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Re: [midatlanticretro] Computer presentation/games

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  • Jim Scheef
    David, I was surprised your question did not get any replies. Of course there is no obvious answer and thus some thought is required. :-) Games - especially
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 28, 2009
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      David,

      I was surprised your question did not get any replies. Of course there
      is no obvious answer and thus some thought is required. :-)

      Games - especially simple games that can be played without practice -
      are the obvious demo for the PDP. Even today games continue to be the
      come-on used at the gypsy computer shows today.

      I never had a chance to sit down to really see what you had running this
      year so I have no idea what games or programs you had running this year.
      I think terminal-friendly text games like Wumpus and Trek would be
      better than Adventure. I played both on VM/CMS and TSO using a Silent
      700 thermal printing terminal. The effect can't be much different from
      your teletype on the PDP.

      For those who don't or can't relate to the games, a text editor/word
      processor would be a good introduction to using a terminal for "serious
      purposes" on a "limited" system. To you have something with the
      capabilities of *early* WordStar? Sit someone down and open a file for
      them to edit. Give them a cheat sheet of commands and ask them to
      edit/enter some text. This would give people a taste of using such a
      system in a business setting.

      Jim


      David Gesswein wrote:
      >
      >
      > We have had several people commenting on using games for demonstrating
      > computers. When working on my displays I've tried to figure out how to make
      > a presentation that gives a reasonable view of the machine and
      > capabilities.
      > I've found it hard to not fall back on games. This year with the TU10
      > restoration being much more complex that originally expected I ran out of
      > time for display preparation so games and copying files between the tapes
      > was it.
      >
      > Games are something that most of the public can identify with, can be shown
      > quickly and are readily available for just about any system. The other
      > easy one is pretty "pictures" on displays like the kaleidoscope
      > program I had running on the point plot last year. Good for getting
      > attention.
      > At least for the systems I'm demonstrating they definitely existed (and
      > even DEC used them as easy examples in the manuals) they are a small portion
      > of how the machines were used.
      >
      > I can't really think of any way to make a reasonable demo of say how
      > software development would have been done that would be understandable
      > or of interest to very many people. The PDP-8/E's I have were used for
      > school administration but I don't think people are going to get excited
      > about watching it reconcile the general ledger accounts. Numeric control
      > industrial applications would make a cool appropriate demo but I don't have
      > that milling machine peripheral.
      >
      > I know its sort of system specific but do people have ideas on how to convey
      > other usage of machines in a way that will work with people who don't
      > really understand old computers?
      >
      > I've also wondered how much of what I say in trying to describe the machine
      > has meaning to people.
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