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SID and System Identification? (Licensing)

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The Question is:

I am trying to obtain SID using
 $ x = f$getsyi("SID")
 $ sh sym x
    X = -2147483648   Hex = 80000000
Always getting -1.  IS "SID" not valid on ALPHA archtecture?  If not, what can
 be used to uniquely identify the hardware box being used.

The Answer is :

  The SID is not reliably unique on OpenVMS VAX, nor on OpenVMS Alpha,
  nor will the value be unique on OpenVMS on Intel Itanium systems.
  The SID is the System Identification, and specifically a value that
  is intended to identify the system or processor family -- the SID is
  not useful as a serial number, even on those few systems that place
  unique, or backplane- or console-settable values in the low three
  bytes of the system.
  The only architected portion of the SID is the uppermost byte.  The
  lower three bytes are specific to particular VAX implementations.
  Details are in the VAX architecture handbook and related materials.
  Per the OpenVMS documentation for SYI$_SID:
    "Returns the contents of the system identification register
    of the node.
    On Alpha systems, SYI$_SID returns a value in which all fields
    are 0 except the CPU-type field, which always contains the
    value 256."
  The OpenVMS Frequently Asked Questions section entitled "How do I get
  a unique system id for licensing purposes?" will be of interest here.
  On recent OpenVMS versions, the system service $CREATE_UID may be of
  interest.   Depending on the particular purpose of the identification,
  the $getsyi items SYI$_HW_NAME and SYI$_HW_MODEL may be of interest.
  The best specific approach and mechanisms useful depend highly on the
  purpose for the identification, and that was unfortunately not stated.

answer written or last revised on ( 7-MAY-2003 )

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