Reproducing old machines with newer technology (Re: PDP-12 at the RICM)

Noel Chiappa jnc at
Wed Jul 15 12:28:41 CDT 2015

    > From: Sean Caron

    > Many examples of blinkenlights eye candy throughout computer history

It wasn't _just_ eye candy; it was a real help in problem debugging (when the
machine was stopped), and you could tell a lot about what the machine was
doing (when it was running) from the way the lights changed.

When the overall machine cost came down, they were too expensive to be worth
what they cost, though.

Speaking of lights for feedback, anyone remember the 'run bar' - or whatever
they called it, my memory fails me - on the display on the Lisp Machines?
Actually, it was a series, IIRC - one for the CPU, one for the disk, etc. The
machine didn't have LEDs, but it used short lines on the bit-map display

IIRC, the idea was copied from the Knight TV's on MIT-AI. (Which I believe
were the first-ever bit-mapped displays - anyone know of an earlier one?)


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