Help reading a 9 track tape

Paul Koning paulkoning at
Mon Aug 2 11:19:56 CDT 2021

> On Aug 2, 2021, at 11:11 AM, James Liu via cctech <cctech at> wrote:
> Thanks for feedback and offers to assist.  I received the tape from
> one of the maintainers of Schoonship at CERN, and it was probably made
> around 1978 at SLAC.
> For some background, Tini Veltman developed Schoonship in the 1960's
> at CERN on the CDC 6600.  My understanding is that he more or less
> insisted on coding in assembly since he thought FORTRAN or other high
> level languages would just get in the way and slow things down.

Depending on what he was trying to do that may well be a valid assessment.  CDC Fortran was known to be pretty good, but Fortran  is not the obvious answer for implementing interpreters or other language processors, which this sounds like.

> ...
> Getting back to the tape, I'm pretty sure it has Strubbe's PL/I like
> code as it is an archive of the PL/I conversion.  It may also have CDC
> source, but that is less obvious until we can see the contents.  The
> CDC source is historically the most relevant, and I am hoping it
> exists on the tape.

Just to make sure you're aware of this: if it is CDC source code, you can run that on the DtCyber emulator.  That's a full 6000 / 170 series machine emulator which can run almost all CDC 6000 series software and operating systems.  Not a 180 (for NOS/VE) system, nor an implementation of the 7600 architecture, but I assume you're not dealing with peripheral processor code anyway.  DtCyber is open source; a fork of it has been running the PLATO system for over 10 years now.  Copies of NOS are also openly available (by permission of the owners, not bootleg copies).


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