Learning BASIC on a PDP 11

Father and son use a Teletype attached to a PDP 11/05
computer to enter and run a BASIC program

They’re loud and they’re slow…but there’s nothing today that compares to using an original Teletype to enter BASIC programs into a 1973 PDP 11 computer. The strategies needed to program this way are very different than those used today. BASIC was simple, but very exacting and the program would often fail if one one instruction were typed in incorrectly. The keyboard layout of a Teletype is not the same as a modern keyboard. There is no backspace key, no cursors, and no “windows” key 🙂

After a few tries this father and son team were able to load and run a BASIC program that demonstrates the RANDOMIZE function that was built into DEC BASIC. After completing the task we printed out a copy of the papertape as a souvenir.