An Altair online for you (and livestreamed)

Connect by ssh:

Simply connect via the Millsaps Computer Club unix server as follows:
ssh [email protected] -p 422

There’s a video livestream of the blinky frontpanel action, with console transcript, and we can see people typing in and running short Basic programs (I saw a Fibonacci program):

Thanks jebug29 for setting this up!

Users connecting over SSH and programming in Microsoft BASIC 80!
How to connect:
Microsoft BASIC 80 manual (pdf)
Press Ctrl-A, Ctrl-X to exit. Ctrl-C stops the currently running BASIC program

via mastodon

1 Like

Brilliant! I uploaded (slow copy&paste!) my Mandelbrot program to it and ran it. Took almost half an hour - takes 47 seconds on my Ruby6502 board @ 16Mhz :wink:

Good old-fashioned retro fun though. Well worth supporting. Also a good thing for the local computing museums to have a go at too - a very safe way to gain “hands on” access to old systems…



I typed in a Wumpus by hand. I found cut and paste spectacularly unreliable beyond 15-20 characters on a line. It was easier to just type it in.


You were spotted, I think:


SIMH’s AltairZ80 emulator has some of the BASICs:
This might help to prepare some “demos” at home.

Nah, what fun is that.

He’s running out of disk space :).

He only has the one floppy, and it’s a 300K floppy at that. There wasn’t much space on there to begin with.

I wrote a simple disk test, writing and reading 128 byte records. Hardly scientific, as I don’t think there’s a clock available, so it’s just me as date, with second resolution.

But just to glimpse what we’re dealing with here. Writing 80 128b records take 8s, reading them takes 5s, and reading 100 random records from that set of 80 took 32s.

80 * 128 / 8 is 1280 bytes per second. I did an earlier test with a larger file (more disk space), and I got closer to 2000 Bps, which just shows the swing in the benchmark. The reading number is 2048 Bps. The random read is basically 3 records/sec. And, yes, this is on an overload creaky floppy. But it just demonstrates the realties of what we used to live with day to day.

Yea, we talked. It was fun. I was racing trying to not blow the 15m window, saving all the time, but he saw me and extended my time limit, which was nice.

I also bumped in to an issue brought up on the CPM new group recently.

In MBASIC, if you do save "wumpus.bas", it will name the file “wumpus.bas” – i.e. in lower case.

But the CPM CCP can not work with lower case filenames. One of the first things the CCP does when invoking a command is upshift the command line entirely. So, you can’t do era wumpus.bas from the command line. You have to go back in to MBASIC and use kill "wumpus.bas".

So, just interesting, and something to be conscious of.

1 Like

Surprise: There are more ways than only your’s.

I had enough waiting in ye olden days.
Hacking in my idea at home and only testing the result on the real thing really would be ok for me today.

Remember DEC had a book something like 101 basic games.