I apparently have Spacewar for Unix?

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Tue Oct 15 13:57:28 CDT 2019

On Tue, Oct 15, 2019 at 09:51:02AM -0500, Daniel Seagraves via cctalk wrote:
> While dumping lispm tapes, I found one with a label saying "Read it
> into DRAL" (may be "DRAC"?) "and sent a message to cap's bboard
> saying where it can be found. -Bob”. There was another paper label
> that had fallen off. What I think is the label in question was later
> found in the bottom of the box, a strip of masking tape saying
> “SPACEWAR FOR VAX (Unix?)”. The contents are a 136KB tar archive
> containing source to a program called “orbit”, all files are dated
> August 22nd, 1983.

I unpacked it. The beginning of orbit.man says:

orbit \- Spacewar on the Sun
orbit <players>
orbit <ship1name> ... [-O <optionfile>]
The classic game of interplanetary death and destruction.
Mostly written in C; an assembler package does fast single-precision
floating-point for orbital calculations and collision detection.
Most of the game's basic parameters are changeable;
parameter sets can be saved and reloaded from option files.
If the file .orbitrc exists in your

and the fp.s file looks to me like a Motorola assembler, but I may be
wrong. In main.c there are references to something like graphics
routines making use of framebuffer. The structure of filesystem
mentioned in Makefile hints towards Unix-like system.

I would say, after very quick looking, it is rather for SunOS, not for
anything DEC-made.

I wonder if others may come to different conclusions?

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at bigfoot.com             **

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