Game Of Life, John H. Conway

Kyle Owen kylevowen at
Thu Apr 30 14:41:39 CDT 2020

On Thu, Apr 30, 2020, 14:15 Boris Gimbarzevsky via cctech <
cctech at> wrote:

> Seeing that video makes me want to play around with game of life again.
> Once it came out in October 1970 Sci Am, we were all coding it but
> not nearly as much fun doing it as a batch FORTRAN job and having to
> enter cells on punched cards (at least we could run that initial game
> configuration card deck through a card printer to see if any errors).
> Last version I wrote was in PDP8 assembler to run on a TSS-8 which at
> least allowed one to see each generation on TTY, but slow.

I also wrote a version for the PDP-8; I was sure someone else had beat me
to it (an assembly version, that is), but I didn't find any versions online
other than for BASIC and FOCAL—neither of which supported very many cells
nor ran very quickly.

The version I wrote supports both VC8E and terminal outputs, both printing
and video terminals alike. It's a pretty big playing field, too, but it
runs quickly enough, I'd say. It'll run from OS/8 and supports initial
configuration, but I don't think I ever added support to initialize from
another file on disk; just TTY input, if I recall.

If anyone has more optimizations, feel free to submit a pull request!




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