Course materials for MIT 6.031 (c. 1974) scanned

Noel Chiappa jnc at
Tue Oct 1 08:16:26 CDT 2019

    > From: Josh Dersch

    > Any idea what ultimately happened to that 11/45?

MIT offered it to me as a gift, but I was a total idiot (and also didn't have
future vision), and as I was so busy with the IETF/IESG at the time (which
might have been the right call, given how the Internet - note the correct
capitalization - has changed the world) I didn't have time to arrange the
shipping, and it was given to FTP Software.

I recently tried to track it down, to find all the software on it (before I
discovered a couple of sets of dump tapes I had made BITD in my basement),
and they gave it to one of their employees and it was apparently scrapped.

    > Are the Algol and LISP available anywhere?

Not up yet, but if anyone wants either, I can try and find time to get them

For the Algol interpreter, all I have is the binary (runs under the
MIT-hacked PWB1 - not sure if it would run until vanilla V6) and the manual;
the source was unfortunately not saved when the drives were moved from
DSSR/RTS (the DELPHI group) to my group, CSR. (Although there may at one
point have been a copy retained on a now long-lost pack, along with a lot of
other 6.031 stuff, like problem sets sources; I do have a file which is a
listing of the disk contents.)

For the LISP interpreter, we do have the source (in MACRO) too. Alas, to
build it, one needs the 'bind' binder (which groks .REL files, which are
based on DEC's relocatable binary format), which was i) written in BCPL, and
ii) the current binary can't rebuild itself (I forget the details, whether
it's the BCPL compiler, the MACRO assembler, or 'bind' which can't be
re-built; it was a couple of years back I was playing with all that).
Luckily, we do have some older binaries which can probably be used to work
around the issue. Of course, if one just wants to use the existing
interpreter binary, one can avoid all that.


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