Got another toy to play with while I wait


#1

Pretty much off-topic, although having a laser would help to make things like this, what with the acrylic front panel and the bamboo enclosure.


#2

Like stamp collecting, I don’t personally get the Allure of these but I can still get excited for you knowing that lots of people don’t get a lot of my geek outs.


#3

Awesome, I learned to program on a PDP8-I back in high-school (it was 1 year younger than me - but our teacher decided we needed to understand how a computer worked prior to “graduating” to Apple ][s and TRS-80s. We spent one semester in machine language (via those front switches - and we had to use the manual rim loader which is silkscreened on the left of your panel); semester 2 we got to use the assembler and semester 3 we got to use fortran 2 with punch cards!


#4

Damn you @chris1, I ordered one… (I guess I will have to GF stuff while I wait for my toy… haha :grin:) but this will have to go into the lab. We still have software running at our hospital that started on a LINC-8 (a PDP-8 with an analog IO board – the arduino of 1967). That’s the founder of my lab in 1967 (he still works 4 days a week at 83 years old in the lab – the application still runs today on MUMPS on RHEL7… Note the taped punch card as a screen shade. He had to write his own CRT driver and character generator). Warner will get a huge kick out of playing with a PDP-8… The truly amazing this about this application was it was PATIENT FACING in 1967! Most people in the world had never seen a computer at all, let alone used one to take their own history (creepily the analog inputs were used to drive lab analyzers which you stuck your blood into)


#5

If you ordered the kit, expect to spend some quality time soldering. That’s where my three-day weekend went. I was going to make a YouTube video of the assembly process, so I recorded the whole thing… and I ended up with 300GB+ of footage that I’m unlikely to ever get around to editing. Personally, though, I found making holes in the box for the connections to be far more challenging and frustrating than building the actual circuit board.

There is a great display in the Computer History Museum in Mountain View where they have a PDP-8 fully kitted out for use in brain surgery.


#6

I’m cool with that. Have a Hakko station, flux fume hood, etc…


#7

Between this and the Turing Tumble mechanical computer on Kickstarter, this is turning into a retro computing kind of day for my wallet!


#8

Awesome. I’ve now backed that one. :slight_smile:


#9

What is that board game he’s playing with his kida at 0:31 ??? Hmmmm looks familiar ???:thinking:


#10

I’m backing it - it looks amazing!


#11

The PiDP-8? Is it going to run the GF 2?


#12

once we get a wifi adapter


#13

I don’t think there was ever a network stack on OS/8… If I recall (it’s been a lot of decades) that with an auto-rim loader and our 8" floppy driver you had 3K of free ram… But with a serial->network driver it would probably do a fine job, as I know of folks who did CNC with a PDP-8. I see a weekend challenge!


#14

I think TSS-8 may have had some kind of comms-ish stack. (We had 12K, a 262K-word hard disk, and swapping.) But that was way, way before TCP/IP


#15

Since the PiDP is just a Raspberry Pi running SIMH, it’s fairly trivial to pipe a serial console over the network to control your laser. I’d be willing to prototype that if only I had a prerelease (or even production) unit. :slight_smile:


#16

I wonder if one could use a Glowforge to build a Turing Tumble big enough to control a Glowforge…

… to print more parts for Turing Tumbles to run more Glowforges. :smile:


#17

When the history is written of when and where the robot apocalypse started leading to mankind’s eventual downfall and enslavement, there will be a pointer to this thread…


#18

When I got this thing, I had the brilliant idea to record the process of putting it together, in excruciating detail, from 3 camera angles. So if you watched the one with the clock all the way through and it didn’t put you to sleep, this one is guaranteed to be even more soporific. https://youtu.be/gEf-66NZqNQ