OK, so I have decided to start yet another ‘project’..! Aside from the ongoing restoration of my old Land Rover (see my earlier posts), I am starting the resurrection of a classic computer, notably a D.E.C. PDP-8 ‘Straight Eight’. It has spent the last twenty plus years gathering dust, mold and rust at the back of a garage owned by a late friend of mine.
As you would probably have guessed, it isn’t in the best of conditions. The casing has several cracks and there are a few missing switches on the control panel. There is also considerable corrosion on the wiring loom and connection blocks.
On a plus side, it is complete and I have managed to find a good collection of the original documentation. The memory core is also still tightly sealed, so hopefully that should be in good condition.
This will be a slow project, for several reasons:
- I don’t want to screw it up!! They only made ~1400 of this type and I would hate for there to be one less due to my stupidity.
- This is a learning project, how better to learn about the inner workings of a computer than by rebuilding one.
- This particular machine has a good deal of history attached to it (see first point).
- It belonged to a dear friend of mine and I would like to do him proud…
There will be more to follow soon, plus hopefully a little bit of the back history.