and stability some of these systems have.  I'm aware of two or three examples signal processing code written on the VAX back in the eary 80's that is still running on a daily basis.  While the hardware starts to fade and crumble, virtualization and processor emulation might have the same programs running for the next 50 years on virtualized platforms.  For the kids out there that want to try their hand at OpenVMS, Vistech runs what they call the "Deathrow" cluster of OpenVMS systems available over the internet.  They are nice enough to provide SSH access to several machines, where you can mess around to your heart's content, as long as you are not malicious.  If you have a lot of time on your hands and are bored with messing with Linux and BSD, give OpenVMS a try.  It is one of those things like COBOL, which everyone says is dead, but people still are making money off consulting! 


Oh, and the deathrow thing, I assume that refers to the various cancellations and end of life announcements over the years and not to music produced by Suge Knight, but I've been known to be wrong...


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