[its-hackers] GT40 news

Ken Harrenstien iceklh at gmail.com
Thu Jan 21 17:46:52 CET 2021

IIRC, SHRDLU considerably predated the arrival of the GT40.
The only thing I ever saw the GT40 actually used for was Lunar Lander,
but then I was almost never around during the daytime.

I don't remember another GT40 existing, or we would have tried to
use it for LL as well.  There *was*, however, a GT44 in a small room at the
south end of the 9th floor, past MIT-MC.  This was more of a full
PDP-11 rack with a larger display and for whatever reason wasn't
a favorite for playing with, at least in the little circle I moved in.  The
DM Imlacs on the 2nd floor were much more prized for Maze playing.


On Thu, Jan 21, 2021 at 7:33 AM Lyle Bickley <lbickley at bickleywest.com>

> Lars,
> Nice work!
> I wonder of Terry's SHRDLU ever was run and displayed on the GT40? Not
> sure of
> the timing of SHRDLU vs. availability of the GT40...
> Cheers!
> Lyle
> --
> On Thu, 21 Jan 2021 07:21:08 +0000
> Lars Brinkhoff <lars at nocrew.org> wrote:
> > Hello,
> >
> > Some GT40 related updates.
> >
> > - I'm trying to investigate whether there were one or two GT40 machines
> > in the AI lab.  I believe one started out as a SUDS workstation (a 1974
> > version does work), and was later revamped into a CONS console.  It was
> > connected to T34 the whole time.  Probably a second GT40 was in the Mini
> > Robot lab.  It would usually be a console for the Mini Robot PDP-11/45,
> > but could also be switched over to T40.  The problem is no one I asked
> > clearly remember this.  The Mini Robot people say they recall their
> > GT40, but no other.  The other AI lab people, vice versa.
> >
> > - The Lisp display slave for the 340 was updated to also support a GT40.
> > This code was built into Maclisp until around 1974, but was split off
> > into a separate FASL during the shift to new I/O.  This FASL was
> > slightly recoded and still worked for the 340, but GT40 support was
> > botched.  I fixed this, and now a call to DISINI can select display at
> > runtime by supplying a second argument.  Tested with Lisp Logo.
> >
> > - Speaking of the Mini Robot lab, I also found their version of GT40
> > Spacewar.  It was written on DOS-11 using its MACRO.  I haven't been
> > able to assemble it with ITS' PALX; apparently the syntax isn't 100%
> > compatible.  I'm looking into assembling it on DOS-11 or some other
> > PDP-11 operating system.
> >
> > - I found source and binary for Bo Eross' Spacewar, written for a GT40
> > at Stanford.  The binary works fine on the SIMH emulator.
> >
> > - The Mini Robot lab produced some other programs for their GT40.  I'm
> > talking to lab members about requesting files from MIT.
> >
> --
> 73   NM6Y
> Bickley Consulting West
> https://bickleywest.com
> "Black holes are where God is dividing by zero"
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