Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2022 15:54:33 -0500
From: Steve Lewis <lewissa78(a)gmail.com>
Subject: [cctalk] datapoint 2200 programming
Does anyone know how the 1970/1971 original Datapoint 2200 was programmed?
It had tapes containing terminal programs to access different types of
systems. And the instruction set was said to be similar what became the
8008. But how were these terminal programs created and how were the tapes
written? Were they under emulators on larger systems, like a PDP-10?
Were there any tapes that had something like a machine code editor and
tape-write routines? I assume no kind of ROM was built into the system
(unless it had a built in machine code editor, and routines to write that
content to a tape?) Was a version of BASIC ever built for the 8008 that
ran on a Datapoint 2200 or similar system?
While in college, 1973 to 77, I had a part-time job where one of the things we did was use
a Datapoint 1100 dual cassette model to act as a data entry terminal for a database system
running on a Cascade 80 minicomputer.
I did the Datapoint programming, which was to query the db over an async line for a form
template, allow the operator to fill in the form, then upon entry, send the data back.
The db would provide the next form to display. A rudimentary state machine at several
The Datapoint came with a Cassette Tape operating system, called CTOS I believe. You
booted it up, and the second drive was your working drive. The Programmer’s manual
referenced shows you the commands. There was an simple tape file system, Editor,
Assembler, Debugger, and a library of subroutines for common access to the system’s I/O.
I remember very little about the details of working on it, but I had no problems getting
the data entry system working. You just sat down and started programming it. The
instruction set was the model for the 8008, but it preceded the popularity and
availability of that chip.
My boss did some real inspired work on the Cascade Data side. He managed to insert the
database access code into high memory of the system, and hook into the native OS. So we
could use the system normally, but the database serviced the terminal in the background.
I did other Cascade programming in assembly, I wrote my own instruction card for the
In my senior year, the facility switched over to using IBM System 3 equipment, and I got
to work with RPG, 8-inch diskettes, and 96-column cards.
Sent from Mail for Windows