Nine Room At Purdue

The PDP-9 was an 18-bit computer with core memory, ttl logic, a disk drive and a single address instruction set. The machine spun DecTape?, compiled FORTRAN, and drove a calligraphic display on a big radar tube.


Some EEs did projects on the machine. A few of us managed keys to the room and hung out there late at night...

The 9 room also had a cute little desk machine by Imlac. MazeWar? and SpaceWar programs for the Imlac came from MIT. The idea was to use an Imlac as a front end for Purdue's big CDC equipment. Bill wrote a terminal program with a display list handler driven by escape sequences from the host. I wrote several plot libraries and a few graphical applications that couldn't hold a candle to either MIT war game.

I learned of the CircleOfReincarnation of display processors around this time. We always wanted the hardware to do more. I remember sneaking in one night to add vectored interrupts to the Imlac by populating empty sockets. ME had an Imlac too. They told us how to do it. In EE fooling with the hardware was forbidden.

CS also had an Imlac. We went over there an saw a beautiful client system they had put together. The trouble was, it tried to SimulateHumanBehavior? to the mainframe. They said don't do it. We didn't.


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