UPPER CASE only and a question about the symbolic tape editor

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Jan 27, 2022, 7:44:33 PMJan 27
I noticed when running dec-08-esac-pb symbolic tape editor or dec-08-esab-pb that they:
1) don't provide a prompt, but respond to commands from the ASR33.
2) don't track lowercase characters (it's as though they don't exist)

Does this sound right?

Also, is the difference between versions of the symbolic tape editor discussed anywhere, or do you remember which is when and which was commonly used in PDP 8/e... or was OS/8 and it's accompanying tools including EDIT and TECO more predominant when the PDP 8/e came out?

Don Baccus

Jan 27, 2022, 8:07:02 PMJan 27
The ASR33 does not have lower case characters so software expecting it as a console (like OS/8) did not handle lower case.

OS/8 could be run off DECTape, a disk was not needed (though one quickly realized you wanted one!) and DEC came out with a low-cost TD8E DECTape controller which was a dog as it was a very dumb controller but was fine for a single-user system which did not run with interrupts enabled like OS/8. The days of writing programs using punched paper tape to edit, compile, link then load your software were dead by them. That process was incredibly inefficient even with a high speed paper tape reader/punch.


Jan 28, 2022, 3:24:20 PMJan 28

The pdp8/e came out in in about 1972. By then, DecTape and disk-based systems were dominant for code development. Predecessor CPUs, the 8/I, 8/L, and "Straight 8" all had disk and tape technology available. The only reason one would still have been doing paper tape-based development (guilty--smile) was the cost of getting a disk added to the computer you were using.

Later versions of OS/8 do support upper and lower case (e.g., v3d does) but any one application might not (e.g., PIP?). I seem to recall a monitor SET command that would have OS/8 force lowercase characters into their equivalent uppercase. HELP SET or HELP SET TTY: should be able to reveal it. The opposite command would tell OS/8 to pass through lowercase but then the application receiving it might not recognize it.

-- steve
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