Re: building a PDP-8 computer in your kitchen
From: "Alan and Carmel Brain" <aebrain@d...>
Date: Mon, 8 May 2000 23:50:32 +1000
Subject: Re: building a PDP-8 computer in your kitchen
From: "Charles N. Choukalos" <email@example.com>
> All I can say is WOW... That's some serious persiverance and patience
> do that kinda a work.
As I said, the guy whose project this was was a nutter.
> I think I would scream, decide I wasn't getting
> paid for this horse droppings and run back to the FPGA a happy man.
It was a labour of love. Which is to say, that after the nth batch with
0% yield we both said F*&^% this for a joke <g>
We did it to see if we could, basically. A hobby.
> I checked with some of the old time IBM process
> guys... And they were like "How did you think we made chips?" and the
> famous line... "Chuck, you know that we used looms to make memory back
> the 60's don't you?"
And the UYK-7 computer, still to be found in many combat ships, still
Core memory. It's very resistant to EMP, doesn't require a refresh (so
power is lost, you still have the memory as it was at the time), and
degrades gracefully - shoot a bullet through it, and only the bits
damaged by the projectile are lost.
Of course, this means a CPU with all the power of a 286 weighs about a
you'd be surprised at how primitive some of the "advanced" military
That's cause they keep it in service for decades.
> Thanks again Alan for explaining... I was foolishly envisioning
> far more simple...
Simple it ain't. But it *is* doable.
Guess I'm showing my age. My father was involved with computing wayyy
back in the early days, and my Uncle before that (as in University of
Manchester, Bletchley Park and all that). I can still remember when I
my first FORTRAN subroutine to run, at Harwell Atomic Research
in the mid 60s. I was 8 at the time. IIRC the system was a DEUCE, or was
a PEGASUS? I used its big brother ARGUS at the AIOTT in the 80s, when it
was being retired.