No such thing as

Don North ak6dn at
Thu Dec 4 18:40:42 CST 2014

-----Original Message-----
>From: Eric Smith <spacewar at>
>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> wrote:
>> "Dale H. Cook" <radiotest at> wrote:
>>> 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
>else sensible.
>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 terminals.

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.

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