Course materials for MIT 6.031 (c. 1974) scanned

Paul Koning paulkoning at
Mon Sep 30 18:51:33 CDT 2019

> On Sep 30, 2019, at 4:39 PM, ben via cctalk <cctalk at> wrote:
> A quick look,  nothing is said about Algol, did you mean Assembler?
> what I see is interesting is that LISP is on a 11. I allways thought
> LISP only ran on BIGGER machines.
> Ben.

From what I heard fairly recently, some early LISP implementations were on quite small machines.  One was the PDP-8 (see and that same page also mentions LISP for the ZEBRA -- a Dutch machine, with 33 bit words.  

I think another was the Electrologica X1, another Dutch machine, like the ZEBRA from 1958, with 27 bit words and a base configuration of 4k words of core memory.  I may be off; if it wasn't the X1, it would be the X8, from 1968, also 27 bits but more likely to be seen with 32 k or so of memory.

A lot of things can be done in small amounts of memory if you work at it, though admittedly most who have that skill probably also have white hair.  :-)  For example, the world's first ALGOL compiler -- a full language compiler, not a subset -- ran on an EL-X1 with 4k words of memory.  And it was built by 2 people, in 6 months.  Now admittedly one of those two was E.W.Dijkstra...


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