TX-2 Project

Re-creating the historically important TX-2 computer

TX-2 Software

The project currently has no access to any machine-readable copies of any software for the TX-2 at all.

This is the project’s most pressing need. If you think you may be able to help in any way, please let us know.

With authentic software, we can test the simulator and demonstrate that it is a credible re-creation of the TX-2 machine.

Listings we Have Already

  • Some Examples of TX-2 Programming, H. Philip Peterson, July 1958.
    • Some short programs demonstrating how the planned machine was intended to work.
  • Listings in the Users Handbook provide the boot code and the standard paper tape reader leader.
  • A listing of Sketchpad. This unfortunately is illegible in places, and so we very much want to obtain additional listings for comparison purposes. Or of course much better, a machine-readable version.

We Need Machine-Readable Code

Known-good machine-readable code would act as a reality-check for our understanding of the TX-2. This would allow us to complete the simulator with come confidence about its correctness.

If we can be reasonably confident about the correctness of the simulator, then it may become tractable to try to reconstruct the illegible portions of the Sketchpad listing. This of course would be a huge task.

If we could obtain a machine-readable copy of the Sketchpad code, this would allow us to make that program run again for the first time in decades.

Having a machine-readable version of the Sketchpad code would by itself be an immensely valuable thing for the study of the history of computing.

Software that Once Existed

We have seen mention of various pieces of TX-2 software, though we don’t currently have a copy of any of these:

  1. Sketchpad (see above) by Ivan Sutherland
  2. Sketchpad-III by Timothy Edward Johnson
  3. The TX-2 BCPL compiler by Martin Richards, Henry Ancona et al.
  4. The LO Text formatter
  5. Bill Sutherland’s program for the on-line graphical specification of computer procedures
  6. The M4 assembler
  7. The APEX time-sharing executive