The ICT 1301 Resurrection Project.
Can we emulate the machine to show what it was like to use or operate such a machine ?
Well there are emulators in progress and even an MPL-2 Interpreter is in the process of completion.
However these are ongoing projects and the current state of play is best assessed by emailing
There are two simulators being written, one in Compiled Basic and one that was developed in Java
but has now moved on to C++ so it can hopefully be used on almost any modern computer.
Neither are complete and priority is being given to recovering the software to run on the simulators.
However in the systems 50th year we have migrated one version to a linux platform
here it is hoped that we can confirm the code portability. Further a diminuative
Raspberry Pi has been selected as the final target system, This means that with the
cost of a 'PI' and an 8gb Sd card to boot and hold most of the system, it should be
easy to start to distribute the emulators to real users.
So where do you plug in the paper tape reader ? I hear you ask !
Into the USB port of course, 'but' not yet, anyway.
Types of Emulator
Perfect emulation is not possible yet, as neither of the emulators are written to match the timing
of the original machine. Even a 3ghz PC would have some difficulty matching the whole emulation of
a 1301 hardware machine. So we will just have to see how fast PC's get and just how much power
it takes to run the final emulation.
Some screen shots from the oldest emulator are below.
These we hope to update this year.
This emulator was started so long ago that the first version was just 100 twelve digit 1301 words and a small subset of the order code. It ran on a hand built Nascom 2 in just 32k of Ram. But it did work and ran 1301 machine code, so it has remained a project of mine for a long while. Far too long actualy, and starting the project to recover the software from Flossie gave me new interest in this.
The emulator runs the Initial Orders we have recovered from the DRUM. It supports Card Input and Line printer Output files, Paper Tape input and output, and Mag Tape Input and Output ( only one of each at present ). Allows access to store ( IAS ) images and Drum Images and supports up to 2 whole Drums.
It also crashes if you do anything stupid ( As it lacks MUG TRAPPING ) and its not the slickest of interfaces. Sterling multiply is also very, very Buggy and yes it is VERY SLOW at about 20 percent of the actual 1301 speed.
The User Interface showing the main Data Register display the Control Registers, the Programmed and Manual indicators. Where the opperator push buttons would be are a Status display and a prompt to the user as to the key presses required to run the emulator:-
G = Go, H = Halt, etc
The file assignment and Interface screen showing the Card reader has a file called PIZ.CRD assigned and the LP output is to a file called LIST.PRN
The Store ( IAS ) list utility in action, the simple programme shown was the first program to run on the emulator, if you want to try to work out what it does ( not a lot actually ) its a good test for the old Grey cells after so many, many years ! It is also my standard speed test for the emulators written ( and not completed ) to date.
Access to the Emulator's.
Not available yet !
But keep in touch and read it here first !
Access to the MPL-2 Interpreter
Well Royce Smith has stolen a march on all of us and has almost completed his MPL-2
Interperter for the PC.
I will publish what details I have when Royce passes them on.
Why not Help?
Click the Icon below to leave an email.
I will forward any email to the software project you wish to contact.
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