[rescue] PERQ?

Skeezics Boondoggle skeezicsb at gmail.com
Thu May 22 15:52:10 CDT 2014

On Wed, 21 May 2014, Steve Hatle wrote:

> A list member here has two - Skeezics Boondoggle.
> I've seen one of his machines in action at his home. It's pretty cool!
> Hopefully he'll see this thread and pipe up.

Yes.  Yes I did.  I wrote to Earl immediately after my family peeled me off
the ceiling.  I can't go outside these last 24 hours without a string tied
around me to keep from floating away.  So happy.  We're working out the

As it so happens, I had just banged out the last missing feature of the 16K
CPU in PERQemu, the excellent emulator that Josh Dersch wrote.  He sorta
handed off development to me so he could go work on other things, and I've
been trying to get Accent (and maybe PNX) to boot.  I was pretty pleased
that I'd just got the multiply/divide unit working, but was mulling over
the sad day ahead when I might not have working hardware anymore to test
and verify the emulator against.  It's one thing to be able to keep the
software alive, but quite another to have the complete visceral experience
of a big, loud old machine.  (A SIMH PDP-10 on your battery-powered,
fanless, handheld tablet isn't the same experience as the spine-tingling
roar of a 22KW-eating 2-ton monster in a machine room...)

So I'm thrilled that this "barn find" means I might have another working
machine to work with.  And, as soon as I can crack the hairy RasterOp
emulation and get a new release together, I'll put up a new PERQemu for
everyone to play with.  (I've got it running under Mono on MacOS X and
Linux, as well as Windows .NET; ideally it'll get rolled into CMU's "Olive"
project too!)

Since I quit the sysadmin racket, I've gained a renewed sense of wonder and
excitement about playing with computers again.  There's something immensely
satisfying about banging out microcode for a 35-year-old relic, just for
the hell of it. :-)  And I'm always happy to hear from folks who have/used
PERQs, so feel free to drop me a line!


-- Chris

More information about the rescue mailing list