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The Ancient Computer Time Machine


Some material is very old and may be incorrect today

© November 2005 Anthony Lawrence

This month's Linux journal has a great article on SIMH and running an emulation of Unix R5. I took a look at the simh.trailing-edge.com site and found that they also had an emulation of the old IBM accounting machines and a software kit for the SPS (Symbolic Programming System) assembler. SPS was the first language I ever learned (the second was Cobol), so this brought back memories.

For you other old timers, maybe you flipped switches on a MITS Altair 8800 - they have that, too. Lots of PDP stuff; this is an incredibly fascinating resource.

The young folk might want to pull down a little of this stuff just to see why we old timers are as grumpy as we are: this is the software that molded us. It could also be amusing to look at sources and see the beginning of security problems that are still with us today.


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Thu Nov 10 17:20:11 2005: 1324   rbailin


Thank you Tony for point this site out. I cut my teeth on PDP-8/S and 8/E systems, and truly miss the hands-on approach that these systems afforded. Not to mention the coding skills required when you only have 4K of memory to work with. Bad or poor coding practices were not simply frowned upon, they were pretty much unworkable due to these hardware constraints.

Front-panel lights, toggle switches, paper tape and ASR-33's. The good old days when every opcode mattered. The $30K price points...

--Bob



Thu Apr 16 11:29:46 2009: 6189   TonyLawrence

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Someone in our local Computer Club sent me this:

(link)

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