PDP1 Digital Equipment Corportion DEC Minicomputer Plays Music BACH

PDP1 Digital Equipment Corportion DEC play Music BACH
Computer History Museum Mountain View, California
Peter Samson programmed the music

Thank you – the Computer History Museum and Lyle Bickley for allowing me to make this video.

Lyle Bickley demonstrated the PDP1 minicomputer playing Bach on the only PDP1 in the world that is in running condition. It has been reported that only 3 of these minicomputer are known to exist. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to see this one operate and play Starwar! .

Pete Samson designed the hardware and software for playing music on the PDP1 computer. From Wikipedia – MIT hackers also used the PDP-1 for playing music in four-part harmony, using some special hardware — four flip-flops directly controlled by the processor (the audio signal was filtered with simple RC filters). Music was prepared via Peter Samson’s Harmony Compiler, a sophisticated text-based program with some features specifically oriented toward the efficient coding of baroque music. Several hours of music were prepared for it, including Bach fugues, all of Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Christmas carols, and numerous popular songs. This paragraph is from Wikipedia.

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more PDP1 videos I made at the Computer History Museum

From Wikipedia
The PDP-1 (Programmed Data Processor-1) was the first computer in Digital Equipment Corporation’s PDP series and was first produced in 1959. It is famous for being the computer most important in the creation of hacker culture at MIT, BBN and elsewhere. The PDP-1 used an 18-bit word size and had 4096 words as standard main memory (equivalent to 9,216 eight-bit bytes, though the system actually used six-bit bytes), upgradable to 65,536 words. The magnetic core memory’s cycle time was 5 microseconds (corresponding roughly to a “clock speed” of 200 kilohertz; consequently most arithmetic instructions took 10 microseconds (100,000 operations per second) because they used two memory cycles: one for the instruction, one for the operand data fetch. Signed numbers were represented in one’s complement. The PDP-1 had computing power roughly equivalent to a 1996 pocket organizer and a little less memory. A System Building Block, seen end-on System Building Blocks 1103 hex-inverter card.
The PDP-1 uses 2,700 transistors and 3,000 diodes.[3] It was built mostly of DEC 1000-series System Building Blocks, using Micro-Alloy and Micro-Alloy-Diffused transistors with a rated switching speed of 5 MHz. The System Building Blocks were packaged into several 19-inch racks. The racks were themselves packaged into a single large mainframe case, with a hexagonal control panel containing switches and lights mounted to lay at table-top height at one end of the mainframe. Above the control panel was the system’s standard input/output solution, a punch tape reader and writer.
About the PDP1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDP-1

Video produced by the LCF Group consisting of David Larsen KK4WW, Gaynell Larsen KK4WWW and Dee Wallace KG4VMI.. The LCF Group ( 1-540-745-2322 ) We maintain the Floyd Virginia community amateur radio station N4USA and have a small historical microcomputer museum in the Village Green #8 Floyd Virginia.

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Post time: 08-24-2017