The Cyber-Spy.Com Usenet Archive Feeds Directly
From The Open And Publicly Available Newsgroup
This Group And Thousands Of Others Are Available
On Most IS NNTP News Servers On Port 119.
Cyber-Spy.Com Is NOT Responsible For Any Topic,
Opinions Or Content Posted To This Or Any Other
Newsgroup. This Web Archive Of The Newsgroup And
Posts Are For Informational Purposes Only.
From: Chuck Simmons
Organization: You jest.
X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.61 [en] (X11; U; Linux 2.0.33 i586)
Subject: Re: Monrobot XI
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 01:34:15 GMT
NNTP-Posting-Date: Sun, 22 Sep 2002 18:34:15 PDT
Clifford Heath wrote:
> When I was at high school in the mid 70's, I played with a computer
> called the Monrobot XI, of which my school had been given several
> that had been retired from various companies. They were built from
> May 1960 on, and were one of the first transistorised computers.
> Google doesn't turn up too much info on them, and I'm having a bout
> of nostalgia for my first computer. Does anyone have info on the
> architecture or instruction set?
> Clifford Heath
Transistor computers computers go back further than you think. As early
as 1955 or before, Univac used mag-amps and transistors for logic and
tubes to generate clocks. Digital Equipment Corporation was founded in
1957 and used what they called "flip chips" which were multitransistor
boards. I think Digital's PDP-5 came out before 1960 but I am unsure of
that. According to old timers I knew, there were a couple of older
models. The PDP-5 was the top dog in its day. It had 4096 12 bit words
of memory and was alone in its market area. It actually created its
market because the idea of an affordable computer for research was
unknown at that time. The last PDP-5 I saw in use was one that a solid
state research group found surplus in 1970 and several of us with
expertise in resurrecting junk got it going.
I am wondering if Monrobot XI was really the name of a piece of software
running in a PDP-5 or 8 (they were very similar). There was a lot of
great software developed on the PDP-5. Lisa was first developed on it
and the first software I used on it was Cal which was a very
sophisticated calculator considering the machine. I would bet that you
were actually using a PDP-5 or 8. If so, the instruction complement
should be easy to find. I never programmed the PDP-5/8. I started late
with the DG Nova 1200/800 and the PDP-11.
Scientific Data Systems is an outside runner for what you are looking
for. They came in to compete with Digital Equipment, They had an elegant
design that did not sell very well. Xerox bought the company in 1969 but
screwed the whole thing and X^hSDS never really had a chance against
Digital. The PDP-11 project at Digital spawned a renegade project that
became Data General Corporation. In the late 1970s, these were the the
top guns. I have used both and liked both but they were very different.
The Motorola 68000 is about as close as you can get to a PDP-11 without
calling it a PDP-11. Very nice nearly orthogonal instruction set. A sort
of dream computer really.
I hope this bit of computer history from the trenches of those days
Go Back To The Cyber-Spy.Com
Usenet Web Archive Index Of
The sci.electronics.design Newsgroup