Story Title: Can It Run Spice?

Story Type: Fiction


This Short Story is Chapter Eleven of "Early Microcomputer Experiences"

Date Written: July 12, 2019

Written By: Joel T. Kant

Copyright (c) July 12, 2019


Bruce told me, "Let's go over to Albert's room. He told me that he has some new games that are actually designed for the Commodore 64 rather than for the PET. They should have great graphics and sound."

I replied, "I've been waiting months for the floodgates to open on software that truly takes advantage of the capabilities of the Commodore 64."

At Albert's dorm room, Bruce and I were quite surprised to see the monitor, disk drive, and modem in the normal place, but the Commodore 64 itself was missing.

Bruce asked Albert, "Where's your computer?"

Albert pointed to the Commodore 64 box next to his closet, "I boxed it up. It broke. I'm getting a ride to Irate City this weekend to get it fixed. It's still under warranty."

Bruce said, "I was looking forward to trying out your new Commodore 64 games."

"So was I," said Albert. "I hope the store simply exchanges my Commodore 64 for a new one so I don't have to come back weeks later. I have to get a ride to Irate City to get to the store. I paid six hundred dollars just for the Commodore 64 itself, so the store should work hard to make me happy."

I asked, "Any idea what's wrong with it?"

Grabbing a computer magazine, Albert answered, "This article says that due to a new production process on the PLA chips when the Commodore 64 was launched, those have a high failure rate. It might be that. The production process is fixed now. I have an idea, Joel. You can borrow my disk drive until I get the computer fixed. Why don't you copy your Vic-20 software from tape onto these two disks? I'll see when I get my computer back what I can get to work on the C-64."

I readily agreed, "Sure thing."

Bruce and I went off to my dorm room, taking along Albert's disk drive. Although it looked like I had a lot of software when it was on forty cassette tapes, it didn't even fill half of one of the two diskettes. The Vic-20 software was mostly tiny.

It turned out that the store did not replace Albert's Commodore 64 with a brand new one as would have made sense, but insisted they would repair it. It took over a month before the store got his Commodore 64 repaired. Alas, the fixed Commodore 64 was back in Irate City, and Albert had no car.

Albert decided, "I'll be back for Thanksgiving vacation, so I'll get it then."

Indeed, Albert returned from Thanksgiving vacation with the repaired Commodore 64. I had returned his disk drive after having had use of it for over a month, and it had helped me be much more productive. Compared to cassette recorders, disk drives are wonderful! The Commodore 64 seemed to work fine again, but there wasn't much time to use it because after Thanksgiving as Final's Week came in fast. I didn't even get around to seeing the special Commodore 64 software before final exams were over.

When the spring semester started, Bruce and I showed up hoping to finally see Albert's Commodore 64 specific software.

Albert had his Commodore 64 out, but said, "My Commodore 64 not running again. This time, it's the power supply. I checked it with a voltmeter"

I mentioned, "Maybe it's a fuse inside the power brick. My Vic-20 has a fuse there. I've got spare fuses back in my dorm room. Josh told me about that, having to replace the fuse on his once."

Albert pulled up the power brick. He pulled open the plastic case after removing the screws to expose it being solidly filled with black epoxy! The transformer and the fuse and the voltage regulator were all enclosed in solid epoxy.

Albert complained, "The fuse is under the epoxy! Doing that is called potting, but why pot a fuse? What a stupid design!"

I looked at the connector and said, "It's different from my Vic-20."

I was later to learn the connectors were different because I had an early model of Vic-20. Later models of Vic-20 used the same power connector as the Commodore 64. However, the Vic-20 power supplies were not adequate to run the Commodore 64. It did not really matter because I had the earlier connector.

Albert said, "I should be able to get the power supply replaced, so I am not going to try to carve out the fuse from the epoxy."

Bruce remarked, "Clearly that power supply needs replacing rather than repairing! It's just a solid brick of plastic!"

Albert got a magazine out and said, "Look at this! Texas Instrument and Commodore International are in a price war. Commodore offers a hundred-dollar mail-in rebate on the Commodore 64 for turning in any sort of videogame console or computer. It could be a broken Pong game from the Seventies bought for five bucks at a rummage sale. I wish I had waited to buy my Commodore 64."

Albert got a ride back to Irate City for the weekend, bringing the Commodore 64 and its power supply with him. This time, he brought it back at the end of the weekend without having to wait a month because the power supply had been immediately replaced.

Albert's system worked fine now, but despite this, he seemed frustrated.

I asked, "What's up?"

Albert said, "In Irate City, the price on the Commodore 64 has dropped to a mere three hundred dollars, and that's not even including the hundred-dollar mail-in rebate that Commodore is offering. I could have spent around two hundred dollars rather than six hundred!"

Bruce pointed out, "At least your Commodore 64 works now."

Albert said, "If it had just been working all this time, then I wouldn't mind the extra four hundred dollars so much. For example, Joel had the use of his Vic-20 all last summer before the Commodore 64 was launched in August. You did a lot that summer with it, didn't you, Joel?"

I acknowledged, "I sure did! I learned BASIC and converted all those Computer Programming for Engineers FORTRAN programs to BASIC and got them working. My brother Tim and I got some type-in games working as well. It was a productive summer."

Albert complained, "Yet, most of the time I've owned my Commodore 64, it's been broken, and now the price is four hundred dollars cheaper!"

Bruce remarked, "Since it's working now, let's see that software written to take advantage of it."

Albert did so, and seemed pleased when Bruce and I liked the new software. Bruce liked one game so much that he went to bring Tom Anderson to see it. Tom loved it, with him and Bruce taking turns.

Tom declared, "You're finally vindicated in what a Commodore 64 can do, Albert! This is great!"

Albert nodded, then quietly told me, "It would help my classwork more if Commodore would finally get CP/M working like it promised on the box and the advertising material. See, right on the box, it lists that CP/M is coming. We're learning about CP/M now in class with Dr. Patel. Dr. Patel couldn't care less about videogames, no matter how great the graphics and sound, but running CP/M might impress him. A Unix-like operating system would impress him more."

I remarked, "It sounds like you admire Dr. Patel."

Albert said, "He's young. He got hired at the same time as Dr. Silver. Dr. Patel teaches us technology of the Eighties rather than the Sixties! He's almost as gung-ho about Unix as Darnell Priest, but the other three Computer Science professors seem scared of it or anything new. Although teaching us up-to-date concepts, Dr. Patel doesn't give us the intense and unnecessary busy work that Dr. Silver does for you guys in EE."

I said, "Dr. Patel might not care about the games, but I do. That background music is better than anything I ever heard on my Vic-20."

Albert replied, "That's from the audio wave-shaping from the SID II chip. That reminds me of something. While in Irate City to get my power supply swapped, I went and visited Josh Cistern. I told him how Dr. Silver forces you EE guys to check your e-mail every day by putting critical information into it. Josh didn't think much of that idea."

I replied, "I don't like trekking to the Computer Center even on days when I have nothing to do there but check for another e-mail from Dr. Silver."

Albert went and got a small box and said, "Josh is loaning you his 300 baud modem. This is the one that does not auto-answer nor auto-dial."

I said, "I recall he said that he got one with an auto-dial feature when trying to get his software company going."

Albert replied, "He still has the auto-dial, auto-answer modem. He showed me a program he wrote called a Demon Dialer. He discovered phone numbers are sequential in the buildings at Bill-of-Rights University. If the phone number in one room ends 1234, then the next room is 1235, the next is 1236, and so on. Using that, he's found some modems on lines there."

I remarked, "That's ingenious."

Albert said, "So far, the computers those modems attached to need login and passwords that he doesn't have, or else are innocuous sites like schedules of TV shows that have closed captioning for the deaf."

"I had not thought about it before, but a computer BBS that lists what TV shows have closed captioning makes sense to me," I mused, as at that time, only certain shows had that feature. I knew an old man who was deaf back in the papermill village. He watched TV with closed captioning, and had complained how some TV shows lacked it.

Albert went on, "Josh loves that auto-dial modem, so isn't using this manual dial one anymore. He asked me to bring it to loan it to you so you can check your e-mail daily from your dorm room."

I replied, "That's really thoughtful of him! How did he say he's doing in classes?"

Albert said, "Josh said that the hardest class he has this semester is Electric and Magnetic Fields I. He wondered what it is like here."

I replied, "Tom, Bruce, and I won't have that until next semester. We are all in Atomic and Nuclear Physics with Dr. Domain instead."

Albert surmised, "The EE course requirements must differ between the universities."

I said, "From what Darnell claims, the Computer Science programs differ even more."

"Dr. Patel would like to modernize our program to be more like theirs," Albert said.

In the weeks that followed, Bruce often stopped by my room. If neither of us had a reason to go into the Cornfield Computer Center that day, then we'd use my Vic-20 and the borrowed modem from Josh to check our e-mail on the PDP. Dr. Silver had carried through on his threat to put essential information into daily e-mail to force us into the habit of checking it daily.

One day, Bruce stopped by to use my Vic-20 to check his e-mail, which was a common routine by then. I sat nearby working on homework for Differential Equations. I noticed that Bruce had finished his session on the PDP and logged out. He grabbed the cassette with the Pac-Man clone game on it and put it in the cassette recorder. He pulled out the modem, but without powering the Vic-20 down! The screen display died, even though the TV as monitor was still on.

Realizing what he had done, he then hurried flipped the power switch on and off, which was the traditional way to do a reset. The Vic-20 stayed dead! I hurried over.

Bruce shouted, "I didn't do anything! The computer just died for no reason! Maybe it was a power spike."

I countered, "I just watched you pull the modem out while the Vic-20 was still powered."

Bruce with panic in his voce said, "No, you were looking the other way. It was a power spike!"

I explained, "I know what this is. Josh ran into it himself on his Vic-20, and warned me it could happen. The ground and five-volt power are next to each other on the edge connector. It's not a good design, but it is what it is. Misalignment when pulling the modem out shorts across them, so too much current is drawn from the power supply. That's why the Vic-20 always has to be powered down when inserting or removing the modem."

Bruce claimed, "You're a liar! I never pulled out the modem with the power on!"

I was deeply bothered by what this showed me about Bruce's personality and honor. Still, it was probably just a simple blown fuse. Because of Josh's warning of what had happened to him, I had spare fuses of the correct size.

I removed the screws and opened the case of the power brick. The transformer and fuse were not potted as had been the situation in Albert's Commodore 64. I could see through the glass cylinder of the fuse that it was bad. I took it out. I confirmed it was bad with an Ohmmeter. I then put a replacement fuse in. I put the power brick back together. I hooked it all up to the Vic-20 again. I triumphantly flipped the power switch.

The red power LED on the top of the Vic-20 remained off. No text appeared on the TV screen that acted as a monitor.

Bruce practically went into blathering idiot mode, insisting in a loud shout that he had done "nothing." Through sheer volume of his shouts that I think meant being loud enough meant I had to believe him.

I said, "Calm down, Bruce. I have another fuse to check. It's on the motherboard inside the Vic-20 case."

I powered everything down. I used a Philips screw driver to open up the case of the Vic-20 itself. On the motherboard was an identical fuse as the one by the transformer. This one was also blown. I replaced it. I put everything back together. I flipped the power switch.

The red power LED turned on. The expected text popped up on the TV screen. Doing some simple tests, the Vic-20 seemed unharmed. Bruce looked like he was ready to faint in relief.

As a last test, I powered down, inserted the modem, and powered up. I manually dialed the PDP, and started the terminal program. Both the Vic-20 and the modem worked fine.

"Crisis averted. I'm glad Josh suggested I keep spare fuses on hand," I said.

Bruce said yet again, "It had to be a power spike because I did not unplug the modem with the Vic-20 powered on!"

I looked at the two fried fuses sitting loose on my desk and lost my temper, "No harm was done other than these two fuses. I don't want you using my Vic-20 again if you cannot admit what I watched you do with my own eyes!"

Bruce said, "Josh always let others use his Vic-20! Why be such a jerk?"

I took the two blown fuses, violently tossed them in the trash can, and replied, "Because I trust what I saw with my own eyes!"

Bruce stormed off.

To my surprise, the next time I saw Bruce, he told me and a bunch of others that he had bought an Apple IIe microcomputer with twin disk drives and its own modem!

Bruce bragged to me, "The display is so much more readable on the terminal program on the Apple IIe because it has 40 columns compared to the 22 columns on the Vic-20. I also bought mine with 48 kilobytes, which is more than twice the RAM you have even with your memory expansion!"

I replied, "It sounds like a nice system."

Bruce smiled and said, "Tom with his Vic-20 is jealous. Even Albert admits it is better than his Commodore 64! It's so much better than I don't think he likes his computer very much anymore!"

A bunch of other EE students wanted Bruce to go show them his new Apple IIe, so he obliged them. Rather than going along, I went to find Albert. I found Albert in his dorm room.

I told Albert about Bruce's new Apple IIe.

Albert said, "I've been over to see it. It's even better than those Apple II computers at the MSLC where you work. The IIe model just came out this year."

I said, "Bruce said that you were discouraged with your Commodore 64. Did it break again?"

Albert remarked, "It's running fine, but I certainly am discouraged. Remember how I was excited that it would run CP/M someday?"


Albert shoved a computer magazine at me and said, "The CP/M cartridge is finally out. This is a review of it."

I whistled, "Man, that's a lot more expensive than I thought it would be! You could almost buy a second Commodore 64 for that!"

Albert explained, "It turns out Darnell was correct about CP/M not working on the 6510 microprocessor inside the Commodore 64. That giant cartridge is essentially a second motherboard that only communicates with the Commodore 64. There is a Z-80 microprocessor in the cartridge! It's basically an entire second computer, which is why it costs so much."

I remarked, "That seems an awkward way of doing it."

Albert snarled, "It's a big kludge. The article also explains it runs a very old version of CP/M, not anything recent. This causes compatibility problems. On top of all that, the Commodore disk drive is incompatible with the disk drives on other CP/M systems. I wanted this so badly, and it's effectively useless! I'm not wasting my money on this cartridge."

I suggested, "On the other hand, Bruce spent more on his new computer system than you did on yours. The Apple IIe has the same microprocessor as my Vic-20, which is a 6502. It cannot possibly run CP/M either."

Albert noted, "Well, there is that. The SID II chip on my Commodore 64 makes much better sound than an Apple computer as well. What also discourages me is how slow the disk drive is on the Commodore 64. It could have been made much faster with the same chipset it has, but was deliberately made slow to maintain compatibility with the disk drives designed for the Vic-20! That showed no foresight!"

I suggested, "The Commodore 64 market is exploding. If there is a way to speed up disk drive access, I think somebody will do it soon."

Albert said, "I hope so."

There was a knock at the door. Albert answered it, and Darnell Priest came in.

Noticing me, Darnell said, "I ran into Bruce. He's so proud that his computer is better than yours, Joel. He claims it is even better than Albert's."

I shrugged my shoulders and admitted, "He's right, it is a lot better than mine! I have the only microcomputer I can possibly afford right now. If it weren't for my math tutoring job, I would have already had to sell it for money to stay in school."

Albert said, "I'm tapped out with my Commodore 64 as well. Despite my complaining, I should be able to do enough with it get through my degree with it. I don't want to be on the bleeding-edge of technology anymore. It's too painful and too expensive!"

Darnell eagerly said, "Speaking of the bleeding-edge of technology, I've just been hired by Dr. Silver to use some cutting-edge technology."

I was surprised, noting, "You're in Computer Science, not EE. Why did Dr. Silver hire you?"

Darnell declared, "I'm the person on campus who knows the most about UNIX. Even Dr. Patel asks me questions about it."

This was not an idle or vain boast. Darnell Priest had attended Bill-of-Rights University in Computer Science before transferring here, and the professors in Computer Science there had a fetish about UNIX. I was astonished that Dr. Silver knew about Darnell's expertise, though.

Darnell continued, "Albert, remember how you said that someday, your Commodore 64 would run a Unix-like operating system."

Albert growled, "It turns out it won't even run the single-tasking operating system of CP/M properly!"

Darnell ignored that and said, "Dr. Silver got a mini-grant. He bought an IBM AT with 640 MB of RAM and a 20 megabyte hard disk. That's the 80286 microprocessor."

Albert's bad mood vanished in an instant as he said, "The IBM AT just came out! Tell me more!"

Darnell went on, "He bought the operating system Xenix for it. It's very expensive to get Xenix so few people who get a computer like this buy it, but run MS-DOS instead. However, Xenix is a multi-tasking operating system, while MS-DOS isn't. Xenix is very much like UNIX. Dr. Silver has me teaching him how to use it. I wouldn't worry too much about Bruce Brown's bragging spree about his new Apple IIe because compared to Dr. Silver's new IBM AT running Xenix, it's a toy."

Albert suggested, "A system like you describe probably costs over ten grand."

Darnell said, "Probably a fair amount more. Still, even fifteen grand isn't much money compared to the other big news I have for you two. Cornfield University is getting a new mainframe computer. Even with the upgrades, the PDP-11 mainframe isn't handling the load. About half a million dollars is budgeted for the purchase of the new mainframe, and that doesn't include hiring a sys op or making a new terminal room."

Albert stated, "A new mainframe is needed badly."

Darnell said, "A bid for a proposed system has been sent out to IBM, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), and Data General. That means an IBM mainframe probably of the 370 class, a VAX running VMS, or an MV-10000 running UNIX. Dr. Silver wants me at the vendor presentations. Computer Science will use the new mainframe, so the CS faculty will be there as well. Dr. Patel spoke up for allowing me, and I am. Dr. Patel then added your name, Albert! You and I are to attend the presentations."

I glanced at Albert's extensive collection of microcomputer magazines of many types, like Byte, Compute!, PC Magazine, and others, then said, "I think Dr. Patel and Dr. Silver are wise inviting you two to the presentation."

Darnell remarked, "Once Albert and I were allowed in, Dr. Silver said that he wants to invite all the EE students in the most advanced EE class that currently is running here. He said that was EE 324: Linear Circuits. Aren't you in that, Joel?"

I said, "Bruce, Tom, and I are all in it."

Darnell said, "It looks like all of us are invited to the vendor presentations. Anything in your magazines about any of these mainframes, Albert?"

Albert started pulling magazines.

The IBM presentation was given first. IBM had an advertising slogan that went, "Nobody ever got fired for buying an IBM."

There were three presenters. Two men and one woman, all impeccably dressed and groomed. They told the various professors the advertising slogan. Only Dr. Silver and Dr. Patel seemed unimpressed and skeptical of the message. The presenters handed out material including a specification sheet.

Dr. Silver protested, "This is only half the hard disk size that was in our proposal."

The oldest man of the presenters declared, "We did some research into Cornfield University. It is only an undergrad university. The stats you asked for are far too high for an undergrad only university. Now, each undergrad only needs?"

Dr. Silver was clearly angry as he snapped, "I'd like to hear a bid for a mainframe of the specs we asked for."

The woman soothingly said, "IBM knows its business. Those specs are not really what this place needs."

Dr. Patel spoke up, "This simply is not enough RAM either. This was not what was in our proposal!"

The old man presenter said, "Let us get on with our presentation, and all will become clear."

What rapidly became clear to me was the arrogance of these presenters seemed to know no bounds!

When it got to the question and answer period, Dr. Silver was first.

Dr. Silver asked, "Can this mainframe run Spice?"

The older man and the woman seemed never to have heard of this, but the younger man knew about it, "Do you mean the Spice circuit simulation program used in high-end graduate-school research?"

Dr. Silver said, "It is indeed a circuit simulation program, but undergrads use it too. At least, they do if they go to a good engineering college! Does this mainframe run Spice?"

The young presenter talked about how that running the Spice program is far beyond the needs of any undergrad university.

Dr. Silver fumed and said, "I didn't ask you whether we should be running it or not! I asked if this mainframe will run it! Yes or no!"

The young man admitted, "No, but?"

He said much after the word "but." However, Dr. Silver seemed to ignore all the reasons why Cornfield University did not really need to teach Spice circuit simulator.

I stood up next for the question and answer session.

Looking at me, the old man asked, "Are you a student?"

I answered, "Yes, in electrical engineering."

The three presenters were amused that a student was allowed to ask a question.

I asked, "Does this mainframe use ASCII or EBCDIC?"

The older man asked, "EBCDIC. Why did you want to know?"

I said, "The terminal program that I use does ASCII. Thanks for letting me know."

I sat down, and then Darnell got up.

The old man asked him, "Are you also a student in electrical engineering?"

Darnell replied, "I am a student, but in Computer Science."

Darnell started asking about specific stats of the computers. Unlike how Dr. Silver and Dr. Patel had complained about this not being what the proposal had asked, Darnell merely asked what they were, and listened when after enough paper searching, the answer was found.

Next to him, Albert rapidly took notes.

Albert himself asked for a couple clarifications.

After all this went on for a while, with the presenters began looking annoyed. Still asking questions, Darnell asked if a certain model number mainframe was the mid-range model new for 1983.

Reluctantly, the younger man of the presenters admitted it was. He seemed suddenly worried.

Darnell declared, "Aren't the stats you gave me for the earlier mid-range 1979 model?"

That got no direct answer, but instead an insistence this was a much more than adequate mainframe for any undergraduate-only university.

Dr. Silver stood and exploded with anger that they were trying to pawn off an old piece of junk from their warehouse.

The three looked quite insulted, and then in turn went on how IBM was the recognized mainframe leader in the field. Over and over, they parroted the slogan that nobody got fired for buying an IBM.

Among the students, only Darnell, Albert, and I dared to ask any questions, and Darnell was clearly the greatest of the questioners. Tom and Bruce seemed abashed by how heated this question-and-answer period had become, acting as if they wished not to be here. I felt out of place myself, so sympathized, but I was fascinated to see Darnell in action.

The presentation by DEC for the Vax mainframe was by two presenters. These two men gave a far better and more technical presentation. The chosen model they suggested met or surpassed everything in the proposal.

Dr. Silver asked if the Vax ran Spice circuit simulation software, but he seemed to be asking for the benefit of the other faculty at the presentation.

Both presenters said that it did. We were informed was the de facto standard in the EE industry to run Spice on a Vax mainframe! A big list of companies that had Vax mainframes and ran Spice was given.

Once more during the question-and-answer period, Darnell and Albert had many specific and details questions on such esoteric things as hard disk access speed, maximum depth of the directory tree, and so forth. Most the time, the answers were given quickly and with confidence. A glance at the supplied sheets to verify numbers that were given indicated that these men knew their subject.

The presentation by Data General for the MV-10000 was also by two presenters. The chosen model much surpassed the proposal.

Darnell asked, "Isn't the nickname of the MV-8000 the Vax Buster?"

The two presenters somewhat sheepishly admitted this was so, but said the Vax is a good machine. One presenter stated, "We aren't out to bad-mouth the Vax. It's a good machine, but we offer more for the money."

Both Darnell Priest and Dr. Patel seemed to like that this ran a version of UNIX System V. Both seemed to favor this system.

Dr. Silver asked if the MV-10000 could run a circuit simulator called Spice. He was assured it ran it just fine. He returned to that question twice more, elaborating on what Spice was. The two presenters both claimed they knew Spice perfectly well, and both the MV-8000 and MV-10000 ran it just fine.

One big concern Dr. Silver brought up was the MV-10000 was a brand-new computer. The earlier MV-8000 had gotten a good reputation, but what if there were issues with the latest model?

I thought of Albert claiming he was staying off the bleeding edge of technology. Perhaps too new was risky, so maybe Dr. Silver had reason for concern.

All of students were to have no further role in what would be decided for the new mainframe after the three presentations were over. That decision was to happen behind closed doors.

Although I thought IBM had taken themselves out of the running by having a four-year-old mainframe with stats well below the submitted proposal, I was astonished to find others still thought IBM was a shoe-in.

I mentioned that to Darnell and Albert.

Darnell said, "The feeling I'm getting from all the Computer Science professors other than Dr. Patel is that it is safest to get an IBM. They really seem to believe that advertising slogan as if gospel truth!"

Albert remarked, "What frustrates me is that IBM does make decent, up-to-date mainframes. That's simply not what they chose to present here."

I asked, "Will any of those IBM mainframes run that Spice circuit simulator that Dr. Silver is so interested in?"

Darnell said, "I don't think so. Various IBM mainframes certainly have the power to run it, but I don't think it has been ported yet. Something I find interesting is the guys from Data General claim Spice works perfectly on their Unix operating system. I wonder if it could be made to run on Dr. Silver's IBM AT running Xenix. That would be amazing. Ten grand or fifteen grand might seem a lot compared to microcomputers like you and Albert have. It's probably four or five times more than that new Apple IIe that Bruce bought. However, compared to a half-million-dollar mainframe, it isn't much at all. I wonder how much value any of these three contenders for mainframes will have if personal computers gain the power to run things like the Spice program that Dr. Silver clearly loves. That point is almost here already."

I predicted, "I'll bet Dr. Silver's next lecture is going to be about using the Spice circuit simulator even though I suspect the PDP-11 can't run it any more than the IBM mainframe!"

At the start of Dr. Silver's next class, each of us got a thick packet of photocopied paper held together with brass clasps. It was a manual for Spice!


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