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Raspberry Pi impersonates PDP-8 at Irish museum

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Raspberry Pi impersonates PDP-8 at Irish museum

Pat Moran demonstrating the Pi-based Minicomputer

One of the early 21st century’s smallest computers has been turned into a 1970s minicomputer and shown off at a museum in Galway, Ireland.

Pat Moran, of the Board of the Computer and Communications Museum of Ireland – CCMI, has demonstrated, at a museum public exhibit, a PDP-8 simulator based on the credit-card sized ARM-based Raspberry Pi, the English-designed and Welsh-made spiritual descendant of the BBC Micro.

The real thing – a PDP-8 in operation

Pat previously worked in the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) plant in Galway city where these refrigerator-sized 12-bit minicomputers were manufactured until production ceased in 1979.

The simulator uses a miniaturised version of the famous flashing lights and switches on the front of these much larger, yet less powerful, computers, which put a smile on many of the former DEC employees and users of PDPs that attended the show.

For more information on the Museum, which is located at the Insight Centre For Data Analytics, IDA Business Park, Lower Dangan, Galway, Ireland, check out their website or their Facebook page.

 

News and museum images courtesy the Computer and Communications Museum of Ireland - CCMI
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