Building an HP2000/Access system from scratch

If you are interested in revisiting the great computer systems of the 1970s, then there is nowhere easier to start than with the HP2000/Access system, a system that was used by many schools and universities around the world from 1969 through to about 1980.

To setup you personal HP2000/Access system you will need some skill in Linux (or Windows), a copy of SIMH and a basic understanding of the HP2000/Access operating system and components. Bitsavers has the HP2000/Access manuals and the latest SIMH can obtained from Github

Getting Started

Assumptions: It is assumed you know what you are doing on your host operating system (Linux in my case) and that you know the basics of an HP2000/Access system as a user.

Notes: You may need to rename filenames in the Access.zip download to lower case for case sensitive operating systems. If the asmain or asiop script below borks with can’t find a file, change the capitalisation of the files. They come from Windows which is case insensitive.

Update! The latest simh version 4 does not work with these scripts as it no longer supports the load command to load a core image into memory. To continue to use these scripts you must use simh version 3.9 or below.

  1. Set up a Linux host (you can do Windows, but I did Linux as its easier for me) and login to a user account
  2. Download the v3.9 SIMH sources to your host (using curl or whatever works for you)
  3. unzip simhv39-0.zip
  4. cd simhv39-0; make hp2100
  5. Download the “clean Access” zip from the HP2000 group on Yahoo.
  6. unzip access.zip
  7. cd access; ~/simhv39-0/BIN/hp2100 asmain
  8. open a new a window on to your host and login again if neccessary
  9. cd access; ~/simhv39-0/BIN/hp2100 asiop&
  10. Follow the instructions in the HP Access Installation and Operation pdf also in the HP2000 yahoo group.

Any questions? Reply to this post!

About Quentin

Im just a normal bloke.
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