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

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  • Kyle Owen
    ... I got my new bulbs Friday! I ordered 50 (for ~$27 shipped from Mouser) of the 12V high brightness type, and they look perfect. I replaced all of the bulbs
    Message 1 of 91 , Jun 2, 2013
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      On Wed, May 22, 2013 at 8:55 PM, David Gesswein <djg@...> wrote:

      http://www.pdp8online.com/pdp8cgi/query_docs/view.pl?id=188

      The first are simple instruction tests. The console print test and echo
      test are good for checking out your console serial port. The visisble
      increment AC test is what it says. The shifting lights will be a good first
      program for learning the PDP-8 instruction set.

      After I get the toggle in and console working then I toggle in RIM, load
      over the console serial BIN, then run the 8/E maindecs, then run focal/basic
      etc. To load basic or focal programs (not the bin tape) over the console
      you will need to either convert reader run to RS-232 flow control or use a
      program that can put pauses at end of line etc.


      I got my new bulbs Friday! I ordered 50 (for ~$27 shipped from Mouser) of the 12V high brightness type, and they look perfect. I replaced all of the bulbs with these, just to make sure they'd match. 

      As you suggested, I made the shifting lights program by hand compiling it as a first learning experience of the instruction set. Here's a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZ9H1vqdIDM

      Next step: get my serial interface card going. Were there any common failures on the M8650? Mine just puts out a few random characters to the terminal every few seconds when the computer is on. Turned off, there's nothing coming in, so I doubt it's a high noise problem on my cables. I'm just using a few feet of Cat 5. 

      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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