Re: Lisp, the secret weapon.

From: Eirikur Hallgrimsson (
Date: Tue May 01 2001 - 16:09:59 PDT

(VMS discussion)

For reasons unknown to me, and just before my arrival at DEC, the decision
was made to give the VAX operating system project to the process-control
(RSX) group rather than the time-sharing OS (RSTS/E) group. In my opinion,
DEC spent about five years recovering from that and adding features needed
for timesharing environments. It was certainly about three years (VMS V3.0)
before I was comfortable using it.

Digital had this strange sense of thinking small. Mainframes and timesharing
were IBM territory, and projects that went in those directions tended to be
avoided or cancelled.

I don't really know what the breakdown of revenue was between timesharing and
industrial automation, but I do know that all of my products, and most of the
feature-enhancements to VMS were for general business timesharing
applications. It may be that there were hordes of MicroVAXen out there on
shop floors, but I don't think so.


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