Spacewar! (was Re: Laser display...)

From: Graham Toal <>
Date: Sun Feb 20 09:49:02 2005

>I've done a bit of research on this and, although I've heard references to
>*possibly* earlier stuff and there was a game of sorts on the TX-0 which I
>intend to look into more, there was certainly nothing of the same caliber
>as Spacewar!

Edinburgh University did some stuff the caliber of spacewar but unfortunately
a few (but not many) years afterwards. We rescued a *lot* of pdp8 paper
tapes which we have put online here:

There was an excellent two-player "tanks" game, billiards (UK, not Pool),
a rection timer, animations, who knows what else. The display was an
oscilliscope. The pdp'8 only other peripherals were paper tape in,
paper tape out, ASR33 keyboard - oh yes, and I think a 1-bit DAC for
audio out - a lot of what we recovered were tunes for a music compiler.
(And a morse-code program). I believe there were also some hacks to
do stuff through a radio placed near to the machine but my memory is
a little hazy on that.

I would imagine if you can simulate the oscilliscope (X and Y DACS) then
running any of these tapes on an emulator would be trivial.

PS The archive list was as entered by the local museum who have custody
of the tapes (and our straight-8, in a degenerating state of repair)
so although they all say "written at edinburgh university" obviously that
doesn't apply to the stuff from DEC like the Fortran compiler.
PPS The authors of all our PDP-8 code are all still alive and many of
them are on our yahoo groups edinburgh-computer-history mailing
Received on Sun Feb 20 2005 - 09:49:02 GMT

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