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Frank da CruzMost recent update: Mon Sep 27 15:23:09 2021
(convert FTP links to HTTP)
Digital Equipment Corporation's 36-bit PDP-10 was, arguably, the birthplace of both the Internet and the Open Source movement, and without argument, the source of many of the most influential software applications, including EMACS, TEX, ISPELL (the first spell checker), MACSYMA, SCRIBE, numerous LISP dialects, MM and other pioneering email clients, and Kermit. The first Kermit program was written for the DECSYSTEM-20 at Columbia University, and transferred its first file from one DEC-20 serial port to another on 29 April 1981.
The PDP-10 was the successor to the PDP-6, which appeared in 1964. PDP-10s came in four models: KA10, KI10, KL10, KS10. The best-known operating systems were TOPS-10, TENEX, and TOPS-20. TENEX was done at Bolt Barenek and Newman (BBN) and required modified hardware; TOPS-20 was DEC's commercial adaptation of TENEX, and the DECSYSTEM-20 was a PDP-10 (KL10) with BBN's hardware pager, orange (rather than blue) cabinets, and far fewer visible lights, switches, knobs, buttons, and dials (a jumbo version of today's featureless box). The typical PDP-10 installation included multiple full-size cabinets for CPU, memory, controllers, networking front ends, and magnetic tape, plus washing-machine sized disk drives, line printers, and so on, requiring a large machine room with serious air conditioning and a great deal of 3-phase power; the electrical bill alone ran into the thousands of dollars per month, ditto for hardware maintenance. This was typical of any mainframe of the era. Later, a single-cabinet minicomputer version was released, called the 2020, based on the KS10 processor. If I'm not mistaken, it could run on ordinary household current in regular ambient temperature. It was not noted for its speed.
Other PDP-10 operating systems included MIT's ITS, Stanford's WAITS, Tymshare's TYMCOM-X and (for the 2020, TYMCOM-XX), the version of TENEX that Xerox PARC ran on their MAXC PDP-10 clone (more or less equivalent to a KA-10 with BBN pager, and maybe some others. The PDP-10 line was canceled by DEC in 1983 and gradually faded from view in the ensuing years. Manufacturing ceased in 1988. Some machines or clones remained operational through the 1990s (and a handful even to this day as museum pieces), and then in 2001 a renaissance of PDP-10 culture began with the release of several Unix- and/or Windows-based PDP-10 emulators (see Links section).
The distinguishing feature of PDP-10 is its rich instruction set and, especially in TOPS-20, its powerful repertoire of system services. This combination made the PDP-10 more fun to program than any other computer before or since, and spawned a generation of prolific programmers ranging from Bill Gates to Richard Stallman.
[ PDP-10 Gallery ]
Back in the old days I could give you a wildcard specification to pick up
all these files, but today's super-friendly Web browsers don't allow that,
so we must list the files separately. Transfer them in text (ASCII) mode if
your browser will let you (some of these file types, such as
k10133.rnoRunoff source for update notes
k10com.reqCommon Bliss header file
k10err.r36Bliss-36 error number definitions
k10glb.bliBliss source file
k10glb.macMacro source file
k10mit.bwrKermit-10 "beware" file
k10mit.cclKermit-10 link file
k10mit.ctlBatch control file to build Kermit-10
k10mit.hlpKermit-10 help file
k10mit.macMacro source file
k10mit.rnhRunoff source for help file
k10msg.bliBliss source file
k10msg.macMacro source file
k10sys.macMacro source file
k10tt.bliBliss source file
k10tt.macMacro source file
k10unv.macMacro source file
k10v3.memKermit-10 V3 release notes Runoff source
k10v3.rnoKermit-10 V3 release notes
k10wld.macMacro source file
As of version 3(136), we also have the Kermit-10 files available in tar and Zip archives: "tarballs":
DEC-20 Kermit, or Kermit-20, was written at Columbia University by Bill Catchings and Frank da Cruz in MACRO-20 assembly language. It was the first operational Kermit program and was actively developed and maintained from 1981 until 1988, and then revived in 2001 by the addition of long packets to enable faster file transfer into and out of emulated DEC-20s, which might not include ARPANET support (in the sense that they have a TCP/IP stack and FTP clients and servers), but might still be accessible to incoming Telnet connections. Long packets were never done for Kermit-20 before because the PDP-11/40 RSX20F front end could not tolerate them. Emulated DEC-20s (and DEC-20 Telnet servers), however, have no such limitation. The current version is 5.1(186), dated 6 January 2006 -- The 25th Anniversary Edition.
Since all DEC-20s come with the MACRO-20 assembler, Kermit-20 is distributed in source-code form. Here are the files you need:
Lars notes, “I don't have the
|PDP-10 Kermit / Columbia University / email@example.com / 1 May 2015 / 27 September 2021|