In 1994 we contacted Texas Women University to try to resurrect their DECSYSTEM-2065
which had just been switched off into hibernation in an underground machine room.
Our proposal to the dean of the CS Dept was that we would maintain the system and pay
for its electrical consumption (approximately $1200/mo) if they would allow it to remain
in the machine room and provide us with a network connection. Unfortunately our proposal
got bogged down in academic bureaucracy .. perhaps now the 2065 is scrap? Bruce?
Later that year Doug Englebart of the BOOTSTRAP Institute referred us to a freelance
Field Service Engineer named Bruce Kennard. After a few conversations, Bruce offered
us a KS10 in exchange for selling one of his shiny new HYUNDAI Electronics SPARCstation 10
clones. The price for the HYUNDAI was $14,000 and, though we tried, were unable to
sell any of the work stations.
In 1995 we were talking with Pat Tressel, a woman with two KS10s in her living room, about
our plans. We then tried to pursue a solution with an EMULEX tech to see if a PDP-10 UNIBUS
to SCSI BUS adapter could be created. There actually is a PDP-11 UNIBUS to SCSI BUS
adapter, but it needs to be made clear that the two UNIBUSes are very different. That
said, running a reliable set of drives that didn't require three phase power pretty much
kept us down. Pat wanted to give us a KS10, but without a solution for storage, we
worried the machine would just sit.
Mark Crispin (MRC) told us of a KS10 which had recently been put back into service at
the University of Washington LOCKE Computer Center for the purpose of data recovery and
migration. It was running TOPS-10 and could be accessed via the INTERNET for a few months.
MRC helped to cooridinate a bit for us when the machine came up for auction though
unfortunately we were outbid.
In 2000 Bob Supnik released his SIMH emulator which succesfully emulates an array of
architectures including the KS10. We began running TOPS-20 4.1. It was accessible via
telnet through an emulated DZ11. Unfortunately the DZ11 was unreliable, the KS10 had
no ethernet support and TOPS-20 4.1 did not support TCP. On top of that, the KS10 could
only support a small number of users compared to the 25000 users on our UNIX side who
were curious about TOPS-20.
OPTION ONE: XKL created the TD-1, a smaller, slightly faster version of KL10B.
OPTION TWO: KLH10. We had been corresponding with Ken Harrenstein since 1994. Ken had
a implemented a KL10B emulator successfully on the DEC ALPHA under OSF1. Because of legal
reasons, Ken was not entirely sure he would allow us to use his emulator.
2000-2002: simh KS10 running TOPS-20 with virtual DZ lines
2002-2021: KLH10 with support for 8 RH20s which could handle up to 7 or 8 RP07
disk drives (about 500mb each), under SMP NetBSD on a DEC Alpha 5300
2021-2065: XKL Toad-2
About the PANDA
When we moved to KLH10 running the PANDA distribution of TOPS-20 the machine was
named KANKAN. MRC was very fond of the pandas at the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo and ran a machine
known as LINGLING (LINGLING the Panda lived from 1985-2008). In 1972 the Ueno Zoo received
its first ever Panda couple: KANKAN and RANRAN from Beijing. Because the toad-2 is designed
for redundancy we have named toad-2a KANKAN and toad-2b RANRAN to continue the long
association of PANDAS at the Ueno Zoo and TOPS-20 PANDEMONIUM.