[its-hackers] GT40 news

Lars Brinkhoff lars at nocrew.org
Fri Jan 22 10:05:52 CET 2021

Lyle Bickley wrote:
>  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...

As far as I understand SHRDLU was written around 1968-1970.  Backup
timestamps suggest there were attempts to maintain it in the early 70s.
According to one of Terry's grad students, David McDonald, SHRDLU was
not in a good state.  All binary executables I have seen seem to agree
with that assessment.

The earliest evidence I have found for the GT40 is from late 1973.  I
haven't seen anyting to suggest SHRDLU would every have been displaying
on the GT40.  However!  SHRDLU uses the Lisp display slave which can use
either tbe 340 or the GT40, so maybe it might work.

Ken Harrenstien wrote:
> I don't remember another GT40 existing, or we would have tried to
> use it for LL as well.

Maybe it was a well kept secret in the Mini Robot group, but apparently
they did have a Lunar Lander in there.  And maybe a version they wrote
themselves.  There was also a home made Spacewar.

> 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.

TTYTYP from 1976-178 has this as T33, room 938, (formerly?) Ed Fredkin's
office.  This brochure says it used a PDP-11/40 rather than the much
smaller 11/05 that the GT40 had sitting under the display.


The only GT44 software I see in the backups is a Datapoint emulator.

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