PiDP-11 Retro Computer Build - Computerphile | Summary and Q&A

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May 24, 2019
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Computerphile
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PiDP-11 Retro Computer Build - Computerphile

TL;DR

Learn about the process of building a modern replica of a PDP-11 computer using a Raspberry Pi.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What components are included in the kit for building the PDP-11 replica?

The kit includes switches, LEDs, chips, diodes, and resistors.

Q: How long does it take to assemble the replica?

It took approximately three hours to assemble, excluding breaks, which is much smaller than an actual PDP-11.

Q: What is the significance of the octal representation in PDP-11 computers?

The PDP-11 computers used octal representation due to their word sizes being in multiples of six, allowing for representation of the full character set.

Q: Can programs be entered into the replica PDP-11?

Yes, programs can be entered into the replica using the switches, and a simple "chasing light" program can be a good starting point.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The video showcases the process of assembling a modern replica of a PDP-11 computer based on a Raspberry Pi, featuring flashing lights and toggle switches.

  • The kit includes switches, LEDs, chips, diodes, and resistors, with a front panel displaying data and current addresses.

  • The PDP-11 series of computers were based around octal and had word lengths of multiples of six, and this replica preserves that tradition.

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