Raspberry Pi-powered retrocomputing at Providence Geeks

Community event hosted by Providence Geeks

This event is organised by and for Raspberry Pi enthusiasts.

2 Apr 2024

5.00pm – 8.00pm EDT

1755 Bald Hill Rd

Warwick, RI 02886, United States


Providence Geeks and the RI Computer Museum (RICM) welcome you to an evening that combines computer history with the very modern Raspberry Pi, all glued together by the ingenuity of Lars Brinkhoff and Oscar Vermeulen of the ITS Reconstruction Project.

Electronic computing has been part of our culture since its invention, from the (non-programmable) Atanasoff–Berry computer to the (Turing-complete) ENIAC, and continuing from there. By the late 1960s, radical new approaches to computing were deeply entrenched with the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab, centered around an emerging hacker culture and their counter-cultural Incompatible Timesharing System (ITS). While most computing at the time was focused on business and military applications, ITS was designed by hackers for hackers, to explore a new world of intellectual creativity enabled by giving motivated students access to state-of-the-art Digital Equipment Corp computers such as the PDP-6 and PDP-10.

While ITS was soon replaced by more mainstream operating systems, a dedicated group of enthusiasts has restored ITS and its LISP programming environment to operation using real ITS code running on simulated PDP-6 and PDP-10 machines.

Brinkhoff and Vermeulen describe the recovery project and demonstrate an operating system and programming environment completely unlike any you’ve likely seen before. The demonstration will be done on the PiDP-10, a desktop replica of the PDP-10 powered by a Raspberry Pi. It has been designed to encapsulate the recovery project in a physical form.

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