Inspired by the Tri-pos Display, the Higham Institute discussed what needed to be done to create the ultimate display hack.
Being fans of trash science fiction, the decision that the PDP-1 was the perfect mix of a grade-B movie and a $120,000 toy.
They planed to program a game in which two people could face each other in an outer space showdown.
It was strongly implied that Slug Russell should be the author of this hack for the history books.
Slug knew that a space war game would do something. What got him into computers in the first place was the feeling of power he got from running them.
You could tell a computer what to do and it would try to fight back, but would finally do what you told it to accomplish.
It would often reflect your own stupidity at you and would tell you that what you were asking would end in disaster.
But after multiple torturous attempts, it would do exactly what you want. Slug got a similar feeling from reading his science fiction novels.
He let himself imagine the thrill of constructing a rocket ship and traveling through space. This level of excitement is what he wanted to capture in “Space War”.
Slug accidentally opened his mouth and let slip the program he was planning to write.
The hackers, eager to have yet another program added into the drawer of taped urged him to do it.
After many excuses, he gave in to the request, yet he would first have to write elaborate sine-cosines routines needed to plot the ships’ motion.
Kotok knew the task was not an easy one to solve but by this time he had started to get cozy with the members of the DEC.
He decided to go to Maynard one day where he was sure someone had a routine that would run on the computer.
He brought it back to Slug. “Here you are, Russell… Now, what’s your excuse?”
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