AuthorTopic: ICL-1900 lives!  (Read 952 times)

Offline Palloy

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ICL-1900 lives!
« on: March 24, 2016, 05:13:51 PM »
Following my earlier reminiscences about programming in PLAN on ICL-1900 computers, back in the 1960s and 70s, I was doing some searching around and came across a "software museum" dedicated to ICL-1900.  Someone has written an emulator for the 1900's OS (EXEC) and its major sub-system George 3, which creates the environment for writing and running PLAN programs.

It is written in a mixture of Java and C, and runs on Windows with Java Virtual Machine Environment.  Input-Output is achieved by an emulated client terminal (ICL7181) connecting to the sub-system George 3 > MOP

So I downloaded the package and gave it a go.  Since I don't run Windows except for things which don't work on anything else,
I had an arrangement like this:

Ubuntu > VirtualBox > Windows 7 > Java VME > EXEC > George 3 > MOP Server >
Ubuntu > VirtualBox > Windows 7 > Java VME > MOP Client >

which is six levels of nesting of virtual machines!

Not surprisingly, it's a bit complicated as each VM has its own console, and you need to type in various commands to the right console at the right time to start it all up, but so far I am able to login, create a new file (PLAN source code for Hello World!), and edit it.

Since the keyboard is really connected to Ubuntu, and fed to the VMs beneath it, there seems to be some conflict of priorities when typing in certain "hot key" combinations, which don't reach their proper destination VM.

It shows up that I'm a bit rusty on quite a lot of this stuff after all these years, but I woke up this morning remembering more things - I must have been dreaming in PLAN again.

What is surprising is that the whole of Win 7, Java VME, EXEC, George 3, MOP and MOP client live inside 1 GB and 1 CPU of my 4 GB and 4 CPU desktop PC, which is the size of a thick book, and could theoretically run on a mobile phone, instead of a whole air-conditioned hall, full of six feet tall cabinets belching hot air.

Oh brave new world, that has such virtual machines in it.
The State is a body of armed men


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