I have long been fascinated by core memory. It is not only an important part of computing history, serving as the working memory of commercial computers for over two decades, but it is also highly instructive on how a memory system works, being approachable and most importantly, visible.
I had an idea for a small project in the real world and in the spirit of so many flights of fancy of youth, it was not really practical, but at least it would do something. However I had forgotten how long it takes to build something in the real world.
Building the PiDP-8/I was a lot of fun and very rewarding. But using it is the nerdy gift that keeps on giving.
Compute like it’s 1967! Load Fortran IV from paper tape. Do some file management on DECtape. Or just toggle in your own machine code program directly into core memory. Why? Because with the PiDP-8/I kit, now you can!