From: Eric Smith <spacewar at gmail.com>
Sent: Dec 4, 2014 3:43 PM
To: "General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts" <cctalk at
Subject: Re: No such thing as "the PDP" [was RE: Typesafety versus Worse is
Better - was Re: Fwd: is there any word processing software for the pdp11?]
On Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 2:44 PM, Lyle Bickley <lbickley at bickleywest.com> wrote:
"Dale H. Cook" <radiotest at
> Speaking of that pioneering machine, does anyone know if there are
> any plans by the CHM to try to make the MIT engineering prototype
> operable? I last saw it in use at MIT about 45 years ago, when it was
> housed adjacent to the TX-0 and the two were being used for speech
> synthesis experiments. From what I understand the operable machine on
> display at the CHM is a later C production version.
There are no current plans to restore another
PDP-1 at the CHM...
Nor is it likely that restoration of the prototype will ever be done.
Restoring something that is mostly documented was a big challenge.
Restoring something that is mostly undocumented is close enough to
impossible that I doubt that those of us who were on the PDP-1
restoration team would ever seriously consider it, nor would anyone
CHM has a second production PDP-1 that would be a much better
restoration candidate if the world needed a second operational PDP-1,
which it doesn't.
I used that PDP-1 at MIT in 1972 or so for the 6.273 programming course.
Still have my class notebook, with all my programs printed out on the Flexowriter
That PDP-1 was not a 'virgin' PDP-1 any more even then, it had features added by
eager grad students.
As indicated above the second / backup that CHM has would be a better choice to restore.