A PDP-1 emulator is a curiosity I had for a while at the back of my mind: having read about the original 1962 Spacewar!, the Minskytron ‘display hack’ and in general about the history and technology of the PDP-1 I wanted to learn about it hands-on and thereby see these outputs on the Vectrex, too. The CCPU Vectorbeam/Cinematronics hardware over a decade later was specifically built to play Spacewar after all and spawned a multitude of vector games, just to name one impact this first cpu-based computer game had. Another would be Asteroids, which besides some design decisions inherited the inputs – the exact same 5 buttons including the ‘might kill you’ precarious hyperspace setup.
One nice thing for the PDP-1 is the amount of information you can find online -original, archival efforts, hobbyists- and among others I found a price list for a PDP-1D in 1963 – an entry level ‘minimum system’ (which runs Spacewar) would have set you back $138k, or $1.2M in current dollar value. Not including the engineer(s) you’d had to employ to actually use this Bronze Age computer to play Spacewar!…
- fix: a few emulators’ option (mostly rarer input) handling were broken
- improved: several localized texts of apps
- new: added exFAT and GUID support
- new: localization (accents/umlauts) support for files and folders on the volume
- new: Spike emulator
- new: PDP-1 emulator for Spacewar! and Minskytron tapes – when running the Minskytron tape pressing 4: cycles between various, nice test switch settings