Another ~1960 computer kit - Philips?

From: Doug Yowza <>
Date: Thu Dec 17 18:06:39 1998

On Thu, 17 Dec 1998, D. Peschel wrote:

> > von Neumann toys, such as the Science Fair Microprocessor Trainer I
> > mentioned earlier.
> True. They're essentially small SBC's, right? (And an SBC is a small
> computer which happens to be on a single board.) Electronics don't have the
> twisted amusement of moving rods and rolling marbles, unfortunately.

An SBC typically has multiple logic devices on board, this one is
microcontroller based (TMS1000 is a 4-bit microcontroller), so all of the
"computer" is on a single chip.

> > The first kit was called SIMON (in honor of Simple Simon). I don't have
> It is a very nice machine, though I wouldn't call it a computer in the
> strict sense. Berkeley wrote some books (and there may have been some
> Scientific American articles) too.

I forgot about you, Mr. InterLibraryLoan. I haven't yet picked up all of
the relevant articles, so if you have copies, let me know by private

> Of course, I could be underestimating the power of Berkeley's machines.

I assume so. Otherwise you'll have to define "computer" for me.

> Berkeley also wrote a nice book about LISP (which may be the only reason why
> you can run PDP-1 LISP on your PDP-1 emulator -- the source is published in
> the book and it would be VERY hard to find otherwise). But I digress.

Yes, he was a mathematician, so "symbolic programming" was an interesting
paradigm to him. But PDP-1 LISP is available via FTP from Supnik's

Speaking of programming paradigms, one of the reasons I've always been so
found of the E&S PS-300 was that it used a dataflow language. I found
that a very compelling and completely different way to program. What a
guy that Sutherland was, eh?

-- Doug
Received on Thu Dec 17 1998 - 18:06:39 GMT

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