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retrocomputing /ret'-roh-k*m-pyoo'ting/ /n./ Refers to
emulations of way-behind-the-state-of-the-art hardware or software,
or implementations of never-was-state-of-the-art; esp. if such
implementations are elaborate practical jokes and/or parodies,
written mostly for hack value, of more `serious' designs.
Perhaps the most widely distributed retrocomputing utility was the
`pnch(6)' or `bcd(6)' program on V7 and other early Unix
versions, which would accept up to 80 characters of text argument
and display the corresponding pattern in punched card code.
Other well-known retrocomputing hacks have included the programming
language INTERCAL, a JCL-emulating shell for Unix, the
card-punch-emulating editor named 029, and various elaborate PDP-11
hardware emulators and RT-11 OS emulators written just to keep an
old, sourceless Zork binary running.
A tasty selection of retrocomputing programs are made available at
the Retrocomputing Museum, http://www.ccil.org/retro.
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