As professional as Sue has always been, this just breaks my heart.
Must also be the end of the Boot camps...
I am greatly saddened by this news. Sue has always been one of my
favorite people and I hate to see her leaving the VMS group.
From: "McQuaid, Ann" <ann.m...@hpXX.com>
Date: Wed, 6 May 2009 18:54:02 +0000
Subject: OpenVMS Customer Program Announcement
Dear OpenVMS Community,
After 15 years with OpenVMS Engineering, Sue Skonetski will be pursuing
new opportunities. She has made many contributions to OpenVMS during her
tenure which have led to OpenVMS' long standing success. Many thanks to
Sue for her energy and dedication.
Sue will be succeeded by Sujatha Ramani who will assume Sue's
responsibilities including Technical Customer Programs and Communications,
Sujatha holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science and an MBA. She
comes to this position with over 17 years of experience in the IT
industry. She has been working for the last 11 years at HP and has
experience in a multitude of business units including PSG, TSG and IPG.
Sujatha brings rich experience in Sales, Marketing, Operations,
Channels Management and Enterprise Account Management. She has won
several recognitions including the "HP Presidents Club Winner" for
consistent sales performance. Sujatha was recognized the "Young
Achiever" By CII (Confederation of Indian Industries) in the Corporate
Please join me in welcoming Sujatha and in wishing Sue the very best.
P.S. If you plan on attending the HP Tech Forum, please stop by the
Business Critical Systems Booth and meet Sujatha.
Since you seem to be the ONLY one who has received this, would you
post its contents here?
I wish that HP would be a bit more honest and tell all of us what
it's doing to further destroy VMS and our livelihoods, but I have
never trusted HP.
VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)ORG
"Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"
I am certain I was not the ONLY one to get this message. And I
noticed that JF has already posted the text. I tend not to do this
what with full name, rank and serial numbers visible.
> After 15 years with OpenVMS Engineering, Sue Skonetski will be pursuing
> new opportunities.
That's frequently a euphemism for "fired". Hope that's not the case here.
Sue's one of the best DEC/Compaq/HP people I've run into over the past
ps to JF - how do you get to be one of the "VMS Community" that rates
receiving the notification? I've only been a VMS customer for 29 years,
I guess that's not long enough to qualify.
> I am greatly saddened by this news. Sue has always been one of my
> favorite people and I hate to see her leaving the VMS group.
Lets just say that the wording of the announcement was carefully chosen
by HP. (update: someone else noticed the wording too but it isn't up to
me to confirm/deny what really is happening, and whether the
announcement represents the full scope of the changes or not, or whether
Mark Hurd prefers chocolate or vanilla ice cream.)
Sue is a very professional and patient person. Her dedication to Digital
goes far beyond the 15 years stated by Ann McQuaid. Digital has been
her career/family for (I am sure Sue can correct me on this) over 25
years. She knew Ken Olsen personally.
Guys, this shouldn't sound like an obituary. Sue is now free of HP's
hold, and will be able to pursue a new career inside or outside of VMS
community with a company/organisation that will undoubdtely greatly
value her personality, patience, perseverance, and especially her
personnal knowledge of a very valuable enterprise community. (the list
of positive qualifications is extensive, I can't list them all in one
Sue was an incredible asset to her employer and will be to her next
employer. She has an incredible ability to keep the VMS community
together (and everyone here knows how demanding and complaining buch we
are !) despite the total lack of desire from HP to keep us informed. And
she had the uncanny ability to change people's attitude that VMS was
doomed into a positive attitude that VMS was succesful.
She also has had an extreme sense of professionalism and ability to toe
the corporate line when it was time to do so even if she disagreed with it.
When you consider all that VMS engineering has gone through since the
Palmer era, and especially what has been happening in the last few
months, Sue's dedication to her job has been remarkable. She has
continued to send out her newsletters, always as cheerful and positive
Sue also brought to the VMS community something unique: A PERSONNAL TOUCH.
Consider the number of problems Sue was able to solve for large and
small customers alike and, contrary to many large corporations where
customers are nothing but numbers, Sue actually sought to meet and know
as many customers as she could on a personal level.
If I were the president of IBM, I would hire Sue right away because of
the value she would bring to the company.
> P.S. If you plan on attending the HP Tech Forum, please stop by the
> Business Critical Systems Booth and meet Sujatha.
Enjoy it while you can. Sue's job has also gone to India so this
might be the last time you hear from Sujatha.
Since my VMScluster is about to celebrate's its 10th cluster_ftime
anniversary, seeing Sue leave does not make me any happier today.
Tybalt> say f$getsyi("cluster_ftime")
Sue is such a great person
... very big footprints for Sujatha to fill.
>Must also be the end of the Boot camps...
Hopefully they woun't continue in Bangalore ... :-(
Now we'll get is the smell of tamarind and lime pickle.
A little too cryptic for me!!
If you are speaking of outsourcing Sue's job to India, ROTF & LMAO!
They MIGHT be stupid enough to try it! Probability of success outside
of India is about 0.0000001!
You needed to be part of my distribution list to get the email, there
is no slight intended.
And I am still looking at this news group ;')
And no I was not fired, just looking for a job.
> And no I was not fired, just looking for a job.
I have it on good authority that Sue was caught red-handed stealing a
black felt marker from the office supplies cabinet without having filled
the pre-requisite paperwork and getting signed approval from the
executive VP in cuppertino, and that is cause got immediate dismissal
:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) ;-)
> If you are speaking of outsourcing Sue's job to India, ROTF & LMAO!
> They MIGHT be stupid enough to try it! Probability of success outside
> of India is about 0.0000001!
It isn't outsourced. HP has moved that function to a different HP
division in a different location.
...or 25 years in DEC/Compaq/HP in total...
> [Sujatha] has been working for the last 11 years at HP...
Wow, so she's witnessed the majority of the company's downward spiral
in product quality? That is exceptionally confidence-inspiring.
> and has
> experience in a multitude of business units including PSG, TSG and IPG.
> Sujatha brings rich experience in Sales, Marketing, Operations,
> Channels Management and Enterprise Account Management.
Fantastic! Just what HP needs, another MBA taking the place of an
exceptionally competent person. Good going, HP - If you keep up at
this pace, you'll get to be Chrysler soon. Fiat owns a few IT
companies, you know.
I can picture the advertisements now:
"HP (R) - No real products left, but we're probably too big to die!
(The Shrugging Businessman logo is a registered trademark of HP.)
This is... indescribably unfair. I hope Sue finds something much
better to do, in a better company. What she means to the community is
impossible to quantify (and thus hard for an MBA to understand), but
if it weren't for her, I would be considering VMS an interesting
historical footnote "by that guy who made Windows NT" like most other
people my age do, thanks to your impeccable mismanagement.
Thank you for such an amazing note. And thanks to everyone else for
I am not real sure that the president of IBM reads the VMS news
I will be reading HP mail until June 5th after that as a VMS fan on my
And who ever mentioned it, no I did not get fired. But I am looking
for a job.
yep its those markers is it red handed for black markers and black
handed for red markers, what about purple and green.
It would do a lot for me to get fired, I love what I do. I work with
the smartest people in the world.
That's libelous JF!
If they were all that smart you would be running HP!
-What happens to the VMS ambassadors ? Do they still exist, or will they
be watered down because there is nobody to coordinate communications
with them ?
-What happens to Hobbyist programme ? Sue was the contact/coordinator.
Does that move to her replacement, or is that something that will be in
a vacuum ?
-What happens to coordination with the user group formerly known as
DECUS (I think it is called Connect this week ? Will Sue's replacement
in india be a central worldwide contact for VMS related issues, or will
there be some local representative in each country ?
-Will Sue's most excellent communications such as the Digital Technical
Journal, and her email updates continue with her replacement, or will
her replacement concentrate only on sale opportunities ?
-Will the new gang in India work extremely hard to prove they can handle
the job and end up giving us more than we had before ?
The end of an era yes. The end of VMS - No.
Well said, Ian!
Instead of bemoaning the past, why not accept that change happens and
start off by welcoming someone who has a very hard act to follow?
This has nothing to do with disrespect for Sue S., with whom I have
worked for more years than I can remember.
The note by someone pointing out that she is now "free" to pursue
activities without the "restrictions" placed on her by a very large
enterprise, is extremely important, I think. How about a Boot Camp
(under another name), organized by Sue and held in, say, Bangalore?
Nashua may be nice in the Spring and Fall, but, that hotel, all those
We should treat this change as an opportunity to regroup and look to
the future. If half of what you say about OpenVMS is true, then why
are so many of you so negative and sitting on your behinds instead of
The Open Source movement is an example which we should attempt to
follow: have an idea, share it, build it, support it, have another
For those that feel the need to bash India and other things foreign,
perhaps they might like to think about how long their respective
countries have been considered "civilized" compared to India or China
for that matter? And how many of the indigenous population were
slaughtered by those arriving in the country who considered their way
See you in the bright, new future!
> For those that feel the need to bash India and other things foreign,
This isn't about bashing India. It is about dumping highly experienced
people who have built a product and have industry leading skills and
know how to make quality software in exchange for unknown quality and
quantity folks who may or may not have any experience with VMS. In the
software industry, talent is an asset, not a liability. And HP is
dumping a highly valuable asset in exchange for hiring what is
essentially commodity humans.
As a country, India has done the right thing by investing in education
and now have very capable people. However, in most outsourcing schemes,
the original company does this to lower costs and gives the outsourcing
company defined work guidelines and phone answering scripts and the
people are not given the latitude to make decisions.
There are similar problems when you outsource locally too, with the
people brought in given very strict mandates that they cannot deviate from.
The problem with India is similar to Japan's image in the 1970s. They
had an image of building cheap plastic toys. It took them a couple of
decade to shed that image and obtain an image of high quality products.
Right now, India has an image of low quality low cost work. It isn't
because of the people, it is because what their clients tell them what
Note that a lot of software work has been done in India and other
countries for years - this is true for most operating systems you know
Do you really think MS Windows is developed in Redmond?
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I see no evidence
that Sue's job has been outsourced to India. Just because
her successor has an Indian-sounding name ...
Is this related in any way to "the big secret"?
This is very sad news since she was one of the old-timers from DIGITAL
p.s. I have observed things at my employer's company which indicates
(to me) that HP is trying to get rid of everything related to DEC or
Compaq. (while the decision to move VAX-VMS applications to high
powered HP PCs are questionable, I do not understand why they did they
were talked into doing the same thing with not-so-old high-powered
From an earlier message in this thread, quoting the text of the announcement
from Ann McQuaid:
"Sujatha was recognized the "Young Achiever" By CII Confederation of
Indian Industries) in the Corporate IT category."
From http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/sujatha/ramani :
Regional Sales Manager at Hewlett-Packard India
View full profile | Contact Sujatha Ramani
Currently: Regional Sales Manager at Hewlett-Packard India; Regional Sales
Manager at Hewlett Packard India Pvt Ltd
Past: Telecom Marketing Manager at Wipro Infotech Ltd
Education: ; Seethalakshmi Ramasamy College;
. Mysore Area, India
. Information Technology and Services
Regional Sales Manager "
Hewlett Packard bangalore
"Sujatha ramani( r. sujatha) Working with Hewlett Packard in Bangalore. Have
a daughter, who is 2 1/2 yrs old. "
Some evidence, therefore, that Sujatha not only has an "Indian-sounding
name", but has, at least in the past, been working in India. We wish her
well in her new role.
They'll get more Bangalore for their buck, NOT!
Do YOU really think that VMS customers are likely to be impressed by
someone asserting "development in India works for Microsoft"?
I've been around long enough to remember when Motorola cellphone
handset development started the offshoring trend. It started because
Motorola found that by developing in India they could get "zero
defects". My personal opinion reflecting on that particular miracle is
that one important reason it worked for Motorola is because they had
first choice of all the best people and got them at bargain prices.
Those coming later eg now can't get the best people at the same low
prices, and anyone who's used outsourced services (regardless of
sector or location) will be familiar with the results of using
outsourcing for cost reduction, whether it be for engineering, tech
support, or "simple" customer admin (as any BT UK customer who's dealt
with BT's Indian offshoots can tell you).
You also wrote: "The end of an era yes. The end of VMS - No. "
Actions speak louder than words. Unless there's a secret miracle
imminent (hello JF), HP's recent actions all point in one direction so
far, regardless of the merits (or location) of Sue's replacement.
And that leads neatly back to Sue. I never met Sue but all this
electrickery stuff means that sometimes you don't need to meet someone
to get to know them. Thank you Sue for everything you've done for your
community, enjoy pastures new (best of luck in these troubled times),
and in the meantime have a lovely party on May 28th!
The end of an era, that's obvious. For anything else, the future will
tell. It seems too early to say if this is already the end of VMS or
>Instead of bemoaning the past, why not accept that change happens and start off by welcoming someone who has a very hard act to follow?
I disagree, such a change doesn't "happen". Such a change is based on
decisions made by people who are in power. They have reasons to do so
and their reasons are non-technical. There is a collateral damage: the
loss of knowledge, which can lead to the end of VMS. It looks like the
decsion makers were aware of this risk and took it into account.
> The Open Source movement is an example which we should attempt to follow: have an idea, share it, build it, support it, have another idea, ...
OK, so what does that mean for VMS? The Open Source movement is Unix
or Linux based. Even some Unix systems including Linux are open
source. There may be open sources which can be built on VMS, but in
general VMS doesn't support the expected infra structure, which -
again - is Unix based.
VMS is not open source and there is no Open Source movement based on
VMS. Check out the VMS freeware CD and you will see more binaries than
sources. Check out GNV and you will experience its shortcomings. And
as far as I know, recent projects within VMS to make it easier to use
open sources were canceled or discontinued, because of costs.
> For those that feel the need to bash India ...
Not me. The decision was not made in India. India takes whatever they
can to make money. So they are as "civilized" as other western
countries. However, these engineers did not grow up in the VMS
community, they were not selected because of being well known in the
VMS engineering or customer community. They were selected to do a job,
because of the costs.
It may work well for VMS, but it is at least as likely that customers
will turn away from VMS, maybe to the true open source movement.
And, with saving all the costs of the expensive NE engineers, did HP
use the money to hire more Indian engineers? Did HP re-invest that
money into VMS? Convince me, please.
Yeah, Bangalore. :-) Sorry, the devil made me do it.
Bill Gunshannon | de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n. Three wolves
bill...@cs.scranton.edu | and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
University of Scranton |
Scranton, Pennsylvania | #include <std.disclaimer.h>
That could be a GOOD THING, if she's allowed to use it.
Development in Israel certainly worked for DEC. A significant
portion of the port to Alpha was done by a team in Israel.
Back during the Alpha port days, DEC claimed that VMS engineering was
done as an international effort. I don't think that has changed.
Even FreeVMS is being developed by folks working on Linux, but when
it boot it's not Linux, nor UNIX.
It's not VMS either.
And, as a matter of fact, having just looked at the latest release, it
looks a lot more like Linux then VMS under the hood.
Good question. In the past few weeks I received emails from two VMS
Ambassadors announcing that were no longer working for HP Canada. I
wonder how many Ambassadors are left today.
I know that there's at least one person on this thread that's recently
become a VMS Ambassador so I doubt that there's any interest in
disposing of the scheme just yet.
I remember Sue talking about Hoff leaving at a presentation she gave
in the UK. At that time, she commented something like, "we've lost
one of the bright lights in VMS Engineering but this means that some
of the lights that have been less bright up to now can have a chance
to shine a little brighter." (Please correct me if that summary of
your comments isn't right Sue).
What I see now is that HP are losing another of their bright lights
but that there's another light that may shine just as bright when
she's had a chance to settle into the role.
I wish Sue all of what she wishes for herself in her future
opportunities and, in fact, replied to Ann's message in that way. I
also hope that the lady that's succeeding Sue (note NOT replacing!)
also does very well. We could all do with a change once in a while
and if Sue gets what she wants from this one then the very best of
luck to her.
Best wishes Sue.
If you never had the privilege of being in an audience and hear Sue
start her session with “I LOVE MY JOB!” then you have really missed
out. Watching Sue for an hour was enough to convince anyone that VMS
was still worth betting your business on.
I first saw her in Toronto at an Encompass (DECUS) seminar a few years
back. She handed out a few copies of a book about DEC. When I told her
that my co-worker and good friend Chris Moore really wanted to come
but he was in the hospital having surgery for cancer she was nice
enough to mail him a copy of the book.
Sue did not become popular and so well loved by just getting a job. She
worked hard and reached out to people, not just those signing million
dollar cheques and built her following. In doing so, she built a lot of
loyalty to VMS which was strong enough to survive the 2 mergers because
people knew Sue and VMS engineers were staying and that it was just a
name change for the owner.
In the end though, HP is a vendor. HP is supposed to thank its
customers, not the other way around.
The new gal may have a totally different way of handling customer
relations or she may try to emulate what Sue did. We don't know. I is up
to her to reach out to the community and present herself and provide
some information on what (if any) we can expect from her.
For all we know, HP has instructed her to only spend time with customers
who spend more than 2.37 million per year. We just don't know.
Customers don't owe anything to HP. They havce a responsability to
provide IT service to their own company and choose the best solution for
their needs and strategies.
There have been many stories of failed or very costly~difficult
migrations from VMS. However, if the image given by HP is that VMS'
remaining active lifetime is limited, then this provides the incentive
to start to plan a migration and do it properly so that it does succeed.
This doesn't happen overnight. But if you foresee the enf of VMS in 2 5
or 10 years, you also start to think about your own migration strategy now.
So the current events may prompt a certain percentage of the remaining
installed base to start looking at migration options.
HP has been good in terms of ensuring existing customers did get support
and has, for 7 years, maintained that VMS would still be developped. And
they aren't going to pull the support as long as it makes them money.
But they can scale down development.
Remember the arguments concucted to justify breaking the plan or record
and not delivering a 8.* version of VAX-VMS. HP can concuct the same
statistics to justify cancelling Alpha-VMS development in the short
term, and later on do the same for IA64.
This is especially important if you believe that IA64 development will
be ended within the next 5 years because at that point, HP will be
looking for excuses to not port VMS beyond IA64. Stating that VMS
customers don't want new features is very easy.
And the sad reality is that as time goes by, an increasing percentage of
the remaining VMS installed base does have that policy. When you have a
VAX that is welded to some manufacturing plan machinery, that machine
stays that way with no upgrades because it does its job.
So, as those who do need new features move on to other OS, what remains
of the VMS installed based is more static and makes it easier for HP to
decide to stop development.
The ball is now in HP's court. It is possible that HP does welcome
speculation on the end of VMS because that will make it easier to start
converting VMS customers over to other HP products.
Or Perhaps HP just doesn't care or don't believe there will be any
Or Perhaps the new gal will be just as active as Sue and work very hard
to build relationships and gain trust of customers. And perhaps the
indian division, wanting to prove that they are capable, will deliver
VMS versions faster and with more improvements. Perhaps not. We don't know.
But right now, it is as if we had been submitted through a new merger,
and we must wait to see what the new people will say and do.
Lack of information and action on HP's part will basically confirm HP's
intentions to slowly wind down VMS and try to retain customer by moving
them to HP-UX.
Would someone like to explain why HP should be giving more information
Because of the high regard that Sue is held in, Ann McQuaid has been
kind enough to take Sue's list and let them know what Sue is moving
from her present role. I don't remember seeing that done for anybody
else in VMS Engineering. From the presentation that Ann McQuaid gave
in the UK to celebrate VMS's 30th Birthday, it looks to me like
they're still putting the money and resources into VMS it's just the
method of doing business at HP, like everywhere else, has developed.
Of course this will fail. Not because Indians are dumb or
incapable or anything, but the act of eliminating and
replacing every VMS engineer will destroy the collective
knowledge and (remaining) corporate culture that helps define
VMS. The Indians will be unlikely to pick it up. Plus you
are replacing people often with decades of experience with
people with a bunch of training courses plus their college
work, which probably doesn't include VMS. It would fail just
as badly if HP moved VMS Engineering to Palo Alto, and didn't
allow existing VMS to transfer.
It's probably intended to fail. Probably because of NIH, but
who knows. Unfortunately, no company that would be a good
buyer of VMS really knows its value, or if they do, they know
HP has damaged it enough so that it's not worth buying. That
is, if HP would sell it.
We've already seen the roadmap scaled back. V8.4 delayed.
After V8.4, it will go into maintenance mode. There probably
won't be a V8.5. There definitely won't be a V8.6. Nor will
there be a V9.0. Sorry, JF, ZK03 didn't have a basement.
VMS, it's been nice to know you.
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Doesn't seem to be very serious ...
> As JF has speculated, [...]
Real names enhance the probability of getting real answers.
My e-mail account at DECUS Munich is no longer valid.
don't discredit the previous post solely due to it's anonymous nature.
There sometimes are tiny facts, which may support some of that
Didn't you wonder about the rush of released OpenVMS patches in early
April ? Some of them with images from AUG-2008 ? The VAXMSCP01_073
patch for a problem, that had been solved in 2001 ! It really looked
like someone was cleaning up...
The week of 5-JUN-2009 is supposed to be the release date for the next
round of UPDATE patches. It's thursday now, will you believe those
patches to show up tomorrow ?
The future will tell about the truth in this...
Ah yes, the "others" again, those horrible people in power. Lovely
attitude leading to the demise of all initiative and the belief that
we are free individuals in a democratic world. The current mess in
the world was also caused by those horrible people in power? Perhaps
not quite, as most of us enjoyed the fruits of economic growth while
> > The Open Source movement is an example which we should attempt to follow: have an idea, share it, build it, support it, have another idea, ...
> OK, so what does that mean for VMS? The Open Source movement is Unix
> or Linux based. Even some Unix systems including Linux are open
> source. There may be open sources which can be built on VMS, but in
> general VMS doesn't support the expected infra structure, which -
> again - is Unix based.
I was not aware the Open Source is UNIX or Linux based. I am sure that
is true for the Open Source versions of those products, but certainly
not for software which runs on them and others too.
Open Source also means that those that are willing may do something
about shortcomings they perceive, and OpenVMS had and has plenty of
them - one of the reasons for its demise which, after all, did start a
rather long time ago.
The hard part is that the initiative has to come from oneself and not
those people in power.
> VMS is not open source and there is no Open Source movement based on
So, how come nobody got up and did something about it?
>Check out the VMS freeware CD and you will see more binaries than
> sources. Check out GNV and you will experience its shortcomings. And
> as far as I know, recent projects within VMS to make it easier to use
> open sources were canceled or discontinued, because of costs.
> > For those that feel the need to bash India ...
> Not me. The decision was not made in India. India takes whatever they
> can to make money. So they are as "civilized" as other western
> countries. However, these engineers did not grow up in the VMS
> community, they were not selected because of being well known in the
> VMS engineering or customer community. They were selected to do a job,
> because of the costs.
> It may work well for VMS, but it is at least as likely that customers
> will turn away from VMS, maybe to the true open source movement.
Open Source is Open Source, there are not multiple flavors of false
and true here. What counts is the motivation, energy, creativity and
general innovation which is taking place. OpenVMS missed out on this a
long time ago, unfortunately.
> And, with saving all the costs of the expensive NE engineers, did HP
> use the money to hire more Indian engineers? Did HP re-invest that
> money into VMS? Convince me, please.
Why should HP invest in something today which very few people want,
bearing in mind that our so-called civilized society is more
interested in short-term profit than much else?
Please do not start the mantra about lack of marketing, lack of senior
management support, lack of ...
There is no convincing to be done if you are not prepared to accept
the fact that life moves on and OpenVMS is simply part of that -
Note there is some OpenSource activity on VMS - e.g. zeromq 0.6
and the related work on amqp
I largely agree with your post.
IMNSHO, the only way to keep VMS alive in the long term is to open-
Allow people to write a port to IA32 hardware, with the original
designers controlling the design, so that curious, proto-geek
teenagers who don't have Itanium hardware lying around their room are
exposed to the system. Counting on people finding VAXstations in
dumpsters - which was my introduction to VMS - doesn't scale all that
In the golden era of VMS, most people were first exposed to VMS
through timesharing systems. VMS has now due to its excellent design
eked out a commercial niche in ultra-high-availability systems and
legacy systems, but due to its nature as a back-room operating system
_nobody really knows about it_, much like z/OS. VMS now mainly runs
those types of services that you only notice when they fail.
It's not really a commercial problem for HP until customers start
dropping VMS because it's "weird and obscure", "only runs on crazy-
expensive hardware" and/or "we can't get anyone who knows how to work
it", which I suspect is happening and has been happening for a while.
Basically, people only run VMS when they positively have to because
other OSes simply can't do what they need.
If HP doesn't care about VMS's future, like it seems the situation is
at the moment, then they might as well open-source it before it dies
What they gain in the short term by tying the software with a monopoly
in these niches to hardware with a high profit margin, they will
probably lose in the longer term when the marketplace brings forth a
less unacceptable solution, probably kludged together on top of Linux.
My two cents...
But I'm guessing that that was because smart, knowledgeable people
existed in Israel and Sweden and the other places - not because
discount people existed there, which is what I think is happening
here. The motives are very different, as will probably the results be.
Besides, hardware and software are very different things. I think that
software development is dependant on esprit d'corps and culture to a
great degree whereas hardware work may be less so. In my humble
opinion, you can't learn some of the most important aspects of
software development in a university. Perhaps I'm biased. Some of the
very worst programmers I've seen have degrees from good universities,
and some of the very best have barely made it past grade school.
BTW, I just thought it an interesting point: It probably speaks to the
position that Sue holds in the VMS community, that a thread discussing
Sue leaving has quickly turned into a conversation which is in essence
quote: The current law, Obama said, “says you should pay lower taxes
if you create a job in Bangalore, India, than if you create one in
Buffalo, New York. “
And as someone else has already pointed out in a previous post, moving
work to another HP division outside of the US is not considered
outsourcing (but is is considered off-shoring) so consider this: The
US is going deep into debt. With many "jobs" being off-shored, how
will the US ever recover this money?
IMHO, the only solution is to put an end to certain forms of
globalization. They will probably give tax incentives to companies who
move jobs back to the United States. They will probably increase
corporate taxes on companies who do not.
DEC did hardware (chips) and software in Israel, as you say and as Bob
Koehler said earlier, because there were smart people there.
Motorola pioneered software development in India with their cellular
handset stuff, not because India was cheap but (according to those who
were there ) because there were smart people there AND they were
willing to adopt new software management processes. These things
matter if you want to ship bug-free handsets quickly by the million,
which Motorola back then thought might give them an edge over Nokia.
Others followed to India after Motorola's apparent success but mostly
forgot about quality and focused on cost reduction. We can form our
own judgements about why Microsoft may have staff in India (it
certainly wouldn't just be to do with MS wanting to sell stuff to the
Indian government, would it).
Motorola's focus on quality and their apparent success back then
didn't really do them much good in today's handset market (fourth
place, behind Nokia, Samsung and LG, and with the parent hoping to
sell off the handset company).
Same goes for VMS in this century's IT market; with a limited number
of exceptions which are often not well known, hype and trendiness
trumps quality, even though most of what people buy this year
(hardware and software) is often barely capable of doing the job
reliably and will usually need to be thrown away in three to five
years, sometimes less. That wasn't the Olsen or DEC or VMS way, but it
has turned out to be the market majority way - maybe because there's
no financially-viable ecosystem in building an allegedly expensive
system and OS and applications, whose incrementally-upgraded lifetime
is measured in decades, but there's a worthwhile profit stream in
selling cheap to buy setups which need replacing top to bottom every
few years, which is the model the Wintel world has been persuaded to
There's room for more than one kind of delivery truck on the market.
Why isn't there room for more than one kind of IT supplier?
and many many others
A few years back, I was supporting a company's VMS product. It was primarily
written in C with a smattering of some Macro and DCL. Support was taken from
me and sent to India where this company's rep said they had a very knowledge-
able group of programmers. About three months after the contract was pulled
from me, I recieved a call from one of these knowledgeable Indian programmers.
He wanted help getting the product to build on his WEENDOZE PeeCee. Needless
to say, this product and this company no longer exist.
>Besides, hardware and software are very different things. I think that
>software development is dependant on esprit d'corps and culture to a
>great degree whereas hardware work may be less so. In my humble
>opinion, you can't learn some of the most important aspects of
>software development in a university. Perhaps I'm biased. Some of the
>very worst programmers I've seen have degrees from good universities,
>and some of the very best have barely made it past grade school.
Years of insight and know-how have been tossed to the wind.
IMHO it looks too much like Linux under the hood. It think they
did "boot and execute a copy command", but without an RMS.
Meanwhile I've just got the latest version of bochs running on
my Alpha but it won't boot the FreeVMS images I downloaded. Yet.
You sound too much like Gartner to me. We hear this every time
anyone leaves VMS Engineering. Turnover is normal. I, too, will
miss Sue, but I'm not ready to beleive that VMS is down one all
If Olson and company had figured out a way to do it a little more
economically, things might be very different. As it was, DEC priced
themselves right out of the market. The rot may have set in years
earlier but it could plainly be seen in DEC's refusal/failure to compete
in the workstation market during the mid to late 1980s. Sun
Microsystems could and did sell workstations and the Solaris O/S for a
small fraction of what DEC was asking for their hardware and O/S. Guess
Back in the 1990's there were something like 20 models of the same size
DEC disks! The difference between them was the mounting hardware! The
advent of StorageWorks fixed that but was a little late.
Markups of 2000 percent or more were routine at Digital. DEC wanted
$700 for a set of memory chips that could be had on the open market for
$30. (DEC Rainbow) They sold a 20 MB disk for $2200 that could be
purchased elsewhere for $300. I purchased both memory chips and disk
elsewhere. So did too many other people.
It couldn't last and, of course, it didn't!
> BTW, I just thought it an interesting point: It probably speaks to the
> position that Sue holds in the VMS community, that a thread discussing
> Sue leaving has quickly turned into a conversation which is in essence
> eulogizing VMS.
VMS employees who are still with HP are gagged and cannot openly discuss
what is really happening. Unless they have another job already, they
cannot afford to jeoperdize their relationship with HP because they may
want a recommendation instead of being fired for having spoken out.
Shortly after the news was annouced to VMS engineers on the first week
of January, one of them posted something to that effect on C.O.V. (they
had gotten strict guidance on what they can't say and that anything had
to come from HP PR.
And while the letter was signed by Ann McQuaid, I strongly suspect it
was written or vetted by HP's PR department. They knew the news would
leak out that week and did a pre-emptive measure to twist it into some
HP's plan was to emulate one of the star trek episodes where the real
engineers disapear without a noise and are replaced by different people,
hopping nobody will notice the change.
We don't know how many engineers have left since January already because
they have kept quiet (or are still busy tiying off loose ends and giving
their replacement the 2 weeks of training).
Someone did manage to force HP to release the letter about Sue. It is a
shame that HP hasn't done the same for every engineer it is laying off
because in the end, they are all our heros who have managed to build
such a great quality operating system.
> You sound too much like Gartner to me. We hear this every time
> anyone leaves VMS Engineering. Turnover is normal. I, too, will
> miss Sue, but I'm not ready to beleive that VMS is down one all
> critical person.
You (and HP) underestimate Sue quite a bit.
I met Sue once. (same time as Peter Weaver). As many know here, I have
been a sceptic for many years. I came in to that presentation with my
normal "VMS is dwindling down to oblivion" mentality, and Sue managed to
turn my attitude around with her presentation and give me a positive
attitude, hope and renewed energy. I bought 2 alphas after that ! (OK, I
got one for free from Island :-)
(Of course, some of you may remember HOW she managed to convince me to
change my attitude: http://www.vaxination.ca/vms/decus/web/100_0194.jpg
:-) :-) :-) :-) :-)
Now, multiply this with every person that Sue has met and given
presentations to, every customer she has helped over the phone or email
because a local office was hopeless, every person she put in touch with
an amabasssador, and you come to realise just how many people Sue
convinced to stay with VMS.
Sue wasn't just convincing people to stick with VMS, she gave them the
ammunition necessary to get them to convince their bosses to stay with VMS.
Sue was the face of VMS at a time when neither HP nor Compaq wanted to
talk about VMS. She broke through the HP corporate firewalls and got to
speak to customers. She understood what cutsomers needed to hear from
HP, knew that HP wouldn't say it on its own and went through hoops to
get the message out.
And lets not forget Bootcamp. This wasn't an HP initiative. It was a Sue
initiative. She worked very hard to make it happen. With the demise of
Decus, Bootcamp had become the annual VMS symposium. I was never able to
attend, and I really regret it, but this is something I would have liked
to have done (despite threaths from some engineers to strap me to their
car rooptop like a dead deer and parade me around town :-) :-)
If Sue was able to convince me to switch my attitude towards VMS in a
short presentation, imagine what she could do to normal people during a
few days of Bootcamp.
And I think that the VMS quilt is also proof he Sue love and dedication
to VMS and the VMS community.
What is great about Sue is that she cared about all customers, not just
the ones that generate 2.37 million dollars per year in revenus.
Another important thing about Sue is that she was right smack in the
middle between HP Corporate's lack of interest with VMS, and the
customers who needed to see some signs from HP that VMS was still a good
solution, and she worked very hard within HP's limits to give VMS
customers as much as she could be allowed to give in terms of information.
She was our champion inside HP.
Why is this important ? We all know how well HP has been marketing VMS
in the 7 years (to the day) that HP has had VMS. Were it not for Sue
constantly trying t break through the limitations, imagine what
your opinion of VMS would be these days ?
You might have received invitations to attend web casts about new intel
blades that run windows, but you wouldn't have had engineers travel to
various cities to give presentation to customers and you wouldn't have
had boot camp. Just a few token sessions at the Connect events (as is
the case now).
Now, going forwards, Sue's effects will live on for a little while
because it takes time for her impact on you to wear off. But by
september, if the VMS community is treated by HP marketing the same way
that HP marketing has been treating VMS for the past 7 years, how long
before customers get the hint that VMS isn't a viable platform in the
long term ?
It isn't just Sue the lovable (and loving person) that is leaving. It is
a person whose job functions were rather unique within HP because of the
DIgital legacy. Sue worked for VMS first, HP second. I suspect that new
girl will be working for HP first and just treat VMS as an HP product.
Having said that, there is a chance that once VMS is fully integrated
into HP in terms of management structure, that HP Marketing might take
an interest since there will be a clear line of responsability, not one
that was shared between HP and VMS engineering.
Highlighting JF's previous post:
VMS employees who are still with HP are gagged and cannot openly
what is really happening. Unless they have another job already, they
cannot afford to jeopardize their relationship with HP because they
want a recommendation instead of being fired for having spoken out.
which is another way to say that the bad news about Sue is just the
MS has a development center in Hyderabad, but the also bring
thousands to the US on H1B. I would say that MS is a global
company and their software development is global as well.
BTW, did you intend to propose Windows as being high
Or extremely serious.
If the sender chose to cover the trails due to working for HP.
That is not a HP specific thing.
Big companies does business that way.
For good reasons.