Fact, Friction, Faff and Folderol …

MOVPSL — I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore!

Having just completed the latest round of new features for the TMESIS DCL Debugger, it was time to build and test the code on all three OpenVMS Architectures — VAX, Alpha and Itanium. The development of the project had been seeded on the Alpha; thus, that's where it has remained to this day. When a new feature or bug fix has been vetted on the Alpha, the code is then built and checked on OpenVMS VAX and OpenVMS Itanium. Everything newly added was working fine on all three platforms, so it was time to run through some of the regression tests. What this uncovered surprized me. The EDIT functions, which had nothing to do with the newly added functionality, were failing on the Itanium. Never underestimate the need to perform regression testing! (read all 2234 words.)

Apocalypse 32767

It's here! Today is the much anticipated and much over-hyped Mayan Apocalypse. Thus far — and this day is nearly complete — today's prognostications have turned out to be more apocryphal than apocalyptic. However, for one of my clients, today was not so uneventful. They had experienced an apocalypse that was not manifest in the numerology of the ancient Mayan calendar; their apocalypse was rooted in the stored binary numerics of the OpenVMS file system. Yes, they hit the OpenVMS file version number limit. (read all 1221 words.)

A queue't little bug in Itanium's INSQTI!

Recently, while making some changes to the Attunity RMS CDC code, I experienced a system crash when testing the edits on Itanium. The Attunity RMS CDC code, as much as is conceivably possible, is common source code for all of the supported OpenVMS architectural variants; thus, I was rather puzzled that these new edits would cause a bugcheck and crash on Itanium, but not on Alpha. Perusing the crash dump, it turned out that the bugcheck was precipitated by a ROPRAND fault on the Itanium's equivalent of the VAX INSQTI instruction. In the system dump analyzer, I examined the address in Itanium register R32 which should be the queue header. Verified! It was properly quadword aligned. I then examined the address in Itanium register R33 which should be the entry address. It too was quadword aligned. Why then should it be evoking a ROPRAND fault? (read all 2228 words.)

No Network ≠ No Net Work

Recently, I worked a gig at a site that replaced its cluster's Alpha systems with new Integrity systems — all, save for one lowly DS10L. This was a three node cluster and the DS10L only existed as the quorum tie-breaker. The DS10L had been part of the former Alpha-based cluster and had not been touched for years. In fact, the only access to the node was through its console. One of the problems I was on-site to address concerned some of their network issues with these systems and this DS10L was at the heart of it. It simply would not properly auto-negotiate on the corporate LAN. Despite its SRM settings and attempts to configure the two on-board ethernet controllers with LANCP, this Alpha insisted on being half-duplex 10 base-T. (read all 1377 words.)

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Today's Reads

Rocketry Video utilizing a Strap-on Camera Mount

Amateur rocketry is great fun! 5-4-3-2-1 Launch! The motor ignites, the rocket accelerates upward toward the sky and it's soon well out of sight hundreds, if not thousands, of feet into the air. For a great many rocketry enthusiasts, this would be enough; however, I soon found myself pining to see what I could not — the view from the rocket's point of view. I found numerous on-board rocketry videos on YouTube made by other amateur rocketeers which prompted me to want to try my hand at doing the same. If you too should have an interest in video documentation of your own amateur rocket's flights, read on. (read all 1223 words.)

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Recent Comments

Queuemnnady: I have a tendancy to be lazy with commenting, but i adore your blog and i may well also say it correct …
Mike Kier: > _This is the first system that I have purchased new with the added baggage of Billy-tax — Micro$oft W…
PaulSture: This immediately struck me as a neat way to get stuff into VMS running on SIMH or Alpha emulators.
Rich Nistuk: Ugh.. I’ve had the same problems with this meter. I was really looking forward to using it. Right now I…
Carl Karcher: Hey VAXman – thanks for this excellent example! It’s been so long since I’ve done this that I missed th…
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