Virtual PDP-10 KI10 panel - the holy grail of Blinkenlights on your desktop

Parent Category: Projects Category: BlinkenBone panel simulations Written by Administrator

Don't touch anything!

Remember the old days, when you worked on this big PDP-10 time sharing system? Never enough CPU seconds, never enough disk space, the machine always too slow on working hours?

pdp10 ki10 thd 1980 2

And often the operators pinned this sign to the machine room door, showing you were your place was:


This room is fullfilled mit special electronische equippment.
Fingergrabbing and pressing the cnoeppkes from the computers is
allowed for die experts only! So all the “lefthanders” stay away
and do not disturben the brainstorming von here working
intelligencies. Otherwise you will be out thrown and kicked
anderswhere! Also: please keep still and only watchen astaunished
the blinkenlights.

(Origin of "Blinkenlights")

Well, you have waited long enough: here is your very own PDP-10 console for your desktop, ready for "finger grabbing" and "cnoepkes pressing"!

virtualki10 desktop



What's in this package

This is the photorealistic simulation of a PDP-10 model KI10 console panel, connected to a PDP-10 Simulation on SimH.
The PDP-10 will run a TOPS-10 installation.

The panel will show the actual CPU operation, and the simulated machine can be controlled over the panel.

Quick start

You need a quite modern PC (Core i3 class or so), and a big monitor. But even on Raspberry Pi performance is not too bad.
Minimum supported screen width is 1280. Best is a 1900 pixel monitor, then the panel has almost its original size of 2 1/2 feet = 76 centimeters.

In short: Download, Unzip, Start !

Longer instructions are given here for the PDP-11/40 panel.
Attention: the Linux version is for 32bit. For 64bit Linuxes, follow the additional instructions!

Communication between SimH and the panel simulation is over network. So under MS-Windows, there will be questions from the firewall. Allow everything!

Two programs will start:

  1. SimH in a text mode console
  2. the Visual Java application with the panel

Be sure to arrange them on your screen somehow side-by-side.

Operating the Java panel app

The Java app can be configured for different sizes. Default is a width of 1200 pixels, max is 1900 pixels (you will need a big two-monitor system then!)

Since connection between SimH and the Java app is over network, both can reside on different computers.

Simulated buttons are operated by clicking on them, or move the mouse with a button hold down.
The feed back lamps inside the buttons are set under program control and do NOT always match your "button-press".

The rotary knobs are turned left or right by clicking left or right on your mouse.

Booting TOPS-10

SimH simulates a PDP-10 running this TOPS-10 installation: Thanks for it!

TOPS-10 is a timesharing OS, to bring it up use these steps:

tops-10 boot

The dot "." is the TOPS-10 prompt.

Using TOPS-10

The user manuals are here at bitsavers.

To login as super user:

login 1,2


To play the  "Adventure" game:

.run adv.exe
Type G to continue
There is also the game HAUNT:

.r haunt

To program in BASIC:



To log out:


You can also use another account:

.login public


There is also a lot of software installed: FORTRAN, ALGOL and COBOL, as well as the KERMIT data transfer program (called "K10MIT").