Re: @ST The problem probably wasn't the software...
>Yeah. There's that. Porting N number of old FORTRAN libaries from DEC FORTRAN to ... Intel X86_64 I guess? How long would that take?
I'd go the other route. A VAX isn't a very large machine by modern standards so it would be easier to just emulate it on a generic platform (apparently even a Raspberry Pi will do the job). Its much easier to verify the correct operation of an emulation than verify ports of system code.
Like many others I suspect the real reason for cranking the old machine into life would be that the data was stored on magnetic tape. I'd also guess that the data on the tape was structured by the software so just reading the tape wouldn't be much use without understanding how the program used that data.