Infocom on pdp-11

From: John Wilson <>
Date: Tue Jun 20 19:49:05 2000

On Tue, Jun 20, 2000 at 10:51:22PM -0000, Eric Smith wrote:
>Tried buying that from then in 1997, along with the other Infocom games
>they listed. They aren't in stock, and they are unable to get them from
>the publisher. What a surprise.

Who is the publisher these days, is it still Activision, or has it changed
hands again? I have the PDP-11 version of Sorcerer (bought by mail order
directly from Infocom in the mid 80s) but I'm not brave enough to violate
the copyright on something which is still a shipping, for-profit product,
on some platform anyway. So I want to find out who's in charge and beg them
for a permission letter...

Eons ago I went and asked (in person, when Infocom still existed) for
permission to do an IBM 370 IML interpreter based on my disassembly of the
PDP-11 one, but they laughed at me. But I would hope the attitude is
different now, especially because a freely distributed IML interpreter
would generate at least a handful of Lost Treasures sales.

Anyway I disassembled and commented it too (guess that's a rite of passage!),
in case anyone cares here are the important patchable locations in the IML
interpreter that comes with Sorcerer (there are several different flavors of
IML and this is just one, other versions may have had different patch

1000 term type:
        0=unknown (no status bar)
1002 page width (0 => prompt)
1004 page height (0 => no **MORE** processing)
1006 TSX single-char mode flag (GS 'S'), I don't know what that means
        but it's in the setup program
1032 randomness flag (0 => random, NZ => not random), must be for
        debugging or something
1034 program name in .RAD50 (two words)

The 1034 one is the important one, you can either patch in the name of the IML
file, or clear the field out in which case it will prompt. That way you can
use the same interpreter to run a bunch of different IML files.

If anyone has a friend at Activision (or whoever it is now) *please* hook me
up, I'd really like to get permission to release this.

John Wilson
D Bit
Received on Tue Jun 20 2000 - 19:49:05 BST

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