Augment Flashback

This past Tuesday night, we had an Augment jam session. Here I am using a thirty year old Chording Keyset to play with a forty year old piece of software.    (KC0)    (KC1)

Puts a chill down your spine. Thanks to John Deneen for taking the pictures.    (KC2)

The original Augment server is still running on TOPS-20, which is running on top of a PDP-10 emulator written by Ken Harrenstien called called KLH10. All of this is currently running on a Solaris box sitting in Doug Engelbart‘s office at Logitech. Doug often shakes his head with amusement when he explains that the current system running on emulation is many, many, many times faster than the original.    (KC3)

The client software we’re using in the picture is Java Augterm, written by Howard Palmer. It uses Augment’s “dumb” protocol — VAT0 — to communicate with the server. There’s a smarter protocol called VAT1 that has some more advanced capabilities.    (KC4)

We don’t know the exact date of the keyset (yet), but it probably dates back to the 1970s. It’s still in fantastic condition, and it feels great. Jon Cheyer‘s friend, Brian, has been building USB adaptors for these keysets. Jon wrote the keyset driver in Java, which is part of the Augterm software itself.    (KC5)

We’ll be doing another jam session this Saturday at SuperHappyDevHouse, which is open to everyone, so come join the fun!    (KC6)