welshy
Posts: 1667
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:07 pm

A SMALL PIECE OF GAMING HISTORY!

Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:03 pm

For those of you who have been following my threads and/or are interested in the History of Computer Games I have discovered something rather fascinating.....

While “experimenting” with AdvMESS I found a “PDP-1” script within its cores (Digital Equipment Corporation: Programmed Data Processor-1, sold in basic form for $120,000 ($930,000 in 2012!)) a Minicomputer used in many Universities in the early 1960’s including MIT, so I decided to explore what the possibilities were for using it. For those who DON’T know, the PDP-1 Minicomputer (See here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDP-1) transpired to produce the “First Programmed” computer game, “Spacewar!” by Steve "Slug" Russell, Martin "Shag" Graetz, and Wayne Wiitanen, who conceived of the game in 1961 and completed it in 1962. There were two games before it, OXO (a Tic-tac-toe game), developed by A.S. Douglas in 1952 and William Higinbotham built Tennis for Two in 1958, however, they were produced using discrete analog hardware rather than a program for a digital computer. This game REALLY IS the “Daddy” of modern computer games, exposure to it inspired MANY early pioneers of the industry including -

Bill Gates: Co-Founder of Microsoft
Dave Theurer: Legendary Atari Programmer who’s works include-Missile Command, Tempest and I-Robot
Ed Logg: Another Atari Legend who’s works include-Asteroids, Centipede and Gauntlet
Nolan Bushnell: Founder of Atari
Paul Allen: Co-Founder of Microsoft
Steve Jobs: Co-Founder of Apple
Steve “The WOZ” Wozniak: Co-Founder of Apple and the ENGINEERING GENUIS behind Apple’s early success who designed the Apple and Apple II Computers

SO HOW DO I PLAY THIS PIECE OF GAMING HISTORY?
1. The first thing is to compile and install AdvMESS - viewtopic.php?f=78&t=23113
2. Next, I have not, as of yet, found a way of starting it from “Command Line” (There DOESN’T seem to be a “-punchtape” code in the “FORMAT” interpreter!), so you will have to compile AdvMENU to launch it! (Not hard to do, just compile in the same way shown on the AdvMESS install)
3. There is NO NEED for a BIOS, just make a “pdp1” folder in the Image Folder
4. Download the Space War program here* - http://www.computerspacefan.com/spacewar_pdp.zip and uncompress the ZIP into the folder
5. Start AdvMENU, in the list you SHOULD see PDP-1 with Spacewar underneath it, select it and press Enter to load the file into MESS
6. You should now see an emulated “Representation” of the PDP-1 LED Switches, press Ctrl+Enter, this will LOAD the program (The LED’S will flash rapidly!)
7. Read the spacewar.txt file for Game Options and Controls

*NB if any Moderators are reading this its LEGALLY PUBLIC DOMAIN so DON’T WORRY!

In fact, so successful was the game that Digital Equipment Corporation began “Bundling In” the program with every PDP-1 sold!
"The list of things I have heard now contains everything!"

welshy
Posts: 1667
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:07 pm

Re: A SMALL PIECE OF GAMING HISTORY!

Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:49 pm

Just an observation because I am intrigued, this post has now been read by in excess of 300 people (This includes the ORIGINAL post before I deleted it because of an “error” in the subject Title) with NO REPLY! Was NOBODY interested in this???
"The list of things I have heard now contains everything!"

rafaelgcpp
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 6:28 pm

Re: A SMALL PIECE OF GAMING HISTORY!

Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:56 pm

I was, but right now I am too busy to play with my R-Pi... I'll have to wait till Christmas to try it out! :( :(

rafaelgcpp
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 6:28 pm

Re: A SMALL PIECE OF GAMING HISTORY!

Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:57 pm

Actually I would be really happy if I could emulate a PDP-11/70 running Unix...

Ravenous
Posts: 1956
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:01 pm
Location: UK

Re: A SMALL PIECE OF GAMING HISTORY!

Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:02 pm

I saw a PDP 11 once... it was in a corner of a robot lab in the nineties... there was a piece of paper taped on the top with about 40 bytes of Hex you had to type in by hand to get it started up.

As for the PDP 1, I know nothing...

You could try the Virtual AGC I suppose (just google it)

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