[amsat-bb] Re: An Off-Topic Question

Steve ai7w at arrl.net
Fri Dec 26 10:16:44 PST 2008

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "D. Mynatt"
Sent: Friday, December 26, 2008 02:58 UTC
Subject: [amsat-bb] An Off-Topic Question

>I asked sometime ago in the group, but sometimes things change and stuff 
>comes along so I thought I'd ask again and see if any one had a 
>mini-computer like a PdP-11 with tapes drives and the large external disk 
>drives in the floor boxes.
> As I mentioned before, just trying to find a unit to show students the 
> older technologies as well as how to program with Cobol/Fortran.
> Using PCs is the best way to do a lot of stuff, but a mini-mainframe is 
> the visually appealing idea.
> Just thought I'd ask in case things changed out there!
> Dave // DM78qd // KA0SWT

Hi Dave,
  As a retired Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) employee I am very familiar 
with the PDP-11 product line (as well as the PDP-8,10,12 and VAX).
  I don't know how much help it will be but there was (and I believe still 
is) a computer museum in Mountain View, California that had a number of 
PDP-11's as well as some PDP-8's and PDP-12's with peripherals such as tape 
drives, external disk drives and card readers. I know there once was a very 
good museum in Boston (they had a functional PDP-1) but it may have closed 
when DEC was sold off to Compaq. I've also heard there was a DEC Museum in 
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada but I don't know much about it.
  Regarding the Fortran and Cobol programming languages, I believe there are 
freeware versions of both available for the windows PC. This wouldn't be 
like using the punch card system we suffered through back in the day, but 
they might give your students a feel for the structure of the older 
Steve .. AI7W

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