HECnet update

I’ve updated the code to work with windows! I built this with MinGW… although it should build with others…

Anyways it’s easy to use, but requires a numeric ip address to attach too…

att xq

Is the syntax, host then : then port.

It should be somewhat robust, not requring the bridge to send something first for it to work…

The code snippet can be found here:


SIMH v3.8-1 released!

A new bugfix version of SIMH has been released!

I’ll be adding more binaries onto the sourceforge page, but in the meantime, the sourcecode is up, win32 binaries & i386 linux binaries are also uploaded.


From the notes:
SCP and libraries: Fixed bug in DETACH ALL if called at simulator exit (from Dave Bryan) Fixed bug in DO command handling of null arguments (from Dave Bryan) Fixed bug in DO handling of \\ (literal backslash) (from Dave Bryan) Fixed warnings in help printouts HP2100 (all changes from Dave Bryan)
Corrected DMS violation register set conditions JSB to 0/1 with W5 out and fence = 0 erroneously causes MP abort Fixed DJP, SJP, and UJP jump target validation BACI: Fixed STC,C losing interrupt request on BREAK MPX: Implemented 12792C eight-channel terminal multiplexer MT: Fixed missing flag after CLR command PIF: Implemented 12620A/12936A Privileged Interrupt Fences IBM 1401:
Fixed bug in ZA and ZS (from Bob Abeles) Fixed tape indicator implementation (from Bob Abeles) Added missing magtape modifier A (from Van Snyder) Added -n (no rewind) option to BOOT (from Van Snyder) Fixed bug to mask input to 6b on read (from Bob Abeles) PDP11:
Moved all Unibus/Qbus support routines to common I/O library Fxed bug in ASHP left overflow calc Fixed bug in DIVx VAX:
Fxed bug in ASHP left overflow calc Fixed bug in DIVx Resync time of day clock on any clock reset

HECnet client for SIMH

Ok the good news is that my PS3 running SIMH/VAX/Quasijarus is pinging away on my OpenBSD machine running the HECnet bridge program…

The ‘bad’ news for now is that it’s all *nix based… so no joy for the windows crowd. I’ll fix this soon enough, and release some binaries…

For now you can read about it here:


Colossal Cave on the PDP-8 & OS/8 redux

Just an FYI I got a quick message from Rick Murphy regarding the OS/8 image for Adventure. The new image is now located here:


Naturally, check out his page with all the information regarding Adventure on OS/8 right here:


Once more again, special thanks to Rick for making this whole “adventure adventure” possible!!


While adding pages & stuff to http://gunkies.org/wiki/Unix_System_6 I came across this thing called xv6 at MIT.


What it is, is a port of Unix v6 to the x86 cpu. Before this, apparently they were using actual v6 on a PDP-11 emulator, however for their uses it would be easier to use something more i386 like. Now the cool part is that it’s SMALL. It harkens back to the day when people could actually read the code to their OS..

# cat *.c wc -l
cat *.h wc -l
cat *.S wc -l

Yes, that all there is to it! It litteraly takes 4.5 seconds to compile the whole thing, and setup a boot/root disk image on a 1.5 Ghz P4. The only ‘catch’ is that you need elf tools to build the thing.. Most Linux/NetBSD/OpenBSD folk ought to be in luck as they have been elf for quite some time now.. For windows people it’s just easier to install an OS into a VM that contains an ELF toolchain.. Don’t feel bad about compiling it in a VM as it will not be that big of an ordeal.

Download the inital source from here: http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/6.828/2006/src/xv6-rev0.tar.gz

If you feel brave go thru the labs.. They have stuff to add like virtual memory and whatnot, but they do walk you thru it, with guides and stuff… Remember this is out of a class, they don’t throw the kids to the wolves as it were.

Naturally since it’s v6, there is no TCP/IP, heck it doesn’t even have native tools… But it *can* run exe’s so it’s got enough to get your feet wet.. It’s dammed near tempting to complete the course work to flesh it out, grab 32v and start building a userland then bring it to 3BSD levels… But then I guess that is missing the point of a small readable Unix.

Anyways I found it interesting, no pictures on this one but either way its… different. Oh and the disk images run great under Qemu for what it’s worth.

Colossal Cave on the PDP-8 & OS/8

While I was tracking down some FORTRAN versions of Zork/Adventure I came across the original ‘advent’ for OS/8. Not realizing it at the time, but this ‘advent’ I had come across was not the ‘adventure’ of zork fame, but adventure of Colossal Cave fame. Colossal Cave was written by Willie Crowther and quickly became one of the most popular games for it’s time. Because it was written in FORTRAN it was portable to various machines, not limited to the original version for the PDP-10, to even the IBM-PC (Microsoft released it the same time as MS-DOS 1.0). The version in question has been expanded by Don Woods to include the fantasy aspect of it. And with SIMH it’s very easy to get running.

First you will need a PDP-8 emulator. Natrually I’d recommend SIMH. You can download source and binaries from the sourceforge page here:

With the emulator in hand, next I’d just recommend you use the disk image graciously provided by Rick Murphy with both OS/8 and the adventure program already compiled and indexed here:

Now all you need to do is setup an .ini file for the PDP8 emulator. It’s very easy just save this in a .ini file with the emulator in the disk image in the same directory. If you call it pdp8.ini it will auto execute when you run the pdp8 emulator.

set cpu 32K
set cpu idle
att rk0 advent.rk05
boot rk0

Now go ahead and run the emulator.

You will be greeted with a . prompt. Now type in:


This will run the FORTRAN runtime system… It’s funny to note that in this day and age we take things like runtime systems for granted as this kind of thing is bound to the exe, and we just run things never thinking of where they came from. There is no doubt the DLL has been an improvment over stuff like this from the 1970’s… Anyways with the FORTRAN runtime loaded we are now at a * prompt. We just have to tell it the FORTRAN program to run, in this case it’s ADVENT. So type in the following:


You will still be at the * prompt, to execute it, hit the escape key. Then you will get the following output:


Ok, now you are ready to enter the FORTRAN version of Colossal Cave under OS/8. And it shouldn’t have been *that* hard… 🙂

Now for anyone wondering about the original version of Colossal Cave, The original FORTRAN source to adventure has been located here:


And if anyone is brave enough, OpenWATCOM includes it’s FORTRAN compiler.. not to mention G77, and of course the original FORTRAN stuff that can be run in SIMH. I’d leave this up to the reader as my FORTRAN skills are… lacking. I don’t know if it’s me, but I started out with the IBM FORTRAN on the RS/6000 back in the AIX 3.2.1 days, and then went to Microsoft FORTRAN 5.. Now it seems I’ve forgotten just about everything, and what I do recall works on few and far of the things out there…. But that’s another story for another day. Oh and if you search around there is a C version of this….

Apple Lisa Xenix

Wow I’m surprised a few hours googleing about and I got it running….
I found this ‘idle’ emulator (“Incomplete Draft of a Lisa Emulator”
http://sourceforge.net/projects/idle-lisa-emu ), which can infact run Xenix! It also says it can run the uniplus SYSV (so says the readme)..

Searching around I found the following site:

Whas Xenix 3.0 disk images in the DART format… which as luck would have it idle cannot mount. However I found another lisa emulator, lisaem ( http://www.sunder.net/ ) which has a tool to convert the disks from DART to DC42 (disk copy 4.2). So it was a simple matter of converting the disks

lisafsh-tool.exe “Xenix OS Boot Floppy”

… etc etc… ad nasium…

Then firing up idle, setting the CPU to max speed, and booting up whenver I was going to answer a question I toggled it back to 5Mhz.. otherwise it would take FOREVER to boot… lol like the ‘good old days’.

Once the boot floppy had formatted the 5mb hard disk image, and transfered on reboot I had to tell the bootloader to boot from the profile disk..


And away it went. After installing the OS & the C compiler I’m left with 23 blocks free!.. which I guess for a 5mb disk, is pretty cool.. Anyways there are assorted Xenix PDF’s which can be found here:


Namely these two for Apple Lisa Xenix..
It’s amazing that lisa emulators were sort of capable of running Lisa Office System, now they can run the old unix stuff… it’s still impressive.

SIMH 3.8-0 with slirp

Ive been testing this build now for over two hours with Quasijarus & the microvax… All seems well.


The new build of SIMH with SLiRP adds some performance improvements, along with the older more compatable idle code. I’ve included the source with this build so I don’t lose it again… I can’t say just how difficult it was to piece this together again from my notes, and sadly it should have been way easier. The vax/vax780/pdp11/pdp10 are already prebuilt for windows users, and I built them with MinGW… YMMV as they say.

But if you are using one of my prior BSD packages (the 4.2 or the 4.3 RENO) you’ll want to replace the vax.exe/vax780.exe’s with these ones, and alter the config so that they both have

set cpu idle=FIX

that way it’ll run faster, and take up far less cpu when idle… Right now my Quasijarus is using 5% of my laptop idling with 1 connected user.

Quasijarus and other 32v derived tape images

I was looking for a copy of Quasijarus and I noticed that the ftp site ftp://ifctfvax.harhan.org/pub/UNIX/4.3BSD-Quasijarus0c/ is now down. I know it was originally hosted on a VAX, and perhaps it’s met it’s end?

Anyways with a bit of googling I was able to locate a mirror. However since the primary location has already gone offline, I figured this was a good time to go ahead and make tape images for all of the BSD I have at the moment and put it on sourceforge.


I kind of screwed the order up, but you get the idea, you can get 32v-Quasijarus there. The TAHOE stuff is broken on all the mirrors so I haven’t tried to make a tape of it just yet… In the meantime I need to update SIMH 3.8-0 with SLiRP. I’ve been meaning to do it, I just have to force myself as the glue into SliRP is… messy.

Interesting wiki site…

While looking something up, I came across this site:


It’s a wiki dedicated to retro-computing, but more so in first person.. Not so much in the factual history of wikipedia. Anyways I thought it was worth mentioning, and I’ve started to redo some of my work here over there. Hopefully this will get more people interested in the whole thing. I’ve also been thinking about doing a windows installer for the z80 CP/M module from SIMH.. Hopefully the games & stuff work fine, so it’ll be FUN!