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Re: [midatlanticretro] Acquired a PDP-8/E

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  • Kyle Owen
    ... That s one language I ve yet to learn. But I m looking forward to it! You see, though...it s the music that I can awe other laypeople with ( They had
    Message 1 of 91 , May 21, 2013
      On Mon, May 20, 2013 at 11:26 AM, Dave McGuire <Mcguire@...> wrote:
       

      Yes, you may be able to do that.

      Real music? Feh. Fun for five minutes. FORTRAN!!

      That's one language I've yet to learn. But I'm looking forward to it! You see, though...it's the music that I can awe other laypeople with ("They had computer music back in the early 70s?! Whoa..."). FORTRAN, not so much. :)


      > Are these high speed tape readers hard to find?

      Yeah they're pretty thin on the ground.

      Darn. That'd be nice to have. I guess this system likely had one, or was simply using the interface to control the equipment. But I'd imagine someone was loading the program and such via the paper tape, and perhaps the other prototyping card was used for equipment control.
       
       
      Quite a lot of work. RX01/RX02 drives use a relatively high-level
      interface that would take some doing to duplicate with an SA800-interfaced drive.

      Darn again. Maybe that'll be a project down the road. I'm learning some FPGA architectures and might could practice my VHDL skills (not to mention analog data separators and what not) by making some converters. Of course, a microcontroller may be just as suited.

      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
        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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