MINC

This is MINC – the Modular Instrument Computer; a special PDP-11 system with modules for analog and digital I/O and timing for use in a laboratory.

Under this page (see the menu on the left) I’m collecting information on the MINC hardware and software. All of it is very much a work in progress, let me know if you have questions, remarks, or corrections!

MINC Documentation
MINC came with a nice set of eight user-level manuals – including an overview of the hardware, and how a user can connect those to other equipment. These can be found via:https://electrickery.hosting.philpem.me.uk/comp/minc/index.html (look for the link ‘Scanned and PDFed doc’).

Next to that, Bitsavers has a few manuals about the additional Fortran packages that were available – I haven’t really looked at those yet, other than a quick check if there was any directly useful information about the hardware in them. These are at http://bitsavers.org/pdf/dec/pdp11/minc/ , But that same directory also has the schematics – the file MP00653_MNC11_Schematics_Jul78.pdf is the best scan.

Bitsavers also has X11 diagnostics module listings. And the objects for those are on the XXDP25 disk on bitsavers – they need to be linked into executable form before use, but once you know how that works it is easy enough. Worse is that the modules are a bit brief and the comments in the listing are not the most helpful I’ve seen so far. Still, I’ve learned quite a bit from the listings. Find them at http://bitsavers.org/pdf/dec/pdp11/xxdp/x11_listings/ and look for XMNA through XMNE – for AD, DI, KW, DA, and DO respectively.

There is one special case: for MNCAD there is also the (much more detailed) listing of VMNA. That one is in the directory http://bitsavers.org/pdf/dec/pdp11/microfiche/ftp.j-hoppe.de/bw/gh/ (look for VMNA).

MINC Software
MINC software is also pretty difficult to find. I know of only one copy of the standard BASIC package, of course also on Bitsavers: http://bitsavers.org/bits/DEC/pdp11/floppyimages/minc/rx02/ ; the versions for 11/23 work with SIMH and can be converted to an RK05 image for PDP2011.

The MINC software is set up as a closed system; it boots into BASIC, and the user would normally never leave the READY prompt. To make that work, there are some tricks by which at least DIR and HELP commands can be run from the READY prompt.