Thinking about acquiring PDP stuff

allison ajp166 at
Wed Nov 30 13:34:52 CST 2016

On 11/30/16 11:48 AM, Brad H wrote:
> Haha.  I don't know if I'd call using all that iron to run Christmas lights
> 'practical', though it is very cool.  I'm just trying to get out of the home
> computer collector mindset.  We buy machines that can do all sorts of
> things, especially games with graphics.  And when we're done we can simply
> move them aside or tuck them in a closet.  A PDP with racks and all that,
> not exactly portable. :)  So I wondered what PDP guys did to keep interested
> and how much they actually used the machine over the course of, say, a year.

Well using them to do work and also programming keeps it going and having
enough hardware to have one different one for each week of the year doesn't
hurt either.

I also do things like start with a Z80 system, a machine I know well and 
say CP/M-2.2 OS and proceed to try and write a improved version that can 
do the one thing everyone wanted then, hierarchical directories, in a larger
disk space.  When you consider things like ZRdos were improvements and 
the 8mb limit but not the flat directory issue in a compatible way. Will 
it change
the world, no, but its an interesting exercise.  To do so means 
at the most fundamental levels OS and file system operation.

As to PDP-11s or any PDP-mumble not all are rack size!  The small 11 I 
have is
in a BA11VA (13x12x4 inches!) that's smaller than a lot of current PCs 
save for
the terminal.

Never forget everything old is new again.


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