PDP-10 programming [was RE: Dumb Terminal games (was Re: Looking for a small fast VAX development machine)]

Rich Alderson RichA at LivingComputerMuseum.org
Tue Mar 1 18:28:38 CST 2016

From: Glen Slick
Sent: Monday, February 29, 2016 7:43 PM

> On Feb 29, 2016 5:07 PM, "Rich Alderson" <RichA at livingcomputermuseum.org>
> wrote:

>> From: David Griffith
>> Sent: Friday, February 26, 2016 4:05 PM

>>> One of my ongoing wish projects is to learn to program a pdp-10 so I can
>>> port Frotz to it.

>> The canonical textbook is Ralph Gorin's _Introduction to DECSYSTEM-20
>> Assembly Language Programming_ (Digital Press, 1981).  Lots of examples,
>> well thought out presentation.

>> It's a shame that Ralph's book has become so rare.  (Seriously, who
>> does the seller asking $1,441.25 for a copy think he's talking to???)
>> Probably remaindered in the 1990s at any library that had a copy.

> FWIW Amazon lists used copies of ISBN-13 978-0932376121 around $100. I
> bought a used copy a couple of years ago that turned out to be an
> ex-library copy. Don't think I paid too much at the time. Still haven't
> gotten around to looking at it much.

For most hobbyists, even $100 is too much.  I was simply astounded at the
chutzpah of the seller--right there on the Amazon list--who was asking
nearly $1500 for a copy.

From: Mark Wickens
Sent: Monday, February 29, 2016 11:32 PM

> There is a copy on archive.org: 
> https://archive.org/details/introductiontode00step

Well, I was going to point that out to my friend Ralph, but I see that
it is a different book with the same title, by one Stephen Longo, which
has been stolen.

From: John H. Reinhardt
Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2016 5:03 AM

> There is a similar document online at Columbia with parts written by
> Ralph Gorin

> <http://www.columbia.edu/kermit/ftp/dec20/assembler-guide.txt>

Rather, adapted from Ralph's early course notes (he was teaching the
class at Stanford for a few years before the book was published) by
Frank da Cruz and Chris Ryland.  I know that Frank and Ralph were
friendly, so I'm not surprised that Ralph shared his notes.

From: Pontus Pihlgren
Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2016 5:13 AM

On Tue, Mar 01, 2016 at 08:02:47AM -0500, John H. Reinhardt wrote:

>> <http://www.columbia.edu/kermit/ftp/dec20/assembler-guide.txt>

> I think this is the same file, but in HTML-formatted with one page per
> chapter:

> http://pdp10.nocrew.org/docs/instruction-set/pdp-10.html

No, that's an HTMLized version of the INFO file that accompanies the
original EMACS (the one written in MIT AI Lab TECO for the PDP-10).

So David, there are alternatives to the Gorin textbook.  I simply prefer
it for paedogogical reasons.


Rich Alderson
Vintage Computing Sr. Systems Engineer
Living Computer Museum
2245 1st Avenue S
Seattle, WA 98134

mailto:RichA at LivingComputerMuseum.org


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