Virtual PDP-10 KI10 - KERMIT file transfer

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

Now that the panel is blinking somehow, we like to play more seriously with it.

This means: make short assembler programs, which can be toggled-in and started over the panel.

No MACRO10 cross assembler?

Unlike the PDP-11, there seems to be no PC-based cross assembler for MACRO10. So when developing programs, we must use the MACRO assembler in the simulated TOPS-10 installation. Not a big deal, but this raises the question: how transfer files between the virtual PDP-10 and your PC? With KERMIT of course!


KERMIT is THE tool for data transmission between different systems.
The "steubentech" TOPS-10 installation already has the PDP-10 Kermit installed, it is called "K10MIT".

On the PC side the original "Kermit95" from is used. I licensed it, in the hope this would keep the Kermit project alive.

Here's a walk through:


Boot up TOPS-10, use the SimH command window as console terminal.


Open a 2nd terminal session to the PDP-10.

The SimH ini file "tops-10.simh_pdp10" contains the line
        att -am dz 4000
This means that a multi-serial adapter DZ10 is simulated, and its channels are routed to telnet over port 4000.

Start Kermit95 on the PC the PDP-10 simulation is running and type:
K-95> telnet /nowait localhost:4000

A terminal window opens and TOPS-10 lets you login:

kermit95 terminal


Kermit95 - K10MIT connection

Now on the PDP-10 start the Kermit program in "server mode".


TOPS-10 KERMIT version 3(136)

[Kermit Server running on the DEC Host. Please type your escape
sequence to return to your local machine. Shut down the server by
typing the Kermit BYE command on your local machine.]

Now the PDP-10 K10MIT occupies the serial line and awaits data traffic from the other side - the local PC-Kermit95 you just used as terminal emulator.

So press Alt-X, which  switches back from terminal emulation to the local Kermit95's command window.
You now control the remote K10MIT from your local Kermit95.

Remote controlling the PDP-10.

You now have several commands to do local (PC side) and remote (PDP-10 side) file operations.
For example make a PDP-10 directory listing:
[C:\] K-95> rdir
Press the X or E key to cancel.

File name Size Creation date
words blocks and time

TEST .CBL 3178 30 23-Oct-6 9:15:15
README.TXT 116 10 23-Oct-6 9:45:03
FOO .CBL 315 10 25-Oct-6 18:59:35
TEST .REL 1826 20 14-Oct-99 12:35:46
TEST .LIS 4141 40 14-Oct-99 12:35:46
TEST .EXE 2560 30 14-Oct-99 12:36:17
RMSKY .RMS 2560 30 14-Oct-99 12:39:44

Or transmit files with "send" and "get":

kermit95 get


So transmitting a macro program to the PDP-10 is just a matter of typing

K95> send hello.mac

All possible commands are listed with

[C:] K-95>remote ?

Remote Kermit server command, one of the following:
assign delete help login print rename space
cd directory host logout pwd rmdir type
copy exit kermit mkdir query set who
K95> help remote type
K95> rtype hello.mac


So when developing programs for the PDP-10, you have a lot of windows open:

  1. edit them on your PC (1st window open with text editor)
  2. after saving, you transmit them with "send <file>" (the 2nd window with the Kermit command prompt remains open all the time)
  3. in another terminal you process the file on the PDP-10 side with MACRO or a compiler. (3rd window with terminal emulator).
  4. The listing output is fetched from the terminal window and converted to SimH DEPOSIT commands.You can also route the listing to a file and GET this back over the Kermit connection (see next page).
  5. These SimH commands are entered into another PDP-10 SimH (the test machine). Yes, we can afford two PDP-10's! (and that SimH console is the 4rd window open on your desktop)
  6. repeat steps 1. - 5. as long as necessary.

Needless to say, editing files on the PC is only for whimps who are afraid of TECO!