Monthly Archives: March 2016

Python on the PiDP

      No Comments on Python on the PiDP

I’m not really a C kind of person. And so when I finished building my PiDP kit, I immediately started thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to use all these switches and lights from Python?’ Because Python really is my kind of language. You can be properly expressive in it. And there’s not all that nasty business with make files. Fortunately,… Read more »

Networking VAX OpenVMS on SIMH & the Raspberry Pi

[Update 10/03/2017: some broken links were fixed] We’ve already had some fun getting a VAX up and running with OpenVMS under SIMH on a Raspberry Pi. And boy, what a mouthful that is. I’m building my installation on my lovely PiDP just because it seems appropriately retro. I mentioned at the time that the next step would be getting networking… Read more »

Sending an email in 1984

      No Comments on Sending an email in 1984

A friend posted this video on Facebook and my immediate reaction was, “I had that modem!”. On closer inspection it seems I was wrong. The modem in the video is the WS1000 whereas I had the Miracle Technology WS2000, capable of a scorching 1200 baud (half-duplex), as well as 600 and 300 baud full duplex and 1200/75 — the last being… Read more »

Presenting the Univac

      No Comments on Presenting the Univac

Nothing much changes, does it? With the famous Univac, the poor old programmer — even though he’s described as the most skilled member of the team (far more so, obviously, than a mere ‘Unitypist’) — still looks like a soulless drudge. There are moments in this video when you have to recalibrate. “Here’s the brain,” the narrator says, the (admittedly… Read more »

The dream machine

      No Comments on The dream machine

My More Significant Other (MSO) sometimes has trouble sleeping. She’ll wake in the night and can’t drift off again. So she bought a hypnotherapy recording and a headband/blindfold thing with built-in headphones. And she played the recording on her iPod Nano that some fantastically thoughtful husband once bought her. There was a problem with that set-up, though. Getting the iPod… Read more »

SIMH on the Raspberry Pi

      No Comments on SIMH on the Raspberry Pi

Installing the software for the PiDP, Oscar Vermeulen’s re-imagining of the PDP-8/I, couldn’t be easier. But that wasn’t going to stop me making life harder for myself. I mean, why do we play with machines like this? It’s to learn, to explore, to discover, to take things apart and occasionally to break them. I haven’t done that last one yet,… Read more »

Computing the ’60s – Raspberry Pi style

As soon as I heard of the PiDP I knew I would have to have one. Created by Oscar Vermeulen, whose KIM Uno kit I’d previously bought, it’s a brilliant recreation of a PDP-8/I using SIMH running on a Raspberry Pi. What’s more, it has loads of blinkenlights. So why did the kit sit in my office for eight months… Read more »

VAX OpenVMS on the Raspberry Pi

The answer to the question you’re dying to ask is, ‘why not?’. One of the reasons I bought the PiDP kit is that I wanted to learn a little more about the computing of yore, when programmers wore starched white shirts and pocket protectors. A couple of years ago or so I installed OpenVMS on a Raspberry Pi, running on… Read more »

Forward to the past

      No Comments on Forward to the past

This photo is just a teaser for a couple of forthcoming blog posts. Both of these are, in effect, glorified cases for the Raspberry Pi. And I know what you’re thinking … “kinda big, ain’t they?”. On top is the PiDP – Oscar Vermeulen’s recreation of a PDP-8/I. In this picture it’s in its not-quite-finished state. Below is a 1960… Read more »

CP/M on the Beeb

      No Comments on CP/M on the Beeb

Well, not exactly on the Beeb – more like via the Beeb. Ever since I built my copy of Grant Searle’s Multicomp I’ve had a hankering to hook it up to my BBC Master. There’s really no good reason to do this. The Zolastar 2000 (as I inexplicably called it) has perfectly good keyboard and VGA interfaces. And yet… Maybe it’s because… Read more »