PDP-8 Straight 8 restoration

Josh Dersch derschjo at gmail.com
Mon Mar 30 14:02:56 CDT 2020

On Sun, Mar 29, 2020 at 1:48 PM Brendan McNeill via cctech <
cctech at classiccmp.org> wrote:

> Here in NZ and around the world many of us are in lockdown and spending
> more time on our computers, if that were possible.  I have just completed
> the restoration of a PDP-8 Straight 8 which I believe is the only one in
> New Zealand.  You can view the restoration story and find appropriate
> resources here:  https://pdp-8.nz <https://pdp-8.nz/>

Very nicely done, and an excellent write-up.  That core memory repair was
amazing. It's interesting to read about a PDP-8 with such a high failure
rate -- I've personally worked on two straight-8 systems (one at LCM+L, and
one in my personal collection) where relatively few component failures were
found.  I wonder what accounts for the difference -- batches of diodes more
prone to failure, the environment the machines were stored in, or the
number of years of service...

> While it plays Chess, it would be great if someone wanted to write (say) a
> Prime Number Generator, or some other application and email it to me off
> list.  I have Focal-69 and can probably source other languages for this
> wonderful old machine with 4K of memory.

There's a 4K LISP as well, though it's a pseudo-LISP-1.5 dialect so it's a
bit different.

- Josh

> --------------//----------------
> brendan at mcneill.co.nz
> +64 21 881 883

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