I'm having a party on Saturday January 11 (and if any of you are in Tucson,
or want to come to Tucson for it, you're invited; email me for the address
Although the party is Elvis-themed, it's really about boardgaming and
So I kind of wanted to put a general-purpose Z-machine interpreter on my
PiDP-11, so that people could play Infocom (and community) games on a real
Turns out there wasn't really one, so I ported the venerable ZIP (which I
have renamed "zterp" for obvious reasons) to 2.11BSD on the PDP-11, and I
also wrote a little utility I call "tmenu" to take a directory (and an
optional command applying to files in the directory) and make a numbered
menu, so that my guests who are not familiar with Actual Bourne Shell can
play games too.
These things are at:
Both are K&R C, and compile with the 2.11BSD system C compiler.
My biggest disappointment is that the memory map of Trinity, my favorite
Infocom game, is weird and even though it's only a V5 game, I can't
allocate enough memory to start it. Other than that, V5 and below seem to
work mostly fine; V8 is in theory supported but no game that I've tried has
little enough low memory that I can malloc() it using C on 2.11BSD.
I have always marveled at folks who can maintain multiple
versions of software, but Larry's dispatch from the
trenches reveals hurdles I hadn't imagined. Kudos for
keeping groff alive.
Speaking of which, many thanks to all who pitched in
on the %% nit that I reported. The instant response
compares rather favorably to an open case I've been
following in gcc, which was originally filed in 2002.