Emulators of Classic Computers

From: Brent Hilpert <hilpert_at_cs.ubc.ca>
Date: Tue Jan 20 03:22:45 2004

Somewhere in my list of (too many) projects to work on some day is to implement one of the first (tube) computers in SSI. One I had done some design on was the SSEM/Manchester "Baby" ("the first machine to run a stored program"/1948). I did enough of the logic design to implement it in a home-brew logic simulator (executable in browser via shockwave at http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~hilpert/tih/SSEM), but haven't got around to doing a physical implementation. Figured CMOS SSI would be the way to go. For the "Baby", a scope/CRT with Z-axis control could be used to emulate the original 32-bit-by-32-word storage-tube-memory monitor. I have an HP digital signal analyser from 1969 (basically an early digital oscilloscope) which has all the CRT support and power supplies and figured the new/old processor could be built into the HP DSA with a new front panel, making an interesting amalgam of hardware and architecture spanning several decades of computing. The same idea could apply to some o!
 ther 'scope equipment of course.

Another interesting machine to implement in SSI might be the IAS machine, or perhaps something like the IBM 709.
One could get carried away making scale-model front-panels with lots of LEDs and miniature toggle switches.
Received on Tue Jan 20 2004 - 03:22:45 GMT

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