PDP 8 Timesharing

Rick Bensene rickb at bensene.com
Mon Nov 30 13:03:06 CST 2015

Ed wrote:

> when I was young in the computer biz   wanted to build a  timeshare  8
> system..
> however ended up  going down the HP  route instead  for the  rest of
> career .
> There was also  something called TSS-8 as I remember. Ed#

I'd *LOVE* to be able to have a real-hardware HP Timeshared BASIC system
running here, but alas, those are a lot harder to come by than DEC
stuff.  I do have a 2000/Access system running under SimH hooked
directly to an ASR-33, which emulates the experience relatively closely,
but there's nothing like the real hardware.  I cut my teeth learning
programming on the HP Timeshared BASIC systems starting in 6th grade
under the 2000C version.

TSS-8 was indeed a timeshare system for the PDP 8, but it was written to
run on DECs earlier fixed-head disk drives that are hard to come about
today (compared to RK05's).   I've heard that someone had made changes
to TSS-8 to get it to run on an RK05, but the fact that it's a moving
head disk drive versus a fixed head drive that TSS-8 was designed to run
under, the poor RK05 gets thrashed pretty hard when timesharing.

There are also the Edusystem timeshared systems that DEC developed for
the PDP 8,  but I haven't looked too deeply into these yet.


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