This is a collection of retro-computing texts. Most of what is here describes older computer architectures or operating systems. Some texts are more like eye witness reports from the time.
Sometimes, however, it's hard to say what is 'retro' and what is not, so some texts you think should be here might as well be in my Interesting Documents list.
Frank da Cruz' and Chris Ryland's introduction to assembly language programming on DEC-20s under TOPS-20.
Remote file system used on CHAOSNET as used at MIT between LispMs and ITS.
ITS operating system calls.
Manual for the MIDAS assembler as used under ITS on PDP-10s.
Usenet post from Dan Murphy about the Minnow Project, a deskside PDP-10!
A description of the early timesharing operating system DTSS.
ANSI Standard for the Fortran 77 programming language.
Alan Bawden's paper on how the ITS operating system made system calls restartable.
The Incompatible Timesharing System was an influential operating system for the PDP-10 architecture from MIT. A few years ago, I found a listing of a memo in the MIT AI Lab Library catalogue and asked the librarians to scan it. To my surprise, they did, and subsequently published AI Memo 161A online as scanned EPS images. Now, Dave Carter has typed it all in again and I provide it here as text.
A tutorial on how to use the Incompatible Timesharing System mentioned above.
The scanned (and therefore huge!) reference manual for the very nice Algol dialect used on Burroughs B5500 machines and, as I've been told, still used on the Unisys mainframes running MCP.
Detta är berättelsen om sju hackers som ville göra en editor, den kända EMACS-klonen AMIS. Skriven av Per Lindberg.
The description of the Algol 60 programming language. This is the final Modified Report from 1976, the follow on from the earlier Revised Report and the original Report on the Algorithmic Language Algol 60.
Bernard S. Greenberg's text on the history of the first Emacs implemented in and extensible using the Lisp programming language.
The very first RFC ever.
A transcript from RMS's visit at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1986.
A paper by Allan B. Wilson and James M. Flemming (JMF) on PDP-10 SMP as used by the TOPS-10 operating system.
RMS' text describing the development, background and future of the original EMACS.
A humourous form letter that was suggested to be used when people complained about the ITS installation known as OZ (there was an ITS installation in Australia!?). Probably from 1983. I don't know who wrote it, but I like its BOFHiness.
The manual for the CP/M operating system from Digital Research.