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Ask the Wizard Questions

Internet talk on VMS

The Question is:

hello, my question is that my friend goes to Pomona univ.
in California and i've been trying to "talk" to her but
for some reason we can't. I go through UNIX and telnet, but
she does not use UNIX there.  She has vms.  I never receive
the invitation she sends when we are both logged in.  Can you
give us any suggestions about whether the systems are
compatible so that we can talk? She can't seem to get on
irc from her computer either.  Help.

The Answer is:

OpenVMS has a talk-like utility called PHONE.  The OpenVMS utility PHONE uses
DECnet for transport.  There are DECnet implementations for UNIX systems.
Digital offers a product called "DECnet/OSI V3.2a for Digital UNIX", for
example.  Although it doesn't include the PHONE utility, perhaps it wouldn't be
too much trouble to port it.

The UNIX talk utility uses TCP/IP for transport.  There are TCP/IP
implementations for OpenVMS.  Digital offers a product called "Digital TCP/IP
Services for OpenVMS V4.0", for example.  Again, although it doesn't include the
talk utility, perhaps it wouldn't be too tough to port it.

There may be other implementations of DECnet or TCP/IP which do include PHONE or
talk.  There might be freeware available to meet the requirement.  DECUS might
have software which does the job.

Worse case could she telnet to your system and then use talk there?

    irc is available for VMS, but she'll have to obtain it from the net