Sometime in the early 1970s, (maybe 74 or 75) a DEC CE friend, Debbie,
gave me a 9 track tape on a small 7" reel and said "You've got to try
this one". I asked her what system it was for, and she said "PDP-10.
Well, I knew nothing about PDP-10 systems, but I said I'd have a look at
the tape. Mind you, most of my tape library was 7-track. When I first
dumped it on a CDC CYBER 73 system, I couldn't make heads or tails of
it. It slowly became clear that this was a 36 bit system and that
characters were 7 bits in length, with the highest-order bit not part of
the 5 characters. So I wrote out some code and discovered that the
characters were indeed 7 bit ASCII.
After that, it was a simple matter of converting the thing to 6 bit CDC
display code. Naturally, the I/O statements had to be reworked for
SCOPE / INTERCOM, and the different word length but a special problem
arose when it came to saving the game. Unlike the DEC convention of
saving an executable file, it really didn't fit well with the SCOPE OS
architecture to do that. So I took all of the volatile game-related
variables and wrote them out as a file. Retrieving a saved game was
I anonymously put the game onto a reel of tape and made it known that it
was available to whomever wanted it. It was only about 2 weeks that
CDC COMSOURCE launched a search-and-destroy mission to wipe the game off
the face of the earth, or at least CDC SVLOPS. I don't know if they
ever succeeded. I decided that this was something that I would best not
take credit for.
Your tax dollars at work.
From all reports, it was extremely popular.