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From: Terry C. Shannon (terryshannon@mediaone.net)
Subject: Re: - OpenVMS ever to be on Intel chip?
View: Complete Thread (105 articles)
Original Format
Newsgroups: comp.os.vms, comp.sys.dec, comp.org.decus, vmsnet.alpha, comp.sys.intel
Date: 2001-03-10 22:54:05 PST
"Darren Peacock" <daz005@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> Cant remember the detail but back in 1988-89 there was a project in Digital
> to do just that ..
> My memory is fuzzy but it was called Emerald or Gem ..
> It was descibed as VMS on Intel.
> But the initial downsizing then , the project was halted. Funny to see the
> following  24 months some of the members end up in a small word processing
> company called Microsoft.

Well, I dragged Charlie Matco away from his usual pursuits of wine, women,
and rumourmongering and persuaded him to come clean on this matter.

There was in fact a DEC project called EMERALD back in the late 1980s. Its
goal: to boldly send VMS where it had not gone before... into IA32-land.
EMERALD was scuttled right around the same time the PRISM RISC project was
killed (late March 1988). Prototype PRISM processors existed at the time,
but apparently there were Big Delays with the complementary MICA operating
system. MICA was, simply stated, a reimplementation of VMS for the PRISM
RISC architecture. Dave Cutler flew the coop right after Ken Olsen pulled
the plug on PRISM/MICA. Word has it that a lot of the MICA code rose from
the dead when Windows NT was born.

Separately, there was a midnight project to port VMS to the Mach kernel. The
project was done (half-baked, actually) at Carnegie Mellon University IIRC.
Some of the incomplete code--which may well have a few facets of Emerald
embedded in it--is said to be floating around somewhere.

And that's all I got from Charlie. Heck, he started mumbling some stuff
about OZIX, MERLIN, QUARTZ, CHEYENNE, and other cryptic codewords from days
gone by. Wish he'd be a tad more forward-looking and spill the beans about
MARVEL... and the system a generation beyond MARVEL.


Matco's Handler

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