Adventure: Crowther's original source code found; photos from inside the real Colossal Cave

4942 views
Skip to first unread message

denni...@gmail.com

unread,
Aug 11, 2007, 12:32:00 AM8/11/07
to
I started working on this article in 2000, thinking I'd be able to
slap something together for the 25th anniversary of Colossal Cave
Adventure. But writing it has turned out to be an addictive Babelfish
puzzle. The preliminary research I did turned into the IF
Bibliography, which also led to a glossary for the IF Theorybook. The
book is in cryonic sleep at the moment but the glossary thrives at the
IF WIki.

Reading the post Andrew Plotkin published several years ago about all
the cave research he did in preparation for writing Hunter, in
Darkness made me start daydreaming about an actual visit to the real
Colossal Cave was a possibility, and watching a library copy of
Raiders of the Lost Ark made me fantasize about finding Crowther's
original source code.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Adventure, and I think the
article was worth the wait.

The full text (with about 40 photos from in and around the real
Colossal Cave) is available online. See the link after the abstract.


Somewhere Nearby is Colossal Cave: Examining Will Crowther's Original
"Adventure" in Code and in Kentucky
Digital Humanities Quarterly, 1.1 (2007)

Abstract
Because so little primary historical work has been done on the classic
text computer game "Colossal Cave Adventure", academic and popular
references to it frequently perpetuate inaccuracies. "Adventure" was
the first in a series of text-based games ("interactive fiction") that
emphasize exploring, puzzles, and story, typically in a fantasy
setting; these games had a significant cultural impact in the late
1970s and a significant commercial presence in the early 1980s. Will
Crowther based his program on a real cave in Kentucky; Don Woods
expanded this version significantly. The expanded work has been
examined as an occasion for narrative encounters (Buckles 1985) and as
an aesthetic masterpiece of logic and utility (Knuth 1998); however,
previous attempts to assess the significance of "Adventure" remain
incomplete without access to Crowther's original source code and
Crowther's original source cave. Accordingly, this paper analyzes
previously unpublished files recovered from a backup of Woods's
student account at Stanford, and documents an excursion to the real
Colossal Cave in Kentucky in 2005. In addition, new interviews with
Crowther, Woods, and their associates (particularly members of
Crowther's family) provide new insights on the precise nature of
Woods's significant contributions. Real locations in the cave and
several artifacts (such as an iron rod and an axe head) correspond to
their representation in Crowther's version; however, by May of 1977,
Woods had expanded the game to include numerous locations that he
invented, along with significant technical innovations (such as
scorekeeping and a player inventory). Sources that incorrectly date
Crowther's original to 1972 or 1974, or that identify it as a
cartographic data file with no game or fantasy elements, are sourced
thinly if at all. The new evidence establishes that Crowther wrote the
game during the 1975-76 academic year and probably abandoned it in
early 1976. The original game employed magic, humor, simple combat,
and basic puzzles, all of which Woods greatly expanded. While Crowther
remained largely faithful to the geography of the real cave, his
original did introduce subtle changes to the environment in order to
improve the gameplay.


Will Crowther's original FORTRAN source code
http://jerz.setonhill.edu/if/crowther/

Full Article
http://brain.lis.uiuc.edu:2323/opencms/export/sites/default/dhq/vol/001/2/000009.html

The above URL is a test site, but one of the journal editors has
posted this URL to his blog, so I'm considering the article officially
published now.

I imagine the article will eventually occur on the journal's main
site, at

http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/001/2/000009.html

dott.Piergiorgio

unread,
Aug 11, 2007, 2:53:19 AM8/11/07
to
denni...@gmail.com ha scritto:

> Will Crowther's original FORTRAN source code
> http://jerz.setonhill.edu/if/crowther/

O_O

The original Adventure 0 ?????

Unbelievable !!! a true Relic of the history of gaming !

I'm without words... Now rummaging this ancient but very significant
piece of code, it's remarkable that is very tiny compared to Woods's
350, 13k code and 19k data.

I can suggest you to upload them in their proper place, that is, the
if-archive ?

My congrats, mr. Jerz !!
Dott. Piergiorgio.

David Librik

unread,
Aug 11, 2007, 3:07:02 AM8/11/07
to
denni...@gmail.com writes:
>Will Crowther's original FORTRAN source code
>http://jerz.setonhill.edu/if/crowther/

>The above URL is a test site, but one of the journal editors has
>posted this URL to his blog, so I'm considering the article officially
>published now.

HOLY MOLY. This is amazing work. I especially love the photographs
illustrating all the famous places in Adventure: the cobble crawl,
the window on the pit, the hall of mists, the maze of twisty passages
all alike. (You got to cave with Roger Brucker, too -- I hope you
know how fortunate you are.) And you found the original Will Crowther
FORTRAN source code, long thought to be lost forever, and analyzed it.
Congratulations on a historical achievement and a great article!

- David Librik
lib...@panix.com

Graham Nelson

unread,
Aug 11, 2007, 5:45:08 AM8/11/07
to
dennis.j...@gmail.com wrote:
> Somewhere Nearby is Colossal Cave: Examining Will Crowther's Original
> "Adventure" in Code and in Kentucky
> Digital Humanities Quarterly, 1.1 (2007)

It is clear on a single reading that this is the most important single
paper ever written on the history of interactive fiction.

David Kinder

unread,
Aug 11, 2007, 7:21:20 AM8/11/07
to
Wow, this is exceptionally cool. Now we just need to find a way to get the
Crowther version running again ...

David

Eric Forgeot

unread,
Aug 11, 2007, 2:04:06 PM8/11/07
to
David Kinder wrote:

yes, just out of curiosity, because I don't know anything about Fortran, is
it possible to compile those sources with for example g77 (gnu fortran), do
we have to edit / adapt / modify the source before ?


David Kinder

unread,
Aug 11, 2007, 3:01:42 PM8/11/07
to
Eric Forgeot wrote:
> yes, just out of curiosity, because I don't know anything about Fortran, is
> it possible to compile those sources with for example g77 (gnu fortran), do
> we have to edit / adapt / modify the source before ?

Before using a standard Fortran compiler there would definitely need to be
modification: it was written in Fortran-IV (probably), which is much older
than the standard Fortran-77 that g77 understands. Given what the known
original Crowther/Woods 350 point code looks like, it also has dependencies
on the PDP-10 architecture (36 bit words).

Not impossible to fix, but not trivial, either.

David

Stephen Gilbert

unread,
Aug 11, 2007, 3:10:29 PM8/11/07
to
This is jaw-droppingly fantastic. Congratulations Dennis.

Bruce Stephens

unread,
Aug 11, 2007, 3:32:01 PM8/11/07
to
Eric Forgeot <use_form_...@anamnese.fr.st> writes:

It'll need some changing, I think, but basically it ought to be
possible, yes. I spotted an .XOR., which isn't standard, I think, and
the continuations in:

COMMON RTEXT,LLINE
DIMENSION IOBJ(300),ICHAIN(100),IPLACE(100)
1 ,IFIXED(100),COND(300),PROP(100),ABB(300),LLINE(1000,22)
2 ,LTEXT(300),STEXT(300),KEY(300),DEFAULT(300),TRAVEL(1000)
3 ,TK(25),KTAB(1000),ATAB(1000),BTEXT(200),DSEEN(10)

Aren't right. It should be

COMMON RTEXT,LLINE
DIMENSION IOBJ(300),ICHAIN(100),IPLACE(100)
1 ,IFIXED(100),COND(300),PROP(100),ABB(300),LLINE(1000,22)
2 ,LTEXT(300),STEXT(300),KEY(300),DEFAULT(300),TRAVEL(1000)
3 ,TK(25),KTAB(1000),ATAB(1000),BTEXT(200),DSEEN(10)

dott.Piergiorgio

unread,
Aug 11, 2007, 4:49:59 PM8/11/07
to
Eric Forgeot ha scritto:

I suggest of using Bob Supnik's SIMH emulator, whose is an excellent
emulator of the PDP-10 (and other machines...) Also, there's floating on
the net the binaries of the OS for the -10

Another resource can be Al Kossow's archive of manuals of 50s to 70s
machines, surely there is the full documentation on the PDP-10 Fortran IV

I think that there's enough resources for understanding, compiling, and
running Adventure 0 ;)

Best regards from Italy,
Dott. Piergiorgio.

Stephen Gilbert

unread,
Aug 11, 2007, 6:33:15 PM8/11/07
to

I know next to nothing about Fortran, but could it be Fortran 66 instead
of IV? I believe g77 is able to compile Fortran 66 code.

If anyone is considering porting this, comp.lang.fortran looks like it has
an active and helpful community.

chuck....@gmail.com

unread,
Aug 11, 2007, 6:59:34 PM8/11/07
to
On Aug 11, 3:33 pm, Stephen Gilbert <stgilb...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I know next to nothing about Fortran, but could it be Fortran 66 instead
> of IV? I believe g77 is able to compile Fortran 66 code.

That the file names end with 'f4' is probably a clue. The code I've
looked
at isn't particularly complicated and there isn't that much of it; I
don't
think it would be either difficult or tedious to port it.

Chuck


Rubes

unread,
Aug 11, 2007, 7:38:31 PM8/11/07
to
On Aug 11, 3:45 am, Graham Nelson <gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> It is clear on a single reading that this is the most important single
> paper ever written on the history of interactive fiction.

I have to agree with you on this. This is jaw-dropping stuff.
Outstanding.

Glenn P.,

unread,
Aug 12, 2007, 4:25:16 AM8/12/07
to
On 10-Aug-07 at 9:32pm -0700, <denni...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Will Crowther's original FORTRAN source code
> http://jerz.setonhill.edu/if/crowther/

When I click on this link, I get the following:

Parent Directory -
advdat.77-03-11 08-Jun-2007 15:13 19K
advdat.77-03-31 08-Jun-2007 15:13 19K
advf4.77-03-11 08-Jun-2007 15:13 13K
advf4.77-03-23 08-Jun-2007 15:13 13K
advf4.77-03-31 08-Jun-2007 15:13 13K

...Which one of these files is the "Adventure" file??? I don't understand
why there are FIVE files (is this a feature of FORTRAN?)...

--_____ %%%%%%%%%%% "Glenn P.," <C128UserD...@FVI.Net> %%%%%%%%%%%
{~._.~} -----------------------------------------------------------------
_( Y )_ There was no path to follow through the wood. The branches of
(:_~*~_:) the trees hung low and thick, and the earth beneath them was damp
(_)-(_) and dark and dank, and no birds sang.
========= "This," said Katherine, "is what I would call a tulgey wood."
///////// "Don't!" cried Martha. "Suppose something came whiffling
========= through it!" --EAGER, Edward: "Half Magic" (Chapter IV).

:: Take Note Of The Spam Block On My E-Mail Address! ::

Dannii

unread,
Aug 12, 2007, 4:41:50 AM8/12/07
to
There are five files because Don Woods started editing them. As the
article explains, there is a data file and a code file. The 77-03-11
files should be the last version by Crowther.

On Aug 12, 6:25 pm, "Glenn P.," <C128UserDELETE-T...@FVI.Net> wrote:


> On 10-Aug-07 at 9:32pm -0700, <dennis.j...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Will Crowther's original FORTRAN source code
> >http://jerz.setonhill.edu/if/crowther/
>
> When I click on this link, I get the following:
>
> Parent Directory -
> advdat.77-03-11 08-Jun-2007 15:13 19K
> advdat.77-03-31 08-Jun-2007 15:13 19K
> advf4.77-03-11 08-Jun-2007 15:13 13K
> advf4.77-03-23 08-Jun-2007 15:13 13K
> advf4.77-03-31 08-Jun-2007 15:13 13K
>
> ...Which one of these files is the "Adventure" file??? I don't understand
> why there are FIVE files (is this a feature of FORTRAN?)...
>

> --_____ %%%%%%%%%%% "Glenn P.," <C128UserDELETE-T...@FVI.Net> %%%%%%%%%%%

Adam Thornton

unread,
Aug 12, 2007, 12:12:33 PM8/12/07
to
In article <Pine.LNX.4.61.07...@Bfjrtb.SbkInyyrl.arg>,

Glenn P., <C128UserD...@FVI.Net> wrote:
>When I click on this link, I get the following:
>
> Parent Directory -
> advdat.77-03-11 08-Jun-2007 15:13 19K
> advdat.77-03-31 08-Jun-2007 15:13 19K
> advf4.77-03-11 08-Jun-2007 15:13 13K
> advf4.77-03-23 08-Jun-2007 15:13 13K
> advf4.77-03-31 08-Jun-2007 15:13 13K
>
>...Which one of these files is the "Adventure" file??? I don't understand
>why there are FIVE files (is this a feature of FORTRAN?)...

Code is in advf4; there are three versions.

Data is in advdat, of which there are two versions.

Adam

asdf

unread,
Aug 12, 2007, 3:34:29 PM8/12/07
to
This is a brilliant piece of work and a major advance in the field of
IF studies.

> Full Articlehttp://brain.lis.uiuc.edu:2323/opencms/export/sites/default/dhq/vol/0...

David Librik

unread,
Aug 12, 2007, 7:23:39 PM8/12/07
to
Bruce Stephens <bruce+...@cenderis.demon.co.uk> writes:
>It'll need some changing, I think, but basically it ought to be
>possible, yes. I spotted an .XOR., which isn't standard, I think, and
>the continuations in:

Once you spot that strings are stored as a sequence of 7-bit
characters packed 5 to a (36-bit) machine word (with the lowest
bit ignored), I think the most wretched hive of scum and villany
is in GETIN, which is a very PDP-10 dependent subroutine for
accepting input and breaking it into two words. It would have to
be completely rewritten for any other computer, no matter what
language you use. That's where all the bit-magic of .XOR. and
SHIFT is, at least.

A lot of the weird logic associated with text in that program is
trying to work with the way strings are stored. A string is an
array of 36-bit integers, each integer holding 5 characters. If
the string isn't a multiple of 5 characters in length, spaces are
added to the end. All of the long text strings are stored in a
single two-dimensional array called LLINE. The first two integers
in each LLINE string aren't holding characters; they store an
indication of whether this string is part of a larger paragraph
(LLINE(n,1)), and how long the string is in integers (LLINE(n,2)),
respectively. The actual text for string LLINE(n) starts at
LLINE(n,3).

The funny thing is ... I thought PDP-10 character codes were six
bits, not seven. Thus filenames could be up to 6 characters long:
e.g. ADVENT. But that 5-character limitation in strings explains
why, in the original Adventure, all words were unique to only five
letters -- and why we have PLUGH and XYZZY rather than REZROV.

A FORTRAN compiler or translator would work on that code, but only
for the main "logic" of the game -- i.e. lines 1100 to the END of
the main program, excluding anything having to do with printing
or comparing strings. When you see something like
INTEGER A
... get input into A ...
IF (A .EQ. 'XYZZY')
you are sunk, because the assumption is that 'XYZZY' is a single
number and can be manipulated like one. An intelligent porter
sees that it's only used for strings and changes it to a string
variable; but "f2c" is going to barf and die.

- David Librik
lib...@panix.com

greg

unread,
Aug 12, 2007, 8:32:02 PM8/12/07
to
David Librik wrote:
> The funny thing is ... I thought PDP-10 character codes were six
> bits, not seven.

It's quite likely there was more than one format
used for storing text, depending on things like
whether you wanted lower case letters.

--
Greg

Matthew T. Russotto

unread,
Aug 12, 2007, 8:46:17 PM8/12/07
to
In article <f9o4pr$mvc$1...@reader2.panix.com>,
David Librik <lib...@panix.com> wrote:

>Once you spot that strings are stored as a sequence of 7-bit
>characters packed 5 to a (36-bit) machine word (with the lowest
>bit ignored), I think the most wretched hive of scum and villany
>is in GETIN, which is a very PDP-10 dependent subroutine for
>accepting input and breaking it into two words. It would have to
>be completely rewritten for any other computer, no matter what
>language you use. That's where all the bit-magic of .XOR. and
>SHIFT is, at least.

Correct. But there's an additional joker in GETIN.

>number and can be manipulated like one. An intelligent porter
>sees that it's only used for strings and changes it to a string
>variable; but "f2c" is going to barf and die.

Fortunately, there are only a few variables which need to be declared
"CHARACTER*5".

I've got it almost working under g77. I broke LLINE into three
arrays and fixed the "G" and "A" formats. I also changed the data file from
tab-delimited fields to fixed-length fields, changed the IFILE to
OPEN, and implemented RAN.

The additional joker is holding me back. The program reads using a
format 4A5 into an array A, and apparently
ENTER STREAM
is to be returned such that A(1)='ENTER' and A(2)='STREAM'. But
elsewhere in GETIN it expects the spaces to appear literally. So I'm
not sure how that format was supposed to work.

There's also a bug in the 77-03-11 GETIN.
--
There's no such thing as a free lunch, but certain accounting practices can
result in a fully-depreciated one.

Matthew T. Russotto

unread,
Aug 12, 2007, 9:06:24 PM8/12/07
to
In article <hZadndM_m_lENCLb...@speakeasy.net>,

Matthew T. Russotto <russ...@grace.speakeasy.net> wrote:
>
>The additional joker is holding me back. The program reads using a
>format 4A5 into an array A, and apparently
>ENTER STREAM
>is to be returned such that A(1)='ENTER' and A(2)='STREAM'. But
>elsewhere in GETIN it expects the spaces to appear literally. So I'm
>not sure how that format was supposed to work.

Nevermind. It appears this is actually a bug in the original code.
The later versions correct it.

David Librik

unread,
Aug 12, 2007, 9:29:11 PM8/12/07
to
russ...@grace.speakeasy.net (Matthew T. Russotto) writes:
>Nevermind. It appears this is actually a bug in the original code.
>The later versions correct it.

There are a number of bugs in that program, unfortunately.

Is it better to present the most accurate representation of
Crowther's original code, or fix the mistakes in order to give
the program he intended, a game you can actually play?

Perhaps as a compromise one can implement the immediate bug
fixes that Don Woods had to add (in 77-03-31) to get it running.

- David Librik
lib...@panix.com

Matthew T. Russotto

unread,
Aug 12, 2007, 11:30:53 PM8/12/07
to
In article <f9oc57$67j$1...@reader2.panix.com>,

Why compromise when you can have both?

Compilable (g77) versions of 77-03-11 and 77-03-31:

http://www.russotto.net/~russotto/ADVENT

denni...@gmail.com

unread,
Aug 12, 2007, 11:59:05 PM8/12/07
to
On Aug 12, 11:30 pm, russo...@grace.speakeasy.net (Matthew T.

Russotto) wrote:
>
> Compilable (g77) versions of 77-03-11 and 77-03-31:
>
> http://www.russotto.net/~russotto/ADVENT

That was fast!

If anybody with the technical know-how could rig this up to play in a
Java applet, or through a web interface, I'd be grateful. I'd be happy
to arrange to host the program somewhere else.

JDC

unread,
Aug 13, 2007, 12:20:16 AM8/13/07
to
On Aug 12, 11:30 pm, russo...@grace.speakeasy.net (Matthew T.
Russotto) wrote:
>
> Compilable (g77) versions of 77-03-11 and 77-03-31:
>
> http://www.russotto.net/~russotto/ADVENT

Excellent; thanks for these.

Note for OS X users: The OS X version of gcc does not seem to include
g77, but I found a binary here:
http://hpc.sourceforge.net/
You should also be able to get it with fink or something. Also note
that if you download the packages in Safari, it will add a spurious
".txt" to the .dat files; you need to remove this, but otherwise these
compile fine.

By the way, was I the only one who hadn't looked at Fortran code in at
least 15 years and whose brain initially tried to parse Fortran's
dotted comparisons as objects and methods? :)

-JDC

Glenn P.,

unread,
Aug 13, 2007, 2:49:00 AM8/13/07
to
On 12-Aug-07 at 8:59pm -0700, <denni...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Aug 12, 11:30 pm, russo...@grace.speakeasy.net (Matthew T.
> Russotto) wrote:

>> Compilable (g77) versions of 77-03-11 and 77-03-31:

>> http://www.russotto.net/~russotto/ADVENT

> That was fast!

> If anybody with the technical know-how could rig this up to play
> in a Java applet, or through a web interface, I'd be grateful.

I'd be far more grateful if someone would port it to Inform!!! :)

-- _____ %%%%%%%%%% "Glenn P.," <C128UserD...@FVI.Net> %%%%%%%%%
{~._.~} --------------------------------------------------------------
_( Y )_ "EVERYTHING is your fault. It's in your contract."
(:_~*~_:)
(_)-(_) (Quark to Rom, "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine")

d.ki...@btinternet.com

unread,
Aug 13, 2007, 6:40:12 AM8/13/07
to
On 13 Aug, 04:30, russo...@grace.speakeasy.net (Matthew T. Russotto)
wrote:

> Why compromise when you can have both?
> Compilable (g77) versions of 77-03-11 and 77-03-31:

Cool! A quick Windows build (done with MinGW G77) is here, for any
Windows users who don't fancy messing with a compiler:

http://www.ifarchive.org/if-archive/unprocessed/adv_crowther_win.zip

David

Urbatain

unread,
Aug 13, 2007, 7:49:33 AM8/13/07
to
On 11 ago, 09:07, David Librik <lib...@panix.com> wrote:
> all alike. (You got to cave with Roger Brucker, too -- I hope you
> know how fortunate you are.) And you found the original Will Crowther
> FORTRAN source code, long thought to be lost forever, and analyzed it.
> Congratulations on a historical achievement and a great article!

And what about to make a game about the achievement?! As the author
notes, he feels in a "Indiana" mood while making the article. It could
be a good idea to do that in an IF format that allow us to listen that
stories in the dark or the boring search for the original source
code :) yes I know, maybe you have no thrilling experiences for a
game, but just puting into some nazis and some savage animals and a
whip, you got it!

Thanks for the article!

Urbatain.

Stephen Granade

unread,
Aug 13, 2007, 9:53:23 AM8/13/07
to
denni...@gmail.com writes:

> Somewhere Nearby is Colossal Cave: Examining Will Crowther's Original
> "Adventure" in Code and in Kentucky
> Digital Humanities Quarterly, 1.1 (2007)

This is astounding stuff. Bravo!

Stephen

--
Stephen Granade
stephen...@granades.com

REH

unread,
Aug 13, 2007, 4:43:41 PM8/13/07
to
I just happened to check the news group today. I feel like it's
Christmas! What a great find, and a priceless treasure to give to the
community.

Andreas Davour

unread,
Aug 14, 2007, 5:22:10 AM8/14/07
to

Damn! This is so great! I can only think one one other thing that would
compare, and that's finally being able to compile the MDL source for
Zork to a running game. (and I have some small hope of that being done,
soon)

Congratulation! Dennis, this will get you famous. :-)

/andreas

--
A: Because it fouls the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
A: Top-posting.
Q: What is the most annoying thing on usenet and in e-mail?

mas...@gmail.com

unread,
Aug 14, 2007, 9:42:17 AM8/14/07
to
GPL It? :-P

Litestar

unread,
Aug 14, 2007, 10:27:58 AM8/14/07
to
On Aug 14, 9:42 am, mast...@gmail.com wrote:
> GPL It? :-P

Why not just put it in the public domain?

David Kinder

unread,
Aug 14, 2007, 11:57:21 AM8/14/07
to
Reading through the source code, what strikes me is how compact it all is:
just a shade over 700 lines, and how few of the puzzles require special-case
logic in the code. It's not easy to do *anything* interesting in that short
a space, let alone invent a game genre ...

David

samwyse

unread,
Aug 14, 2007, 12:08:54 PM8/14/07
to
On Aug 10, 11:32 pm, dennis.j...@gmail.com wrote:
> Accordingly, this paper analyzes
> previously unpublished files recovered from a backup of Woods's
> student account at Stanford, and documents an excursion to the real
> Colossal Cave in Kentucky in 2005.

Holy mother of Elron! This is enough to make me break two years or so
of silent lurking! Way to go!

mkam...@gmail.com

unread,
Aug 14, 2007, 5:02:11 PM8/14/07
to
On Aug 11, 12:32 am, dennis.j...@gmail.com wrote:.

> Somewhere Nearby is Colossal Cave: Examining Will Crowther's Original
> "Adventure" in Code and in Kentucky
> Digital Humanities Quarterly, 1.1 (2007)

This is an amazing piece! Excellent detective work! Loved that early
PDP source code. I especially enjoyed the pictures paired with the
game text. I wonder if there are any photos from the original Cave
Research Foundation explorations in the early 1970s - it would be
great to see the original entrance as well as photos of Will and Pat
Crowther.

Tom Jone

unread,
Aug 14, 2007, 5:46:02 PM8/14/07
to
This is great !!!! Thanks Matthew for the conversion.I downloaded the
G77 compiler and I'm exploring the caverns...

Arnout Symoens
http://blog.marjanenarnout.be

Rober...@gmail.com

unread,
Aug 14, 2007, 5:50:48 PM8/14/07
to
I disagree on the development years being 1975-1976. I graduated from
WPI in 1974 and played 'Adventure' on their DEC-10, for at least a
year prior to gradualtion.

I believe that the date range of 1972-1973 is more accurate.

Bob Milk


On Aug 11, 12:32 am, dennis.j...@gmail.com wrote:

William...@gmail.com

unread,
Aug 14, 2007, 6:11:04 PM8/14/07
to
On Aug 11, 4:49 pm, "dott.Piergiorgio"
<dott.piergiorgioHI...@SORYUfastwebnet.it> wrote:
> Eric Forgeot ha scritto:
>
> > David Kinder wrote:
>
> >> Wow, this is exceptionally cool. Now we just need to find a way to get the
> >> Crowther version running again ...
>
> >> David
>
> > yes, just out of curiosity, because I don't know anything about Fortran, is
> > it possible to compile those sources with for example g77 (gnu fortran), do
> > we have to edit / adapt / modify the source before ?
>
> I suggest of using Bob Supnik's SIMH emulator, whose is an excellent
> emulator of the PDP-10 (and other machines...) Also, there's floating on
> the net the binaries of the OS for the -10
>
> Another resource can be Al Kossow's archive of manuals of 50s to 70s
> machines, surely there is the full documentation on the PDP-10 Fortran IV
>
> I think that there's enough resources for understanding, compiling, and
> running Adventure 0 ;)
>
> Best regards from Italy,
> Dott. Piergiorgio.

In case anyone is interested I have managed to make the 77-03-31
version compile and run on TOPS-10
its available on http://www.steubentech.com/~talon/pdp10 as both a
tape image and inside the TOPS-10 distribution there (as of this post
I haven't fully uploaded the new distro so wait until the link points
to the tops10-1.4.tar.bz2 file to download the entire tops 10
system. )

xonic

unread,
Aug 14, 2007, 8:09:21 PM8/14/07
to
pretty cutting edge.. i noticed in the first dat file f*ck was one of
the actions the character could do lol.. i never played this myself
but i was into Zork when it came out.. i miss those games.

Message has been deleted
Message has been deleted
Message has been deleted

Matthew T. Russotto

unread,
Aug 14, 2007, 9:53:26 PM8/14/07
to
In article <gru8h1ldiazo$.d...@sqwertz.com>,
Steve Wertz <swe...@cluemail.compost> wrote:
>
>The code cannot be copied from the FTP site as is. All the
>columns are out of whack. The line continuation characters are
>all shifted to the right one too many spaces, and all lines have
>2 extra spaces in the them. I've fixed all that, at least.

The code uses a feature of TOPS-10 FORTRAN which allows lines to begin
with a TAB. If they do, then if the next character is a digit, it's a
continuation line; if the next character is not a digit, it's a
regular line.

And you're too late :-)

dott.Piergiorgio

unread,
Aug 14, 2007, 10:33:52 PM8/14/07
to
William...@gmail.com ha scritto:

> In case anyone is interested I have managed to make the 77-03-31
> version compile and run on TOPS-10
> its available on http://www.steubentech.com/~talon/pdp10 as both a
> tape image and inside the TOPS-10 distribution there (as of this post
> I haven't fully uploaded the new distro so wait until the link points
> to the tops10-1.4.tar.bz2 file to download the entire tops 10
> system. )

Good, if not excellent :)

Now we have enough binary environments for Adventure 0 :)

Message has been deleted

Mark Zellers

unread,
Aug 15, 2007, 2:37:37 AM8/15/07
to
On Aug 14, 6:40 pm, Steve Wertz <swe...@cluemail.compost> wrote:
> On Mon, 13 Aug 2007 12:32:02 +1200, greg wrote:
> > David Librik wrote:
> >> The funny thing is ... I thought PDP-10 character codes were six
> >> bits, not seven.
>
> > It's quite likely there was more than one format
> > used for storing text, depending on things like
> > whether you wanted lower case letters.
>
> Punch cards didn't have lower case letters.
>
> -sw

The normal text storage on the PDP-10 was 7-bit ASCII, packed 5 bits
to the 36-bit word with the low order bit left zero. For some
purposes, such as storing filenames, a more limited 6-bit alphabet was
used (the characters in the range SPACE to "]". One of the neat
features of the PDP-10 was that it could operate on any sized byte you
liked, from 1 to 36 bits wide. Although the PDP-10s I came in contact
with may have had card readers, they were primarily used via
timesharing.

Back when I was in college (around 1977 or 1978), I came across a port
of Adventure to the PR1ME minicomputer. I ported it to the IBM-360
running the Michigan Terminal System (MTS). I then took that and
ported it BACK to TOPS-10 (talk about carrying coals to Newcastle!).

Some friends and I hacked Adventure to create the RPI Steam Tunnel
Game. I was able to type in the database from a listing I had kept
all these years and managed to get it running on the SIMH emulator.
It was mostly bad puns on people and places at RPI (for example, James
Moss was the director of computing services, so in one room the
description read "MOSS COVERS THE TERMINALS").

Mark H. Zellers
RPI '81
Mountain View, CA

Vardak

unread,
Aug 15, 2007, 3:31:33 AM8/15/07
to
In article <F1dvi.23138$pd1....@tornado.fastwebnet.it>,
dott.Piergiorgio <dott.pierg...@SORYUfastwebnet.it> wrote:
> denni...@gmail.com ha scritto:

> > Will Crowther's original FORTRAN source code
> > http://jerz.setonhill.edu/if/crowther/

> O_O

> The original Adventure 0 ?????

> Unbelievable !!! a true Relic of the history of gaming !

> I'm without words... Now rummaging this ancient but very significant
> piece of code, it's remarkable that is very tiny compared to Woods's
> 350, 13k code and 19k data.

> I can suggest you to upload them in their proper place, that is, the
> if-archive ?

> My congrats, mr. Jerz !!
> Dott. Piergiorgio.

Brilliant stuff! (especially the photos illustrating all the famous places
in the game)

--
Diolch,
Vardak the Minotaur Paladin.

Message has been deleted

Eric Smith

unread,
Aug 15, 2007, 3:02:01 PM8/15/07
to
Steve Wertz wrote:
> Punch cards didn't have lower case letters.

While common keypunch machines such as the IBM 024, 026, and 029 did
not directly support lower case, both IBM and DEC defined card codes
that included lower case, by using multiple zone punches. IBM defined
punch combinations for the entire 256-character EBCDIC code, and DEC
defined punch combinations for the entire 128-character ASCII code.

The earliest references I've found are in the IBM System/360
Principles of Operation, A22-6821-6, January 13, 1967, page 150.3, and
the DECsystem10 User's Handbook second edition, DEC-10-NGZB-D, July
1972, page 788:

http://bitsavers.org/pdf/ibm/360/poo/A22-6821-6_360PrincOpsJan67.pdf

http://bitsavers.org/pdf/dec/pdp10/1972_PDP10_UsersHandbook/08_commands.pdf
(page 360 of PDF file)

The alphabetic characters, both upper and lower case, are the same in
both codes:

upper lower
case punches case punches
----- -------- ----- --------
A 12 1 a 12 0 1
B 12 2 b 12 0 2
C 12 3 c 12 0 3
D 12 4 d 12 0 4
E 12 5 e 12 0 5
F 12 6 f 12 0 6
G 12 7 g 12 0 7
H 12 8 h 12 0 8
I 12 9 i 12 0 9

J 11 1 j 12 11 1
K 11 2 k 12 11 2
L 11 3 l 12 11 3
M 11 4 m 12 11 4
N 11 5 n 12 11 5
O 11 6 o 12 11 6
P 11 7 p 12 11 7
Q 11 8 q 12 11 8
R 11 9 r 12 11 9

S 0 2 s 11 0 2
T 0 3 t 11 0 3
U 0 4 u 11 0 4
V 0 5 v 11 0 5
W 0 6 w 11 0 6
X 0 7 x 11 0 7
Y 0 8 y 11 0 8
Z 0 9 z 11 0 9

Rich Alderson

unread,
Aug 16, 2007, 9:00:34 PM8/16/07
to
Stephen Gilbert <stgi...@gmail.com> writes:

> I know next to nothing about Fortran, but could it be Fortran 66 instead
> of IV? I believe g77 is able to compile Fortran 66 code.

"Fortran 66" is a back formation on Fortran 77. So-called Fortran 66 *is*
FORTRAN IV in hindsight.

--
Rich Alderson | /"\ ASCII ribbon |
ne...@alderson.users.panix.com | \ / campaign against |
"You get what anybody gets. You get a lifetime." | x HTML mail and |
--Death, of the Endless | / \ postings |

Rich Alderson

unread,
Aug 16, 2007, 9:09:34 PM8/16/07
to
"dott.Piergiorgio" <dott.pierg...@SORYUfastwebnet.it> writes:

> I suggest of using Bob Supnik's SIMH emulator, whose is an excellent
> emulator of the PDP-10 (and other machines...) Also, there's floating on
> the net the binaries of the OS for the -10

> Another resource can be Al Kossow's archive of manuals of 50s to 70s
> machines, surely there is the full documentation on the PDP-10 Fortran IV

> I think that there's enough resources for understanding, compiling, and
> running Adventure 0 ;)

It is also possible to run both Adventure and Zork on real PDP-10 hardware.
Sign up for accounts on the systems at http://PDPplanet.org (click on the
Community button).

Rich Alderson

unread,
Aug 16, 2007, 9:13:38 PM8/16/07
to
Steve Wertz <swe...@cluemail.compost> writes:

> On Tue, 14 Aug 2007 20:53:26 -0500, Matthew T. Russotto wrote:

>> And you're too late :-)

> How many of us running TOPS? :-P

There's not such thing as "TOPS" as far as the PDP-10 goes. There's Tops-10
and TOPS-20, which share no code, no user interface, and no philosophy, only
the hardware architecture.

And besides the people who are running either of these OSes on Supnik's SimH or
Harrenstein's KLH10, there is real hardware running both at PDPplanet.

Rich Alderson

unread,
Aug 16, 2007, 9:16:40 PM8/16/07
to
Andreas Davour <an...@update.uu.se> writes:

> Damn! This is so great! I can only think one one other thing that would
> compare, and that's finally being able to compile the MDL source for
> Zork to a running game. (and I have some small hope of that being done,
> soon)

I'm still trying to find my MDL tape.

dott.Piergiorgio

unread,
Aug 17, 2007, 7:25:14 AM8/17/07
to
Rich Alderson ha scritto:

> It is also possible to run both Adventure and Zork on real PDP-10 hardware.
> Sign up for accounts on the systems at http://PDPplanet.org (click on the
> Community button).

A real -10 running and kicking ? excellent news ! :) :)

lorin.rowe

unread,
Aug 20, 2007, 6:45:37 PM8/20/07
to

> On Aug 10, 9:32 pm, dennis.j...@gmail.com wrote:
> I started working on this article in 2000, thinking I'd be able to
> slap something together for the 25th anniversary of Colossal Cave
> .... stuff deleted

Interesting ... As many years ago I recall plainly that the original
Colossal Cave was written in a University language called Muddle
originally. Another person I believe translated Adventure into
Fortran.
Even latter I wrote it in C! My how times change.

I am not taking away from the article, but suggesting there is a
ways to go to get back to the original language. :-)


Andrew Plotkin

unread,
Aug 20, 2007, 6:47:41 PM8/20/07
to
In rec.games.int-fiction, lorin.rowe <lorin...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> > On Aug 10, 9:32 pm, dennis.j...@gmail.com wrote:
> > I started working on this article in 2000, thinking I'd be able to
> > slap something together for the 25th anniversary of Colossal Cave
> > .... stuff deleted
>
> Interesting ... As many years ago I recall plainly that the original
> Colossal Cave was written in a University language called Muddle
> originally.

No. Muddle (or MDL) was used by the MIT students who originally created
Zork. They were inspired by Colossal Cave, but they were writing a new
game.

--Z

--
"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves..."
*
When Bush says "Stay the course," what he means is "I don't know what to
do next." He's been saying this for years now.

lorin.rowe

unread,
Aug 20, 2007, 6:52:21 PM8/20/07
to
On Aug 20, 3:47 pm, Andrew Plotkin <erkyr...@eblong.com> wrote:

> In rec.games.int-fiction, lorin.rowe <lorin.r...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > > On Aug 10, 9:32 pm, dennis.j...@gmail.com wrote:
> > > I started working on this article in 2000, thinking I'd be able to
> > > slap something together for the 25th anniversary of Colossal Cave
> > > .... stuff deleted
>
> > Interesting ... As many years ago I recall plainly that the original
> > Colossal Cave was written in a University language called Muddle
> > originally.
>
> No. Muddle (or MDL) was used by the MIT students who originally created
> Zork. They were inspired by Colossal Cave, but they were writing a new
> game.


Thanks for the correction. When you go that far back you have to
scratch your
head a bit.

rpresser

unread,
Aug 21, 2007, 12:01:01 AM8/21/07
to
On Aug 11, 12:32 am, dennis.j...@gmail.com wrote:
> I started working on this article in 2000, thinking I'd be able to
> slap something together for the 25th anniversary of Colossal Cave
> Adventure. But writing it has turned out to be an addictive Babelfish
> puzzle. The preliminary research I did turned into the IF
> Bibliography, which also led to a glossary for the IF Theorybook. The
> book is in cryonic sleep at the moment but the glossary thrives at the
> IF WIki.

Congratulations on what apparently is a fantastic achievement.

> Will Crowther's original FORTRAN source codehttp://jerz.setonhill.edu/if/crowther/
>

> Full Articlehttp://brain.lis.uiuc.edu:2323/opencms/export/sites/default/dhq/vol/0...
>
> The above URL is a test site, but one of the journal editors has
> posted this URL to his blog, so I'm considering the article officially
> published now.
>
> I imagine the article will eventually occur on the journal's main
> site, at
>
> http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/001/2/000009.html

Unfortunately,although the FORTRAN code is still there, the test site
is now down but the article is not up at that main site link, either.
Any other links available?

mkam...@gmail.com

unread,
Aug 21, 2007, 1:19:50 PM8/21/07
to
On Aug 21, 12:01 am, rpresser <rpres...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Aug 11, 12:32 am, dennis.j...@gmail.com wrote:
>
> > I started working on this article in 2000, thinking I'd be able to
> > slap something together for the 25th anniversary of Colossal Cave
> > Adventure. ...

>
> Unfortunately,although the FORTRAN code is still there, the test site
> is now down but the article is not up at that main site link, either.
> Any other links available?

I contacted the Digital Humanities Quarterly editor (Julia Flanders)
today and here is what she replied:

Thanks for asking--the link to the Jerz article was posted somewhat
prematurely, and links (linked) to an internal draft site, not to the
final publication. The actual published version of the article will
be available at the DHQ site by the end of this month, at
http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/001/2/000009.html

If you can spread this information around we'd be grateful! the
internal URL got widely disseminated before we could correct it.

Best wishes, Julia

Julia Flanders
Editor, DHQ
Brown University

denni...@gmail.com

unread,
Aug 21, 2007, 4:43:09 PM8/21/07
to
On Aug 21, 12:01 am, rpresser <rpres...@gmail.com> wrote:

David Kinder just e-mailed me to say he has placed a copy of the
article on the IF archive at

http://mirror.ifarchive.org/if-archive/articles/original_adventure.zip
(2.7M)

denni...@gmail.com

unread,
Aug 21, 2007, 4:44:34 PM8/21/07
to
On Aug 21, 1:19 pm, mkamin...@gmail.com wrote:

> I contacted the Digital Humanities Quarterly editor (Julia Flanders)
> today and here is what she replied:
>
> Thanks for asking--the link to the Jerz article was posted somewhat
> prematurely, and links (linked) to an internal draft site, not to the
> final publication. The actual published version of the article will
> be available at the DHQ site by the end of this month, athttp://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/001/2/000009.html

I have also asked the editors to forward the draft address to the
final site.

Glenn P.,

unread,
Aug 26, 2007, 1:10:04 AM8/26/07
to
On 14-Aug-07 at 2:27pm -0000, <lite...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Aug 14, 9:42 am, mast...@gmail.com wrote:

:> GPL It? :-P

> Why not just put it in the public domain?

<<Scratches under the chin>> ...The person who located the code cannot do
either one, as only the original author (or one to whom he had explicity
given the rights) -- Crowther, in this case -- would have the authority
to do so. And the person who has located this code for us is, alas,
neither Crowther himself, nor a holder of assigned rights.

But having said that, isn't the thing in the public domain already? I
mean, "I Am Not A Lawyer, BUT..." -- wasn't this code written prior to
1976, when (so far as I understand it) copyright required BOTH an
explicit registration, AND affixation of copyright notice; lasted only
28 years at a time; and had to be regularly renewed???

Since Crowther (at least, to the best of my knowledge!) never did ANY
of these things, it seems to me that he never possessed ANY copyright
on the code to begin with, and therefore it would seem to have fallen
into the Public Domain long ago.

-- _____ %%%%%%% "Glenn P.," <C128UserD...@FVI.Net> %%%%%%
{~._.~} ----------------------------------------------------------
_( Y )_ "Surrender, varlet! Thou art the prisoner of me lance!"
(:_~*~_:) "I art? And whomsoever art thou, in thy cast-iron tuxedo?"
(_)-(_) --The Knight & Bugs Bunny, respectively:
========= "A Connecticut Rabbit In King Arthur's Court".

:: Take Note Of The Spam Block On My E-Mail Address! ::

REH

unread,
Aug 26, 2007, 8:28:59 AM8/26/07
to
Glenn P., wrote:
> But having said that, isn't the thing in the public domain already? I
> mean, "I Am Not A Lawyer, BUT..." -- wasn't this code written prior to
> 1976, when (so far as I understand it) copyright required BOTH an
> explicit registration, AND affixation of copyright notice; lasted only
> 28 years at a time; and had to be regularly renewed???
>
> Since Crowther (at least, to the best of my knowledge!) never did ANY
> of these things, it seems to me that he never possessed ANY copyright
> on the code to begin with, and therefore it would seem to have fallen
> into the Public Domain long ago.
>

I don't know about the requirement for the notice (which starts the
"clock" ticking down), but explicit registration is not required.
Registration just makes proving copyright easier. The poor man's form
of this was just to mail the documents to yourself, and use the
unopened, postmarked package as proof, if necessary.

Andrew Plotkin

unread,
Aug 26, 2007, 10:28:43 AM8/26/07
to
In rec.games.int-fiction, Glenn P., <C128UserD...@fvi.net> wrote:
>
> But having said that, isn't the thing in the public domain already? I
> mean, "I Am Not A Lawyer, BUT..." -- wasn't this code written prior to
> 1976, when (so far as I understand it) copyright required BOTH an
> explicit registration, AND affixation of copyright notice; lasted only
> 28 years at a time; and had to be regularly renewed???

No, yes, yes, and renewal would have been automatic. See
<http://library.dts.edu/Pages/RM/Helps/copyright.shtml>

"All books initially copyrighted in the US from 1964 through 1977 have
had their copyrights automatically renewed (by law) and the copyrights
are still in force."

<http://www.copyright.cornell.edu/training/Hirtle_Public_Domain.htm>
has a very detailed and useful chart.

The lack of notice, however, is a killer. Through 1977, no notice ->
no copyright.

--Z

--
"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves..."
*

Just because you vote for the Republicans, doesn't mean they let you be one.

Glenn P.,

unread,
Aug 26, 2007, 11:08:56 PM8/26/07
to
On 26-Aug-07 at 8:28am -0400, <nospa...@nowhere.com> wrote:

> I don't know about the requirement for the notice (which starts the "clock"
> ticking down), but explicit registration is not required. Registration just
> makes proving copyright easier.

My understanding -- and I could be wrong -- is that, prior to 1976, you didn't
acquire copyright until you had registered it. The modern copyright, which is
automatic and doesn't require registration, only came into being with the
amendments to the copyright law that were adopted in 1976.

-- >>>>> "Glenn P.," <C128UserD...@FVI.Net> <<<<<
-----------------------------------------
"Memoria tenete hanc esse Fabulam et omnino per Iocum et per Simulationem,
itaque te esse non credere verbum solum etsi verum est." [Infantes Aquarum]

Glenn P.,

unread,
Aug 26, 2007, 11:32:00 PM8/26/07
to
On 26-Aug-07 at 2:28pm -0000, <erky...@eblong.com> wrote:

> In rec.games.int-fiction, Glenn P., <C128UserD...@fvi.net> wrote:

>> But having said that, isn't the thing in the public domain already? I
>> mean, "I Am Not A Lawyer, BUT..." -- wasn't this code written prior to
>> 1976, when (so far as I understand it) copyright required BOTH an
>> explicit registration, AND affixation of copyright notice; lasted only
>> 28 years at a time; and had to be regularly renewed???

> No, yes, yes, and renewal would have been automatic. See
> <http://library.dts.edu/Pages/RM/Helps/copyright.shtml>

> "All books initially copyrighted in the US from 1964 through 1977 have
> had their copyrights automatically renewed (by law) and the copyrights
> are still in force."

> <http://www.copyright.cornell.edu/training/Hirtle_Public_Domain.htm>
> has a very detailed and useful chart.

> The lack of notice, however, is a killer. Through 1977, no notice ->
> no copyright.

I am obliged to point out that the matter is not quite as clear-cut as you
make it sound, because until the revisions of 1976, copyright law did not
explicitly recognize computer programs. (Even in the above quote, you can
only mention "books".) I very distinctly recall -- I was there, you know! --
that there was a serious debate at the time as to whether computer programs
fell within the purview of copyright at all, or whether, as methods of
procedure, they fell more appropriately under patent law.

I am also obliged to point out the two words you have (perhaps intentionally,
and perhaps not) glossed over: "initially copyrighted". The question of whether
"Colossal Cave" was EVER copyrighted, whether between 1964 and 1977, or at any
other time, still remains open.

My own considered opinion (for whatever that is worth, given that "I Am Not
A Lawyer, BUT...") is that "Colossal Cave" is not now, nor has it ever been,
copyrighted, and that it therefore lies within the Public Domain.

I add also that it is crystal clear those in charge of the IFArchive share
this viewpoint, in that their action of putting it up within the Archive
itself is, absent explicit permission, utterly inconsistent with the view
that it lies under copyright.

-- >>>>> "Glenn P.," <C128UserD...@FVI.Net> <<<<<
-----------------------------------------
"Memoria tenete hanc esse Fabulam et omnino per Iocum et per Simulationem,
itaque te esse non credere verbum solum etsi verum est." [Infantes Aquarum]

:: Take Note Of The Spam Block On My E-Mail Address! ::

Andrew Plotkin

unread,
Aug 26, 2007, 11:52:27 PM8/26/07