Okay, so out of curiosity I found the listing for the Decmate on eBay:
Now, this is a pretty cool looking critter.
Please bear in mind that I'm essentially an 8-bit micro guy, and I have
no experience with larger machines except for a VaxStation(not counting
PC crap, of course). I've always considered getting a larger machine
but have never had the space, or the wiring, or the tact required to
convince my better half that having such a machine in the house would be
a good thing.
However, the Decmate has a number of appealing qualities:
Small size -- will fit in my HideOut (computer room)
"Somewhat" PDP-8 compatible -- a whole new world for me
Affordable -- even with shipping it's within my budget
Attractive appearance -- looks like a computer my wife can relate to
instead of some gargantuan refugee from a '50s sci-fi movie
On the other hand, I have some questions (I did a little Googling and
have more to do, but I know there are folks here who can answer my
questions quickly and accurately):
Is it a fair value at $200 plus (probably) another $200 for shipping?
Is technical documentation available?
What OSes will run on it? (OS/8 ?) Are they available for download?
What software, languages, assemblers, etc. are available?
How compatible is it with the PDP-8 -- ie, will it run PDP-8 software?
Does it have a free serial port so I can download software onto a PC and
then serial-transfer it to the Decmate?
How expandable is it? What sort of bus does it have?
What are the Decmate's disadvantages?
Is there a better machine I should hold out for which is small and in
the same price range?
If it has problems, are there people on this list who will help me
troubleshoot the thing (I have a 'scope, logic probe, meter, soldering
Any and all feedback is really appreciated.