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Acquired a PDP-8/E

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  • Kyle Owen
    A friend of mine has semi-permanently lent me a PDP-8/E. It s in pretty good shape, but the key is missing. It seems to have 8k of core, a high-speed paper
    Message 1 of 91 , May 17, 2013
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      A friend of mine has semi-permanently lent me a PDP-8/E. It's in pretty good shape, but the key is missing. It seems to have 8k of core, a high-speed paper tape interface, a serial interface, and several other cards. I'm a bit confused on where to go from here, though. I suppose I need to track down a key. I'd also love to get a Model 33 teletype, but I think I'll make a working current loop converter first. I'd like to make some music with it via an AM radio, but I wouldn't quite know where to begin.

      Here are some pictures: http://imgur.com/a/6CtZi

      Any tips?

      Kyle
    • Dave McGuire
      ... OS/8 needs a random-access storage device; paper tape won t do it. Magnetic tape drives are *physically* sequential-access, of course, but the TU56 (for
      Message 91 of 91 , Jun 6, 2013
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        On 06/06/2013 12:54 PM, Kyle Owen wrote:
        > That looks like a nice product, but yes, it's certainly expensive. I've got
        > some FPGA background myself, along with several different microcontrollers,
        > so I may see about creating something that will work with my high-speed paper
        > tape interface. That could be considered an OS/8 storage device, yes?

        OS/8 needs a random-access storage device; paper tape won't do it.
        Magnetic tape drives are *physically* sequential-access, of course, but the
        TU56 (for example) is logically a random-access, block-oriented device. (with
        highly variable latency ;))

        > I would
        > have no idea how to go about writing a driver for it yet, but perhaps it'd be
        > in my best interest to start reading up on the commands for the card and then
        > learn more about OS/8. Do you have any suggestions on recommended reading for
        > this?

        If this was a generally-directed question...The book you want for "most
        things OS/8" is the "OS/8 Handbook". It is excellent. Try to find a paper
        copy if you can, but it's available in PDF on bitsavers:

        http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/pdf/dec/pdp8/os8/OS8_Handbook_Apr1974.pdf

        -Dave

        --
        Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
        New Kensington, PA
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