PDP-8 SIMH Emulator: Building and Formatting an RK05 Hard Drive

(all PDP-8 blog entries can be seen by clicking here)

I was moving my last pdp-8 experiment onto my NAS for storage and noticed I had played with PDP-8 emulation 3 years ago. I knew I had messed with the DEC-10 and HP2000 emulations back then but had forgotten about the PDP-8.

I was going through my notes and found explicit instructions for building, formatting, and copying files to an RK05 hard drive. I have no idea if I figured this out myself reading the BUILD command in the O/S manual or if there isa website I could attribute this too. I did try to track down the website but didn’t find one.

This is my procedure for attaching an RK05 hard drive to the SIMH simulator, then formatting it using the BUILD utility, and finally copying files from the distribution floppies onto the hard drive.

I’m assuming you are using SIMH configured as described in my last blog entry:

https://bigdanzblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/setting-up-a-pdp-8-emulator-for-windows/

First, rename pdp8.ini to pdp8.old if you are using pdp8.ini to boot automatically

ren pdp8.ini pdp8.old

Now start the emulator

[C:\pdp8]pdp8.exe
PDP-8 simulator V3.8-1

Type the following SIMH commands to setup the emulator:

sim> set cpu 32k
sim> set cpu idle

Now attach RK0 to a nonexistent file which will be created as the RK05 hard drive:

sim> att rk0 rk0.dsk
RK: creating new file

Attach the 2 software distribution floppies, os8_rx and 0s8f4_rx. The location of these files is given in the prior blog entry:

sim> att rx0 os8_rx.dsk
RX: buffering file in memory
sim> att rx1 os8f4_rx.dsk
RX: buffering file in memory
sim> set rx0 lock
sim> set rx1 lock

Boot from floppy:

sim> boot rx0

Start the Build utility:

.RUN SYS BUILD

Type these commands in the build utility:

$DELETE SYS
$INSERT RK8E:SYS
$INSERT RK8E:RKA0
$DSK RK8E:SYS

The PRINT command shows the configured devices:

$PRINT

PT8E: PTP *PTR
RX8E: *SYS
RX01: *RXA0 *RXA1
RK8E: *SYS *RKA0 RKB0
RK05: *RKA0 *RKB0 *RKA1 *RKB1 RKA2 RKB2 RKA3 RKB3
KL8E: *TTY
LS8E: *LPT

DSK=RK8E:SYS

Now type:

$SY RK8E
$BOOT
WRITE ZERO DIRECT?Y
SYS BUILT
.

Now type control-E to return to the SIMH prompt, and then boot from RK0:

Simulation stopped, PC: 01210 (JMP 1207)
sim> boot rx0
.

List the contents of the hard drive (RKA0: is hard drive ONLY):

.DIR RKA0:

0 FILES IN 0 BLOCKS - 3192 FREE BLOCKS

Now copy files from the first floppy (RXA0) to the hard drive(RKA0):

.COPY RKA0:<RXA0:*.*
FILES COPIED:
BUILD.SV
ABSLDR.SV
BITMAP.SV
BOOT.SV
CCL.SV
CREF.SV
DIRECT.SV
EDIT.SV
EPIC.SV
FBOOT.SV
FOTP.SV
HELP.HL
HELP.SV
PAL8.SV
PIP.SV
PT8E.BN
RESORC.SV
RXCOPY.SV
SABR.SV
TECO.SV
BASIC.AF
BASIC.FF
BASIC.SF
BASIC.SV
BASIC.UF
BCOMP.SV
BLOAD.SV
BRTS.SV
EABRTS.BN
RESEQ.BA
ECHO.SV
RKLFMT.SV
SET.SV
BATCH.SV
FUTIL.SV
IDS.SV

Then copy files from the second floppy to the hard drive:

.COPY RKA0:<RXA1:*.*
FILES COPIED:
BUILD.SV
CCL.SV
DIRECT.SV
EDIT.SV
FOTP.SV
RESORC.SV
F4.SV
PASS2.SV
PASS20.SV
PASS3.SV
RALF.SV
LOAD.SV
FRTS.SV
LIBRA.SV
FORLIB.RL
BOOT.SV
BATCH.SV
FUTIL.SV
LCSYS.BI
UCSYS.BI
IDS.SV
.

control-E and exit SIMH, then restart SIMH with only the hard drive attached:

Simulation stopped, PC: 01207 (KSF)
sim> exit
Goodbye
RX: writing buffer to file
RX: writing buffer to file
[c:\]pdp8

PDP-8 simulator V3.9-0
sim> set cpu 32k
sim> set cpu idle
sim> att rk0 rk0.dsk
sim> boot rk0

.DIR

BUILD .SV 33     RESORC.SV   10       SET   .SV   14
ABSLDR.SV  5     RXCOPY.SV    6       BATCH .SV   10
BITMAP.SV  5     SABR  .SV   24       FUTIL .SV   26
BOOT  .SV  5     TECO  .SV   22       IDS   .SV    5
CCL   .SV 18     BASIC .AF    4       F4    .SV   20
CREF  .SV 13     BASIC .FF    4       PASS2 .SV   20
DIRECT.SV  7     BASIC .SF    4       PASS20.SV    5
EDIT  .SV 10     BASIC .SV    9       PASS3 .SV    8
EPIC  .SV 14     BASIC .UF    4       RALF  .SV   19
FBOOT .SV  2     BCOMP .SV   17       LOAD  .SV   16
FOTP  .SV  8     BLOAD .SV    8       FRTS  .SV   26
HELP  .HL 55     BRTS  .SV   15       LIBRA .SV   11
HELP  .SV  8     EABRTS.BN   24       FORLIB.RL  170
PAL8  .SV 19     RESEQ .BA    6       LCSYS .BI    3
PIP   .SV 11     ECHO  .SV    2       UCSYS .BI    3
PT8E  .BN  1     RKLFMT.SV    9

47 FILES IN 738 BLOCKS - 2454 FREE BLOCKS

.

That gives you a bootable hard drive with the core files on the hard drive!

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One Response to PDP-8 SIMH Emulator: Building and Formatting an RK05 Hard Drive

  1. Pingback: Getting the SIMH PDP-8 Paper Tape Punch (PTP) Installed | Big Dan the Blogging Man

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