If all you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. People assume that their only operating system options are Windows, Mac or some Unix look alike. Depending on your needs, there are other operating systems that, while not as flashy, have advantages.

OpenVMS is an older, general purpose timesharing (multi-user) operating system that has been in existence since 1976. It is useful for data entry, lookup, transaction processing and general business as well as scientific/engineering work. Its main advantages are:

1) Efficiency: OpenVMS has the ability to handle a large number of users simultaneously with only minimal resources.

2) Security: There are advantages to having your system in one location for security and backup. When every user has their own system that communicates with a server over a network, the system is subject to far more points of failure, opportunities for mischief and software design failures.

3) Stability. OpenVMS systems have been known to stay up and running continuously for decades.

4) Safety. When properly configured, the system is un-hackable and C2 government certified.

5) Compatibility: OpenVMS is famous for backwards compatibility. I upgraded a system from 6.2 to 8.4 in one leap. That's a span of about thirty releases and twenty-five years. Everything worked.

OpenVMS is not for the general user of email and browsers, but makes for a superb business or scientifically oriented system and will, with existing emulator software, run on modern, less expensive computer equipment. I'm still using it.

While VMS is often thought of as the most secure operating system in existence, no computer is more secure than the operation in which it is embedded. For an old take on modern security (hard nosed) click Security.

I have spent the last decade doing system programming on VMS for the AXP (Alpha) box. I've put together an "Advanced System Manager Console" package which you can read about and download for free from Advmgr.

If you are involved in the development of OpenVMS, are a provider of software that is used by OpenVMS, AXP emulator software or are interested in the long term viability of OpenVMS, you might be interested in an old timer's opinion of what needs to done to insure the long term success of the best operating system ever written, The Future.

Tulasi is presently running an AXP emulator from Advanced Vitalization Technologies in the Netherlands. The emulator bypasses the host operating system and installs "bare metal" on modern 64 bit hardware. It is extremely flexible and fast and highly recommended. We also have the AXP emulator called Charon from Stromasys which is hosted on a Windows machine.

Tulasi is also a resource developer for Synergex of California, the developer of the DBL programming language. We have access to their resources.