That said, I've been wondering what would be
different (aside from
noise & heat ;) about running 2.11BSD on hardware rather than in Simh
on my increasingly decrepit Dell C640 running Xubuntu. Logically I
should spend the money on a new intel based laptop but what's the fun
I think you need to consider what you are interested in doing.
From what I hear (I have no first-hand experience),
Smih is a very good
simulator. If what you want to do is run the old OSes and other
it will be fie.
But the reason I don;'t use it, (or any other simulator for that matter)
is that I am primarily a hardware hacker. I want to be able to conenct my
logic analyser to the output of the ALU,, That is something you can't do
with a simualtr running on a PC. In fact it's soemthing you can't do with
a microprocesosr-based machien either. And for that reason, my love is
the older Unibus PDP11s, IIRC, the CPU in all Qbus machiens is a custom
chipset (F11, J11, etc). On the machines I like, the CPU is half a dozen
boards paccked full of simple logic ICs. I think my 11/45 (which AFAIK
can't run BSD 2.11) has over 1000 ICs in the CPU. Lovely :-)
Another good reason to rtn the real hardware is to use peripherals that
don't exist for PCs. Mass storage, termianlas, etc do. But I don;'t think
SimH can simualter ADCs nad DACs conencted to real-world devices. And of
course, you might waht to read the real PDP11 disk packs, tapes, etc.
That's harder to do on a PC.
I find the real hardare _much_ easier to maintain than a PC, but then
again I am a hardawre type who wants to follow a scheamtic and change 1
transistor (or whatever), not swap a board.
I ampretty sure htat SimH running on a moder-insh system will eb a lot
faster than any real PDP11, though.
Ulitmately it's up to you. Running the real hardare is fun, at least for
me. But it will not be as anjoyable for some people, I think