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Re: Acquired a PDP-8/E

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  • Stephen L
    ... with some PDP-8s, then! ... in many months. I do hope to get back eventually. Get in touch when you re going to be in town sometime and maybe we can set
    Message 1 of 91 , May 18, 2013
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      > We should have a get together at one of the AHCS meetings and play
      with some PDP-8s, then!

      --- I would like to get together but haven't been to the AHCS meetings
      in many months. I do hope to get back eventually. Get in touch when
      you're going to be in town sometime and maybe we can set something up.

      >What have you managed to do with your PDP?

      --- Well, the restoration was extensive, both physically and
      electronically but I managed to get the processor in good shape. Built a
      32K non-volatile RAM board for it, which I'm currently writing up for
      Tronola. I also restored an RK05 hard drive for it. With the help of
      Dave Gesswein and Bill Degnan, was able to boot OS/8 and run Fortran and
      Focal. After writing articles on the project, I will be building Bob
      Armstrong's SBC6120/FP6120 kit and doing a short project on a vacuum
      tube analyzer.

      Beyond that, I'll be circling back around to the PDP8/m, with bringing
      up the Extended Arithmetic Unit boards for it and repairing an 8K core
      memory board set. There is also a second RK05 drive and a Tektronix 4012
      graphics terminal which need work. Eventually, I hope to recreate
      something like the great PDP8/e system, which I worked with back at
      college in the 70's. It had the Tek terminal, 32K core, FPP12 floating
      point processor, RK05's, as well as DECtapes. I have a general notion of
      wanting to run simple CAE programs on it. Back in school, I wrote a
      simple schematic capture program for it. Have always wanted to see what
      it could do with circuit analysis software...

      Steve L.
    • 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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